A support group for lottery winners? It shouldn’t exist. It was just a PR exercise. An afterthought. Nobody was actually supposed to turn up. Why, after all, would millionaires need support?
But turn up they do, every Wednesday in a tired church hall in North London, among them an ex-builder, a model train fanatic, a well-spoken conman and now, downtrodden lawyer, Mark Jones.
The win is the worst thing that’s ever happened to Mark. His girlfriend, Jess, is unimpressed. Winning the lottery is common. And besides, £10 mil doesn’t buy much in Chelsea these days. Convinced by Jess to keep the windfall secret and a newly miserable owner of a double life, Mark joins this unlikely gang.
Together they bicker, drink tea and try to find meaning in their millions, blissfully unaware that their real problems are lurking around the corner. For someone is on a mission to end all their woes. Permanently.
Targeted Age Group:: 30+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Would winning the lottery change your life? Would it change you? Would you tell people if you won the lottery or would you keep it a secret? As someone who has often dreamed of the jackpot win, these are some of the questions I've asked myself and that inspired my story.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Creating characters is my favourite part of writing. My characters are inspired by the people in my life and those I have encountered, though many of them are exaggerated versions of their real-life counterparts.
Graham Gill peered over the Part K compliant standard issue metal handrail down at the asphalt below. A handful of cars meandered in search of a parking space. He wondered if he would hit one on his way down. Unlikely. He was never one to inconvenience others.
He had to do it. Simply had to. The time had come. He straightened his posture, squared his shoulders and looked out into the distance, eyes squinting in torment. He was like Peter Parker in Spiderman or Bruce Wayne in Batman. Or maybe Edward in Twilight. He had issues. He had problems. Of course, unlike these plagued protagonists, he was never gifted with the powers required to transform him from zero to hero.
He turned his attention back to the scene below. He moved a foot forward, letting it peek over the edge. This was it. His heart jackhammered with the thrill of it. He could do this. All it would take was one more step. One. More. Tiny. Step.
It took several tries before he finally sighed and retreated. He checked his watch. It wouldn’t be today. Nonetheless, he congratulated himself on the fact that it was the furthest he’d ever come. He almost laughed at the memory of the first time he’d come up here. He hadn’t even looked over. This was progress. And there was always next time. Next week in fact. Wednesday at 1:30pm, just like every week over the past two years, weather permitting.
It had become part of his routine. Like brushing his teeth at 6:55 or entering the third train carriage on platform 2 at 7:30. At 1:25 he would take his lunch out of his drawer and walk up the fire escape up onto the roof of his office building. There he would sit or stand on the edge considering his options and willing himself to act. How was it that something could be so perfectly, magnificently straightforward and yet at the same time be so out of his reach? Graham, who considered himself a master of simplicity, had spent hours agonising over his inability to complete what should have been such an uncomplicated undertaking.
It wasn’t fear that stopped him. He had determined that fact very early on. Yes, there was something unsettling about not knowing how the whole matter would conclude, but being frightened seemed something of an overreaction. It didn’t fit.
Was there a religious element? A leftover of all those RE lessons? Perhaps early memories of the whisperings about the neighbour two down? He could still remember his mother shaking her head in disgust muttering about 'Those poor children.' Unlikely. For one thing, Graham didn’t have any children. Only Dave.
He often liked to think about this, revelling in the possibilities, turning them over in his mind like a problem to be solved. A puzzle with intricate pieces. He couldn’t deny that he found the process soothing. No irritants. No worries. Just the prospect that everything would soon be resolved to his satisfaction. Maybe, he thought, this was what other people experienced when meditating.
But then, at the same time it was also unutterably frustrating. And, on those occasions when annoyance or exasperation took hold of him, he had hoped the wind would blow him off in an inconsequential gust. Perhaps he would trip and fall. If only.
At around 1:43pm, he usually gave up and ate his chicken sandwich before returning to his desk in time for the afternoon appointments.
Nobody ever saw. Nobody ever noticed.
No-one had ever so much as looked up and seen him teetering on the edge. He had expected that to happen at least. For someone to notice his skinny bespectacled form with its sensible shoes peeking out over the sixth floor of the building. But no.
The world around him had simply gotten on with its day. The paperwork kept coming, as did the people.
This was nothing new to Graham Gill. Nobody had ever really noticed anything he had done. Not that he could blame them. Graham had always erred on the side of being totally, completely and utterly forgettable.
His entire existence had been an exercise in mediocrity. Born on Thursday, 7th of February in 1974, he’d weighed 7lb 6oz, incidentally the exact average weight for babies born that year. His Christian name was the 42nd most popular listed for boys that year. The doctor who had delivered him had been more interested in the announcement of a general election than in the emergence of the grey bundle he was bringing into the world.
From then on, everything he had done had been determinedly ordinary. He learned to walk at an unimpressive, but decidedly normal 14 months. The third out of five children, his own mother usually forgot his birthday while his father looked at him with a distant gaze that suggested he was an imposter. Even now, at work, it frequently seemed like he wasn’t even there, but for the constant flow of his appointments. He wasn’t even part of a team. He was able to operate on his own.
Graham sighed. He had a 2:30 meeting to get back to and a phone call before then. He’d better get on. He sat by the door to the roof on a discarded office chair eating his homemade chicken and sweetcorn on white bread before retreating back inside.
The open plan office was abuzz with phones ringing and people milling around holding folders and typing self-importantly at their desks. Graham’s cubicle was the nearest to the coffee station, always a hub for people to gather and talk. Although his back faced the action, it was a useful spot from which to hear the latest goings on in the office: who was seeing whom and what plans were being made. What was more, nobody ever seemed troubled enough by Graham’s presence to censor themselves.
People chattered there at the moment, laughter emanating as someone told a joke. It had been Smith. It was always Smith, Graham thought irritably. He sat back at his desk and removed the note he had stuck to it reading, 'Please feed my cat Dave twice daily, Whiskers Chicken for Adult Felines.' It wasn’t much by way of a suicide note, he knew, but everything else he’d ever tried had seemed overly dramatic. He had once gone as far as writing ‘goodbye cruel world’ before realising that he simply couldn’t carry it off. It would be like a gerbil performing Hamlet.
Links to Purchase eBooks – Click links for book samples and reviews
Buy The Lottery Club On Amazon
Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought! All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.