Could Ric Chapman’s Bermuda novel be the next ‘Fifty Shades’? – The Royal Gazette

Author Ric Chapman (Photograph provided)

As Ric Chapman suffered from a months-long Covid-19 lockdown in Australia, his thoughts turned to the novel he had started writing years before in Bermuda.

With nothing else to do, he went back to work.

why not sin is the result of his work. The 419-page book is now on sale on Amazon. Mr. Chapman describes it as a cross between two bestsellers: Fifty Shades of grey and Notebook.

“The elevator pitch I had to send to the editor was one line,” he said. “They thought, well, that sounds compelling. And so we went from there.

He describes the book as “plausible fiction”: former lovers must resume a sexual relationship despite the fact that they are married to other people, in order to reduce rising divorce rates around the world.

Mr. Chapman has added a bit of crime to the plot, which spans 35 years and six countries; about 70 percent of why not sin takes place in Bermuda.

The story centers on Cynthia and Greg, a Canadian and an Australian who meet while studying at the University of Manitoba.

“[The story] just exploded in my head and kept sinking,” said Mr Chapman, 59. “This is my response to the Harry Potter series or Fifty Shades of grey.

“It came out of nothing; of an idea that was in my head – a plausible, fictional idea with its own built-in dramas.

Mr Chapman, whose wife is Canadian, thought his own Australian-Canadian literary pairing offered ‘all the elements of the world for drama’.

“Both come with different mores; they come with different morals and different ethics and different ways of looking at the world. And of course you have the biggest problem when school ends: where do they live?

“Someone has to sacrifice themselves, so I thought that was a good place to start and very easy to build if you have a good imagination.

Author Ric Chapman (Photograph provided)

As in every romantic tale, there is heartbreak; Cynthia and Greg break up. When they meet again twenty years later, they are married to other people and live in different countries.

“They get together in Paris and they come up with this plan – it’s illegal but it’s noble because what they want to do is cure the world of divorce rates. And the irony of that is that they must be outrageous, adulterous and unfaithful to their own partners to achieve their goal,” Mr. Chapman said.

He installed “the essence of criminology” in Bermuda. Having lived here for four years, he thought it would be easy to learn from those experiences.

“I loved my four years in Bermuda. I had a TV show, Songopoly, a column in the newspaper, a radio show… I was lucky during the four years that I spent there. It was a fantastic moment for me. So I used Front Street, I used the Birdcage, where the crime takes place.

“They go to Dockyard, they go to Flanagan’s restaurant, they stay at various hotels – Rosedon, the Fairmont… I wanted to keep all of these things that are real Bermuda in there and just build a fictional story around them. And of course it involves the Prime Minister, the government and crime.

Mr. Chapman left Bermuda in 2012 for Oakville, Ontario. In Canada, he wrote for the Globe & Mail newspaper. Shortly after the pandemic, he returned to his native Australia, where he wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald and where his two sons live.

“I thought [the pandemic] could drag on for a few years. I didn’t want to be stuck in Oakville, beautiful as it was, when my two boys were in Sydney.

The novel attracted attention. A Chicago company offered Mr Chapman a contract but “in terms of royalties, it was just poor”.

“Amazon now does movies and TV shows and also has a publishing arm. You can put a synopsis and a few chapters on them and if they like it, they’ll handle the publishing rights for you. is what happened.

“They liked the genre. Of course, as soon as you mention something to do with Fifty Shades of grey….[EL James] self-published this book and it has sold 59 million copies worldwide. So they knew this genre would sell and when I sent them the first five chapters, they immediately came back and said, “Yeah, we’re going to do that. And that’s how it started. It was like a dream come true.”

Having only written for newspapers before, he had to change his whole approach to why not sin. Mr. Chapman built on the three months of work completed in Bermuda and was able to complete the novel in June. It was released on Amazon in December.

Ric Chapman started his book, why not sinwhile living in Bermuda (Photograph provided)

“I’m a writer, so I know when my brain goes into this kind of mode, but it’s like a marathon as opposed to writing features for an article. You have to discipline yourself to get up, and you spend four hours a day every day until it’s done. And that takes time.

“I’m extremely pleased with the stream, story and reviews. [on]. There are a lot of things you need to do along the way. I really like the idea of ​​inventing a new genre. I think the book, in its own way, is going to be a paradigm shift if it hits sales like fifty shades for example because of what the two protagonists strive to do. But apart from that, I wanted to invent this new genre that I dubbed “plausible fiction”.

There are location photos at the beginning of each chapter; The Bermuda Birdcage on Front Street is prominently displayed.

“That’s where the first crime takes place – in that birdcage,” Mr Chapman said. “I’m going to make him famous.”

Why Not Sin is available on

Lucas E. Kelly