Books written by Ray Sullivan

Monday, 7 November 2011

Da Dan Brown Code and Project: Evil

The sharp eyed among you will have noticed that the words after each chapter of Da Dan Brown Code has altered over the last few weeks.  Originally I merely stated that the serialisation would contunue until the end or I ran out of Chapters, as at the time of starting the serialisation there wasn't an ending.

But I actually finished writing 'Da Dan Brown Code' a couple of weeks ago, so now there's no doubt about it having an ending.  The actual ending might change slightly - hardly a chapter gets uploaded without some tweak here, fiddle there - but in essence the book is finished.

It will be published shortly after the serialisation, probably mid January 2012.  Some of the final tasks have been completed, such as the final title - 'Da Dan Brown Code' has only ever been a working title and as mentioned in an earlier blog isn't as relevant as when I wrote the initial chapters.  The book is a parody of a genre now, not just of one man's work.  The final title is 'The Last Simple', and in fact I've been referring to it as such for some time now.  There's also a draft book cover:

I'd like to reward those who have been following the serialisation (from the UK, the US, Russia, Singapore, Netherlands, Germany, France, India and several other countries) but of course most of you are anonymous.  Anyone who signs up to  follow me either on the blog or on Twitter (or both) will be given the chance to obtain 'The Last Simple' for free when its published.  If you know anyone who would appreciate a free ebook then encourage them to join the following too.

As usual nothing stands still, though, and I'm quite well underway on my latest novel.  A little while back I was watching part of an old James Bond movie, one of the Roger Moore series, and my mind got to wandering.  One of my skill sets is in project management and I started to wonder about how the super secret lair of Dr No, Goldfinger, Blofeld etc would actually be built.  How would you recruit personnel, design and build super secret weapons of mass destruction, set up a remote South Sea island lair?  More importantly, how would you project manage such a venture?

So Project : Evil was concieved.  It's a story that follows the recruitment of a project manager for B L O'Feld's Megalomaniac Corporation and each chapter follows the project, starting with the recruitment interview, then the second interview followed by Induction, the first Friday Brunch, the Inaugral Project Definition Meeting and so on.  Just so you realise it's not as serious and dry as it might sound, here's a scene from the first Friday Brunch where the potential location of the secret lair is being discussed:

'Next subject.  Location of my secret lair,' stated O'Feld. The Head of Facilities opened his folder carefully, pulling two sheets of paper out to consult.
'We've got two main options here,' he said, holding the sheets up.  'Obviously the uninhabited South Sea location we identified a couple of weeks ago is very interesting.  It's remote, inaccessible except from one direction only or via a myriad of underwater tunnels, has all the natural resources needed ranging from natural gas, Esso Blue and Calor, extensive coal reserves, various grades of oil from heating to diesel plus unleaded just under the surface, minerals such as iron, copper, both variants of aluminium to cater for British and American engineers, silver, platinum and gold.  It has seventeen varieties of edible fruit and oats, wheat and muesli grow in abundance, farmed by an inexhaustible amount of local labour,' he said to an entranced group.
'Or we could build it in Basildon,' he suggested.  'No pesky vulnerable undersea tunnels, no having to grow your own food, plenty of local labour direct from Poland and we can get European subsidies for building there.'  He held both sheets up, one in each hand, but the Basildon option was clearly pushed closer to the meeting.
'An inexhaustible amount of local labour on an uninhabited island?' questioned Daw.
'What's your point?' asked O'Feld.  Daw shrugged.
'From a HR perspective it sounds fantastic, but in my experience using local uninhabitants usually means ending up using infinite amounts of unskilled personnel to fill skilled slots where logistically the Basildon option provides a Polish workforce which means I can use an infinite amount of skilled workers to carry out unskilled work.'
'You live in Basildon, don't you?' asked O'Feld, looking at the Head of Facilities.
'Close to,' came the swift reply.
'High Street, Basildon,' said Daw, reading from a personnel file.  The Head of Facilities blushed.
'There's also our carbon footprint to think about,' he suggested.
'So we can save the planet while building a device to destroy it?' queried O'Feld, 'No, I'm going to have to consult with Mrs O'Feld on this one,' he said, picking the white Persian up and whispering into its ear.
'Oh my God,' thought Brian, 'I'm working for a madman,' he thought, before checking himself.  'Of course I am, it's the first line of my Terms of Reference,' he thought, smiling inwardly. 
Project: Evil is still work in progress but may be serialised before publication in the same way that 'The Last Simple', nee 'Da Dan Brown Code' has.  Keep tuning in for more information.

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