Crank up the machine, it’s time to write again. It’s a sunny April day (Sunday 10th), and war is still raging in Ukraine, Elon Musk has bought 10% of twitter, my nephew Sam turned four years old, Wigan Warriors beat beat Wakefield 36-6 in the Challenge cup, and I’ve had some Mika Ito merch T-Shirts knocked-up. So things are happening but not else much has changed since I last wrote, apart from the fact that I started a new novel, which is exciting. The opening chapter is below, if you could just add another 70,000 word or so to it and get back to me, I think we might be on to something…
‘It”s my business to know about these things,’ Johnny said as he pulled the his over-tight trouser braces off his shoulders and puffed on his cigar. He’s always been a smoker and his office has always been full of thick, hot plumes of grey, slow swirling air. Johnny probably came out of the womb with a Robusto primed and ready to be lit, and with his bald head and old man plump, he probably wouldn’t have looked much different as a baby than he does now. ‘We’ll have to make an example of her,’ he continued, ‘This kind of thing can not be allowed to pass. No matter who it is!’
‘You can’t do this to the woman I love!’ Sean said as he buckled and fell to his knees, sobbing. I’d never seen a man capitulate so quickly. Either Johnny’s will was so immutable that it was pointless to argue with him, or Sean was the weakest of men.
The next day, the news of her death was splashed across every evening headline, and on every street corner people whispered about her in a fit of anger and nervous shock. They said she died around noon, and it was not a quick death, by all accounts. The officials say she spent hours clinging to life in a pool of blood, but that’s only if you believe what the pigs tell you. I’d like to say that I’d never know anything like this before, but in my line of work this is just another day at the office, and it’s not my place to ask questions. Well, not usually, anyway.
I wish I’d have known who she was before I agreed to shoot her. That would have saved me a great deal of difficulty. And now that I’ve pieced it all together, the ten grand fee was a pittance. I should have known something was fishy, ten grand is a lot more cash than any normal job would pay, and if I’d have know she was the niece of a former president then things might have been different. I would have turned down the contract and avoided this whole horrible mess I now find myself in. END CHAPTER.
OK. I’m not sure about the former-presidents niece angle. You might want to change that and make her more sympathetic/ relatable. Give her an orphan’s backstory, and Sean’s love for her will have to be properly explained. And who the hell is Johnny, anyway? Not a mob boss, unless he is, and in that case this must be happening in 1940s Chicago. That sounds about right. So I’ll leave the other details to you. I know you’ll want total creative freedom on this one. Free reign, as it were. But I like the idea that the woman didn’t die, and the gunman narrator couldn’t kill her because he fell in love with her, or took pity, so he fabricated her death and pulled strings with the cops so they’d file a bogus report and leak it to the press, in order to give Johnny the impression that she was dead. And now our narrator can’t come clean because she’s in hiding and it would mean certain death for him. He took the money and lied to Johnny, and Johnny’s not a man you want to lie to…
If you can have this on my desk my September, or at least a decent semi-compete draft, I think we’d be in business for a next July launch. Of course, you’ll get a favourable percentage, but as your co-author, editor, agent, publisher, legal adviser and marketing man, I will need unlimited expenses to do this thing right. Admin is a really money hole and there’s no way around it. So this is no time to read. It’s getting to the part of the day when things get hazy, and we both have work to do and beers to drink.
Sunday April 10th. 7:37pm.