Under the influence of the strange aftermath of my inconceivable shenanigans in Spain as a foreign language teacher in the early 1990s, I produced the initial drafts of what grew into my first novel – The Twisted Times of Bella Basura. It was finally completed in 1998. A self-published DIY A5 booklet, printed on my PC, hand folded and stapled in the kitchen. I harboured hankerings for the community print shops I remembered from the 1970s. The finished book reached maybe 11 people in total.
And so it slumbered.
Things moved on, other things got written, got discarded, forgotten.
I revived the printed text in 2001, reducing it to A6, sewing and binding 2 multi-section round-backed hardbacks for an exam in traditional bookbinding.
Then it slumbered.
At Yule 2011 I was given a Kindle e-reader and the idea was mooted that I re-edit Twisted Times to republish in e-book format. This may still be a possibility, but in the meantime I have decided to publish it online in regularly posted in extracts. Taking Charles Dickens ‘Household Words’ as an inspiration…
The original proposal for the novel. Here
Follows is the first extract
In The Bordello
I was blasted off the streets by the icy winter wind and buffeted through the heavy swing doors, tumbling down the steps into the warm seedy cellar bar, a dive amongst dives, a hotbed of crime and confusion – The Bordello.
Sympathy for the Devil was bouncing off the walls, the tiny dark low-ceilinged room was crowded, a buzzing market place of the illicit.
I was in my element and swimming in with the tide. I ordered a coffee, in a glass cup with extra sugar at the bar. While I’m waiting a good-looking young man in a skirt sweeps over to me claps me on the back…more…