Did you know...when you die you go to Limbo, which is like Oxford Street, policed by an angel called Bob, who looks a bit like Bob Hoskins...?!
What was I reading last week to stop me biting my nails and worrying that Short Circuit would be lost by the printers, or the delivery lorry would burst into flames, or the books would self-combust on exposure to the air?
A chick-lit book. Heaven Can Wait, by Cally Taylor. (here, V. waits while the ghost of her late librarian mum, picks herself up of the floor)
I’m happy to admit I would probably not have picked it up in a bookshop, and bought it because I sort of ‘know’ Cally, as we were both ‘hedjicated’ about writing by the same tutor. And I much enjoyed her book, acherley. So there.
Received wisdom says we are completely different writers, Cally and I. But are we?? I don’t reckon so, at base. Working on different 'stuff' maybe, but we both love what we are doing, and get on with it. We create stories… characters with problems, and weave stories round those characters’ struggles to overcome them. We have both been taught ways of making characters live on the page, and here in Heaven Can Wait, I think it shows in spades.
Heaven Can Wait is a romping entertaining read. I was caught up in Lucy Brown’s problems far FAR more than I got caught up in the characters of that blockbuster Da Vinci Code. Why? because Cally convinced me, whereas DVC’s characters never became more than two-dimensional. As I was reading, Lucy Brown was ‘real’, and I wanted her to be OK…I ‘cared’. OK, I didn’t particularly 'like' the farty bits, but hey! She’s real, she’s flawed and she’s in trouble. What a good starting place for a novel. I turned the pages of DVC to skim for plot. Not because I wanted to know anything about characters...I read Heaven Can Wait because it was totally intriguing, and I wanted to know what happened to Lucy.
Nice one, Cally! I also want to know how on earth you dreamed this story up, and what you have on your cornflakes in the morning. ( Eg, as above...: When you die you go to Limbo, which is like Oxford Street, policed by an angel called Bob, who looks a bit like Bob Hoskins...)
Cally and I have something else in common. She went to Ellerslie School, in Malvern. And so, for a few weeks, two summers running, did I! A long time before Cally… my school in Brighton used to take over Ellerslie for the summer. I remember I was in a dormitory called Stow on the Wold, and the school had an unheated swimming pool, a concrete pit surrounded by rose bay willow herb…
Heaven can Wait by Cally Taylor is published by Orion. HERE it is on Amazon