It's Daft What I Do - 19 July 2011
I have rather neglected my website over the last few years since it was created. I am not very computer literate and am largely self (and husband) taught. But the site’s been re-designed so that it’s easy for even me to use, so here I am, blogging. I may buy a camera and start uploading (downloading?) photos, too. There may be snaps of my dog (my dog snaps – yes he does – he nearly took my son’s foot off. Patch is the Jack Russell who puts the terror in terrier, but as I always cry above all the screams and manic barking, he’s fine with me).
So here I am and it’s been a staggering six years since The Boy I Love was published. Not that I’ve wasted my time – of course not. I acquired a literary agent. A literary agent with a nice London office who has been known to take me out for lunch. In London. All very nice and quite flattering to my ego. I also moved house, twice, to houses that made me laugh with despair on first viewing and required me to spend most of the last six years up a pair of stepladders that are now covered in various shades of paint (gloss and emulsion) and lumps of filler (wood and plaster). I have spent a great deal of time in B&Q in paint splattered clothes walking down the wrong aisles. This may be a good summing up of my life so far.
What else? Ah yes, the novel writing. There was The Boy I Love, which went rather well, considering. Considering I was told never to write it because a novel about gay men by a straight, middle aged bank clerk/housewife from Teesside would never be published, let alone sell. Yet there were rather nice reviews from The Gay Times and The Guardian so I do feel a tiny bit vindicated, although…although…yes, ok, perhaps if I’d written novels about women doing contemporary womanly things, because, after all, I am a woman and not a gay man, nor even a gay man trapped in a woman’s body…After all, write what you know and all that. But what do I know? (Use your imagination, Marion –– make it up!) So, The Boy I Love went out into the world, taking me along with it. Lots of reading group visits, lots of talks to various clubs and associations, lots of sitting around bookshops with big piles of The Boy, lots of meetings with very lovely librarians. There were even radio interviews, journalists came to my house! I was featured in Good Housekeeping! (Me and my husband, granted, oh, and Denis Healey…It’s a long story…) I won a few awards. I never once regretted giving up working in the bank. I wrote Paper Moon; we moved house and in between climbing said stepladders, wrote Say You Love Me. My daughter left home and came home again; I wrote The Good Father with paint in my hair and builders in and out the place wondering what I did all day. (I always blush when I admit what I do to any man who necessarily is around my house long enough to wonder. Blushing comes with having red hair and a pretentious-sounding occupation. Occupation? Hobby? It’s not really a job, not a career, it’s daft what I do, to quote my inner child). We moved house again, got the ladders out again. My son left home. I wrote another novel All the Beauty of the Sun (out February 2012). My son came home again. My daughter left home and bought her own home. I wrote another novel The Memories of Ghosts – still being edited – and helped my husband dig a pond.
I am aware that this blog is probably far too long, but as it’s an introductory blog, as it were, I hope you will excuse me if you have read this far, (but you have, so you will, perhaps). I don’t know if I will be able to keep up this blogging. I have never kept diaries (or even notebooks). I have never taken a photograph in my life (well, maybe a few of my first born, which made her look like a blur of white light and yellow baby-gro, an alien in the throes of being transported from a 1968 episode of Star Trek). So, it may all come to nought. But I shall keep you posted, twittering and face-booking. And just to make it interesting we’ll have a shilling on the side…(No, that’s Benny Hill’s Ernie, Fastest Milkman in the West…Such lines come to me from time to time). Just to make it interesting I am posting a new short story here on my website, On the Stairs, a ghost story, as that’s what my just finished novel is about, ghosts (The Memories of Ghosts – it’s what it says on the tin, as that nice Irish lad kind of said on The Apprentice.)
As an added extra, there is also a link below to the theme tune of The Likely Lads, for no other reason than it’s my favourite ever theme tune and reminds me of being ten and eating ice cream on winter Tuesday evenings. Also a proposed cover for the new novel, All the Beauty of the Sun - what'd ya think...?