I have  long nourished the ambition of writing a novel, with the advent of e-publishing it has finally allowed me to fulfil that ambition. Whenever I’ve had free time I’ve always enjoyed the creative process of novel writing, but because of the difficulties of getting published through a main stream publisher, it is only recently that authors can to a large extent avoid the often demoralising process of sending scripts to either literary agents or publishing houses, which seem to favour celebrity names or safe and soft options. The Van Gogh Scam has taken several years to complete, given other calls upon my life, such as dividing time between being both an artist and art teacher.
             The first phase of the project was to research both the story and the life of Van Gogh, especially the time he spent in Arles, 1888 until 1889. Fortunately Vincent’s life is well documented, largely because he was a prolific letter writer, especially to his brother, Theo Van Gogh. And given that prices for his work have fetched over the past decades, some of the highest ever achieved, his life has been thoroughly explored, documented, filmed and speculated upon. I mapped out the plot and subplot of the novel when on a holiday back in 2009 and worked on it whenever time allowed. I completed several drafts in the next three years and did send the first three chapters to various literary agents, getting a favourable response from the Eve White literary agency and they wanted me to send the whole novel. I eventually did this, but it was finally rejected. I have since completed a final draft. This made me turn to the idea of publishing it myself.
            Why did I choose to write a novel based on his famous Sunflowers series of paintings. Firstly, they are iconic of the artist himself. Though he painted a wide range of subjects, it is mostly the Sunflowers that he’s remembered most. Back in 1987 one of these paintings sold at auction in London for something approaching twenty-five million pounds. The largest sum ever paid for a painting at that time. Also, Vincent’s life as an artist strikes a resonance with most artists, who have to engage themselves in the daily struggled to paint, develop a personal style and then try to sell their work.
            Then there is the tragedy of Vincent’s suicide; never fully explained, though I add my own speculation in the opening of the novel.



Author, Roy Munday


Roy Munday


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