SUNDAY MORNING RETHINK

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Me, not feeling guilty.

I should be going to church. Why am I not going to church? Backtrack to my childhood – a very long time ago. It’s eight o’clock and I’m marched to the bus stop with my mum, a dedicated Catholic, who, bless her, thought a convent education would keep me on the straight and narrow. She insisted I never ever miss Mass or Benediction or the ability to recite the Catechism on demand. What was she thinking? An uninterrupted programme for Sunday morning, lasting years.

Every Sunday, the parts of my brain, once carefully washed into believing hell wasn’t just a red hole in the ground you fell down once you’d clocked it – my interpretation of the devil’s home as a nine-year old – but a tangible ‘thing’ that really existed. At night, I visualised my time in that elusive city called Purgatory, a stop-over motel you stayed at before hitting the flames, if you didn’t get absolution (for those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s like the time you stole your big sister’s makeup and had to apologise profusely, if you didn’t want her to break your arm).

When I discovered I was adult (when did that happen?) and became enthralled with all things theatrical and literary, my opinions changed. Of course they did! That’s what being a grown-up means, doesn’t it? But, the echo of early indoctrination lingered, damn it and Sunday mornings was when Madam Guilt knocked on the door.

She’s a strange old woman, is guilt. She lies in wait in dark corners and shows up at just the right time, usually when I have a mouthful of buttery croissant and a mug of beautiful coffee, frothy and rich, a bit like Boris Johnson, bless him. (Does he get guilty? Politicians and priests, all a bit crazy, and all terribly guilty, don’t you think?)

How do I deal with this infestation of guilt that manifests as a malevolent old woman every Sunday morning? I turn my back and get writing. I’ve discovered the story you create can have a magical quality, capable of assuaging all sorts of guilt trips. You simply dump it in a maze of sentences and transfer Madam Guilt to the plot.

Of course, sometimes, I do actually attend Mass because I want to, not because I feel guilty. I don’t agree one jot with most of the rubbish the church puts out, but that’s religion for you, especially if you’re a woman. I do enjoy the theatrical performance that is the Mass, with the bells and whistles and men in dresses. It does give me a strange and unexpected infusion of peace, though when the church is full to capacity and I squeeze myself into a tiny corner in the back row, next to a very large man who reeks of sweat, tranquility is hard to access.

Jonty Greer, the protagonist in my new book, has his own issues with guilt. That’s what happens when you win 53 million on the lottery. Get it on Amazon (the book, not 53 million) and other jolly good online book stores, or at my publisher’s page: www.feedaread.com

Assuage your own guilt by reading it. You’ll feel better – promise!

 

 

 

 

 

MY NEXT BOOK(S)?

 

 

JONTY'S WIN

Front cover

Completing my latest book JONTY’S WIN made life quite difficult, once I’d put in the last full stop.  You see, I have fallen in love with my main character, Jonty Greer, the hapless actor who has won 53 million pounds on the lottery. Well, who wouldn’t fall in love with a man that rich, I hear you say. 

Actually, it has nothing whatsoever to do with his money. Promise! You see, I have known Jonty for some time. He was the star in my first novel, PRETENDING, written in 2013 and it’s not the last time his febrile antics will fill the pages of a book. I am, at this moment, preparing the next episode of the ongoing chaotic adventure that is his life. Back Cover JWIt’s because he is so extraordinary, so optimistic, so completely unaccountable, that I love him. He has now become a permanent fixture in my mind and heart and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

 

 

17190949_1265474693500898_8349464218403510824_nI have this weird feeling that Jonty is destined to become a cult figure in the literary world. I’ve always been an optimist, like him.

He had a slow start in PRETENDING and speeded up in JONTY’S WIN, as he spread his exuberance across the pages.

 

Dear reader, I must impress on you, he means well. Oh, yes, he means very well. He just doesn’t quite understand real life. The life on a stage or in front of a camera or on YouTube is his reality. No-one can change that. I should know. I created him. Like the monster in Frankenstein, I have let him escape, and he will plunder his way through a series of forthcoming novels like a tribe of wildebeests on the African Plains, seeking satisfaction, fame, adoration and, because he has a good heart, love.

There is no going back. My plans to write an autobiography, a book about bees, a novel with Trump as the protagonist, have all gone up a chimney. Jonty will consume my thoughts and I guess, my life for the next few months.

Here it is: available for you to read and review and give me your hate/love feelings for the boy. Of course, you might fall in love with one of the other characters. That’s okay. They’re all pretty lovable. 

JONTY'S WIN

 

Book number two, RURAL CUT is altogether a more sombre affair.

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About to be published! If you live in rural England, this is the book for you, but read it behind the sofa, if you are of a delicate disposition.

You can get your copies from Amazon, Foyles, Barnes and Noble, Waterstones and a host of other online book shops. Also, at my lovely publisher’s site: http://www.feedaread.com

Please leave a review so I can decide whether or not to give up writing and become the oldest DJ in the West.

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Spooky read! Good for keeping you up at night.