12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it



Another Excerpt

In which some of the theatre staff begin exploring ‘what-ifs’.


“Yeesh,” Kieran shuddered, “stuck in quarantine with Mrs S.”

“Yeah,” Lauren replied, relishing the moment, “for six months at least.  And then they’ll have to burn the place down because they just can’t risk the rest of the town being affected.”

“Why is this town so important, then?”

“It’s the last remaining outpost of civilization,” she responded instantly.  “The rest of the world has been completely wiped out by the bug, but Auchtergowrie was safe… until Harriet selfishly went on a secret trip to see if she could find any supplies, and she brought it back with her.”

“That’s a lot to have happened during one performance of the four man Pirates of Penzance.”

“These things move quickly.  Stop to think about anything, and you’re dead.”

Another Excerpt From Book Two

“What did she mean, we’re stuck?”  Mrs Shiers peered at Bob accusingly.

There was a pregnant pause, then:

“….what?” he said, in the worst feigning of ignorance ever showcased in the whole of Auchtergowrie Theatre’s long and painful history.

“That actor lassie said we were stuck,” Mrs Shiers reminded him, accidentally slipping into a broader accent in her concern.

“Ah,” Bob shrugged helplessly, looking about him for guidance but receiving none, “that.”

“The security system is jiggered, Mrs S,” Lauren volunteered after several long moments.  “We can’t get out of the building, and there’s a high chance nobody else can get in.”

“But we’d rather that it wasn’t common knowledge,” Bob interrupted, “because we don’t want people to panic.  And the police’ll probably want to talk to everyone that saw the show, we think.”

“Why would they want to do that?”

“Well, to get their eyewitness accounts,” Bob said vaguely.  “To find out exactly what happened.”

“Come on,” Elspeth encouraged, holding out her arm for Mrs Shiers, “let’s leave these lot to it and get a stiff drink.”

“In light of the situation,” Mrs Shiers conceded, “that doesn’t sound like a completely terrible idea.”

Book Two Excerpt

Katie nodded officiously and scurried away to carry out her orders.  The manager, whose name was Bob Taylor, ran his fingers anxiously through his receding hair and with a deep breath, marched across the foyer to talk to seat G15 in person.

“Mrs Shiers-” was all he got out before her tirade shot forth.

“What was that, Mr Taylor,” she shrilled in tones that had spent years being cultivated into a semblance of Jean Brodie, “some keynd of joke?”

“I can assure you it was not,” Bob began, but she ignored him.

“If that is the case, I can assure you it was not in the least bit entertaining.”

“No, well-”

“This theatre has been going downhill for several months now,” she continued.  “The shows you get in are poorly advertised and of poor quality-”

“Mrs Shiers I-”

“- don’t interrupt me Mr Taylor, that’s extremely rude!”  She glared at him over the top of her varifocals with undisguised menace.  “As I was saying, the shows are terrible, a fact of which you must be aware given that nobody comes to see them – ”

“I wouldn’t say nobody, exactly – ”

“There were twelve people in the audience this evening, Mr Taylor,” she informed him crisply, “I know because I counted.  And two of them left during the interval.”

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