Posts Tagged ‘passion’

Checkmate — pre-published review

March 6, 2010

A pre-published review of Checkmate by Gladys Hobson
Reviewed by Geoff Nelder: award-winning author and co-editor of Escape Velocity magazine.

Gladys Hobson’s Checkmate is much more than a romance novel. It is a tour de force of the strengths and weaknesses between members of two powerful families. It is the English Lake District’s own Dallas only with more three-dimensional characters. The plot rotates around the conflict generated by Robert, whose sexual magnetism lures women and steers his business to the detriment of his arch-enemy. This reader felt an overwhelming desire to travel to Cumbria, find Robert and smash his face in. However, Gladys is too subtle to allow simple revenge. Instead the rogue is given a long leash… but suffer he does.
Although I mainly read and review science fiction and fantasy novels, the characters in Checkmate are so engaging you get to experience what each character thinks of each other: scheming men and women, the devoted and the deluded. Compelling reading.
As a romance novel, you’ll need asbestos gloves to read these fiery pages. It is far more than eroticism: it is a perceptive and insightful exploration of a family’s relationships, lusts and passions. In amongst the wily machinations there is humour. For example you’ll not keep a straight face reading a hilarious sex-in-a-car attempt.
Gladys Hobson is an experienced novelist and it shows in her masterful writing. Any reader of romance will be enriched by reading Checkmate, a must-read addition to their bookshelves.

Checkmate is the third book in the Designed For Love series.
The first book, Awakening Love, is published by Magpies Nest Publishing
This book is also published by AGPress (USA) as DESIRE

The second book of the series, Seduction By Design, is also published by AGPress

Checkmate is in preparation.

Visit my author blog — Hobson’s Books

Advertisements

Praise Indeed! Review of Awakening Love

February 11, 2010

Here is a novel, Awakening Love, that I thoroughly enjoyed from an author, Gladys Hobson, who quickly pulled me into the lives of her characters, set in the restlessly reenergising world of post Second World War Britain.

It was easy to empathise, if not fall in love with, June Armstrong, a stunning and very young woman from humble beginnings who was determined to carve a career for herself, as well as establish an outlet for her astonishing creativity, in fashion design, and whose naivety regarding her great beauty and high-potency sex appeal quickly saw her the object of desire and more of several rich, charismatic, powerful – and some ruthless – men. That she wrestled with her own searing awakening sexual desires – the equal of her suitors – pitted against her moral sense, with chequered success, was not a surprise, but made excellent reading.

It quickly became obvious that this writer, surely, was weaving a tale of truth tantalisingly close to actual reality from those days, she tells it so well; only someone who has worked in the industry, fashioned the cloth, walked the corridors, and experienced much adoration of her own beauty and charisma is likely to be so convincing; alternatively, it would have to be someone who can marshal the visceral visions in her imagination to breathe and live on the written page.

Gladys Hobson had me admiring June’s fiancé Arthur, while wanting to take to her boss, and later business associate, Rob, with a cricket bat to teach the bastard how not to treat women; I give Ms Hobson full marks for how her wordcraft got me so engrossed.

Explicit sexual encounters there are aplenty, yet painted with such taste and consummate restraint, that I would happily have let my early teenaged daughter read this book had I owned it then, to help her understand and anticipate the world of sexual promise and pitfalls out there in the big bad world.

I have an enhanced and valuable insight now to what the class conscious Britain of those times was like, as well as a quickening of my understanding of primal human nature, thanks to reading Awakening Love. Also, it is a pleasure to read a book written by an author who has garnered much wisdom: their books are the better ones, the wisdom glistens from page after page, and only time and enlightened self-examination can bring such a harvest.

As a writer myself, there were gems aplenty that caught my eye and informed me among Ms Hobson’s paragraphs.

I commend the author for her remarkable achievement, and I will be reading the sequels.

;Payton L. Inkletter (writer, thinker, humorist)
+paytontedwithlove

VISIT Inkletter’s review pages

DESIRE by Gladys Hobson

August 9, 2009

Desire_Cover_600DESIRE published by AG Press can now be ordered through Amazon and AG Press for $16.95 (353 pages).
This handcrafted book is of a good quality and has a ‘good feel’ that separates it from the ‘run of the mill’ publications.
The story is a US version of Awakening Love, and the first of a trilogy. Realistic post-war Britain settings from an author who started her career as a young designer in that era. (Just as the heroine of the story.)
The original book has already gained two awards (see posts on Awakening Love). With this creative cover by Charles Davis, it should prove a winner, and with the crafted binding eventually a ‘collectors’ prize possession?

Review
Few are able to write romantic fiction with the skill, ardor and sensitivity of Gladys Hobson. Gladys lays out her characters in such vivid color and her plots with such perfect timing that one can’t help but be swept up and carried along in her delightful tales. This is the third book I have read by this author, and she never disappoints. — Andrew F O’Hara (prize-winning author and editor of The Jimston Journal).

1949 Dress Designs and Awakening Love

June 28, 2009

A previous post ‘1949 fashion sketches for Awakening Love trailer video — maybe‘ (my highest scoring post) has been updated with more 1949-1950 designs. The video is now done but the designs are not used.
TopTen2008d
Here is the Apex video, (click on Apex video) and below are the review and interview for my book — Awakening Love .

http://www.apexreviews.net
info@apexreviews.net
Awakening Love
Gladys Hobson
ISBN: 9781602760363
Stonehedge Publishing
Reviewed By Tracy Moore
Official Apex Reviews Rating: *****
Young, attractive, and with a limitless future ahead of her, June has the world at her fingertips – and the chief subjects of her domain are the doting Arthur and his handsome younger brother, Charles. Both men desire to keep June for their own, and each has resolved within himself to woo her to the fullest extent possible in order to win her lasting affections. With such strapping, devoted men at her beckon call, how could life get any better for June?
Enter Robert, June’s crafty boss and mentor. Ruthless and relentless when he sets his mind on something, his sights are set squarely on his delectable protégée, and he’ll allow nothing – and no one – to come in-between him and the desires of his heart. As a result, Robert launches an all-out stealth attack in an effort to thwart Arthur and Charles’ advances, and he has just the moxie and resourcefulness to pull it off.
In the complicated love quadrangle that ensues, June is forced to make some of the toughest decisions of her life – including whether or not to follow the equally compelling leanings of her heart or her mind.
Awakening Love is a tantalizing tale of love, desire, and self-discovery.
Through a vivid cast of characters who find themselves in all-too-real situations, Gladys Hobson treats the reader to a vicarious journey deep into the wistful logistics of the heart. With so much being thrown at her at once, June acts (and reacts) much like anyone else who may find him or herself in the same position.
You may be initially inclined to blame her or find fault in her ostensibly fickle tendencies; but you ultimately come to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that the playing out of June’s indecisiveness – however painful it may be – fosters her much-needed individual growth and development, which is ultimately to her benefit.
An engaging coming-of-age story of the thrilling highs – and crushing lows – of love, Awakening Love is a rewarding literary treat, and a welcome addition to the world of romance. Highly recommended for its inherent enlightening value and its boundless, timeless themes.
AwakeningLove

Official Apex Reviews Interview: Gladys Hobson (Awakening Love)

Thanks for joining us for this interview, Gladys. We’re looking forward to learning more about your book.

What inspired you to set the book in the late 1940’s?
ANS: Some years ago, I began to write my autobiography for the benefit of my children and grandchildren. I recalled an incident when my friend’s much older brother took me by surprise by kissing me with a man’s passion — hard against my lips, actually bruising them. I was fifteen, he in his thirties and not long demobbed from the army. I was utterly shocked. He was a man and I had no idea that he thought of me in that way. So began a secret ‘kissing only’ affair. When I was a little older and it looked like he wanted more I froze and it came to an end. Thinking about it, I thought what if…? So began Awakening Love and brought to life as we lived it in that special era of change.

What is it about June that makes her so irresistible to her determined potential suitors?
ANS: June is beautiful and creative. But also men are drawn to her youthful innocence and vitality. A girl determined to get somewhere in life and on her OWN merits — spunk!

How is June unable to see the manipulative motives behind Robert’s efforts?
ANS: Like most of us, she sees what she wants to see. As the lynch pin to his new fashion venture, she knows he is the key to realising her own ambitions. He also has a sexual charm that draws her like a magnet. Robert senses this and exploits it to the full.

As our reviewer mentioned, June’s character, for a variety of reasons, is one to which many readers will be able to relate. How were you able to depict her in such a vivid and realistic fashion?
ANS: There is a lot of me in June. This is the era of my youth. I was naïve and innocent — totally inexperienced in matters of sex and of the heart. We all start out that way even if innocence may be lost sooner now. I wanted to be a designer and trained in that actual factory where June worked. You learn a lot in factories. The setting is completely authentic. But no sexy entrepreneur to help me up a ladder to fame. Even so, I was designing at her age. An office girl, like June, had a boyfriend much older than herself. Workers smirked and talked about the romance, thinking she was being taken advantage of. I could see June in the same position with Arthur.

The other characters in the story are no less unique and lifelike. Are they based on people that you know?
ANS: This is quite possible, but not consciously. They just came into my mind in complete form, to the extent that I have to remind myself to ‘show’ them as I hear and see them. No doubt some are like people I have known over the years. But, when I was writing, I fell in love with both Arthur and Charlie and even I did not know who would end up with June. But the shadow side of me is drawn to Robert — a man with rugged good looks, who knows what he wants and is determined to get it. You know — a hate-love thing. I found myself driven by the characters. At times, I would be caught weeping at my computer. When I read the end of the story, I still do.

What advice would you give to anyone who finds him or herself in June’s position?
ANS: Always keep your integrity. If the question refers to a certain incident pivotal in Awakening Love that could have destroyed June’s happiness, I would advise to see yourself as others see you, and don’t get trapped by sending out confusing messages. Follow the desires of your heart, but be true to the one who loves you and try to avoid hurting others in the process.

You initially published Awakening Love as a print book. What inspired you to release it in eBook format?
ANS: The print copy is available, (as are all MNP books) if ordered from Waterstones or any other good bookshop in the UK, or directly from Magpies Nest Publishing. But the eBook makes it available world-wide directly, and at a much cheaper cost. And I don’t have any handling to do. When Stonehedge Publishing offered a contract I was over the moon. It was a validation of my writing. As you may know, they have a reputation for good sellers. Stonehedge will also be publishing the sequel: Seduction By Design. That book reflects a change to the more permissive society of the late 60’s-70’s and the change in fashion — miniskirts are in.

The book has received rave reviews thus far. Do you plan to tour in order to garner more widespread attention for it?
ANS: Now that would be a wonderful thing, but I am no good at organising such events and I do not live in an area of easy travel.

Please share more with our readers about your other writings.
ANS: A print version of Awakening Love under a different title — Desire — is likely to be published by AGPress in the USA shortly, and will be available at Amazon.com and other top sellers. I am presently working on a stunning cover with the artist Charles Davis. Sequels already in Manuscript form to follow. Mythica Publishing has released When Angels Lie in eBook form and will be doing the same with Blazing Embers. An Illustrated book of childhood memories 1939-53, called ‘When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in Red Boxes,’ published by Magpies Nest Publishing, I wrote to raise money for a children’s charity. The book sold well and may be getting a second edition. Magpies Nest published two of my novels under pen names. (These two, When Angels Lie and Blazing Embers are now published by AGPress under my own name.) Awakening Love followed next, plus an anthology by nine authors, called Northern Lights which I co-edited and illustrated. I illustrated a book of poetry by Bob Taylor and published it through MNP. My latest anthology is Still Waters Run Deep, Stories Of Hidden depths. I have short stories in The Jimston Journal and Esdras Scroll Magazine.

Also, please share more with us about your publishers, Magpies Nest Publishing and Stonehedge Publishing.
ANS: My son set up Magpies Nest Publishing to publish the memoirs book and it seemed natural to go on to my novels. Publishing is a big hassle if you do it properly and we only publish my books and those of my friends. Magpies Nest may publish the sequels to Awakening Love as my readers are keen to read more.
Stonehedge Publishing has a number of award-winning authors with great books in all genres.
Mythica Publishing is a new eBook publisher with interesting titles.

What are your future writing/publishing plans?
ANS: To get the sequels published. Maybe start a new novel but only if truly inspired to do so — something quite different. Develop my blogs, especially a new one called Ask Gran Hobson. I already have a young man asking me some very deep questions. I’ll be posting them shortly.

Do you have a website where our readers can learn more about you and your ongoing efforts?
ANS:
http://www.myspace.com/gladyswrites
http://www.magpiesnestpublishing.co.uk
http://writingforjoy.blogspot.com
http://hobsonsbooks.blogspot.com
http://askgranhobson.blogspot.com
The latter two are still being developed as is the publishing site. I am on facebook and a number of ning web sites.

Also, how can they contact you directly?
All the sites have means of direct contact.

Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
Writing is jolly hard, but enjoyable work. Getting published is another matter altogether and requires dedication and stamina. A thick skin comes in handy and always be ready to learn. If anyone thinks they are god’s gift to readers, take a more humble approach. And if you are looking for good returns in money, you’d do better on the lottery. But when you hold that first book in your hand, the feeling is indescribable. This is your baby and YOU have brought it into the world!

Thanks again, Gladys, and best of continued success to you in all your endeavors!
SDC11406

PLEASE NOTE: Awakening Love is no longer available as an Ebook by Stonehedge Publishing. The whole trilogy will soon be available through a different E-publisher. Awakening Love is still available in paperback in the UK £8.99 from Amazon, or post free direct from Magpies Nest Publishing. It is also available in the USA under the title of DESIRE – publisher AG Press
Or go to Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.

KILROY — Presenter extraordinaire? Renegade politician? Mature woman’s sexy devil? My experience FINAL PART

April 10, 2009

UPDATE September 2012 — Blazing Embers is NOW Smouldering Embers and will shortly be published by Turquoise Morning Press.

Part Five. Sex and the Over Sixties — Embers Blazing!

 I have gained more memory since writing this and find much has been missed out but it more or less follows this pattern.

I put on my school teacher voice: “It isn’t funny, Robert. Not all women get an orgasm with sex. When we were young we were totally ignorant about sex. Our sex education got no further than a single-celled amoeba that divides itself. That’s how we went into marriage. Totally ignorant.”

“So how long did it take? An hour? Two? A week? Months?” A grin followed while the audience laughed.

I can’t recall exact words and order of them. But I tried to get over the problems of sexually ignorant people coming together in marriage and living busy lives and lacking technique. Problems of when children arrive, including physical ones. It was getting rather personal. (Reader beware! With a good interviewer, it is so easy to get swept along paths you did not intend to take!)

A woman in front interrupted, talking about ignorance and being protected from boys by her father, and the thread was lost.

But Kilroy came back and asked if I agreed that sex improves as we get older.

“Yes, I do.”

The man next to me explained things very nicely. He spoke about what sex is like (from a male point of view) from when men are young and want to get to their destination quickly, because it is all about what is in their trousers. (Laughter), to later years when comes the desire to do things more slowly so there is more time for romance. And having years of experience and plenty of time for preliminaries, with no anxieties about performance, sex is more enjoyable.

There were plenty of interruptions (the woman in front again) and, of course, far more was said during this period and quite likely in different words — it is a long time ago to remember exactly— but that was the gist of it.

Kilroy moved on to plastic surgery. A big issue. The heavily made-up lady who had shared our car to the studio, proudly announced that her husband had bought her a tummy-tuck for her birthday. I wondered what she looked like minus make-up and clothes. Probably quite ordinary. She had plenty of meat on her, tummy-tuck or not, and no doubt a whacking big scar somewhere or other. Did she go to bed dressed up and in make-up? Or was all this expensive treatment just to look good when showing herself to the world? She had already proudly announced that she wore designer clothes and make-up. But that was her choice and there are very many like her. Even primitive peoples beautified themselves with paint and did painful things to their bodies.

Others had undergone surgery, or intended to, and spent a lot on making themselves look good according to their standards. But there were those present who looked better, and more natural, without heavy costs. Why go to great expense? It had already been established that some women there dressed to find sexual partners. A couple appeared to be advertising themselves.

The answer came, in part, from a woman who had clearly been invited because of the expense she had gone to in order to re-invent herself (her words). Clearly she had spent a lot of cash on clothes, make-up, hairdressing and surgery. She refused to give her age but I had to admire her. Even so, there was something about her that did not look real. Somehow she did not look feminine. Her body looked slim but hard. Her breasts looked more like well developed muscles you sometimes see on weight lifters. Her white dress was body hugging and her platinum hair beautifully done, but…

Unfortunately the lady was derided by a few of the people there. I rather think that some of the animosity was because she looked and spoke posh. She had obviously invested many thousands in this re-invented image. If it helped her then that is okay, but how sad that women can be made to feel old and ugly. I blame the media and celebrity hype.

There were men there who thought women should be just natural and that they did not need to dress up or go to all lengths to make themselves sexy. Some women agreed — sexiness comes from within. I said something about some women staying young inside.

I did have other things to say but soon the programme was at an end.

As we were about to leave the studio, most of the women there — young and old — gathered around and wanted to know the title of my book and where they could buy it. After all, apart from the book being quite funny in places, the problems concerning orgasms are not confined to the elderly.

The day following I met a few people in my own home town (where the story is set) who had seen the programme and they too wanted to know where to buy the book. One had gone to our local bookshop to see if it could be ordered. The book was not even in print. I was unable to find a publisher. Some were interested but said it did not fit a genre to suit their readers as the characters were too old.  But since it has been enjoyed by both men and women of all ages, I would dispute this (see other posts on ‘Sex and the Over Sixties’, and ‘Blazing Embers’ and Sex, sex, sex! Over sixties too’). A male oldie said the book had changed his life. And yet my grandchildren enjoyed it too. It partly tells of life years ago as well as problems faced in the present. So I printed it under Magpies Nest Publishing with the pen name of Angela Ashley. It is now available in the USA as Blazing Embers by Gladys Hobson. (see below) Soon it will also be available as an e-book by Mythica Publishing.

If only it had been available then and there!

I sent the manuscript to Simon Powell as he had asked. After a while, and hearing nothing from him, I rang the studio and found that he was no longer there. Shortly after that show he walked out and no one could tell me where he had gone. His secretary returned the manuscript. Ah, who knows what Simon might have done with it? A programme series? I don’t expect I’ll ever know.

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

You can buy a book there (under pen name, Angela Ashley)

 

 

Kilroy: Part Four. My Embarrassing Moment

April 1, 2009

An Embarrassing Moment, never to be forgotten.

We were ushered through to the studio and directed to where we were to sit. The benches were in tiers and curved so that we all had a reasonable view of what was going on.

The studio lights were directed on all sitting there and it was difficult to see into the dim space beyond. It is likely that the whole thing was set up to make us feel cut off from the huge studio space and to be a complete social group. The people on the first few rows were obviously grouped in such a manner as to gain some confrontation and provoke comment and argument. The staff who had been talking to groups earlier seemed to be telling individuals what was likely to happen and who would be speaking first, and the probable responses that would come from those with opposing views.

This is an assumption made from snatches of conversation and directed looks. I was not involved and had already been told that Kilroy would speak to me about my book during the show.

We were given instructions to clap and make a vocal welcome when Kilroy appeared coming down the steps, but first he came to speak to us. In the dim part of the studio I had already seen him talking to his team and looking up at the seats. It was too dark down there to see if he was indeed the sun-baked, silver-haired Lothario, scoffers make him out to be. The show had been going for years and no doubt he would know exactly where the initial speakers would be sitting. I wondered how he would remember names. An excellent memory or did he have a prompt somewhere? If he had a tiny receiver in his ear I didn’t see it.

The show was about to start and Kilroy walked over to us. First to have a word to those who were to begin the discussion, then to tell us all what we must not say — anything that might offend viewers or the BBC guidelines, including bad language. He went off but not for long.

Soon came the music, clapping and the usual hubbub that accompanies Robert Kilroy-Silk down the steps to confront the camera and tell the viewers what the show is about. I don’t remember the exact words but something about getting older and still being sexy. I sat wondering how I fitted in with this group made up of women of all ages and a small sprinkling of men. I have never considered myself sexy, not even when I was young. I only wore make-up for special occasions, and now, almost never.

Let battle commence, seemed to be the feeling of the programme right from the beginning. A young lady seemed set on ridiculing those older women who, in her opinion, dressed like teenagers, ladies of the night, or otherwise drew attention to their attributes. I could see she had a point as to the suitability of certain clothes for the older fuller figure: without bras some breasts tend to look like the proverbial two pear drops dropped into a bag, and deep cleavages an invitation to dispose of one’s sweetie papers.

Of course, some women had deliberately dressed as though going to a party or for a drink with friends. But there were those who said they would be quite happy to go shopping in their heavy makeup and, what to me were, bizarre clothes. I thought it all rather jolly that over (well over) sixties felt free to dress as they pleased. Hair pink? Why not? My scalp is pink and plenty of that is showing. Swinging breasts in low-cut dresses? I’ve got the swing but I wish I had the nerve — life would be much more comfortable.. Dressing-up with the intention for one night stands? Their bodies they’re flogging.

In all this Kilroy was most skilful in keeping the talk flowing and switching from argument to a different point of view, or another subject. He already had a good-looking woman picked out to display her choice of clothes and make-up — quietly elegant. She stood up for him and gave a twirl, as did others. In front and to the side of me, a curious man wearing a rather odd hat, turned out to be a fashion designer, and he agreed to ‘dress’ one of the despairing ladies to help her get a companion. Older women and sex came up, and a young person seemed to think oldies should not go out poaching men from them. She seemed to have the idea that sex was only for the young. I detected an element of disgust in the idea that oldies engaged in sex.

The question came up as to whether only the young can possibly have enjoyable sex — or some such. A glance in my direction and before long Kilroy was heading up the steps to stand next to me, microphone at the ready.

“Gladys,” he said. I looked up and smiled nervously.

“You sent me the manuscript of your book, didn’t you?” Kilroy asked, looking first at me and then around his audience, drawing their eyes in my direction.

“Yes.”

“And I said to you, “Cool the sex.”

“Yes.”

I doubt anyone heard me answer because they were all laughing. I tried to keep cool and not show my embarrassment.

“Gladys sent me the manuscript of a book she has written. It’s about a granny who wants sex.”

“Oh no — a granny who wants an orgasm,” I quickly corrected him, but the laughter made it impossible for me to explain further.

“And that isn’t sex?” Kilroy quipped.

“Ho, ho, ho. he, he, he.” The laughter ran around the studio like a man racing for a toilet after being fed a triple dose of laxative chocolate, plus a pint of rough cider after a mayoral banquet!

That is just the beginning of my embarrassment— more to follow. Don’t miss the last bit: Oh, what we authors do to get out book noticed!

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

PLEASE NOTE: UPDATE SEPT. 2012 BLAZING EMBERS IS NOW SMOULDERING EMBERS AND WILL SHORTLY BE PUBLISHED BY TURQUOISE MORNING PRESS

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

 

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’

SEX? Had Enough Of It?

February 2, 2009

SEX Had enough of it? Let’s face it, the TV screen is seldom lacking in scenes or language with sexual connotations.

Of course, when I was young there were no television screens to inform us about such matters or to stir our imaginations (or hormones when we approached puberty). Radio did not broadcast such things either. But we had the silver screen to teaching us romantic notions, if little else. Oh the queues outside the cinema when the Outlaw was released! Buxom Jane Russell in a low cut blouse, and with a sultry look to go with it. Evidently her being tied up is now considered as a bondage scene. We had never heard of such things as bondage in relation to sex. In fact we had heard and seen hardly anything in relation to sex other than simple kissing and lusty looks.

When I heard Alfred Hitchcock talking, a few years ago, of his scenes that were symbolic of the sex act, I have to admit it never occurred to us (me anyway) that the end scene with a train entering a tunnel, or a sudden burst of fireworks, could be anything other than what they appeared to be. Only education or experience would have given us a hint and we (that is my friend and I) had neither.

No education? Well, some. We did learn about single celled animal life that reproduced by division.

But surely graffiti on toilet walls told us SOMETHING? No. I don’t even recall graffiti until I was much older.

What about the F word? No, I had not heard of it (that I recall) but I would not have known what it meant until “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” became a court case and then was released for general reading.

We were naïve and ignorant (as mentioned in my When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in Red Boxes

Funny thing about words. How do some words become used for swearing? That is, in the first place?

When I was teaching one morning a pupil suddenly ruined the picture he was painting. He yelled the F word. (Such swearing unheard of in my classes – I only heard swearing in the staff room!))

I could see he was shocked by his own sudden outburst so I decided not to make an issue out of it. But the class had stopped work and each pupil was looking at me. “Keith swore, Miss. He said the F word.”

So I looked at Keith and asked him if he would explain to me what the F word meant. “It is not in my vocabulary,” I said.

The class giggled. “Oh Miss, it is a rude word.”

 “Ah, so you know, You explain then.”

The class went silent.

“Don’t say words that you are ashamed to explain,” I told them all, and they got on with their work.

Why this little story? Because I believe you can write romantic, yes, and erotic, stories in language that expresses feelings and sensations that are in harmony with the soul and with nature, without the need for coarseness. Those looking for kitchen sink drama with nothing but swearing must look elsewhere. Personally, I hear enough of it on the TV!