It is 1992, and in a Bosnian town a small family cowers in their basement. The Serbian militia is coming – an assorted rabble of malcontents given authority by a uniform and inflamed by the idea that they’re owed something, big-time, and the Bosnians are going to pay. When they get to the town they will ransack the houses, round up the men and rape the women. Who’s to stop them? Who’s to accuse them? Who will be left, to tell the tale?
Meanwhile, in a nondescript northern UK town a group of contestants make their way to the TV studios to take part in a radical new Game Show. There’s money to be won, and fun to be had. They’ll be able to throw off their inhibitions and do what they want because they’ll all be in disguise and no-one will ever know.
In a disturbing denouement, war and game meld into each other as action and consequence are divided, the words ‘blame’ and ‘fault’ have no meaning and impunity reigns.
Game Show asks whether the situation which fostered the Bosnian war, the genocide in Rwanda, the rise of so-called Islamic State in Syria and the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar could ever happen in the West. The answer will shock you.
Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Game-Show-easy-people-things-ebook/dp/B00D8LS3O8/
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR!!
1. When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I have loved writing stories for as long as I can remember. The idea that I could actually ‘be’ a writer came when I was about nine. A poem I had written as an English assignment impressed the teacher so much she read it out in assembly and sent it off to a publisher of children’s poetry. The same thing happened in secondary school; a short story was highly praised and there was talk of publication.
I think it’s really important to know who you are in life. This might be very different to the roles you fulfil day-to-day. Once I began to identify myself as a writer – that it is something I ‘am’ rather than something I ‘do’ – I suddenly felt like a round peg in a round hole. But that didn’t happen until I was about 46!
2. What inspired you to write this book?
It was a kind of serendipity. A friend of mine asked me if I would go with her to be an audience member for a TV game show. She didn’t explain until we were on our way to the studio that we would actually be auditioned to see if we could be contestants, (so, in that, I was like my character Celia.) Thankfully we were not successful in our audition so we got to sit in the audience and watch the thing unfold. I was amazed and shocked at how the audience was whipped into a frenzy by the production team. Blatant manipulation of the rules and even cheating went unchallenged by anyone. These were ordinary people, just like me, behaving in ways which were surely out of character. The situation intrigued me – the psychology of it. This was in 1992. We were just beginning to get news of the war in Bosnia. Towns were being besieged, neighbour was turning against neighbour, people being encouraged or allowed to act as they never would do normally. I began to explore the parallels and Game Show was the result.
3. If you could sell this book in one sentence what would it be?
I thought long and hard about the strapline for this book which is: how easy is it to make good people do bad things? I think that’s the most surprising aspect of the book – how pleasant people can be induced to behave in appalling ways
4. What are you up to next?
I am indulging myself by writing a Jane Austen spin-off. Nothing could be more different to Game Show, right? But I love Austen’s work and have always wanted to have a go at writing in her style. I’ve chosen a minor character from ‘Emma’ and am exploring her story up to the commencement of Austen’s novel.
5. Who is your biggest inspiration?
I think I would probably have to say Jane Austen. Austen’s books are masterpieces of excellent prose, believable characters and expertly wrought story. They have truth, which is what I strive for too. She was an insignificant woman with an extra-ordinary eye and ear for her times. She sat quietly in corners and stitched while life went on around her, but she saw and heard everything and used it to inspire her stories. I am a bit the same – an unremarkable middle aged woman. Nobody takes any notice of me as I sip my coffee in the corner of the café or peruse the shelves of the supermarket. But I am an inveterate people-watcher and eaves-dropper. I spin story from what I see and hear. My friends bought be a plaque which I have hanging up at home. It says ‘Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel.’ I think Jane Austen should have had one too, but hers would have been a cross-stitched sampler.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I have been writing stories since I could hold a pencil and by the time I was in Junior School I was writing copiously and sometimes almost legibly.
I did, however, manage a BA in English and Drama from Birmingham University and an MA in English from Queen Mary College, London. Marriage and motherhood put my writing career on hold for some years until 1992 when I began work on Game Show.
In the meantime I worked as a production manager for an educational publishing company, an educational resources copywriter, a bookkeeper for a small printing firm, and was the landlady of a country pub in Yorkshire, a small guest house in Cheshire and the proprietor of a group of boutique holiday cottages in Cumbria. Most recently I taught English Literature to Lifelong learners. Nowadays I write as full time as three grandchildren, a husband, two Cockapoos and a large garden will permit.
Social Media Links
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