Yes, so that’s the third one. 99c / 99p on the Amazon site of your choice. Go and buy the thing.
It’s kind of like a cross between Clive Barker and Zoolander.
SPOILER ALERT! Turn back now if you want zero details of Twenty-Seven divulged to you.
The story had been in my head for some time. I must stress that it’s not based on personal experience … honest to God. Not me. Friend of a friend.
In real life, it went like this …
My friend of a friend got wasted one night on MDMA and cocaine. Utter reprobate. He was with a few other people in his flat and they ended up getting it on. Like, ah, sexually. In real life there were four people involved that evening. Cigarette smoke hanging in the air, Pink Grease playing on the stereo. Kids who think they’re going to live forever. NSA.
But when writing a short story, you need to make it lean, so I cut it from a foursome to a threesome. Rather like the night in question, the fourth person was kind of superfluous.
Anyway, later that night, this friend’s friend woke up, bodies around him and the bedroom window open. It was then he had a vision. Now, this guy was a musician at the time and, what he says is that he saw the Devil. Beelzebub just hanging out there in the night sky, levitating outside the open window. So this guy sold the Devil his soul for the promise of fame.
Of course, he was hallucinating. And, of course, he’s still not famous.
So Twenty-Seven is, partially, based on real life events.
So when I wrote it, I thought ‘This’ll be easy – I know this story.’ But when I finished the first draft, it felt kind of flat – the narrator was a bit dull. I put it away in a drawer for a while and forgot about it. In the interim, I read a lot of Jim Thompson and re-read Brett Easton Ellis’ Glamorama. And that gave me the idea of making the narrator a vacuous, louche dickhead.
I read many writing blogs and books in which they tell you to keep your protagonist likeable. I thought about it a little and decided: fuck that. You might hate the protagonist (I have come to like him), but one thing he’s not is dull. And there’s nothing worse (IMHO) as a dull protagonist – or a dull anything, really.
So that’s the Twenty-Seven for you. Sometimes the clearest tales in your head are the hardest to put down on paper. This one, though, I think turned out pretty well …
(If anyone would like to review it, just drop me a line and I’ll fix you up.)