It started just before Christmas 2018 with an email from a Dutch publisher and author called Geert Kimpen, informing me that his client was looking for a ghostwriter to help him write a “thriller-like book about the return of the Messiah” and asking if I would be interested. I was.
On the 3rd of January 2019 I met Martin Van Es at the Stafford Hotel in St James’s, tucked away in a mews behind the Ritz, and listened to an outpouring of ideas about how mankind needed to adapt if we were to avoid self-destruction.
“If you were the leader of the whole world,” he asked at one point, “what would be the first thing that you would do?”
“If Jesus was to reappear on Earth to give mankind one more chance to save themselves,” he continued, “what do you think would happen?”
Another good question.
I was hooked.
Martin had read my novel “Secrets of the Italian Gardener”, and wanted his story written in a similar style.
In March I travelled, along with Geert Kimpen, to the Dutch island of Terschelling, where Martin and his son own an events company and Martin has a house. For several days we sat in beach restaurants and bicycled around the island, all the time talking about the story and the characters and how mankind could be saved if we had one unifying leader rather than the divisive, nationalistic bunch that we have now. A strong friendship was formed and Martin generously suggested that I might be given equal billing as a co-author, rather than my usual, invisible, ghost status.
On June 4th 2020, despite the arrival of exactly the sort of global crisis we had been talking about and imagining, the book, entitled “Call Me Joe” is being published simultaneously in Dutch by Geert and in English by RedDoor Press and the first advanced review has appeared in Midwest Book Review:
“Readers who enjoy apocalyptic stories that focus on more than just physical and psychological survival alone will delight in the social, political, and spiritual entanglements ……. An involving, compelling read right up to the conclusion and a call for radical re-envisioning of mankind’s choices and social and political structures for the sake of the planet’s survival.”