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  • adamlongden

WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW

Hello all,


So… Shortly, I have a new novel out again.  My first full-length novel separate to The Caterpillar Girl series to be published. And I am beyond excited! 😊


It is called Plus One, and I started writing it three years or so ago, around the time of Covid and lockdowns. Also, around the time my father first went into a care home (more of that later). That was a strange time, looking back – Covid and lockdowns – but also a productive one for me as an author. To sit at home on furlough pay, thus being able to write full-time, was an unexpected and perhaps never-to-be repeated boon – but they do say, “never say never…”


Talking of age-old, well-worn adages, there is one that has often been dished out to fledgling authors, myself included: “Write what you know.” Most famously attributed to Mark Twain. He of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn fame.


One of my favourite authors, Stephen King, had his own take on this, “Write what you know. It’s bad advice if you take it as an unbreakable rule, but good advice if you use it as a foundation.”


Fortunately, looking back, I think this happened naturally with me. That, after all, was how The Caterpillar Girl was born. The rundown bungalow that I grew up in, with its large, rambling plot and orchard, Bunny Wood on one side, a spinney on the other… the entire property hidden from the outside world… a tyrant father… Anything could have gone on behind those tall hedges and remained undiscovered. And it did. But not all of what you read in The Caterpillar Girl is true. My somewhat unconventional upbringing laid the base, the foundation.


But, as semi-autobiographical as some of The Caterpillar Girl series is, I think Plus One could possibly be my most personal novel – based on experience – yet.


So, what is Plus One about? I’ll let the blurb do the talking…


‘Sonny is a single man, a disillusioned deli-chef, drifting towards forty.

He hasn’t been sleeping well. Has too much on his mind. Money being the main worry. Caring for his demanding, elderly father who has Parkinson’s. Not seeing enough of his teenage children or being able to provide for them.

When he is asked to be a plus-one as a favour for his boss, his life takes an unexpected turn. Into the murky world of male escorting.

Before long, the reluctant Sonny is earning money beyond his wildest dreams. But for how long will he be able to keep his side hustle secret? And can money ever be the key to happiness, or does it just unlock other doors?’


In Sonny’s case it is the latter, inadvertently finding love along the way. And also a way of busting his neglected father out of the dreadful care home he is in.


So, what do I know?


Parkinson’s – my father has had it for 16 years now. It is a degenerative disease, and for the last 4 years, my partner and I have been his main, daily support. Living through his condition with him and all that comes with it, including providing his 6 rounds of meds a day.


Care homes – after trying twice, unsuccessfully, to live independently (with full support), my father has been in five in total now and they were all different. The care home that features in the book – which I won’t mention in name – is based on a real one. It was truly shocking. Maybe people have been through similar experiences themselves with an elderly relative and can relate to it.


Cheffing – I have been doing it for 33 years now and still dream of a way out! As I have often said, “I dream of writing that best seller, so that I can finally hang up my apron for good.” Hopefully, Plus One provides an interesting insight as to what it is like to be a chef in the 2020’s.


The East Midlands – as with all my novels, Plus One is set in a real place in the East Midlands. I have never lived outside of them. In this case, Bingham, my hometown for the last 4 years, is the base for the book. If you haven’t been, pay it a visit, it is a lovely place to live.


Drinking – Sonny struggles not to indulge in an alcoholic beverage. There’s always an excuse, isn’t there?


Fear not, if some of the themes in Plus one I have mentioned sound a little serious – a light-hearted current runs through the book and a comic moment is never far away. As with all of my novels, I just want to entertain. I want to make you laugh and to cry.


Here’s hoping, Plus One does just that. When it comes out, be sure to give it a read…

Adam. x

 

PS. For the record… I have never (nor do I intend to) tried male escorting as a way of making a living! 🤦‍♂️😂 

 

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