Saturday 20 January 2018

Shatter plans sequel to raunchy ‘Laura’ book

Michael Lavery.

JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter is planning a sequel to his best selling novel, Laura.

The novel, first published in 1989, was reprinted and relaunched this week, updated for the 21st century.

Mr Shatter said he had to thank the person who made a complaint to the Censorship Board about the book’s abortion mention and also the print media for their stories about the book in the last few weeks.

The Herald first revealed details of the complaint under the headline ‘Fifty Shades of Shatter’ in May.

“There has always been a sequel in my head,” Mr Shatter told Myles Dungan on RTE radio 1 today.

His publishers had wanted him to do a sequel when the 1989 edition sold 20,000 copies.

But the Justice Minister said that instead he brought out a new edition of his family law book “which takes three to three and a half years out of your life.”

“So, perhaps, sometime in the future,” he might write a sequel to Laura, but Mr Shatter said that as well as being Minister for Justice, he is also responsible for the Department of Defence.

The Minister, who said he only needs five hours sleep a night, said that was only possible by starting work at 5am or 6am.

“Laura” is the story of a custody battle following the placement for adoption of the baby girl, conceived during an illicit affair between fictional Dail TD Sean Brannigan and his secretary.

Brannigan is something of a fundamentalist, and at one stage encourages his unexpectedly pregnant secretary to have an abortion, the Minister said.

Mr Shatter said he “had some fun” with the novel and said that he was often asked about novel on the doorsteps while campaigning in the two general elections following its publication.

The Minister stressed it was an entirely fictional account, but said he had represented both sides in adoption cases during his time as a family lawyer.

What struck him, when he re read the novel for the first time in many years and updated it over a bank holiday weekend, was how current many of the serious policy issues addressed by the book still are, he said.

The book has been described as “steamy” and “raunchy” and Mr Shatter said some scenes were inevitably of an intimate nature.

“I always emphasise it is a work of fiction,” he said.

But he added: “Life is complex and when you are writing fiction you use your imagination. I let people draw their own conclusions.”

He hoped that readers enjoyed the book, he said.

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