Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour for; Being Alert by Charlie Laidlaw. I cannot wait to share this book with you, plus I have an exclusive excerpt for you all to get your teeth stuck into, I hope you love the sound of this book as much as I do. Firstly, thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for the invitation to join the tour.
Being Alert! By Charlie Laidlaw
Being Alert! begins in January 2020 as the British prime minister, Winston Spragg, first learns about a new illness that seems to be centred in a city in China that nobody has heard of.
Following in a long tradition of British satire, the book populates Downing Street and Whitehall with an inept prime minister presiding over a dysfunctional government as it deals with an existential threat that rapidly becomes a national crisis.
Like satires before it, the book uses humour to paint an uncomfortable picture of a government seemingly as concerned about justifying itself as working to protect the country.
Buy link here – Amazon
The Health Secretary, Kevin Kock, was also new to his job and still felt that he was just getting his feet under the desk. However, as his desk was extremely large, this shouldn’t have been a difficult task. Tall and rather thin, he looked permanently like an underfed rabbit caught in the headlights. He still remembered his meeting with the PM, when the latter was elected as Party leader.
“I’d like you to be Health Secretary,” the PM said, his jaw jutting out. “But I don’t know anything about health,” he’d replied, rather alarmed. “You must know something,” the PM prompted.
“Well, I once had measles.”
“There, that makes you eminently qualified,” said the PM. “Of course, you have my full confidence until that is, I mean to say, when you don’t have my full confidence.”
Kevin Kock couldn’t confide to the Prime Minister that he had a phobia about sickness, would faint at the sight of blood (even underdone beef made him queasy), and took an array of tablets every morning to ward off everything from the common cold to diphtheria. His daytime was therefore spent in a miasma of worry. His wife frequently chastised him about his hypochondria, although it had become part of him, part of who he was.
About the Author
I’m the author of two novels, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead and The Space Between Time (due for publication in June 2019). A third novel, Love Potions and Other Calamities, is due to be published in November 2019 (all published by Accent Press).
I was born and brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.
I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.
I then took a year to travel around the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember.
Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.
Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize.
I’m also married with two grown-up children and live in East Lothian. And that’s about it.