About 10 years ago, I wrote a novel called Apollo wears a vest which, without revealing too much of the plot, centred around the idea that the Gods of Olympus have fallen on hard times as no one believes in them any more and, therefore, their powers have waned. But while they are immortal, they are degenerating slowly - hence the book's title. Apollo now looks like Onslow from Keeping up appearances and Hera resembles your grandmother in a Wonder Woman outfit. I sent the book out to a couple of publishers in the late 1990s and elicited some mild interest but nothing positive.
So, imagine the huge gusting sighs emanating from my now slimmer body when I read this review this week ...
Gods behaving badly by Marie Phillips
'Gods Behaving Badly finds a motley crew of Olympians living together in considerable squalor in London, in a house they haven't maintained too well since they moved in back in 1665. With what little powers they have left they are like old royalty, full of themselves but barely scraping by. Artemis earns some money walking dogs, Aphrodite is doing phone sex, Eros has been born-again, and Dionysus runs a nightclub 'in a basement down a poorly-lit side street, popular with prostitutes and junkies, somewhere between Euston and King's Cross', called The Bacchanalia.'
Okay, so Marie Phillips hasn't written exactly the same novel as me, but the central idea is just similar enough that I now have to rip up a 120,000 word novel and start all over again.
This is the 4th or 5th time this has happened to me. I wrote a book about some people meeting via the Friends Reunited website who then get bumped off one by one. One is a police officer and he has to figure out who's doing it. I sent it off to an agent the day before Ben Elton released Past Mortem ... which has almost exactly the same plot. So, plenty more work for the shredder there ... and I won't mention my superhero living in suburbia novel that I wrote five years before My Hero appeared on BBC1.
Thing is ... I'm convinced that the books I wrote are more original than the ones that got published. But you'll never be able to judge that for yourselves, will you?