Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dave 'n Sue

When we launched Plotting for Beginners last May, Rony Robinson of BBC Radio Sheffield interviewed Jane and me about how we came to write the book together. In the pre-interview warm-up chat I asked Rony about the audience of his show. He told me that the target audience for local radio was a fifty-something couple called Dave and Sue.

Jane and I cracked up at this, because my husband is called Dave. We thought Rony was joking, but I have just discovered that the BBC told local radio presenters a couple of years ago that they should target this fictional couple - Dave and Sue. He is a self-employed plumber; she is a school secretary. Both have grown-up children from previous marriages. They shop at Asda, wear fleeces and T-shirts, and their cultural horizon stretches to an Abba tribute show. They are "deeply suspicious" of politicians, think the world is "a dangerous and depressing place," and are consequently always on the lookout for "something that will cheer them up and make them laugh."

The only thing Dave and I have in common with the pair is our names, and our suspicion of politicians (is the latter surprising?) Sometimes we wear T shirts. Sometimes we wear fleeces. But neither comes from Asda.

Gus, in Plotting for Beginners, has been known to wear them both at the same time. Check out his current obsessions in the Plotting for Beginners Blog...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Derbyshire Peak District in Plotting for Beginners

If you would like to see photographs of the places that Sally Howe mentions in Plotting for Beginners, go to Sally's World.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A beginner's guide to plotting

All the time that Jane and I were writing Plotting for Beginners, we struggled to think of a title. The working title we used on all our early computer files was Daisy wants a Column. When we were ready to send the manuscript out to literary agents and publishers we racked our brains and came up with Red Clover, Rural Chic and Fairy Lights. Only right at the end did we decide on Plotting for Beginners - which had appeared inside an earlier draft of our text, but then it was the title of one of Bodmyn Corner's creative writing books.

I would love to hear from readers what they think of our final title.

For those who don't care about titles but want to hear more from Sally, they can read her current blog, which she's writing to try to attract the attentions of a publisher for her novel, Fast Work. (Eat your heart out Belle de Jour, as Sally would say.) Find her blog by clicking on the link to Plotting for Beginners Blog at the side of this page.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Bestselling Latin

Someone suggested that Jane and I should have Plotting for Beginners translated into Latin to boost the sales. (As if the sales needed boosting!) Still, you can never sell too many books, and the suggestion is worth considering, in the light of the latest Christmas hit: Amo, Amas, Amat... and All That: How to Become a Latin Lover.

So as a first step, I asked my friend to translate the title, Plotting for Beginners, and he gave me Conspiratio Inceptibus.

Then I gave him a line from the text on which to cut his teeth. The line was "Carol Vorderman had better watch her p's and q's."

And he came up with "Attendat literis Carola Fronto."

I like it. I don't know what the heroine of Conspiratio Inceptibus would make of it, though. She seems to have more mundane matters on her mind when she's writing her blog on