I’m very excited to welcome back author Tim Taylor. Some of you may remember him from last year when he visited my blog in October. Well, now he’s back again to talk to us about a new scene from his book, Revolution Day.
Over to you, Tim.
Hi Claire! Many thanks for hosting me! My novel Revolution Day is one of our publisher, Crooked Cat’s featured books this week, and available at only 99p/99c (as is my other novel, Zeus of Ithome). In honour of that, I thought I would share a scene from the novel with you today.
First, a bit of background. The novel follows a year in the life of ageing Latin American dictator, Carlos Almanzor, who is feeling increasingly insecure and paranoid as he clings on to power. His estranged and imprisoned wife, Juanita, is writing a memoir in which she recalls the history of their marriage and Carlos’s regime, charting its long descent from idealism into repression.
Meanwhile, the vice-President, Manuel, is burning with frustration at his subordinate role. When his attempts to increase his profile are met with humiliating rejection, he resolves to take action. But lacking a military power base, he must make pursue power not by force but through intrigue, exploiting his role as Minister of Information to manipulate the perceptions of Carlos and those around him and drive a wedge between the President and the army. As Manuel makes his move, Juanita will find herself unwittingly drawn into his plans. So will others close to Carlos, including his young mistress, Corazon, who maintains a discreet social life of her own while the President is asleep. In this excerpt, she receives an unpleasant surprise ….
“Leaving so soon? It’s only one thirty.”
Corazon faked a yawn. “I’m feeling a bit tired. And it would be bad to fall asleep in the fancy banquet that Carlos is laying on for the Chinese ambassador tomorrow.”
“Would be funny, though,” said Carmelita, laughing. The two women embraced, and Corazon walked languidly towards the bar, catching the attention of the barman as she did so. Many other eyes followed her progress, and the slight swaying of her hips that emphasised each step. Her skirt was a little shorter, her lipstick a little redder than usual this evening, and her face bore an expression not of weariness but of expectation.
“Tell Ramon I am ready to leave,” she told the barman, but he shook his head.
“Ramon has left us. We have not had time to find a replacement, I’m afraid. I will drive you myself this evening.” He gestured to one of the other bar staff to take charge in his absence.
“This is very sudden. He did not tell me he was planning to leave.”
The barman shrugged. “He didn’t tell us either, till I got an e-mail about three o’clock this afternoon saying he had quit. Didn’t figure him for a fly by night type, but a good looking boy like him is always likely to get a better offer.”
On the journey home the barman talked constantly, but Corazon, unusually for her, said very little in response. Instead, she seemed preoccupied with her mobile phone, constantly tapping with her long fingernails upon its plastic screen, sometimes holding it to her ear before cursing silently in frustration. So preoccupied, indeed, that she almost forgot to give the barman his tip, remembering only at the last minute when he pointedly asked, “Will there be anything else, lady?” Apologising, she gave him both the roll of notes she had prepared for him and the one that had been reserved for Ramon.
The following afternoon, when she returned to her locker at the exclusive downtown gym that she visited twice a week, she found inside it an envelope that had not been there before. At first puzzled, then worried, and progressively overwhelmed by a tide of panic, she took it with her to a changing cubicle and tore open the seal. The first thing she saw was a photograph of herself in the toilet of the nightclub, snorting a line of coke. And for good measure, a second photo, a second line. Then there was a picture of her meeting Ramon at the bar, another of the two of them walking down the steps towards the car park, holding hands, yet another of him opening the door of the shiny Mercedes for her. Then, at last, came the money shots. Her kissing Ramon passionately, his back arched against the body of the car. The two of them in transitional pose, her blouse unbuttoned and breasts exposed. Then finally, Ramon from behind, his white buttocks framed between black trousers and black jacket. Either side of him, two stockinged legs, two arms, braced against the car door, and just visible to his left, a waterfall of straight blonde hair.
After the eight photographs, there was a single sheet of paper, bearing a typewritten message:
This indiscretion will have no repercussions, provided that you comply with a simple request …
If your readers are intrigued, they can find more information and excerpts on the Revolution Day page on my website
Thanks again for hosting me today, Claire!
You’re always welcome, Tim!
For Tim Taylor’s Links:
Why not visit his Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/timtaylornovels
Tim was born in 1960 in Stoke-on-Trent. He studied Classics at Pembroke College, Oxford (and later Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London). After a couple of years playing in a rock band, he joined the Civil Service, eventually leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing.
Tim now lives in Yorkshire with his wife Rosa and divides his time between creative writing, academic research and part-time teaching and other work for Leeds and Huddersfield Universities.
Tim’s first novel, Zeus of Ithome, a historical novel about the struggle of the ancient Messenians to free themselves from Sparta, was published by Crooked Cat in November 2013; his second, Revolution Day in June 2015. Tim also writes poetry and the occasional short story, plays guitar, and likes to walk up hills.