Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I've Never Seen Star Wars

My idea for this week’s blog came from a friend who was telling me about a Radio 4 show called ‘I’ve Never Seen Star Wars’.  Each week Marcus Brigstocke invites guests to try new experiences.

So here’s my very own version of things I’ve never done.

1.   I’ve never seen ‘Star Wars’!  Nope, never and I have no desire to - I just don’t do sci-fi.  Nor have I seen a whole Bond film.  My mum informs me that she hasn’t either so I’m not the only weirdo in the world.  However I’ve seen ‘Dirty Dancing’ twenty-two times and could watch ‘Mama Mia’, ‘High Society’, ‘Evita’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful World’ on a constant loop.

  1. I’ve never been on a roller-coaster.  You could offer me a million and I still wouldn’t do it.  I’d die mid air!  OK, that was a touch ‘Drama Queeny’ but being a control freak, you’ll never find me on one - I get my thrills other ways.

  1. I’ve never been stopped by the police nor had any points on my licence.  I’ve been driving for fifteen years now and am blemish free.  Cue my next trip out and I’m bound to get pulled over!

  1. I’ve never eaten an oyster.  Yuck!  Now, I’d force one down for that aforementioned million but other than that you can keep them.  Makes you randy?  Makes me puke.

  1. I’ve never been on a cruise.  I've read the fab 'Bon Voyage' by Michelle Betham and I’m currently reading Milly Johnson’s ‘Here Come the Girls’ and, although they both make the whole idea sound very enticing, I still wonder if I’d get claustrophobic.  I guess unless someone offers me the dosh to slurp that oyster, I’m unlikely to find out so I won’t pack my bags yet.

  1. I’ve never had a daughter.  When I was pregnant with my son, I was convinced he was a girl.  I just never envisaged being the mother of a boy.  Of course, once he was born I wouldn’t have changed him for the world and now I look at the way some teenage girls are, I thank heaven I only have one son to worry about.

  1. I’ve never been able to walk past dogs or cats without stroking them.  It’s made me late for appointments, and seen me bitten and scratched on many occasions, but I just can’t resist them.

  1. I’ve never passed a maths exam.  Every one produced a lower grade and without my fingers and toes I’d be lost.  Huge apologies to my brother-in-law who spent painstaking hours trying to get me to see the light but I was a lost cause.  I do, however, have the perverse gift of being able to double the triple digits on a car number plate within seconds.

  1. I’ve never been on a motorbike.  Despite hanging out with bikers for most of my teenage years, and owning thigh-length leather boots, I knew my dad would kill me if I ever dared hop on as pillion.  Hubbie is a massive bike fanatic himself and, should we win the lottery, it’s first on his list.  I see problems afoot!

  1. I’ve never had an operation [*massive touching of wood as I type this*]!  I’ve had two dodgy moles removed from my face but, apart from that, I’ve been incredibly lucky.

So that’s my ten.  Have a think about yours and either add them here or do your own blog and let me know.  It was fun and I bet you surprise yourself.

Don’t forget that my novels are available at Amazon and Lulu and my radio show is every Tuesday at 8.30pm here http://myradiostream.com/mummymisfit

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Misfit Essentials

I’ve been tagged by a Twitter buddy, Jamie Dougan (@JamieTDougan), to list the ten things I couldn’t live without.  You can read his here.You can also download his short erotic story here for only 77p - what have you got to lose?

So here are my ten essentials - and I also tag my friends Michelle Betham, Donna Trinder and Ness.

1. The obvious - my family and friends.  Not going into details, as bits of it are complicated at the moment, but I still consider myself very lucky.  My husband, son and mum are THE BEST and I have friends who have gone way beyond the call of duty.  They are priceless.

2.  My garden.  I couldn’t imagine not having an outside space to call my own.  As I type this blog, I’m sitting at my wooden table with the sun shining down and a soft breeze in the air.  It’s my little bit of paradise.

3.  My cats.  Call me soppy but I love them so much.  Whenever we consider moving I always judge the house by the road.  Too much traffic is a no-no.  The story of my cats is here.

4.  My laptop.  I write my books, sell them, meet people, tweet people and can find out anything I need to.  On the couple of times it’s had a virus or a wobble, I’ve gone into meltdown.  I NEED it!

5.  My bath.  No matter how tired or how many glasses of wine I may have had forced on me (!), I have to end my day with a soak.  Bubbles and a soft towel are the perfect end to any day.

6.  My bed.  People think I’m joking when I say that I could sleep for sixteen hours but I could!  I love going to bed and I never want to get up.  My favourite is a Friday night sleep when I like to ‘relish’ - rub the sheets with my feet, snuggle down and know that it’s not an early morning.  Bliss!  I blogged about bed here.

7.  Tea, coffee and wine.  Yep, love them all.  I start the day with tea, move on to coffee and water, then wine in the evening and a cup of tea in bed.  The tea has to be PG TIPS, the coffee is ideally a latte and the wine anything white, dry and cold.  I also dabble in the odd cheeky red, if pushed.

8.  OK, shoot me down and it is a bit odd to say that I can’t live without them because they are obviously killing me but … FAGS!  I can’t do without them.  Disgusting, I know, but I’m nothing if not honest.  Let’s leave it there shall we …?

9.  Music.  My lovely dad always said he couldn’t imagine a world without it and I feel the same.  It can lift your spirits, give you inspiration, make you cry and give you that lovely spine tingle.  I love everything from musicals to heavy metal - and, trust me, living with a 16 year old, I am subjected to enough of that!  I’m usually quite tolerant but at 8am on the journey to school with London cyclists cutting me up it can be a bit of a tester - his musical choices have been known to make me feel murderous.

10.  Books - and my Kindle.  When I was sitting in the school car park for three years (blog here) they were my lifeline.  At that time I just had paperbacks or library books but now I have my trusty Kindle (thanks to some lovely Aussie friends).  In a good book, I can lose myself and my troubles and be transported to another world.  Everyone should know the joy of totally throwing themselves into a novel - whether it be for a laugh, a thrill, a mystery or a love affair.  You just can’t beat it.

So there you go … ‘Mummy Misfit Essentials’.  I also quite like chocolate, cakes, biscuits, Marmite, avocados, toast, garlic, lentils, Nivea cleanser (as agreed with Jamie!), dogs, shopping, my hair straighteners, make-up, handbags, shoes, dinner parties, the theatre, Come Dine With Me and old British sitcoms.  But that would have been greedy!

Check out my books on Amazon and Lulu  (and there's 25% off all books at Lulu until Friday!) 
Also tune into my radio show every Tuesday at 8.30 - live from my kitchen table. 

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

When Mummy Met Jackie

I met a fab new Twitterer a few months back and we instantly hit it off.  Our love of musicals and our daft sense of humour united us and, before I knew it, she’d bought all of my books, left great reviews and done her utmost to spread the Mummy Misfit word.  We’re meeting up in September and today we spoke for the first time on the phone.

So @Jackie495 was the perfect choice when I decided I wanted some ‘off the wall’ questions for my blog.  Here we go, and huge thanks to Jackie:

Besides your hubby, who would be your next perfect dinner date and why?

Oh, such a tricky first question!  I’d love a date with Noel Coward (dead), Curtis Stigers (married), Julian Clary (gay), Geoffrey Palmer (too old), Ollie Murs (too young), Simon Cowell (too arrogant).  So I’ll stick with my lovely hubbie!

In your book, 'Diary of a Mummy Misfit’, you mention 'Pink Cocks' - short for cocktails - but would you ask a barman for one?

No!  I’m too nice to ask a barman for a pink cock.  That would be rude.  I’d ask for a ‘White Russian’ - lots of cream!

You're a huge fan of 'Absolutely Fabulous'.  Would you say you're more like Patsy or Edina?  And would you enjoy having their whacky lifestyle 24/7?

I’m definitely Patsy, Sweedie.  And you're my Eds, as you know!  The trouble is, I have two friends who could ‘out-Patsy’ me any day.  And, no, I couldn’t do the whacky lifestyle 24/7 - far too old and need my sleep.

Your followers on Twitter know that you're partial to a glass of wine .... or should that be a crate?!  But have you ever really lost your senses and done anything so silly that you've regretted it in the morning ... and can you share?

Sadly, I have no dirt to dish on ‘Mummy Misfit Misdemeanours’ because I’m a self-confessed control freak.  Yes, I like my tipple but I know when to stop.  I’d never allow booze to let me get in such a state that I’d embarrass myself.  Sorry!

If you could keep a farm animal in your back garden, what would it be, and why?

I LOVE goats.  Sadly my garden is way too small to accommodate one but it’s my dream to have a garden full of cats, dogs and goats.

Who or what inspires you?

Corny answer here, but it’s my husband.  He’s the most positive person I’ve ever met in my life.  After five years of unemployment he still starts every day with a song and a smile on his face.  He lifts me up when I’m down and I’m so grateful for every day we have together.  OK, fetch the puke bucket - but I think he’s the best.

You have a brilliant sense of humour Amanda.  If you had the chance to write a comedy script for TV, would you jump at the chance?

I’d love to write a script for TV and am still hoping that something will happen with the Misfit books.  I know for sure that ‘BOOK FOUR’ has the perfect part for Miranda Hart -so, who knows?

As you trained as an actress, would you consider playing a part from one of your own novels if it transferred to stage or screen?  If so, who would you play and why?

Although I’m very much Libby, I’d really enjoy playing the part of Fenella because she has no inhibitions and just says it as it is.  I wish I could be more like that - every day, I wish!

It's your wedding anniversary soon.  Will you be making puff balls for your party?

There won’t be a big party this year, so no puff balls.  But in 2014, we’ll have been married for 20 years and I’ll be 50 so that will be a big ‘Puff Ball Occasion’.  I hope you’ll be there Jackie, to share a pink cock or two?!

Do you think people come into our lives for a reason?

Yes, I like to think that people do, in the same way that people leave your life for a reason.

If a fireman ever asked you to hold his hose for him, would you?

Of course I would, it would be rude not to.  (titter, titter!)

Did you ever get expelled from school and, if so, why?

Nope, never got expelled because I was a ‘good girl’!  The head-mistress did send a letter home once, though, saying that I was on a warning as I’d been out of school to buy chips.  My dad just laughed and said that if that was the worst thing I ever did, she could get stuffed.  I loved my dad!

Do you think it's about time you gave up smoking, or do you want to be a fag hag forever?

Ah Jackie, I think you and I may have different interpretations about the meaning of the term ‘fag hag’.  A ‘fag hag’ to me is a lady who likes the company of homosexual gentlemen.  Which I do!  But yes, I smoke, so I am a bit of a hag and YES, OK I SHOULD GIVE UP!!!!!!

When you win the Euro Millions, what is the first thing you will buy and why?

A bottle of champagne to get over the shock - then pay off all our debts and sleep for a month on a desert island.

You write funny books, but do you read lots of humorous books yourself?
I love a book that gives me a chuckle - there’s so much misery in life, why not?

Who is your favourite author?

Ah, thanks Jackie, we end on another tricky one!  Here goes:  Lisa Jewell, Maeve Binchy, Penny Vincenzzi, Catherine Alliott, Jane Fallon, Jill Mansell, Annie Sanders, Jilly Cooper (in the old days), Veronica Henry, Sophie Kinsella and my lovely Indie friend, Michelle Betham.

Huge thanks to Jackie for such great questions at such short notice.  Anyone else want to hit me with some?  Let me know.


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Fifty Shades of Marmite

I had a funny conversation with my mum a couple of weeks ago.  It went something like this:

MUM:  Ooh, there’s this new book out that everyone’s talking about.  It’s meant to be brilliant.
ME:  That will probably be the ‘Fifty Shades’ books.
MUM:  They say it’s saving peoples’ marriages.
ME:  It’s porn.
MUM: Oh.  Is it selling well?
ME:  Incredibly well.
MUM:  Why couldn’t you have written it?

Yes, my 84 year old mother, who has read my books and knows my style, asked me why I hadn’t written about bondage and the likes!  Very open minded, my mother.

So ‘Fifty Shades’, eh?  What can I say that hasn’t been said before?

I read the sample available on Amazon and didn’t like the writing style.  I haven’t read any of the juicy bits but, when a close friend told me she chucked it in the recycling after reading a third of it, I’m not likely to. We joked that it’s now ‘Fifty Shades of Brown, Green and Sludge’.

I guess it was always going to be a Marmite book - there will be those that do and those that don’t - but what will EL James care?  She must be laughing all the way to Anne Summers. And jolly good luck to her, I say, although I’m still slightly astonished by its meteoric rise to fame.  What made it stand out against the plethora of erotica on Amazon?  I mean you can’t move for whips, chains and other paraphernalia.  And I hear that publishers are looking out for the next new James - well, they need to get themselves on Amazon and check out all the Indie writers who are doing their bit for S&M.

So whilst I’m not in a position to review the book, I can pass comment on a very stupid remark made on the recent documentary about it.  The name of the person escapes me but I was left reeling by their stupidity.

‘Women are crying out for non-consensual sex’.

Excuse me?  You try telling that to working or knackered mums.  And let’s get this totally straight. Non-consensual sex is rape.  If you’re not giving your consent to have sex, you are being abused.  If you're pretending not to give your consent, then it’s called role play.

Two totally different things.  One illegal and one enjoyable.

And in answer to my mother’s question, I don’t write porn because I’m too nice!  My books leave the sex firmly at the bedroom door (and not always in the bedroom). My heroines are sexy, feisty women with healthy sexual appetites but I don’t want to ram it down my readers’ throats - so to speak.

If the ‘Fifty Shades’ series is saving peoples’ marriages - great, I’m very happy for them.  I’ve been told my ‘Mummy Misfit’ books have made women realise that they’re not alone in their insecurities and that suits me just fine.  And I also received a review entitled ‘Not Fifty Shades of Awful’, which really made me smile.

Right, I’m off to see if I can come up with a plot for a novel where Libby and Fenella open up a lap-dancing club.

Just to please my mum!

Check out my THREE books on Amazon and Lulu.  Humour and love without a whip in sight.  Oh no, that's a lie - a whip features slightly in 'THE DARKER SIDE OF MUMMY MISFIT' but not in THAT way!