During lockdown I’ve finally found time to finish writing the novel I first started drafting a long time ago. It’s been a refreshing diversion in-between client work.
The book’s based loosely on my experiences of working in and around Parliament, Westminster, and Whitehall over many decades. Most of my career has been spent anticipating, designing, managing and implementing technology, so the book contains numerous themes that reflect this — but it’s as much about people, institutions, and politics (and, er, thematic alcohol consumption) as anything else.
My original working title was ‘The Westminster Tales’ — in homage to Chaucer’s fine Canterbury Tales and the rich assortment of characters gathered uneasily together at the Tabard. However, I later renamed it after the riverbank given the Thames dominates the area and makes several guest appearances in the book.
I’m not quite sure how to classify the result. It’s a bit of an oddball mixture of characters, places and events — hopefully funny, certainly swear-laden (Chaucer’s influence again), occasionally repulsive and sometimes even a bit reflective. While it’s billed as a ‘collection of short stories’, in reality it’s an assortment of interweaving tales.
Depending on how well the novel goes down after publication, there could be a sequel — one where the characters, storylines and events come together in a scandalous final (mis)adventure. Although I doubt my ability to create anything more shocking and cynical than certain real life events and people around Westminster and Whitehall.
The book is illustrated by the very talented Clive Edwards. From the start, I had in mind the look and feel of some of my favourite books from childhood that were illustrated throughout — ‘Down With Skool!‘ in particular kept coming to mind. Every one of the 35 tales has an appropriate (and sometimes inappropriate!) illustration to accompany it.
‘Tales of the Riverbank’
will be published by the end of April 2021 has now been published and is available to order from Amazon UK here. I ‘ll post more details in a footnote when it appears. More details below.
‘Tales of the Riverbank’ is now out
Some Amazon places to buy ‘Tales of the Riverbank’
Amazon Germany: Paperback. eBook.
Amazon France: Paperback. eBook.
Amazon Spain: Paperback. eBook.
Amazon Italy: Paperback. eBook.
Amazon Japan: Paperback. eBook.
Amazon Canada: Paperback. eBook.
Amazon Australia: Paperback. eBook.
Amazon India: eBook.
Amazon Netherlands: eBook.
Amazon Brazil: eBook.
Amazon Mexico: eBook.
Other places to buy
You should be able to order ‘Tales of the Riverbank’ through your local bookshop, at least in the UK and US, although it may take some weeks after publication (April 19th 2021) for the novel to percolate through mainstream distribution channels. Publishing remains quaintly old fashioned in many ways. The ISBN number may help track it down: 979-8588129763.