A book manuscript that lay forgotten in a cupboard for more than 20 years is today a fast-selling worldwide novel with Barack Obama reportedly owning a copy.
This is the story of ‘Chameleon 2012 (Tentacle),’ a political thriller based on the London Olympic Games. “It’s gone worldwide after just a few weeks. The pre-sold paperback is flying off the shelves in countries as far apart as China and India as Amazon, Waterstones and others try to keep up with the demand,” says author David Albert who lives in Chislehurst.
David, who is now working on a follow up, came late to writing. The majority of his career was spent as a stockbroker and international banker working for the Bank of Tokyo and Paribas.
He drafted the original manuscript in his spare time on an old typewriter. This eventually found its way it to the back of his cupboard and was soon forgotten.
Wind the clock forward nearly 20 years and David’s interest in writing was reawakened after he had a short article about his father published in a trade magazine. After receiving favourable comments he dusted down the old manuscript, typed it up onto a computer and sent it to a publisher to gauge their interest. To his surprise a publisher liked it. “I thought I must be crackers or brilliant,” he says.
But David was told that to have any chance of getting it published he’d need to turn his 30,000 words into over 100,000 and give it a modern edge, which spurred him to write the Olympics into the story.
“This fast-action global plot features the London 2012 Olympics with a massive twist like Bourne and Bond,” he says.
David won’t give out sales figures for the book but he claims that demand is “rampant”.
As for Obama, he says intriguingly: “We know that the White House has a copy because of information passed to us from a government source.”