Richard Major: ‘Why I wrote the world’s first satirical novel about Trump’

IndieBooks’ Richard Major has been talking to Oxford Today about how he came to pre-write a satirical novel about Trump.

‘…In autumn 2015 my family and I were living in Budapest. On a certain night of November, a night as dark-and-stormy as any gothic yarn might require, I enjoyed an elaborate nightmare. I saw the students of a huge Northern ex-polytechnic invent a mascot, a made-up student. They cobbled its portrait together with Photoshop, using visual scraps from here and there; they registered it for its course, meaning to write its essays, and eventually get it its degree – for at this dreadful place no student need ever speak to a lecturer. Only the creators outdid themselves. They emptied into their concoction all the filth of their own ids: ideas too dire to air on their own Facebook pages. Their mascot became hypnotically awful; became nationally infamous; rose to supreme power; dragged the country into general ruin. – Such was my nightmare. 

In a way it’s easily analysed. As everyone knows, Mary Shelley had a similar dream, which she wrote up over the next three days; this eventually grew into the novel Frankenstein. We had been talking about Frankenstein before I went to bed that night; here was Frankenstein’s creature reimagined. 

The difference is that Mrs Shelley, being an optimistic Liberal, gave her  monster no political role. Its public acts are limited to murders; it didn’t stand for office in the Republic of Geneva. 

But what if it had? There’s a kink in human nature (Augustine called it the mysterium iniquitatis) which draws us toward iniquity, if the iniquity’s sufficiently extreme and bizarre.Frankenstein’s creature was so frightful, so unreal – physically as well as morally – that it would surely have spoken to the basest layer of humanity, always a lively constituency. Wouldn’t it have been enthralling? So enthralling that in the end it would be irresistible? 

Anyway, I jotted down my dream; in pious imitation of Mary Shelley I managed this in three days, between lectures. Then I put it away and pretty much forgot it. 

A year later it came to mind again because history had jumped tracks.  Autumn 2015 is a long, long time ago. The issues in international politics were the Paris climate agreement and intervention in Syria. Even American politics were adult: either Jeb or Rubio was to be the Republican nominee; the debates were about the economy. Donald Trump was low-comic relief at the margin of affairs; I’d scarcely heard of him. 

But now it’s as if Shakespeare’s hunchback had hobbled downstage, dropped himself onto the shoulders of the groundlings, been carried with howls across London Bridge, been deposited in the palace, given the crown. We have slid (suddenly, how suddenly!) into an age of made-up monsters. Satire cannot keep up with the phantasmagoria…’

Intrigued? Luckily begat is still available on our website for the special launch price of just £5.

 

IndieBooks discount codes

Hi everybody!

We’ve had a few people get in touch after having problems activating our promo codes when purchasing books from our website.  To make sure you can take advantage of your discount, please add your voucher code before you click checkout, as shown in the picture below. We hope this helps and if you have any further problems please don’t hesitate to contact frances@indiebooks.co.uk.

1.

Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 15.08.34.png

2.

Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 15.02.53

p.s the code shown (FPP) is still live and will deduct the cost of postage when you pre-order Explaining Cameron’s Catastrophe or Explaining May’s Miscalculations – Happy Friday!

Sir Reg: “Britain Backs Brexit”

Sir Reginald Futtock, the chair of the Government’s Brexit Advisory Committee and author of “Mr Brexit – the Man with the Plan” (out this September) has asked us to allow him to offer some reassurance to the country at this time of National Confusion.

I’ve been watching the results of the election from my villa in Cancun and feel the time has come to silence some of the more excitable speculation about our plans for Brexit.

Take it from me, this election has been a triumph for Brexit. After all, when you add up all the parties who back leaving the EU, it comes to over 600 MPs. The pro-EU parties have lost seats like a BA computer!

It’s hardly surprising. After all, we’ve been saying how Brexit will liberate our country and bring unparalleled prosperity (for the Few, and perhaps even some of the Many, though that doesn’t matter so much). Fortunately the People had a choice between one leader who was lukewarm for Remaining but has converted to Leaving; and another leader who has believed in Leaving since 1973.

And now the People have spoken, they can clear off again while we get back to the serious business of negotiating our way out of the European octopus and into the arms of the Chinese.

Jiānqiáng wěndìng

 

Explaining May’s…

No sooner had we announced the release of Explaining Cameron’s Catastrophe, our expert analysis of the 2016 European Referendum, did Theresa May announce a 2017 snap election.

So now Cameron’s Catastrophe – which will be launched on 12th July – will have an unexpected, and yet to be named, successor…Will it be the majority May expected? Or did she miscalculate?

Guess today’s result to win a free copy of Explaining Cameron’s Catastrophe•!

Explaining Cameron’s Catastrophe uses expert analyses of hundreds of surveys and focus groups run by Ipsos MORI to make sense of the UK’s 2016 EU referendum: how we got here; the context, content and process; lessons from 1975; what remain did wrong; why the leave campaign was so successful; voters attitudes; and the aftermath. It also explores what the 2016 referendum result, the 2017 general election results and life without the EU, means for the future of the UK.

If you haven’t had enough politics talk today you can read a couple of bits on the election from the authors here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/paul-baines/conservative-lead-polling_b_16920440.html

http://talkradio.co.uk/news/election-hinges-how-many-labour-supporters-turn-out-says-ipsos-mori-founder-17060714851

SIR ROBERT WORCESTER is the founder of Ipsos MORI. ROGER MORTIMORE is Director of Political Analysis at Ipsos MORI and Professor of Public Opinion and Political Analysis at King’s College London.  PAUL BAINES is Professor of Political Marketing at Cranfield University and a specialist in the application of marketing in politics. MARK GILL advises governments and organisations around the world on public opinion research.

Pre-order today to receive a £5 discount.

*Winner to be announced 9th June 2017. One chosen at random from correct guesses.

The People’s Publisher?

We are delighted to announce that two of our titles have made it through to the finals of The People’s Book Prize. King’s Company, by Jessamy Taylor, will be competing in the children’s category and Quintember, by Richard Major, in fiction.

For any of you that did vote for these titles in the Autumn and Winter showcases, please be aware that these votes are not carried forward, and you are eligible to vote again in this round. We would hugely appreciate your votes where possible, for these two remarkable debut novelists.

Voting is open until the 22nd May – Vote here 

And in even better news – keep an eye on the results, as if either book manages to take home the grand prize, we will offer discount on the winning title (or titles!) for one day only when you buy direct from our website, http://www.indiebooks.co.uk

tpbp

Guest Post: Sir Reg Futtock on Brexit Day 1

We’re delighted that Sir Reginald Futtock has taken time off from his busy schedule planning Britain’s post-Brexit economic miracle to share his thoughts in the first of a series of guest posts…

So, Day 1: and though I claim only part of the credit, so far so good. Yes, a few fly-by-night, here-today-and-gone-tomorrow outfits such as Lloyds of London have announced plans to shift jobs to the continent. But balance that against today’s spontaneous outpouring of national joy as we British throw off the oppressive yoke of the Brussels Eurocrats.

Brexit march

A typical scene of British people expressing their hatred of the EU. (Credit: Ed Everett)

Yes, there will be sacrifices. With the devaluation of the Pound, a decent bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild now costs well over £1,000. No doubt you will have noticed similar price rises in your own weekly shop.

But be reassured: the hard work of building the economic miracle continues. My Brexit Advisory Committee is looking at a range of soft, hard and harder-still options, of which ‘Eye-watering Brexit’ is the current favourite. In this scenario, we’ll have to replace up to £230 billion of annual exports to the EU. That’s a lot of boxes of speciality tea and pots of damson jam we’re going to have to shift to the rest of the world over the next few years. But it can be done.

It reminds me of my time at British Leyland. For all the sneering and jeering about the Austin Allegro by elitists such as my old friend and fellow embroidery enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson, we sold over 600,000 of them. (Almost entirely in Britain, as it happens, but that’s a detail.) With the right products, the right spirit and a large dose of tax breaks for the country’s wealth creators, we can Make Brexit Work!

And if you can’t wait for my book to come out in August to discover how you too can benefit financially from Brexit, then look out for my next guest post.

 

 

Curly Covers; or, the Secret Talents of Authors

One of the fun bits of publishing that readers don’t usually see is the process of working up the cover design. We produce a design brief and the artist or designer will provide some rough ideas which we can discuss and also share with the author. Our forthcoming title The Ballad of Curly Oswald is set in a hippie commune in the 1970s, and the mix of domesticity and drug culture was one of the themes that showed up in the very first concepts.

BCO image1 BCO image3 BCO Cover Mockup v1

Ignoring our designer’s wayward spelling for a moment, this is the stage where we start to think what we do want by seeing examples of what we don’t – from this batch, we said no to the fonts but yes to exploring the idea of an abandoned caravan, which picks up the theme of the narrator, Curly Oswald, recalling his lost childhood, and the idea of an abandoned caravan that had been his childhood home waiting to be rediscovered in the depths of an English forest.

But then the mysterious author – we still have no idea who Curly is or where he or she is based – offered us some idea of her or his own. (We should perhaps have guessed they might be good, as the Curly character grows up to be a designer himself.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 10.59.05

The left one perhaps falls into the ever-present trap of trying to tell too much of the story (what we call the Agatha Christie Cover syndrome – that’s for another post) but we simply couldn’t improve on the one on the right (save some tweaking of the title).  And you’ll be able to judge for yourself when the book is out next month. (Pre-order yours now!)

Mr Brexit: the Man with the Plan

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 15.00.38We’ve heard a lot about Britain’s destiny as a Global Powerhouse outside the European Union – but not so much detail on exactly how this will happen. So in the week that Article 50 is triggered, IndieBooks is proud to announce a new book that maps out Britain’s glittering economic future. And who better to pen it that Sir Reg Futtock, the Prime Minister’s newly-appointed advisor on Post-Brexit Prosperity.

For fifty years, Sir Reginald’s career has been synonymous with British business: from launching the world-beating Austin Allegro to taking RBS up to and beyond the pinnacle of international banking. Now he is bringing this wealth of experience to helping Britain plan for success in the post-Brexit world.

In Mr Brexit: the Man with the Plan, Sir Reg will set out why we joined, why we left and who will be the winners and losers as Britain returns to Splendid Isolation. This book is not clogged up with facts and evidence: instead, Sir Reg uses his own experiences, from sacking 31,000 staff at Marconi to bribing members of the Saudi Royal family, to explain how Brexit can achieve its essential purpose: ensuring that Britain’s wealth-creators remain in charge.

Although Sir Reg has a busy schedule caddying for Don Trump and grovelling to a range of foreign despots, he has promised us the book will be ready for publication in August.

 

To Syria With Love

From Syria With Love is going so well that we’re already reprinting, so we can continue assisting this wonderful charity in raising much-needed funds. So it’s a good time to update on where the money raised for the charity From Syria With Love has gone, including:

  • £600 to help distribute fuel to 60 families within the Dier Hassane refugee camp in Idlib, Northern Syria and food baskets to displaced families from Aleppo
  • £395 has helped with the third From Syria With Love School, including building/rental, stationary, fresh water, and transportation costs and the fourth From Syria With Love School, including salaries for two teachers as well as the provision of stationary and transportation
  • £50 for the transportation of desks to the For Syria With Love Kindergarden (set to open in 2 weeks time)
  • £635 is helping to stock the bags in the Bag of Happiness (Part II) Project and contain activities for refugee children such as puzzles and drawing books, pencils, crayons, and erasers

If you would like to learn more about some of the children featured in From Syria With Love, please watch this short documentary.

(Values in Great British Pounds Approximate due to conversion from Dollars)

Celebrating International Women’s Day

With a real lack of strong female characters in children’s fiction, we are choosing to celebrate International Women’s Day with Worrals, a character created by Captain W.E Johns to inspire and encourage women into aviation.

Johns, who championed the role of women in aviation in ‘Popular Flying’ magazine, took the chance of an invitation by the Air Ministry to write about the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force to create a true feminist icon. In addition to Nazi spies, Worrals is also battling the chauvinism of the RAF ‘Top Brass’, who think girls have no place at the controls of an aeroplane.

Get all 3 books in the series for £15 for today only!