A Gripping Political Thriller…
Hello, Isabella, many thanks for inviting me onto your blog today!
I’m having a little promo for my novel Revolution Day, the e-book of which is reduced to £/$/€ 0.99 for a short period. It’s a political thriller about an ageing Latin American dictator, Carlos Almanzor, who is starting to lose his grip as his vice-president, Manuel, plots against him. Meanwhile, his estranged wife, Juanita, is writing a memoir of Carlos’s regime and their marriage. As Manuel makes his move for power, she and others close to Carlos will find themselves unwitting participants in his plans.
In this short excerpt, Juanita recalls the moment of triumph following the chaotic events which brought Carlos to power – and also precipitated the start of their relationship.
The cliché has it that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, and I suppose many people have interpreted what happened between me and Carlos in that way. But I have lived with power for decades, and it is a cold, soulless, sexless thing. I watched it take possession of Carlos and turn him into an instrument of itself, slowly obliterating whatever I had come to love in him.
No, it was not power that drew me to him on that day, but something purer, nobler in him. It was there in those bewildering moments in the alley, when it told him what needed to be done; it turned this introverted bureaucrat into a man of action, a leader of men. It strengthened his limbs and sharpened his mind, it caused passionate speeches to flow spontaneously from him, with an effortless eloquence that he never achieved in countless hours of pouring over drafts. And it lived on, in quieter form, after that day, sustaining him and guiding him through those first fraught months and years of his presidency. It was as if some other, greater self had slept within him and stirred itself to meet the crisis.
I looked across at him, as we stood on the balcony of the presidential palace for the first time and basked in the endless cheering of the crowd. I held his hand, and he turned towards me. It was the same familiar, unexceptional face that I had seen almost every day for years, and taken little notice of, but now I was overwhelmed by a surge of love and desire and happiness. I felt that, just as he had come upon his moment of destiny, mine too had now arrived. There was no stopping me. I kissed him, passionately, on the lips. When we separated, he looked surprised, but made no attempt to remove my arm from his waist. There was redoubled cheering from the crowd, then we kissed again. Someone brought champagne out. Angel did the racing driver thing, shaking a bottle and spraying the crowd. He, Pablo and even Manuel rapidly got very drunk. But not Carlos, and not me. We drank a little, enough to put an extra shine on the day, not that any was needed, but no more. We had things to do, the two of us. After two or three hours of joyous celebration, Carlos was still composed enough to make a final speech to the crowd, asking them to go to their homes and to return in the morning, telling them to remember this day for the rest of their lives. And slowly, obediently, they drifted away. The boys staggered into the palace, where someone found them a lounge with a bar in it. Carlos and I spoke to the domestic staff, who had been waiting patiently for us for a long time, informed them that we were tired, and were shown to the presidential bedroom. It did not occur to them to ask whether we wanted separate rooms – they had no doubt seen us together on the balcony – and I was not about to correct their mistake ….
You can find out more about Revolution Day here: http://www.tetaylor.co.uk/revday
Tim ‘T.E.’ Taylor was born in Stoke-on-Trent and now lives in Meltham, near Huddersfield, with his wife Rosa. He spent a number of years in the civil service before leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing. Tim now divides his time between creative writing, academic research, and part-time teaching in ethics at Leeds University.
Tim’s first novel, Zeus of Ithome, is set in Ancient Greece and follows the real-life struggle of the Messenian people to free themselves from Sparta. His second, Revolution Day, is about an ageing Latin American dictator who is clinging to power as his vice-president plots against him. As well as fiction, Tim writes poetry, and has won prizes for both poems and short stories. He also plays the guitar and a bit of piano, and likes to walk up hills.