Mark had never thought of retiring. Barristers don’t retire. However, his 64th birthday was fast approaching. ‘When I’m 64’ and all that, and, beneath the wig and gown, he had always had a desire to write. Time was running out. It’s now or never. He – rather he and his wife, Helen – decided they would take a year out. Like their children had, only later.
They quickly ruled out the West of Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way. For obvious reasons. And opted instead for a pueblo blanco in Andalucía. Mark could write his bestseller there. A white-washed house in a white-washed village in the mountains of Andalucía. What more could an aspiring author want?
He lost no time in getting down to it. A writing room without a view and a typewriter. And no interruptions. Everything went splendidly for a day or two, when fate intervened. Followed by weeks of slow progress while he negotiated surgery and the intricacies of plot.
In May, Mark carried out a quarterly review. Radical changes were called for and implemented. Ruthlessly. Beginning with telling Helen he couldn’t come home for her birthday.
Summer came and went, and so did Helen. Deadlines loomed. Would Mark do it? Would he achieve his New Year’s resolution: One Year, One Novel?
From the author of the Dermot McNamara series, An Eye on the Whiplash, Brief Cases and A Night at the Inns, comes a hilarious new novel which will ring familiar to anyone who has ever thought there is a book within them.
Henry Murphy is a barrister and writer. He is the author of a number of short-story collections, including An Eye on the Whiplash (1997), Brief Cases (2000) and A Night at the Inns (2008).