Sequnned Suits & Platform BootsWritten by Sharon Jacobsen
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Hold on a second. Don’t open that cupboard or everything’ll fall out. It’s just full of old ‘Jackie’ and ‘Popswop’ magazines and old games. What games? Oh, y’know, usual sort of thing… mousetrap and ker-plunk are in there, and I think I’ve still got Twister. There’s a pair of clackers in there too, but mum doesn’t like me using them. She says they’re dangerous, that you can break your fingers with ‘em, but I think it’s just racket they make that she can’t stand. Look… please don’t open it…. Oh no! You’ve gone and found my old Cindy dolls. No, I don’t play with them anymore, but I haven’t heart to chuck ‘em either. I used to have a Tiny Tears doll too y’know, but my so-called friend pulled her head off. If you fed her a bottle of water she actually peed herself.
Look, why don’t we just listen to some music? I’ve got a cassette player on shelf and I’ve taped some really good tracks off my albums. We only have a radiogram downstairs so I can’t do any direct taping, but holding microphone close enough to speakers works pretty well. That’s how I get music off radio y’know. The radiogram sods up your records a bit, but only because of stacking. When you keep dropping them down on each other they end up scratched. It’s always a laugh playing a 33rpm album at 45 though. Ours has 75rpm on it too, so mum can play her old Mario Lanza LPs. I wish she wouldn’t though. Dad says he’s gonna get a proper music centre, one with a clear vinyl lid, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Here’s a good cassette. I’ll just pop it on. That’s dog barking in background, but you can still hear music ok. I’m a bit fed-up with Sweet now coz my mate kept playing Ballroom Blitz over and over for two whole days, so I’ll just fast forward past that one. There, Alvin Stardust’s better. Oo, oo, my cooca choo… nah nah nah. The Glitterband are best though. They’re Gary’s backing band but have become quite famous in their own right since releasing Angel Face. The drummer’s drop dead gorgeous. Oh… just thought of those biceps! I’ve been to a few of their concerts y’know and met a couple of band. Not Pete though, I'm still working on that. It’s dead easy to find our where pop stars live – you just look ‘em up in phone book. Hardly anybody’s ex-directory. I bet they’ve got those cool-looking tow-tone Trimfones too.
Oh don’t put that tape on. It’s just old Jackson 5 and David Cassidy stuff. Y’know, somebody predicted that Michael Jackson’s skin would eventually turn white but I don’t believe it. Here… put this one on instead. It’s full of Rubettes, Mud, Wizzard and T-Rex. Did I tell you about my mate’s big sister’s friend? Evidently she’s a Rubette groupie! Her and her mate follow them around on tour and sleep with them after concerts. Can you believe that? I’d call them slappers but term hasn’t been invented yet so tarts’ll have to do. Some of boys would probably call them slags but I hate that word.
Anyway, I’ve gotta go out soon. My dad’s driving me round to my mate’s house in his Cortina (I wish he’d get a Capri) cos we’re going to pictures to see “Stardust” tonight. David Essex is in it y’know. Oh, he’s got gorgeous eyes! I hung some furry dice in my dad’s car once, but he took them out. The man just doesn’t have taste!
If you fancy visiting 70s again, you’re welcome to pop round any time. I probably won’t be in, but mum’ll look after you. You might have to sit and watch “The Golden Shot” with her though, if you can put up with Bob Monkhouse that is.
Now where did I put my Yardley perfume…..?
Sharon grew up in East London but moved to Norway at the age of 19, returning to England in 1998. She now lives in Cheshire with her partner and two of her three children. Besides writing, she is currently studying Social Science with The Open University, runs a web site where women in the UK can meet other women for platonic friendship (www.friendsyourway.co.uk), potters in her garden, reads and generally tries to enjoy life. Sharon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing Fiction to Get RichWritten by Michael LaRocca
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Your heroine should be tough, sweet, sensitive, and very horny, and has to think she's not attractive even though every guy in book except her husband falls off his chair with a tent in his pants.
Don't let length of a novel faze you. Just throw some people on stage, move them around a bit, and get them into bed. Then, change rules so they have to move around a bit again and get them back into bed. (It doesn't always have to be a bed. Office desks and car seats work too.) When book's long enough, stop. Don't worry about "climax," because people are climaxing all over place.
Exotic locales. Foreign countries with beaches. Lots of rich people. Remember that you're writing for lowest common denominator, because they spend most of money that you're trying to reel in. Make it sleazy. No one ever went broke underestimating public.
How to publish? To do it right, write sales pitch before you write book. Make sure book follows pitch and formula. If your cover letter alone has eight typos, no problem. Nobody cares. The publisher will wanna rush this baby to print and get you, or an attractive stand-in, doing as many TV appearances as possible before book reviewers have time to draw breath. Heck, your target market doesn't read book reviews anyway! Also keep in mind that once that reader buys your book, you've won. They won't get a refund just because you're illiterate. So don't worry about hiring an editor. Hire a publicist!
Think Hollywood. You want your book to become a movie. It doesn't have to be a good movie, because most of them aren't. It just has to sell, baby, sell! Write parts for all hottest stars. True, today's hottest stars will have faded by time they start filming your movie, but no matter. Someone just like them will replace them.
I've been doing it wrong for all these years. I started writing over 20 years ago, and five books I have on shelves are enough to make it a hobby that barely pays for itself. Meanwhile, I work at a job for my money. But if you follow my advice, you won't make same mistakes I have. You'll get rich!
Michael LaRocca's website at http://freereads.topcities.com was chosen by WRITER'S DIGEST as one of The 101 Best Websites For Writers in 2001 and 2002. He published two novels in 2002 and has two more scheduled for publication in 2004. He also works as an editor for an e-publisher. He teaches English at a university in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China, and publishes the free weekly newsletter Mad About Books.