Twelve Years On. Can My First Serious Book Inspire Me For a Second Time?


The best-selling book in my chequered portfolio is this one…

It took a long time before I felt ready to write its sequel…

But since the latter book has become my second-best selling book, wouldn’t it seem logical to write another? To create a trilogy? Here’s a snippet from the 2014 partial re-write. Maybe re-reading the first will inspire a third.

At that point Candice seemed to shrug off the tom-boy image that everyone knew. It was uncanny. It was as if I was seeing her for the first time. I could imagine her in tight revealing clothes – out clubbing on a Saturday night. A ‘babe’. A boy-magnet. The transformation was utterly astounding.

‘How the hell does she do that?’

“Quid pro quo is a payment,” she purred her explanation, “given, or taken, in equal measure to the service, or item, or person, supplied.”

To his credit Hawley was quick on the uptake. “You mean a life for a life? Something like that?”

“I can see why they put you in charge of this outfit.” She smiled.

On cue Lee spoke up: “We took one of your lot: you take one of ours.”

‘Is Lee in on something, or is he, as usual, playing it by ear? Winging it?’

Hawley had a moments’ trouble dragging his attention from Candice, who formerly  no one could describe as being particularly attractive; perhaps ‘average’ might come close – if one such word could describe anybody; but who now seemed subtly altered. She was dirty, cut, bruised, and dazed, but now a hitherto submerged vivacity shone through it all. But Hawley succeeded.

“But I’ve got you all already: What’s to deal about? Anyway, Wayne’s not one of my lot.”

Lee had obviously seen the change in Candice also. He indicated her. To Hawley he said, “What’s to deal? You got eyes, aint ya?

Hawley was tempted, but I could see his resolution was going to win. So did Candice. With a startling display of ambidextrousness she whipped the two stolen hand grenades from her pockets, and flicked out the safety pins. Teenagers scattered in every direction – except Hawley. Candice had him in a bear hug – a hand grenade pressed against each shoulder.

He eyed Steve. “You should’a frisked her, ya useless wassack!”

“Quid pro quo.” She whispered to Hawley.

I lurched forward. This was exactly what I feared she’d do. I cried out, “Candice: No!”

Lee caught me by the midriff, and dragged me back.

“Candice, yes.” She replied.

Katherine then called out, “But you don’t have to give yourself up to these louts: There must be another way…”

But, pressed close to Hawley, Candice was shaking her head. “My friends I’m almost twenty. How long do I have? Haven’t any of you noticed that I can be a little crazy at times? I’m running a temperature already.”

‘No: this must be some kind of ruse!’

I saw Hawley flinch. “You…you’re…sick?” He stammered. Then controlling himself he added, “This quid pro quo stuff sucks. This isn’t a deal: it’s sodding charity!”

Candice allowed herself a smile. “And they said wit was a lost art. Now let’s think this through, shall we? You could threaten to have one of my friends shot…”

“I could threaten to have all your friends shot!” He interrupted her.

She was not fazed. “No doubt, but judging by the behaviour of your friends, these two little items in my hands are the real deal. I’m sick; therefore I’m dying. The thought of an abrupt and spectacular ending isn’t that abhorrent to me. You, on the other hand, are only – what – eighteen? You have your whole life ahead of you: Two years anyway.

© Paul Trevor Nolan 2014

An impasse. Ooh…

This book is available as a paperback and e-book at Lulu.com (see sidebar) and as an e-book only at all major outlets, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Googlebooks etc (also on sidebar). It’s not a comedy, but it is entertaining.

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