My Next Book: A Raver on Wall Street – Prequel to Hard Time
I’ve just submitted the prequel to my literary agent. It’s tentatively titled A Raver on Wall Street.
It starts with the destabilising event that shaped my life: taking drugs for the first time at a rave in Manchester. Chapter 2 sets up the background and covers history with certain characters including Wild Man and my aunt Sue, using quick-fire anecdotes. The main action begins in Chapter 3 when I arrive in America. The book has some common literary plots: rags to riches, stranger in a foreign land, internal mental struggle. The latter being the overriding theme – my battle with drugs. I've also layered in reoccurring themes that build towards an explosive end. In the prequel are lots of characters from Hard Time.
Here’s its blurb in draft form:
As a penniless student, Shaun Attwood moved to America, and became a stock-market millionaire. But he also led a dangerous double life, throwing raves and distributing Ecstasy, going up against drug kingpin and Mafia mass murderer “Sammy the Bull” Gravano. A Raver on Wall Street is a rags-to-riches story – of a life spiralling out of control. Wild women, gangsters, fast cars, parties galore, enough drugs to kill a herd of elephants. It can only end in one way – disaster.
Any improvements on the title or blurb are welcome in the comments section below.
Wild Man fans will be pleased to know that he is in almost 25 percent of the prequel. Here’s an anecdote from Chapter 2:
Seventeen and I’m up Pex Hill with my two best friends, Hammy – a year younger than me, built more solidly, much sought after by the girls – and Peter, who we now call Wild Man, a nickname given to him – based on misbehaviour – by his Uncle Bob, a whiskey-nosed old-timer. We’re sat on a tree leaning over a sandstone quarry that we call The Thinking Tree.
Marvelling at the drop below, I ask, “What’re you two gonna do when you finish school?”
“I’m going to prison,” Wild Man says.
“Why’s that?” I ask.
“I see these red and white dots.”
“Red and white dots! Why’d you see them?” I ask.
“White dots are fine. They’re normal every-man’s anger. Red dots are slaughter.”
“How often do you see the red ones?” Hammy asks.
“More than enough.”
Hammy’s laugh declares how proud he is of Wild Man’s ability to see dots.
“Are the red dots because of your brother beating you up?” I ask.
“I can’t even have a wank without getting punched in the face by our Sweat,” Wild Man says.
“But look at the size of you!” I say. “I’m surprised you haven’t thrown him through a window.”
“The teachers at Fairfield are so scared of Peter,” Hammy says, “they’ve stuck him outside, raking leaves with the caretaker.” Hammy and Wild Man attend the same Protestant school, whereas I’m at Widnes Sixth Form College doing A levels.
“What about when you finish school, Hammy?” I ask.
“I don’t know. What about you, Atty?”
“I’m going to be a millionaire in America.”
“You probably will with all that stock-market stuff,” Hammy says.
“Will you take us with you?” Wild Man asks.
“Defo. I’m not going to stop until I buy my own island. When I make enough money, I’ll fly you two over.” I have it all figured out: I’m going to repeat the success of the legendary investors I read about.
“If you bring Wild Man over, you’d better build a cage for him first. We’ll give him grub, but won’t let him out. When he misbehaves, we’ll poke him with sticks.”
Wild Man snaps a branch off the tree. His eyes search below. “What’s it like in America, Atty?” He hurls the branch at hikers in the quarry. It misses. They spot us, scowl, shake fists. Wild Man smiles and waves.
“The people talk funny, but they’re dead friendly,” I say. “The birds buzz off our accents. Everything’s massive. Roads. Houses. Cars. And they’ve all got swimming pools in their back yards.”
“In their back yards!” Wild Man says.
“Like on The Beverly Hillbillies?” Hammy asks.
“Yes, exactly,” I say.
“Bloody hell!” Hammy says.
“How come they all have swimming pools in their back yards?” Wild Man asks.
“Because they’re dead rich. When the plane comes in to land, you see all the swimming pools. America’s the richest country in the world. That’s why it’s easy to be a millionaire there. Even you can get a job as a wrestler or something, and you won’t end up in prison.” I’ll see to it that Wild Man has a good life in America. “There’s no hope for you in Widnes.”
“There’s no hope for any of us in Widnes, Atty,” Wild Man says. “That’s why you’re going to America.”