Following on from my review of 2014 bestselling books in a handy month-by-month guide (written now, in order to save time at the end of the year), I now shake up the crystal ball a bit to tell you about my own year: one of unparalleled success, misfortune, and speaking about myself in the third person.
Here follows the transcript from my appearance with Ryan Tubridy on Ireland’s famous chat extravaganza, The Late Late Show, on Friday December 19th, 2014.
Ryan Tubridy: And now, ladies and gentlemen, most of you will have first heard of my next guest when she hit the headlines this year worldwide for what were, some said, all the wrong reasons. Please welcome an Irish writer, yet setting foot on Irish soil for the first time in a long time – Tara Sparling.
Tara Sparling: Ah, howaryeh Ryan. Thanks oodles for having me on the show.
Ryan: My pleasure, Tara. Please come up from the floor, there’s no need to prostrate yourself in front of me there.
Ryan: Now tell me. This is your first time to be back in Dublin in – what is it – 4 months?
Tara: 17 weeks, yeah. I came back from Greenland on Tuesday. Gosh, I love your hair, it’s really bouffy.
Ryan: Thank you. Now, can we go back to what led you to self-enforced exile in Greenland, of all places? You’ve had quite a year. Where did it all start?
Tara: Well, Ryan – and could I say, that’s a scandalously nice tie you have on there – it probably began in March, really, when I self-published my first book.
Ryan: And this is Pop Messiah we’re talking about here? The international Times bestseller?
Tara: That’s it, yeah. I suppose when I wrote it, I was only experimenting, but I never thought how far it would go. I had no idea it would become so popular…
You know, I never really noticed the colour of your eyes before. They’re really manly.
Ryan: Thanks. Your stratospheric rise to fame, though, when your book took off – how did that happen?
Tara: Well, people say it was an accident, that I was just in the right place at the right time, you know, but I don’t agree with that at all. Me myself personally, I prefer to think that as I’d been slogging away at the old writing for years, there just comes a time when it finally pays off, and that’s what happened me.
Ryan: But would you admit that there were some extraordinary elements of luck and coincidence? That you were fortunate to have released a fictional account of a world famous pop star who finds out he is the Son of God, just as Justin Bieber founds his own religion, and convinces 46 million of his Twitter followers to live with him in a vastly underpopulated area of Canada?
Tara: Well, if you look hard enough, Ryan, you’ll find coincidence in almost everything. That’s what I always say. Incidentally, what aftershave are you wearing? You smell fabulous.
Ryan: It’s Old Spice, actually, thanks for asking. Now, isn’t it true that your book became the de facto Bible for Neo-Bielieberism? Resulting in one hundred million sales in less than six weeks?
Tara: Oh, that’s true, all right. The sales were brilliant. The death threats, not so much.
Ryan: Indeed. Because that’s where the story gets darker, isn’t it?
Tara: Yes. Although I must say I was proud to have become the first person in history to unite Christians, Muslims, Jews and the enormously powerful Right-Wing Mothers Against Stuff in solidarity. Their joint denouncement of me and all my works was the catalyst for the now infamous Baked Bean Accord, when they agreed, over supper in Birmingham, to work together for as long as it took to bring me down.
Ryan: I suppose, when you look at it that way –
Tara: Glass half full, Ryan, that’s me. This studio really suits your complexion, by the way.
Ryan: You’re too kind. And tell us, was all this before or after Lady Gaga released her multi-plantinum-uranium single, also called “Pop Messiah”?
Tara: Oh, it was before that. Sure, I’d never have gotten away with using it as a book title unless I’d got in there first. Do you know, she sent me a tweet that was only dotey, saying she had no idea we were using the same title when she wrote it, but as I sold another 52 million copies of the book after she released her song, I wasn’t one to quibble.
Ryan: An extraordinary chain of events, it must be said. But your plans now? Will you go back to Greenland? I notice you have quite the contingent of heavily armed guards backstage. What next for Tara Sparling?
Tara: Well, to be honest, that’s the reason I’m here, Ryan. Now that the heat’s died down a bit, I’m starting to go unrecognised on the streets again, so I’m publishing a new book in the New Year. A sequel to Pop Messiah. It’s about what happens when Justin – sorry, I mean Jonathan, the protagonist, hits puberty.
Ryan: What’s this one called?
Tara: It’s called Hormonal Hallelujah. Readers are going to love it.
Ryan: Will it result in more death threats, do you think?
Tara: Oh, if I’m lucky. They do wonders for sales, you know, and armoured vehicles don’t come cheap.
Ryan: Round of applause, please, ladies and gentlemen, for a truly optimistic child of Ireland – Tara Sparling!
Tara: Thanks, Ryan. I love you Ryan.