I remember the Flying Lizard’s version of Money (That’s What I Want), written by Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford, although I’m aware The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Barrett Strong covered it long before 1979. The song played on the radio when we were on one of our research trips to Chesil Beach, in Dorset, and ultimately solved a plot problem for my new paperback, Follow Me, Follow You, set on the southwest coast of the UK.
The funny thing about the song is it’s actually about wanting money, even though the lyrics acknowledge that the best things in life are free.
My heroine in Follow Me, Follow You, Victoria Noble, owner and director of Britain’s most successful social networking site, EweSpeak, has pots of money. She has so much money, she’s reached a point where she will never have to worry about working ever again, assuming the business continues to grow.
She has a grand split-level London apartment, a natty two-seater sports car, and spends Christmas at Klosters. Her son, Seth has access to pretty much anything a four-year-old could want.
Ah. Well, that’s not strictly true. Seth has access to consumer goods, should he desire them ‒ video game consoles, books, clothes, toys ‒ a young lad’s idea of heaven. Victoria has everything at her disposal, too, and she’s discovered money resolves most problems.
So, imagine, as I sometimes do, your numbers have come up on the Euro Millions and you’re the sole winner of seventy-eight million. How would this affect your life?
My first action, once the money was in my bank and cleared, would be to pay off the mortgage and any outstanding loans, including ours, of anyone in my immediate family. The next would be a massive family holiday-of-a-lifetime, followed by a massive friends holiday-of-a-lifetime. We would probably renew the car, invest in our own IT and writing businesses and buy some new clothes, and ensure our children’s futures were financially secure.
Once that rush was over, the reality and responsibility of having acquired so much money would kick in. What about the friends who could use a helping hand? What about charities? What about making sure we’re not taken for a ride by unscrupulous and greedy ‘advisors’? I suppose we’d pay to ensure we have the best people guiding us, but I’m feeling the pressure just thinking about it. I find I’m asking, ‘Is there an amount of money that is too much?’ What is the perception of well-off? Comfortable? At what level does money become destructive?
Victoria wasn’t born into a wealthy family and she works hard to maintain a successful business, but at what price? What is the true value of money when compared to life, love and happiness?
No real answers here, but I do know watching and hearing the sea wash over the pebbles at Chesil Beach, while my children build Minecraft-type stone towers is one of the best things in life, and I can do that with empty pockets and a smile on my face.
Laura E. James' book, Follow Me, Follow You, is published by Choc Lit and is out now!
Blurb:You save me and I'll save you...
Victoria Noble has pulled the plug on romance. As director of the number one social networking site, EweSpeak, and single mother to four-year-old Seth, she wrestles with the work-life balance.
Enter Chris Frampton, Hollywood action hero and Victoria's first love. His return from LA has sparked a powder keg of media attention, and with secrets threatening to fuel the fire, he's desperate to escape.But finding a way forward is never simple. Although his connection with Victoria is as strong as when he was nineteen, has he been adrift too long to know how to move on?
With the risk of them breaking, will either #follow their heart?
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