Over The Hill Backwards by Damian Vargas


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Coming Autumn 2021

The hook

Some rock stars retire with grace after a life in the limelight. Some don’t. 

The blurb

Fame: it’s the worst drug of all 

 Sid strange had been something of a punk rock icon in his day. Unfortunately, his day was twenty-five years ago. The former singer-songwriter of English new wave punk band Tactical Chunder had always been a slave to the adulation of fans and the thrill of live audiences. Now at the age of 50, he has a shedload of money but no recording contract  

The only remaining clue to his once prestigious talent; a reality TV show that makes the appalling dross on other TV networks look like Oscar-winning material. Worse still, an old enemy is out for revenge, intent on ending the Englishman’s career once and for all. 

But then, an old film surfaces with incriminating footage. It could change everything. The only problem is that to get the film Sid must persuade the old band to get back together, and given that he dumped them 25 years ago to go solo, they hate his f***ing guts! 

Author’s notes

Having just written a book about Nazis that essentially asks the question ‘Are we all capable of becoming a monster?’ I felt the distinct need to work on a much lighter and heartwarming tale.

My first book, Six Hard Days in Andalusia, although a fast-paced action thriller, also had several scenes with a distinctly comic flavour – absurd almost, albeit also quite dark. Many of my readers had enjoyed those aspects of that book, and I had previously written a screenplay about an ageing British punk rock star, fighting to hang onto the last vestiges of fame. 

I decided to turn the screenplay into a novel that is not without its own dark moments – Fame is, after all, the worst of all drugs – but is overall a tale of a group of people coming to the realization that the shared bonds of friendship and love are far more important that celebrity, money and possessions.

Over The Hill Backwards is set in two contrasting locations; the gaudy, materialistic, nihilistic mecca of celebrity that is Hollywood, and the grey, former industrial centre of the British Midlands that is Coventry (being ‘Sent To Coventry’ is an English idiom meaning to deliberately ostracize someone!)

The result will (for I am still writing this one) be a comic-caper that I pitch as ‘Spinal Tap meets Love Actually’.