When my agent called I was hoping it would be good news, or any news.
I’ve got you on a programme Brian.
‘Brilliant,’ I replied ‘is it the Review Show’?
‘The Book Programme?’
‘The Literary Quiz?’
‘I don’t mind doing Brain of Britain.’
We tried that already.
‘Round Britain Quiz?’
No, they had a long waiting list remember… it’s a series about writers.
‘A Good Read? Who else is on it?’
It’s a new programme, not sure who’s been approached, Hilary said it wasn’t really her thing and Sebastian is too busy.
‘Radio or television?’
It would only work on television.
‘Will I get to talk to Kirsty Wark?’
I think we’re talking more Steve Redgrave, John Inverdale…
‘Okay, you’ve lost me now.’
The basic premise is that the author gets to act out the role of their leading character.
‘Oh that sounds fun, how about the scene where the poet seduces Lady Antonia?’
That is not quite what they had in mind.
‘Well I certainly don’t want to do his suicide scene, can’t stand the sight of blood for one thing ha ha.’
No, they were thinking of your thriller novels, not the literary ones.
‘Hmmm, the scene where Hammond Steele seduces Natalia Komenski?’
An action scene, they have half a dozen escapes or rescues they think would be ideal, several of them quite topical.
In ‘Snow Diamonds’ Hammond Steele visits South Korea and a week later I too was in South Korea, dressed well against the biting wind, feet clad suitably for the snow, knowing I should never have agreed to this programme.
Other authors manage to sell thriller novels by the million without even leaving their computer. We were doing the scene where Hammond has to escape his pursuers; they must not get their hands on the precious package, even if it means forfeiting his own life.
At the very top my instructor was giving me last minute instructions, I braced my knees; I could hardly feel what my hands were gripping in the thick gloves I was wearing. He was telling me to watch the light, wait for the amber, wait for his command and the green light…
Why oh why had I made Hammond Steele escape the villains by pretending to be a participant in the 2018 Winter Olympics… Men’s ski jump, soar in the air and ski swiftly away down a valley into the woods. The light turned green, someone shouted GO.