I can’t believe it’s almost two years since Sue Clark appeared on Linda’s Book Bag with a guest post all about the swinging sixties that you can read here. At that point Sue was involved in a very special project to launch the book she’s staying in with me today to chat about. Let’s find out more!
Staying in with Sue Clark
Welcome back to Linda’s Book Bag Sue. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
My debut novel, the comic fiction, Note to Boy, just out in July 2020.
Congratulations! What can we expect from an evening in with Note to Boy?
Humour! Note to Boy is an unashamed comedy and comes at a time when I reckon we need all the laughs we can get.
You’re absolutely right Sue. We certainly need humour with all that’s been happening in the world. What is Note to Boy about?
It’s about the mayhem that follows when the worlds of an outrageous fashion diva and a downtrodden modern teenager collide. She wants her celebrity life back. He just wants a life.
Though this is my debut novel, I’m not new to comedy. Over the years I’ve written scripts for comedians including Lenny Henry, Tracey Ullman, David Jason and Roy Hudd and contributed to BBC radio and TV shows such as Weekending, News Huddlines and Alas Smith and Jones.
You sound perfectly placed to write humour Sue!
And Note to Boy seems to be tickling some funny bones, judging by the reviews:
‘A fabulous read.’
‘Stayed up to 3.30 am to finish it.’
‘A comic novel that’s actually funny.’
‘Definitely an ‘odd couple’ – definitely a good book.’
‘Had me smiling from the first page.’
‘A seriously funny book.’
Those are great reviews!
Having said that, I hope the novel also has poignant and thought-provoking moments. It touches on some deeper themes, like the destructive nature of celebrity, and how both the elderly and the underprivileged young can be marginalised and underestimated. But mostly it’s about entertaining the reader.
I think Note to Boy sounds fabulous Sue. I must put it on my towering TBR!
What else have you brought along and why?
That’s easy! Throughout Note to Boy, one of the two main characters, Eloise, demands that Bradley (the Boy of the title) keeps her supplied with three ‘staples’: gin, biscuits and cake. In the spirit of literary authenticity, I’m giving them a go.
That suits me Sue – as long as you’re going to share!
Also, since part of the book is set in the crazy days of London in the Swinging Sixties, I’ve brought along fab and groovy music from the Archies, the Fifth Dimension, and Tommy James and the Shondells. You must remember them!
Er – I was born at the start of the sixties but I was more aware of Herman’s Hermits…
As a guest, I’ve invited Molly Parkin, an outrageous fashion celebrity of the 1960s who inspired some of Eloise’s fictional excesses. Though she won’t come.
Maybe the gin will entice her.
And lastly, I’m wearing – I use the term loosely – an indecently short minidress from the bottom of my wardrobe. For I was – just – old enough to experience Swinging London for myself. But the dress won’t do up at the back and now the zip and I are both stuck.
I wondered why you were dressed like that but was too polite to mention it. I’ll give you a hand with the zip in a minute Sue. Thanks so much for staying in with me to chat about Note to Boy. Crack open the gin and I’ll give blog readers a few more details.
Note to Boy
Eloise is an erratic, faded fashionista. Bradley is a glum but wily teenager. In need of help to write her racy 1960s memoirs, the former ‘shock frock’ fashion guru tolerates his common ways. Unable to remember his name, she calls him Boy.
Desperate to escape a brutal home life, he puts up with her bossiness and confusing notes.
Both guard secrets. How did she lose her fame and fortune? What is he scheming – beyond getting his hands on her bank card? And just what’s hidden in that mysterious locked room?
Note to Boy is available for purchase here.
About Sue Clark
In a varied career Sue Clark has been a scriptwriter, journalist and PR copywriter. She’s worked for BBC radio and TV, local newspapers, and no end of corporates. Her TV and radio credits include: Alas Smith and Jones, Weekending, and The News Huddlines.
She’s interviewed John Humphreys and Ronnie Corbett and penned funny lines for Lenny Henry, June Whitfield, Tracy Ullman, Roy Hudd and David Jason, among others.
Although the comic fiction Note to Boy is billed as her debut novel, there are others lurking in desk drawers that may one day see the light. And there will be more to come!
She lives in an Oxfordshire market town much like the fictional setting of Midsomer Murders with her long-suffering husband.