Dorothy Sayers did it, but for some reason it never occurred to me until a friend of mine suggested it. It’s a truly brilliant idea.
Instead of waking up each morning going urgh, another day at the Dreaded Day Job, why not wake up saying ooh! I wonder what new material for a novel will be presented to me today?
Dorothy Sayers worked in an advertising agency for many years and subsequently wrote Murder Must Advertise – a murder mystery set in an advertising agency. Satisfyingly, the fact that it’s an advertising agency is important to the plot. Any Old Office would not do.
Naturally, mine will be a murder mystery too, and in honour of white-collar wage-slaves everywhere, the boss will be the victim. (The first victim, anyway.) Everyone has a motive – but whodunit?
For the first time I see how much difference attitude makes, compared with circumstance. Now when my long-suffering colleagues pour out some new frustration, I don’t get worked up any more. I smile a secret inward smile and I make a cryptic little note.
On the Bad News side of the ledger, I was informed this last Tuesday that my next Monday was cancelled. High volume of work + low volume of staff = we’re unilaterally changing your hours this week (don’t even ask about my contract).
Generally the DDJ and I would go head to head on a thing like this, but not this time. This time it’s to cover bereavement leave, which is something I wholeheartedly support, so I’ll do my bit. And hopefully I’ll do my bit of writing during the Christmas holidays.
On the subject of writing, I have received some more good news. My patrons have generously decided to provide me with a small fund toward the costs of my presently unpaid job as a writer. (Paper, pen, ink, books on the craft…) On my shopping list at the moment are Kristen Lamb’s book Rise of the Machines, Jeff Gerke’s Plot Versus Character and Larry Brooks’ Story Engineering. Happy as a pig in muck!
What are your favourite workplace novels – murder mystery or otherwise? Do you have must-read recommendations for books on writing? Have you always dreamt of keeping pigs? Your comments welcomed!