Updated: Jul 18, 2019
If and when you ever read Changing the Subject, you might wonder what an Alzheimer’s experiment that leaves a nice lady from Chingford illegally toting an Uzi across a couple of borders has to do with anything except a good story.
The story must come first and the story must be about characters; believable people doing believable things. What has Politics got to do with that?
Because they are mine my stories cannot help but be political. It’s like one of the greatest living writers in English, Walter Mosley, says, ‘…the writer has to tell what they think is the truth in a human experience. The truth of the human experience cannot escape the political’ (my italics).
Will you let the P word put you off? If you don't usually like politics coming into your fiction then rest assured, my tales are still character led and as my repeated use of the word implies; stories, with novel things happening in sometimes unusual places. Honestly.
Will my kind of politics offend you? Maybe. Would that be such a terrible thing? Perhaps you might like to be challenged? Would that be so bad? Challenging yourself with a story. It happens to me all the time, and sometimes it feels terrible, at others; wonderful. Its always useful. Another one of the greatest living writers in English, Salman Rushdie, says, ‘You never know the answers to the questions of life until you are asked.’
Should I mention Grenfell here? The actual incineration of 72 people in North Kensington, London, England, on the 14th of June 2017, in a blog about Self-publishing? The How To guides all say No. I should keep my blog to subjects related to writing and self-publishing stories they say.
But even though no-one is killed that way in my stories, they are intimately related to Grenfell; men, women, children and the unborn, even in the capitol city of one of the richest countries in the world, are ignored, stored in shoddy homes, burned alive or escape death only to be ignored, worn-down with not Institutional although that is how it looks, not Incompetent although that is how it is; Political obfuscation, and ignored some more. The poet Lowkey said at the Two-Year Anniversary Silent Walk, that Grenfell was an event when, ‘the invisible violence becomes visible,’. (Ghosts of Grenfell 2).
I want the violence, as well as the love, the humanity, the resistance, the overcoming and the humour that opposes it to be visible.
If I was writing one of my stories now another character would tell me to take a breath for God’s sake or change the subject because the story always comes first. I suspect that a professional editor would draw a great big red line through it all.
But this is just me, there is no editor and no-one can stop me saying it; If you are in London, England, at 6 pm on the 14th of any month, please, go to the Grenfell Silent Walk. We can be visable too.