Yesterday, we hinted at a blossoming bromance between Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau.
To be clear: we were taking the piss. So when we made a joke about a potential sequel to a recently released erotic e-book about a sexy new Canadian prime minister, we didn't think much of it. (It was, after all, an easy joke.)
But shit got real when the "best-selling" author of that erotic e-book, Sam Shiver, sent us an email that said "Thanks for the inspiration: ;)" along with a link to Amazon.
Behold, here's Foreign Affairs: A Diplomatic Romance, the super hot sequel to Serving the Prime Minister we never knew could be written in a half day's time.
In a bold stylistic change, Foreign Affairs is written from the point-of-view of one Prime Minister Dustin Waterhole, who is on his way to Manila to meet American President Barrett O'Brian and bang out a new pipeline agreement.
Here's a scintillating early passage where Prime Minister Waterhole reads Twitter:
I swiped through. O'Brian's face filled my screen. Admittedly, the American President had a certain elegance and charm, his now-greying hair setting off his dark skin and kind eyes. Maybe he would be reasonable tomorrow, maybe we could come to an agreement on where to lay pipes.
Like, holy fuck, you've just got to read on now. What could possibly happen when they meet?
He leaned towards me, giving me a conspiratorial look, and stage whispered for the media to hear that I should enjoy my hair before the job turned it as grey as his.This elicited a chuckle from the media.
Later, after a grilling from the media, our hero and the American president meet—over whiskey— to discuss the vetoed Keyhole Pipeline.
I took another sip of the whiskey. I felt hot, my face flushed, from the drink, from the anger, from something else I couldn't place. He rose, standing with his face close to mine, his hand on my shoulder. His eyes searched mine, his handsome face so close to mine. My heart skipped a beat as he placed a hand on my cheek. My face flushed but I didn't push him away. He was so close to me, I felt giddy, almost lightheaded. I put my hand over his. "Barry, I..."
To tell you any more, dear reader, would be giving away the good stuff. You gotta pay $3.98 for that shit.
Now, we can't wholeheartedly endorse Foreign Affairs, as there are a few signs of a sophomore slump in the 11-page novella, such as the unfortunate food puns. The President of Mexico is named Pieta and the "skulking" Russian president goes by Viktor Poutine. The German chancellor just gets called "dour" and the Australian prime minister "bland" but that's just literary license.
We spoke to Shiver over email about our concerns (we did greenlight this thing, apparently) and why she's writing political erotica.
VICE: So Dustin Waterhole is in fact based on Justin Trudeau, right?
Sam Shiver: A little more smouldering and a bit less goofy Disney Prince, but essentially yeah. I felt like I was taking a bit of a stretch with the name, but I grew up in Alberta and those residual NEP-era jokes about "Peter Waterhole" gave me the inspiration. I'm a bit let down that a lot of people didn't catch the 'trou d'eau' pun.
What inspired you to write homoerotic fiction based on the PM?
It started as a not-wholly-a-joke. As an erotic fiction author, I'm always on the lookout for new ideas. I'm also a big politics junkie, especially political satire—I was raised on a steady diet of 22 Minutes and Air Farce. So there was a moment after the election where there was this great upswell of not just optimism, but digital-era Trudeaumania, and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to bring it all together. I mean, the Guardian put up an article on Trudeau's eyebrows before the polls had even closed, this didn't seem like much of a stretch.
But while Serving the Prime Minister was largely a lighthearted thing, I'll happily admit that I think Trudeau is extremely attractive. He looked like a pre-Raphaelite angel before he cut his hair so short.
Did VICE inspire this sequel?
You guys certainly pushed me into action. I had mused about a sequel, especially after the #APEChottie tag went viral, but when I saw that picture of Trudeau and Obama looking like they were about to kiss at the top of the CBC's site yesterday, the gears started turning in my head. When I read your article with the comment about a sequel, I knew what I had to do.
What can readers expect from it? Did you try anything new? Did the PM "try anything new"?
Unlike Serving the Prime Minister, this one is from Dustin's perspective, trying to balance his new celebrity status with the massive responsibilities that have been dropped in his lap now that he's prime minister. I won't spoil it, but let's just say that he definitely finds a way to help rebuild Canada-US relations.
How has the feedback been from the first book?
I got a lot of positive feedback, though there seemed to be a fair number of people who missed the inherent humour of it. One comment on Facebook just read "vukgar"—I've screenshotted it and I look at it every time I need a laugh. The highest point for this was the article in the Globe and Mail—it was even in the print edition. Unfortunately (fortunately?) that probably means that Trudeau is aware that this exists. I hope he thought it was funny.
Are you going to continue writing books about the Dustin's romantic adventures?
We'll see what comes up in the future. There's a certain spontaneity that comes with these, so I'll be keeping my eye peeled to the news for any new material.