Archive for March, 2009

Kilroy, Part Three — Nervous Expectations

March 25, 2009

Nervous Expectations

That afternoon we arrived at the station to pick up two tickets. When I arrived home and examined them I found one was for the return journey. I rang up a number that had been given me and found out that only one ticket had been ordered. There seemed to be some confusion, but in the end they said it would be settled on arrival at the studios. Now what? Should I go to London by myself? My husband was not keen as I get blinded by sun and sometimes have problems crossing roads. I said they would likely pay up for his ticket but if they didn’t we would think of it as a day out together. We knew buying a ticket on the train from Cumbria to London at commuter hours would not be cheap. What with the possible cost and venturing into an unknown situation where I could so easily get tongue-tied, I only managed a few hours sleep that night

Sitting on the early morning London train the following morning, I felt a bit better about things. I had convinced myself that this was quite an adventure and a fantastic opportunity to promote my novel. Suppose a publisher happened to see the show and saw the book had great possibilities? Stranger things have happened.

Once at Euston station it was not long before we were picked up along with another invited guest and taken in an eight-seater saloon to the studios. It was during this drive that I discovered the title of the subject under discussion for that day was “I’m still sexy though I’m older.” My heart sank. This was not what I was expecting — no way am I sexy, nor do I try to be. I do not wear makeup, nor dress in revealing clothes. How does my book fit in with the subject? What was I doing there?

Inside the studios we were processed and my husband had his train fare reimbursed, plus a bit of cash for snacks. One of the producers, I think his name was Simon Powell, came along to talk to me. He seemed pleased that I was there and tried to coax my hubby onto the show, but he might as well have tried to get the Duke of Edinburgh on the bench next to me! We talked about my book and he seemed very interested. He asked me if I would send him the manuscript to read because he had a few ideas. Wow, would I? You bet!

A young lady came along and had a go at my husband too. She said he did not have to sit next to me and he did not have to speak, but he would not give way. I don’t blame him, what with the title of the show, and the whole atmosphere of the place, he might have ended up a fall guy.

We were left to have a coffee and sandwiches while produces, or whatever, chatted to a few little groups. Looking around we could see ladies both smart and theatrical looking. Most were heavily made up, some looked as if they were dressed for a party, one looked as though she were about to play in Pantomime. Another lady looked a little like a weight lifter in drag. I wondered what on earth I was doing there.

Then came the call to take our seats in the studio. This was it, and I had yet to meet Robert Kilroy-Silk.

Part Four

My Embarrassing Ordeal comes next. DON”T MISS IT!

Read a couple of chapters at http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk

 

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KILROY. Part Two — Embers Start Blazing

March 18, 2009

Kilroy advises: “Cool the sex”

As I said in the previous KILROY article, my book Blazing Embers was initially inspired by a Kilroy programme where the older generation discussed their sexual problems with a most sympathetic Robert Kilroy-Silk.

I received further inspiration from a book I found for sale on the shelves of a Country Bookstore in Derbyshire. Here I was to learn about sex, good sex, and superior sex. It seemed to me that most people would benefit from following the simple techniques recommended in this instruction manual, to say nothing of exploring the whole variety of positions — maybe some of the latter not recommended for the less agile. Sudden attacks of cramp are likely to cause yells loud enough to alert neighbours into thinking someone is having a heart attack. Either that, or experiencing orgasmic pleasure to be envied. But once on the trail to better sex, such small setbacks are nothing to worry about and mature couples may well regard them with hilarity. After all, superior sex is looming on the horizon and no pain no gain! Oh yes, this was all good stuff for my book. Or so I thought.

Research for the book also explored various sex aids. I could hardly write about something I had never seen. This was another revelation for an oldie like me. Sending for them was a bit embarrassing but not as much as asking for an erotic magazine off the top shelf of a local newspaper agent. I told the man I wanted to give my hubby a surprise for his birthday! Late night television was a bit of an eye opener too but not enough to keep me awake for long. After all, there is educational sex on many programmes after nine o’clock and sometimes you don’t have to wait that long. Today’s youngsters must be the most sexually educated — mainly by example — in the history of the western world. We oldies are only just catching up.

Having done my research, writing my novel was all consuming. I must admit, fun too. I tried a few agents and publishers with my manuscript and, surprisingly, I did get a few comments, other than the standard variety, from the editors or readers. One said she had enjoyed reading the sample and found it highly amusing, but not the sort of thing they dealt with. A few other agents wrote in a similar vein. It was after setting up Magpies Nest Publishing, so as to publish When Phones Were Immobile And Lived In red Boxes, a book written to raise money for a charity, that we decided to publish my novels too.

Hoping to get some sort of endorsement for my book that I could put on the back cover, I got in touch with Robert Kilroy-Silk. I explained what had inspired me to write this novel and asked if he, or his PA, would read it and give an opinion — also asking for his permission to use his name in my book. I did not really expect a reply, unless a polite way of saying ‘get lost’ but I was wrong. The message duly arrived telling me to send Kilroy the manuscript.

In due course, I received Kilroy’s comments. He said he was flattered at my description of him as the mature woman’s ideal man (or some such) and he also wished me well with the book. His one bit of advice, if indeed it was his advice and not that of his PA, “Cool the sex,” I have to admit, the first drafts of the book did have rather hot sex scenes, so I accepted the suggestion and revised some of the passages, or cut them out altogether. However, there was nothing from Kilroy that could possibly have gone on the back cover. On reflection, perhaps I was wrong about that. Such a statement might well sell books especially if I printed an unexpurgated limited first edition! Alternately, maybe just mentioning the fact that sex scenes had been cooled as per Robert-Kilroy Silk’s advice might draw interest. Right or wrong, I set about making changes.

It was not long after the return of the manuscript that I received a phone call from someone on the Kilroy programme’s team. Whoever had read the manuscript had suggested I should be invited to take part in the show that week. Could I make it to London the following day? For my book’s sake I was most willing. Ah, but they wanted my husband too. Okay so he would accompany me to London, but go on the show? Never! They still wanted me there and said they would look up the train times and that tickets would be waiting for both of us at the booking office.

Part Three —‘My embarrassing ordeal’  — to follow!

Read a couple of chapters at http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk

 

KILROY — Presenter extraordinaire? Renegade politician? The mature woman’s sexy devil? – My experience, Part One

March 3, 2009

To those who never witnessed any of the long-running (17 years) popular Kilroy programmes, I will describe them as being daytime talk shows with the presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk interacting with an audience of folk  — mainly women — who have some connection with the subject under discussion. 

Kilroy has many critics and some who describe him in disparaging terms, but it took politically incorrect remarks made by him — recorded in a daily newspaper — to have his show withdrawn and himself banned from the BBC. However there can be no doubt that the Kilroy programme had a large following among those at home when the show went out. It was also shown in other countries, (or so I believe)

Kilroy is a bit of a renegade, smart and good-looking for his years. He is a ‘boy from the back streets’ who pushed through the barriers of class distinction to make it as a politician and television personality, even if he did manage to trip himself up and achieve a great fall. But Robert is not one to let a setback throw him into oblivion, entering politics again he managed to get to be a member of the European Parliament — even if he did a bit of falling out with his fellow party members. Kilroy is an individualist, and, quite likely, always will be. 

It is this speaking his own mind, somewhat naively, and being never short of words that made his Kilroy programmes what they were. With a backup team to support him and organise his half hour show, he had the whole programme plan set in his mind and knew whom to chat with and where they would be sitting. How do I know? I was on one of his last shows.

I recall quite clearly how it all began. I was taking a break from novel writing by doing the weekly ironing chore. I put on the television to relieve the boredom. Robert Kilroy-Silk was already in full flood on his Kilroy programme, but, contrary to my expectations, this was a different person to the one I was used to seeing, and of whom I’d heard so much disparaging talk about. No, this was a man I could warm to, a man with warmth and understanding, a man to inspire.

The seats at the show were not packed and those there were on the elderly side. The discussion was serious. No hilarity,. Kilroy being the friendly ‘counsellor’ drawing from nervous guests the problems they suffered with their sex life. Clearly, the problems were acute. For some, precious experiences which had been shared and enjoyed for many years, were no longer possible. I only saw part of the show and I wondered how many of the women had actually experienced an orgasm and why it was not possible, especially in this day and age, to get help in overcoming difficulties. 

Most people of my generation had no sex education and there was no sex to be seen on the silver screen. Explicit sex in fiction was banned too. ‘Fumbling in the dark’ would be an apt metaphor for many a wedding night! (if couples waited that long). I recalled a friend of mine saying that her parents had enjoyed sex well into their eighties. Fulfilling sex can be experienced in many ways. Retired couples have the time to experiment, work on the preliminaries, build up the passion, and have the maturity to laugh when things go haywire.

Thus inspired, I set to work and wrote Blazing Embers (initially in the name of Angela Ashley but now in my own name — Gladys Hobson). I set the scene in my own home town extending it to the close-by Lake District. I had a clear picture of the couple, and I decided on someone with the looks of Robert Kilroy Silk (tan and all) to drop into their lives and help solve their problems (in a most delightful manner).

Some time later, after my ‘inspired’ humorous book was written — a book like no other in the market place — I had the chance to experience Kilroy in action. 

PART TWO to follow. ‘My embarrassing ordeal’