Public Scandal the Subject of Scots Journalist's Debut Novel

A former editorial director at the Press Association in Scotland sees her debut novel being published next month.

Polls Apart, by Clare Johnston – who was, until July, the acting head of magazines with the Daily Record and Sunday Mail newspapers – comes out on October 1.

Say publishers, Thames River Press: “Polls Apart tells the story of Anna Lloyd, the actress wife of an Opposition Leader as they head into a General Election campaign. All seems to be going well for the pair until a fictional Sunday tabloid (the Sunday Echo) exposes Lloyd's past as an escort girl and her husband is forced to decide between his marriage and his chances of election victory.”

The publisher adds that the novel is “a fast-paced, emotional rollercoaster of love and ambition, written by an author who is well-placed to comment on the press and the pursuit of those in public life”.

Says Johnston, who is now working, freelance: “I've always been absolutely fascinated by public scandal and how the people involved react and are affected. I wanted to write something that puts the reader right in the centre of the storm and carry them along with the highs and profound lows of overcoming one wave of bad press, only to be met by another.”

A second novel is due for the Spring.