“The Novel:” A taster

Having set this up as an unsent letters blog, I haven’t actually written many because too much vaguely-nice if-not-currently-very-remunerative stuff has been happening. Firstly, my business idea is taking some coherent shape (nothing’s at all formalised yet but initial reactions have been towards the “yaaay, go you” end of things, and I went to a House of Lords reception this week, which, as networking opportunities go, is quite good).  Then, as some of you know, there’s the novel I’m writing, recently resumed after a two-year break (aka The “Listening To-Amy-Winehouse-And-Martha-Wainwright On Rotation In-Pyjamas-At-Miidday” * Years…). As some of you also know, part one of a screenplay version was recently longlisted for the BBC Writers Room, which was nice.

“So what’s it about?”  The dreaded question (all the more dreaded when asked by a business acquaintance of five minutes who thinks we’re on a date. Ahem). It started life eleven years ago as a vague idea and has evolved over time into being about a Lib Dem-Tory marriage, referencing social media and John Osborne’s Look Back In Anger. You can read a synopsis below and listen to me read two short excerpts (NB: as this can be dicey, copyright-wise, further down the line; I’ll delete them in a few weeks/months to avoid any hassles). 

The Blue and the Gold is a novel about relationships, power struggles, politics, social media and the gap between generations X and Y. Lib Dem MP Kit Bainbridge and her itinerant, Tory-supporting husband Toby are struggling to hold together their marriage amid demanding jobs and conflicting views. Their university friend Matilda, a once-promising actress, has resigned herself to a bland career. Pol’s a semi-employed dreamer trying to recover from a wasted youth idolising Matilda. As the country enjoys an Easter heatwave and the Royal Wedding approaches, Matilda’s latest regional theatre stint brings them all back to their student town of Durham. What should be a relaxed, nostalgic jaunt is the start of a life-changing two years in which their problems and ambitions intertwine.

* And Dinah Washington. And Alanis Morrisette. And Shakespeare’s Sister. And Sophie B. Hawkins. And Marillion. And Meredith Brooks. And, oh effing hell, Gotye…It was once…Twice tops….OK, maybe three times. Damn and blast you, Spotify radio…!


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