Monday, 15 February 2010

The Times they are a-changing. (But luckily The Independent's still on my side...)

So, it was Valentine's Day yesterday. I like Valentine's day - obviously, since I'm a romantic novelist with three daughters who have always appreciated any excuse for a bit of heart-themed baking and table decoration. In previous years that's the way it's gone: we all make the heart-shaped chocolate cake/creme-brulee/strawberry shortcake, they lick the bowl and I bribe them to go to bed early so He and I can light the fire and open the champagne.

This year however, with daughters burgeoning all over into luscious boy-magnets with legions of adoring admirers and romantic plans of their own, it was all a bit different. He and I found ourselves sidelined by the demands of young love, lurking out of sight with a sneaky bottle of fizz and Gordon Brown on television. (Gordon Brown! Not even Robert Pattinson or Ben Barnes!)
This glimpse into middle age and Valentine's Days Yet To Come might have been a bit depressing had it not been for a lovely article in The Independent by charming Peter Stanford, who rang me a couple of weeks ago and caught me at a moment of sheer panic about my book; and whose grave, intelligent voice on the other end of the phone was an infinitely soothing lifeline from the world of sanity. He could have written what he liked after that and I'd still have adored him, but... (ahem) 'early thirties'...
That's got to be better than red roses and chocolates.


Michelle Styles said...

Lovely article!!!

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Hi honey, just posted your article on PHS group. Hope you'll stop by and talk about it. Great by the way.

Michelle, I so agree!

Francine said...


Great article!

But, as the saying goes, all publicity is good publicity even when work is criticised as outrageous or crap!

The latter always drawing more interest than the former, ergo more sales!

Barbie Cartland drew on the latter, bless her. She was hounded for years for writing crappy romance novels. In fact, most were really quite good in terms of perfect romance, which is something hard to find in the real world.



Rachel said...

Dear India,

Must concur with the other ladies--a scrummy article indeed. But you do err on the side of scrumminess yourself, so tis only to be expected.

It did, however, leave me unable to stop thinking about Devon Violets all night(they were mentioned in the piece). Such fond memories of tacky lantern shaped bottles of the stuff brought back from family caravan holidays and those little guilded piskies stuck on to pebbles that turned green once you got them home.

I wonder if you can get it anywhere outside of the west country these days? Or if Jo Malone's got a nice spring violet jobby lined up. Or is this disturbing new interest something to do with my age...?

Lots of love,


India said...


Marilyn, thanks for posting the article. I don't think I'm on the PHS group - help!

Francine, that's a very good point, and I think there's definitely a lot of truth in it. It's just the bad stuff messes with your head so badly you've got to wonder if it's worth the increased sales!

As I confessed in the article, I have never read a Barbara Cartland. Do you think I should? Any titles that stick in your mind?

Oooh, yes- brought back from holidays, and often spilled in the car (much to everyone's exasperation.) I actually think Jo Malone should team up with Cath Kidston for a little retro-perfume and sprigged cotton range. Marketing gold. (They'll have to pay me commission of course.)