Queenie's Teapot

Carolyn Steele

Book Cover

GENRE

POLITICAL SATIRE COMEDY

    Core Theme

    INTERNAL JOURNEY, OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM, HUMAN NATURE

    TIME PERIOD

    The Future

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY,THE PRINCESS DIARIES, MRS. DOUBTFIRE

    CHARACTER LIST

    • QUEENIE: 60+. LEAD. CLUMSY AND ADORABLE.
    •CAROLINE: 30-35. GOVERNMENT ADVISOR AND QUEENIE'S MENTOR.
    • MINNOW: 25-35. GOVERNMENT TECH ADVISOR, COMPUTER GEEK.
    • GERALD: 60. CHIEF SECRETARY. MENTOR TO ALL, IN CHARGE.
    • DOUG: 40-50. WIDOWER. EMPLOYMENT MINISTER.

    Logline

    In a world where democracy has been declared no longer fit for purpose, a cohort of randomly selected British Republic citizens receive their call to serve in parliament. As the strangers gather to learn their tasks for the next three years, the Cabinet Support Team try to fit jobs to skills—but Queenie can’t do nuffin’. Naturally she becomes head of state.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Mostly London. Also Ottawa, Washington DC (White House) and Tonga.

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Year Published: 2016

    Starting Description

    Every three years, the British government is selected at random, a similar process to jury service. The new ministers are introduced, plus the civil service team who will attempt to keep them in line. Queenie irritates everyone.

    Ending Description

    Queenie and the hapless gang of ordinary people manage to save the world from a terrorist plot to unleash biological warfare on the post-democracy system. More by luck than judgement.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending, Philosophical Questions

    Plot - Premise

    Internal Journey/Rebirth

    Main Character Details

    Name: Queenie Mason

    Age: 67

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Uneducated, Clumsy, Empathetic, Modest, Underdog, Outspoken, Blunt, Engaging, Funny, Insecure

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Caroline Grant

    Age: 35

    Gender: Female

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Complex, Confident, Engaging, Gracious, Manipulative, Sophisticated, Beautiful, Charming, Decisive, Educated, Empathetic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Gerald Lambert

    Age: 60

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Outspoken, Patriotic, Sarcastic, Confident, Educated, Leader, Sophisticated, Blunt, Decisive, Manipulative

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Andy Carswell

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Clumsy, Insecure, Narcissistic, Power-hungry, Secretive, Underdog

    Brief

    The London of the future is not one we recognize – democracy has been abandoned in favor of randomly-selected British citizens running the government. Queenie, our tea-serving antihero, “can't do nuffin'” yet is selected as the head of state. The new citizen-fronted government has to deal with issues on two levels: on the public level when dealing with unrest on the streets and a bioterror threat, and on the personal level when tackling their own issues and discoveries.

    What We Liked

    Having timely subject material naturally sparks conversation, so a political satire does well to offer a cheeky look at our current political climate. Queenie’s Teapot raises questions – What if democracy was abolished in favor of sortition? What roles would be assigned to whom? How would people cope? – and gives us light-hearted answers, especially relevant with its near-future setting. After seeing charming British characters handle challenges for the government, it brings attention to how current political matters are handled and makes one wonder: can the ordinary public do any better?
    Queenie’s characterization spoke to us, due to how her traits make her seem ill-fitted for the role but instead give her unexpected strengths. Beyond Queenie, the story features engaging subplots and numerous dynamic characters that add variety and diversity.
    This story is the first in a trilogy. Since the original concept and characterization are both strong, the material lends itself to longevity either in the form of sequels or expanded into a television series.

    Synopsis

    A mere 15 years out from now, London is practically a new town – democracy is out and automation is in. Queenie, a 60-something former supermarket cashier, does not hesitate to take a break from her mundane life when she is offered a part in the new parliament. Other citizens selected for the
    government include Andy, an unfunny group clown; Doug, a widower with increasing alcohol issues; Sally, an overwhelmed mother battling cancer; and Sammy, a young computer programmer. The cabinet is formed by the Chief Secretary Gerald, his data analyst Minnow, and dedicated advisor
    Caroline. To everyone's surprise, Queenie is selected to be the head of state.
    Though the newcomers are overwhelmed at first, Queenie’s people skills and proximity to ‘a cup of tea’ for everyone eases tension. The first challenge for the group occurs when workers go on strike against layoffs from the rise in machine automation. Another group in the mix presents themselves:
    the “Democratic Army”. They want democracy returned and are working to infiltrate the workers’ movement. While Doug fronts the crisis (and his depression-alcoholism at the same time), the cabinet struggles to maintain order backstage. Minnow realizes the group has been hacked during the workers’ protest and a dangerous virus – developed for biological warfare – was stolen. Connections between the characters deepen: Doug attempts suicide due to stress but is saved by Queenie and Caroline, while Sammy and Minnow seek one of the hackers with romance brewing underneath.
    When Minnow tracks down a key member of the Democratic Army, Sammy finds vital news – the virus exchange will happen at the upcoming Comic-Con. The cell members are stopped among superhero costumes and chaos, thanks to the police. Life for the characters gets better, when Sammy and Minnow start to date and Doug enjoys life again. Part of Doug’s newfound optimism comes from fronting the negotiations of human service at the supermarket store Queenie used to work at. As Queenie and the team go to the store’s opening, people are waving flags with teapots. Queenie is overwhelmed with joy.

    About The Author

    Carolyn Steele is based in Lancashire, England. She has been a psychologist, a paramedic, and a truck driver before finding her niche as a writer and editor.