Well, the wheels of revenge do grind rather slowly, but I’m happy to report that almost four months later there has been some progress.
As the picture indicates, I now have the makings of a book cover. And here’s the likely blurb to accompany it:
“THE PERCENTAGES MEN chronicles the rise and fall of a fictional market research agency based in the good City of Glasgow.
Its central characters include a trio of the agency's directors. One is an alternately charming and frightening sociopath. One is a megalomaniac, a Scot with a Presbyterian work ethic, but with no morals to match. And the third is the money man, a silver-tongued liar and an abject coward.
Into this mix comes a thinker, a tough, intelligent workaholic whose ideas and drive will propel the company to success.
They are the Percentages Men. Percentages are their stock-in-trade, their commodity. They'll use percentages to change the face of Blair's New Britain. And to make themselves rich. Until greed and jealousy tear them apart. Until the implosion.”
But there’s more. The book has a structure. And it has a Prologue. Funnily enough, the Prologue takes place, not in Scotland, but in the middle of the Sahara. Here’s how it begins. (If you’d like to read the rest of it, go to McStorytellers, where it has been published as a short story called The Matchless.)
When he opened his eyes again and saw that the desert sky had turned purple, Jimbo knew for certain he would die soon. There would be no last-minute rescue; no miracle. Spread-eagled, unable to move, his blood seeping into the sand beneath him, his life ebbing away, he knew he would take his last breath out there, alone in that vastness, a speck in the Sahara.
As the night grew blacker, stars began to appear – a few at first, then thousands more all at once, then many thousands more until the sky resembled a giant Star Wars screen, flickering and glistening, lighting up the desert floor, zooming down to meet him. The stars were so close now that if he had been able to raise an arm he could have reached up and touched the nearest one.
In the starlight, Jimbo could make out objects lying in the sand on either side of him...”
So that’s it. The first satisfying blows of revenge have been struck. And there’s much more to come.
By the way, in the book all characters are fictional, and any resemblance to anyone living or dead is accidental. Aye, I would say that, wouldn’t I?