My writing career began with a meteoric rise from a standing start. It then floated around a little aimlessly for a while, until Bluemoose Books gave it lift and direction in March 2021 by publishing Domestic Bliss And Other Disasters.
Years ago I wrote an unsolicited article for the Sunday Times Life in the Day page, and it was accepted for publication. I am still very proud of being the only complete non-entity to appear on those pages.
After that article appeared, Alan Coren asked me to write for Punch Weekly, and I wrote regularly for Punch until the magazine ceased publication.
I have had a lot of fun writing columns for national and local newspapers, exploring topical and more general themes. My interview with a house spider was very well received, and is still spoken of in the Co-op at the end of my road.
I had a break from journalism to take up a teaching post, and for years I wrote tens of thousands of words on how to pass an A level in Psychology. I also wrote school reports. These are a rich seam for the aspiring writer, some of my reports ran to several pages and could be considered psychological thrillers. They consoled, chastised, congratulated, and urged on in turn. They delivered warnings of certain doom unless immediate remedial action was taken. My form tutor’s report on O.H. Knoe makes good bedtime reading if your nerve is steady, and you don’t live within five miles of a school.
Since leaving teaching I have written shopping lists. I have an archive of lists to cope with any eventuality, and am even now working on one which will cope with a dinner party for six, including a vegan, a vegetarian, a gluten free, and a Hungarian. Some consider the shopping list to be a hugely underrated and neglected form of literary expression. I don’t.
Domestic Bliss And other Disasters is my first published novel, it aims to entertain and engage, and have as much fun between the pages of a book as is possible for serious readers.
Sally’s son Dan has come back home from college after completing his performing arts degree. He needs rent-free accommodation, friends, a love life, and somewhere to perform his arts.
Sally herself is taking a career break from teaching English. She’s tired of teaching year eleven pupils about the Mockingbird. She wants to kill the bird and stuff it with all the redundant apostrophe’s’ she’s ever seen in twenty years of marking essays. She needs a rest. She does not need her adult son Dan, his current girlfriend, his previous girlfriend and his old school friend to move in and share her kitchen and their lives with her.
Sally could seek out her own friends to let off steam, but as a general rule her friends prefer her to keep her steam to herself. They’re busy, and too much steam makes it difficult to see their own problems clearly.
Bill is Sally’s husband. He’s an ambitious politician. A tranquil, unexceptional home-life would work well for Bill and his career. In his line of work, he needs unconventional domestic arrangements like he needs a ladies' underwear fetish.
The stage is set for passion, intrigue, drama, testosterone, humiliation and mistakes. The players are waiting in the wings and they are ready to engage and begin.
Come in, meet them all, and let them take you with them….