Several books have made me laugh out loud recently. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson, an American’s walking tour of our green and pleasant land, was a runaway success from the moment it hit the bookshops. I can still remember laughing until I got a life-threatening coughing fit when I read the bit where he goes into a bar in Glasgow and attempts to communicate with the locals: ‘”Hae ya nae hook ma dook?” he said. “I’m sorry?” I replied. &c, &c… ’
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison introduced Georgia Nicholson to a fascinated world. I read it on the train home from London, and it made me want to write comedy for teenagers, too. The idea that a boy could give snogging lessons at his home, in a brisk no-nonsense businesslike way a bit like a piano teacher dispensing his services and collecting payment, will enchant me forever.
I know it’s a classic, but Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice still makes me smile even though I have read it loads of times. I love the moment when Mr Bennett says to his daughter Lizzie: ‘An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. - Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I shall never see you again if you do.’ Mr Collins is so wonderfully dry and droll that your heart beats a little faster every time he comes into the room, and you can’t wait to hear his latest acid asides.
One of my enduring favourites is Diary of a Provincial Lady by E.M.Delafield. It was written nearly a hundred years ago but the trials of family life remain the same, and blokes are every bit as infuriating: ‘Robert, this morning, complains of insufficient breakfast. Cannot feel that porridge, scrambled eggs, toast, marmalade, scones, brown bread and coffee give adequate grounds for this, but admit that porridge was burnt.’ This makes me wish that E.M. Delafield (alive and wise-cracking from1890-1943) was my best friend, but the joy of reading means that, in a funny kind of way, she is.
Below is a video interview with Sue Limb taking about Jess Jordan and a sneak peek at the first chapter of Chocolate SOS:
Chocolate SOS (First Chapter)
Don't forget to check out the Jess Jordan website by clicking here.
And - thanks to the lovely team at Bloomsbury - I have three copies of Chocolate SOS to giveaway. The giveaway is open to UK only - just fill in the form below to enter. Closing date is 18 January 2012. Good Luck:)
This Giveaway is now closed.