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'This Bloody Country'

I've been writing this novel for only just slightly over a year now and, by the time you are reading this, I should have finished the first draft. I'm writing this on the 9th of February and I'm currently starting the day with 345 pages and 102,000 words written, which is beyond what I had hoped for. With the plot I started out with, I was expecting to have to eke out 250 pages and 70,000 words - I'm sure the final FINAL draft v.2.1 will be shorter than it is now.

In the meantime, I thought it would be wise to give you an insight into the story and characters with a (very) short extract. Rather than pick some of my vivid, wonderful descriptions or detailed, emotional interactions, I thought I would pick an amusing but critical moment that serves as the 'epitasis', 'rising action', or 'increasing tension' of the story arc, also known as Freytag's Pyramid.

Enough filler, I've asked you to wait long enough. Enjoy.


“Sorry, what’s this about?”

“Just a house call, sir, hoping you can help us with some enquiries.” I hoped they couldn’t see the dread rising. I wracked my brain to think of something to say, something to do, something that might conceal my unease and buy me some space to consider what was going on.

“Sure, sure. Could I get you a cup of coffee?”

“Smashing, sir. That would be lovely.”

“We won’t take up much of your time,” Goode assured. “Have you ever had a meeting with the Home Office before?”

“Of course not.” I regretted saying that as I was sure it made me seem instinctively defensive. Maybe that was all they might need to be suspicious of me, but for what, I couldn’t imagine. “I mean, why would I?”

The two agents sat themselves beside one another on the living room sofa while I went to the kitchen, watching them as closely as I could, without seeming like I was nervous of them or, worse, suspicious of them. They did say it wouldn’t take up much of my time, but then they did appear to be making themselves pretty comfortable on the sofa.

“We had a tip that there might be a foreign national dwelling illegally in these premises, sir.” To make matters worse, I’d forgotten to buy any instant coffee.

“Tea alright?”

“Thank you, sir. White with two sugars for me.”

“Same.” Goode watched me intently, I knew they must be analysing my every move. Bag in first? Good. Milk in before the kettle has boiled? Make a note of that, officer. If I’d left the teabag in when I added the milk, the zip ties would have been round my wrists and ankles before you could say Darjeeling.



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