It’s midnight. The record player is stuck in a loop. Muddy Waters is singing, “I’ve got my mojo work- I’ve got my mojo work- I’ve got my mojo work-“. My head nods in front of the monitor of my laptop. I pick up my whisky glass and twirl it. The ice clatters around the Grouse and water. I look up at the monitor. Late drunkenness brings on the writer’s madness. An old and dangerous fictional character is trying to break free. He wants to live again. Tripping the Night Fantastic is begging for a sequel.
I reach for my packet and remove a cigarette. I am about to head outside and smoke to clear my hazy mind but I’m caught by something on the screen.
Charlie Deavon is staring at me through the monitor. I can see his face in remarkable detail; every hair and every crease and line. He isn’t scowling but the thought is there.
He leans closer and head-butts the screen. My laptop rocks forward and I stop it with my hand. I put my cigarette down and open a word file.
The curser blinks for a moment. I have a sip of whisky. ‘So, what do you want to do, Charlie?’
He smiles, and from that moment I can no longer control his actions.
That is how the second book in the Tripping series came into this world. That was its birth. A moment of madness caught in a whisky haze and captured forever in a blog. It will be called Tripping the Urban Guerrilla. It will write itself in a way, just as the last one did. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, just as the last one was not. In the telling of its unusual tale it will capture that feeling of not being sure of your own reality. The kind of book that leaves you with the urge to have a drink and a cigarette. To be less in control of your inhibitions, and to enjoy it. A lesson for actively making your life worse, while simultaneously bringing a satisfying sense of mischief to it.
It won’t be my second book, that one has already been written. A stately manor based comedy called A Scoundrel for Love. But that won’t be released independently until it has been turned down by at least 5 agents. I’ve never sent a book to an agent before so maybe it will be picked up. Who knows?
The Tripping series will always be independent. They are too experimental (not in a hard to read kind of way, there is just a freedom to where the story goes and how it is told that might not suit a traditional publisher). As a writer I think you need the freedom with at least one project to write something that is completely unaffected. Something a bit unhinged. Something you will laugh at personally. A self-indulgent kind of writing. Somewhere to dump all your lunacy so when you come to write the good stuff it is easier to handle.
When I am bored, or in need of a fix of insanity, I turn to Charlie (not a pun) and entertain myself for a while.
The first trip: