For Valentine’s Day?

It’s Valentine’s Day on Sunday and the media company who do the promotional images for Plague had a Valentine’s Day version in the series relating to topical dates and days.  Now, we all know about star-crossed lovers, but I’m not really sure that either of Cassandra’s ‘romantic’ relationships fits this bill. ‘A plague on both your houses,’ Mercutio cries as he lies dying, which is probably the closest Romeo & Juliet comes to Plague.

The romantic element in Plague is… umm… somewhat complex and cautionary. How else to  describe it without spoiling the plot? So the tagline I offered for the Valentine’s banner was suitably equivocal. Rather like Cassie when it comes to making decisions about her romantic life. A number of readers have found her indecision, not to say, vacillation, hard to credit.  There is, however, no clear winner in terms of who had ought to gain her favour.  In retrospect I think I made one of those characters much too sexy.

It’s refreshing, however, to consider Plague as something other than a mirror to real life shenanigans in government. Last week’s COVID, Corruption & Crony Capitalism discussion for Claret Press has sparked quite a lot of interest and not a few compliments. There were lots of good questions on the night and there have already been plenty of views of the recording.  If you missed it you can see that on the Claret Press YouTube Channel here.

More excellent questions arose after Politics & Prose for the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster Libraries, which I’ve written about before on the blog. The tech didn’t quite work as well as it had on a previous occasion for the Libraries but those watching seemed to enjoy it and it was good to place Plague in context as a ‘Westminster thriller’. It’s available for a limited period on YouTube here.

There are a couple more Plague events lined up for March and some in the pipeline for April.  The first is for The Thorney island Society & Friends of St James’ Park and the Green Park on 9th March. I will have to be on the top of my game as far as the historical aspects of Plague are concerned, I suspect the members of the Society know as much, if not more, than I do. It will be interesting to see if they find any of the Palace of Westminster aspects surprising. This talk is all about what inspired Plague, the history and the place. Tickets are £10 (£7 for members ) and are available here.

Already the events are being organised for promotion of Oracle, the publication of which draws ever closer ( I have finally agreed with the publishers on the publication day of 5th May ).  That book will be up on NetGalley soon for early review and there will be ARCs going out. Yet I have another book to write!

For more on the events which I have been speaking at recently take a look at the Events Page ( many are still available on YouTube ) or read about them  at

Politics & Prose          The Circumlocution Office           Going Underground

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