You know the question I really dread? It's people asking what kind
of novels I write. I find myself muttering shiftily that I write
about, oh, birth, sex and death, really. Doesn't everyone? Also
God, dogs, adultery, D-I-Y, suicide, Morris dancing, incest, murder
- you know, everyday life in North Yorkshire. With jokes.
No prizes for spotting the whacking omission in this rattled-off
list. Yup, the L-word. Sad what an educated girl will do to avoid
admitting that, yes, as it happens her intricately-wrought plots
do seem to hinge on the mating rituals of Homo sapiens. OK, on the
blossoming relationship between a man and a woman - oh, dammit,
that she writes about love. There, I've said it. I'm out of the
closet and my lit cred's down the plughole because, as we all know,
romantic novelists wear chiffon, turquoize eye-shadow and have the
brain capacity of your average newt.
But I don't do moody, magnificent brutes, heaving bosoms and surging
passions on moon-kissed Caribbean beaches. The odd chilly paddle
in Llandudno, maybe. And the only bodice I can recall ripping was
being worn by the hero at the time - with corsets and crinoline.
No sex-discrimination when it comes to dishing out costumes and
storylines to my characters, thank you very much, I'm an equal opportunities
author. But if the idiots will go falling in love or bed or the
Irish Sea in spite of my best endeavours to interest them in higher
things, well, hell - don't we all?