Reviews, vampires, and storybook witches…

by Marie Marshall

"Yes, my name is Miss Smith. No I will NOT 'take a letter'!"

“Yes, my name is Miss Smith. No I will NOT ‘take a letter’!”

BestChickLitLogoBlast! I could do with a reliable secretary. It’s a funny old day. I feel as though I’ve only just sat down at the computer – in fact I logged on at about 5am and it’s nearly lunchtime. Thank heavens its a bank holiday! There has been a welter of tweets and emails, and a shed-load of stuff for me to deal with. The most pleasant was finding a review of my novel Lupa at BestChickLit, courtesy of Nikki Mason. It’s always gratifying to get exposure of this kind.

Another task today is dealing with my publisher’s editor, as we chip away at the imperfections in my second novel The Everywhen Angels, which is due for publication soon. We’re approaching the galley proof stage, and I can’t wait to see what the house artist will have dreamed up for the book jacket.

Meanwhile, what I am supposed to be doing is getting on with is my third novel, the vampire story. But it’s strange where research can take you when you’re doing something like this. I’ve been sidetracked by a chance reference in my research material (posh term for the rubbish I was scrabbling through on line) to one of my favourite anti-heroines of children’s literature, Miss Smith, ‘the wickedest witch in the world’. Before my pagan friends begin to complain about ‘negative stereotypes’ let me say two things: firstly, she’s fictional, and secondly she is far from stereotypical. Ever heard of a witch keeping toads in a fridge? Live toads? She sails blithely through four of Beverley Nichols’ novels, written between 1945 and 1971 on a tide of delicious malice, dressed like a Vogue model. Actually, delicious malice is just what I am looking for right now; an image has popped into my mind of a vampire bound to a dentist’s chair with ropes woven from fibres extracted from garlic plants, while someone forcibly removes its canines. And what about the next scene where its ‘Sire’ replaces them with a stainless steel pair? The thick plottens!