The Barker Inspiration
The most intriguing part of writing The Bluebell Informant was coming up with the character of Daniel Barker.
When I first put pen to paper, the UK was in the middle of a General Election and everything seemed to be up for grabs. After five years of a coalition government, everyone was expecting the election to be a tight affair with everyone debating which parties would end up making the next government. Would smaller, more contentious, parties like UKIP be drafted in to form the government? Would the independence-driven SNP have a major say in the running of the UK as a whole?
Barker laughed again.
‘I spent years relying on other people to protect me. All it ever got me was one great, big, colossal failure on the largest stage in Britain.’
His voice hissed with bitterness:
‘Do you what they told me during the election? They said there was no need to focus on my own constituency – they said it was a sure thing. The public were back us to the hilt and all I had to do was focus on discrediting the government.’
‘You needed better advisors…’
‘Then, on results day, it was my constituency that didn’t fall into line – my voters that left me out in the cold. So, I think I’m right in saying that I’ve learnt the hard that relying on other people leads to nothing but failure. And, when my life is the stake I’m playing for, I don’t much relish the idea of putting my faith of success in someone else’s hands – especially yours…’
‘You don’t really understand your position, do you?’
‘Quid pro quo, Giles,’ he shot back. ‘You need to think of another way to get me out of this mess, because if I’m in a police cell you won’t get what you want. If I’m locked away, my information is locked away with me...’
And then, out of the ashes of confusion, one party strode out to take the majority and, for weeks, nobody quite understood how it had happened.
This whole situation fascinated me and, within days of the result coming out, I began to churn out the first draft. The media dismay at the result and flurry of political resignations formed the background for my story.
When the creative dust settled, Daniel Barker stepped out on to the page - fully formed and ready to take Giles to the limit...