Monday, June 26, 2006

Bonnie Friedman probably writes the best about the role of envy in a writer's life. It isn't clever, it isn't nice, and it certainly isn't good for writing, but it happens and the publishing system we have encourages it. Once I acknowledged that, I felt so much better! So this is a homespun way of introducing one writer I was envious of for a long time when my first book, Something Beginning With, came out, because it seemed there were displays of Kate Long's book, The Bad Mother's Handbook, in every bookshop I went into, reviews and interviews in every newspaper and copies in everybody's hands!. This was the only - pathetic, petty, poor - reason I spent a long time being probably the only person in the country who hadn't read it. So when I was sent a copy to blurb by a US publisher, it felt this was something I had to get over. And, guess what, I LOVED it from the first page!! In fact, I loved it so much that I was reading it on the train once, the tears absolutely pouring down, when the man opposite touched my arm and asked whether I was all right. I told him I was more than all right and this was a book he absolutely had to read. He looked a bit scared and got off at the next stop! I wrote the blurb, putting as a private message to the publisher: 'Kudos to Kate Long' and that's what they ended up using. But I really did want to acknowledge her good writing and control in the book so I didn't mind, and now Kate's become an e-friend, so I've gained doubly! Anyway, her third book, Queen Mum has just come out and I've ordered my copy. Can't wait. This is what Kate says about the book on her website:
Queen Mum is the story of married mum Ally and her relationship with the family next door, in particular the beautiful Juno, who seems to glide through life with effortless grace. But when Juno takes part in the reality-tv show ‘Queen Mum’, Ally discovers a whole new side to the woman she thought was her best friend.

When I wrote this novel I wanted to look at the way in which we edit reality every day to fit in with our individual world view. As far as I can see, reality-tv is only an extension of this.

And you can see her talking about the book here.


Kate said...

Gosh. *blushes* Thanks.

JAN said...

Kate is as nice as her books! Brilliant sense of humour yet sensitive with it. She's visited my writing class, talked re how she writes and also joined a writers panel at Chester Lit Fest; always has great anecdotes and fascinating stuff to say re writing.