‘WHATEVER HAPPENED TO EVE?’
Shirley Blamey & Mike Steeden
“Clouds above, what is this bloke on? He only introduced a new book a week or so ago…now another? Is the man off his head?”
Probably I am, however in my defence this one is more than a tad different from its forebearer. Firstly, a poles apart genre; secondly, it is co-authored with Shirley Blamey. It’s name is ‘Whatever Happened To Eve?’
Eighteen months previous I commenced collecting ever willing words for this story. A third of the book complete, the new words arriving were a motley crew who took it upon themselves to mutiny. Plainly, I was left with little choice but to have them walk the plank.
Then a stroke of good fortune. It was in September last year, having suffered a freakish eye injury some months previous that had slowed my progress down to a snail’s pace when coaxing words, that Shirl and I took a short break in France and it was there a story imagined over cold bière blonde in a clandestine darkest corner of a once voguish bar in ‘Paris par la mer’ took on a new shape.
Twixt the pair of us, in concert we found ourselves acting and reacting to the seductive pulse of mutual, sometimes deliciously wicked, thoughts. No ‘what if’s’, ‘but’s’ or ‘maybe’s’ when a dark fantasy drops out the night sky for it must, for rationalities’ sake, be put to the written word before it is lost forever to the merciless ether. An excited cluster of fresh, avant-garde words agreed. We were on a roll.
I have to say, come breakfast’s sobriety, I questioned Shirl on a number of potentially controversial topics and storylines we had come up with that night in France. “Can we really get away with that? Seriously?” I asked. “Molly Parkin got away with it time and time again. Why not?,” her pokerfaced riposte. Soon after wily ‘words’ found they had two craniums to take up residence in. I tend to think mine was just their holiday home.
Some 130,000 or so words later completion of our decidedly immodest tale, ‘Whatever Happened To Eve?’ was accomplished.
What is it all about then? Herewith, the blurb;
‘WHATEVER HAPPENED TO EVE?’
No writer can help what he or she writes. Whether they be scandalous or sweet, dull or bright, words arrive as and when the fancy takes and evolve into whatever fable suits. With that in mind this collective of untamed words, of their own volition, chose not to be pitched at the easily offended or fainthearted, instead they opted for a captivating darkness.
Can our dreams take us to another reality?
Eve, the self-same Eve evicted from the metaphor that is Eden, finds herself marooned in a prudish England. Naked and lost she commits murder. Deemed bonkers, she is installed in a high-security psychiatric hospital for an indeterminate term where she is placed under the direct care of a black psychiatrist, Adamu who just happens to be the Adamu who was her fig leaf flame in paradise.
Sadly, earthly Adamu has no recollection whatsoever of Eve for he is in deep denial, refusing to accept the existence of any Shangri-La or alternative dimensions.
Leaving her flesh and bone in situ behind bars Eve takes every opportunity to journey to the very real ‘Land of Nod’…a decadent, Bohemian realm where anything is ‘probable’.
Does Eve revive her love affair with Adamu on Earth, in Nod or both? Can Eve play her part in the aftermath of a destructive civil war in Nod? Does Eve have a ‘get out of the asylum free’ card? Only time will tell.
Eve’s unique tale encompassing her leaving Eden behind; true love; ‘off the wall’ sexual encounters; war; peace; racial prejudices; slavery; a male harem; politics and philosophy pulls no punches. Quite the reverse.