Fact is stranger than fiction – old cliché, but still true.
My latest novel featuring cop Matt Proctor is nearly there! Hope to launch soon. But as I was revising I came across a newspaper article in The Independent (national English daily) and swallowed hard. Someone had nicked (UK English for stolen) my plot! At least that was my first reaction.
The ‘crime(s)’ in my new novel are murders but the context is the world of sports ‘ match-fixing’ organized by international syndicates who bribe sports persons to throw a game or, in the case of ‘spot-fixing’, to create a specific occurrence that those in the know will bet on and make huge winnings.
As I read Andrew Buncombe’s article in The Independent, detailing allegations made against an individual based in Singapore who is understood to have headed an organization fixing both national and international football (soccer) matches, I couldn’t believe how this story mirrored my own plot. I relaxed a little as I got into the detail. My story covers both football and cricket and climaxes in Pakistan. His factual report is based in Singapore and relates specifically to football. But the ‘megabucks’ involved, the scale of the gambling and the co-ordination and organization within gambling syndicates are common threads. Along with the risks and dangers to those involved – and what happens to those who, too late, decide they want out. This is not a merciful world.
Have any other writers stumbled upon ‘your story’ manifesting itself, while you are writing it, through a television news piece, a newspaper article, on the internet? I’d like to hear. It’s kind of scary. But then as someone once said, there are only so many stories to be told.