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Make sure you're prepared for an interview about your book
Speak to me....
Don't get caught with your pants down.... not like me.
The telephone jangled, the person at the other end was more jaunty than anyone deserved to be at that time in a morning.
"What's this book of yours about then," said the voice. "Give me a quick run-down of WITHOUT REPROACH. I've heard it's one of these new Mummy Porn things, and it's going to be the next Fifty Shades."
Mummy Porn? What was he on about?
It was a radio interview over the 'phone; on the spot, no warning, just a ringing of the bell and a hasty request.
I gabbled, I sweated, did a whole lot of back-peddling, and was mightily glad when the beeper went and time was up. I had a long hard think afterwards I'll tell you. Just how was I supposed to describe it?
Trying to express what a novel is about, is an author's nightmare. We plan them; write them, give birth to them, yet most of us have difficulty describing them.
The problem is, books have sub-plots that interweave in a complex way. WITHOUT REPROACH is no exception. Trying to condense those ideas into a few words isn't easy.
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Too late, I sat down, pen in hand
.... (well computer), determined not to be caught out again.... so what IS the book about? What IS it's genre? I thought I'd written a mystery, but what do I know? It's been well and truly hi-jacked by the media and slotted into the 'erotic' bracket.
It can be described as a psychological mystery, yet I admit it's also a story of sexual relationships ....
.... so maybe it's a steamy mystery or is it actually Mummy Porn?
The setting for WITHOUT REPROACH is La Finca Piedra, a beautiful Spanish riding school, on the Costa Blanca, Spain. A share of it has been bequeathed to Jenny from Spanish artist, Juan García, but she has no idea why it's been left to her.
Jenny has never been there, never met him, never heard of him, and is not related to him.... It starts to make her skin crawl, especially when she discovers a painting of herself absolutely naked. Has he been stalking her?
Eduardo, twenty years younger than half-brother Juan, is the main beneficiary of the Will. A feud erupts out of Eduardo's dogged resolve to keep the finca in the García family, and Jenny's decision not to give it up. The longer she is there the less she comprehends, and she begins to question her sanity...
There! I've done it. I'm now ready for that interview .... shame I didn't do it weeks ago!
The moral is - spend time preparing yourself. You never know when that interview will come out of the blue. Make notes, scribble it down by the side of the phone, carry it in your pocket, memorize it... do whatever you have to, but be prepared. Know your book
If raunchy books affront you, maybe you're best avoiding 'Without Reproach'.
I then had another thought - too late of course - that I should have warned the readers. WITHOUT REPROACH is rather dark, rather resentful and....well... quite explicit. WITHOUT REPROACH really is erotic , so maybe it is Mummy Porn after all.
Okay, I'll be ready next time.... but too late for this. Damn!
Learn from my mistakes. Be prepared.