A Very Important Teapot is my first novel and has had a gestation period of a quarter of a century, procrastination being an entirely untaught skill that I have spent many years honing to perfection. However, having decided on a flight home from a holiday in Australia in early 2017 to sit down and scribble 90,000 words and see where I got to, it only took me the rest of that year to complete the first draft of the book.
The next nine months were taken up with some seriously severe editing and the frustrations of trying to find an agent or publisher who would enjoy the book and think that perhaps enough of the greater reading public might enjoy it too. Finally, Claret Press became that publisher and A Very Important Teapot has now seen the light of day on 18th October 2019 2019.
The book is a comedy thriller set largely in Australia, with a main protagonist, Dawson, who gets caught up in events way outside his comfort zone when he is offered an unspecified job by his best friend. All sorts of mayhem ensue, involving gangsters, diamonds, the espionage agencies of three different countries, the local police and folk music.
It has been written with light holiday reading in mind, but I hope that people may also want to read it when they are at home and in need of a bit of escapism. Above all, my aim is for it to be entertaining.
I am currently well on the way to writing a sequel to the book, just in case a sufficient number of people enjoy A Very Important Teapot enough to want to know what happens next. It is as yet untitled, as I’ve set he bar quite high in that respect with the first book.
As for me, I was born and brought up in Guildford in a house with a river at the bottom of the garden. This makes me sound quite posh, but it wasn’t a very big house, and it wasn’t a very big river. I was sent away to boarding school for nine years, which again makes me sound quite posh, but the school was several hundred rungs down the ladder from Eton and was so small that I could take French or Art at O level but not both. I, therefore, gained one fewer O level than I should have done. O levels, of course, have long since ceased to exist, as has the school, incidentally.
Over the course of the following millennia, I moved from Surrey to Oxfordshire via Buckinghamshire, collecting, as one does, a wife and family and several recalcitrant cats en route, and surviving a wide variety of employment experiences. These included local government officer, bingo club manager, estate agent, several jobs selling unwanted goods and services to reluctant buyers and, briefly and much to my surprise, prison officer. I now sit in the corner of an office being generally useful and making lots of coffee, while the younger people around me ask what O levels were and how people survived without satnavs and mobile phones. And whether the whole of life was in black and white, or was that just television. The answer to which is of course yes.