Tell us about Trouble at Toff Towers
Trouble At Toff Towers is the story of Louisa Toff, a St Thinnian’s old girl who still lives by the school motto: “Outdo and move on”. Louisa enjoyed her heyday in the 1960s/70s (when she was a top model with the Bone Idol Model Agency) and is now trying her best to stay in the limelight, cashing in on today’s celebrity culture, helped (well, hindered usually) along the way by an assortment of madcap characters.
Louisa, or ‘Ell – The Glowering Inferno as she was (unfairly, she thought) christened by the Press, is happily married to millionaire Jack Toff and goes to great lengths to keep it that way. After all, it is easier and quicker to have sex with Jack than to make up an excuse not to and when you’ve found someone like that you hang onto them!
Both ‘Ell and Jack get along famously with her ex-husbands, Hugh Jass and Stu Pendous. Hugh is very good looking if rather vain. He was one of the most celebrated actors of the 1960s/70s. Stu is a rock singer. You remember The Who, of course. Stu was front man for their rival band The Why. They split up when two of the members died. It was (almost) classic rock n roll. You’ve heard of people choking on their own vomit. Well, these two choked on each other’s! Stu made a swift exit and formed his current band, The What On Earth Four.
‘Ell stumbles from one crisis to the next, constantly trying to manipulate the Press in order to stay in the limelight. Things rarely go smoothly but, with the help of her Analyst, Di Laffin and her PR Agent, Sue Perdooper, she usually manages to take something positive from each unfortunate experience, and there are plenty of them! However, she does manage to enjoy some success with various business enterprises and it is when she launches her Food For Toffs range and gets mixed up with Sardino Codleone of Finned-Us Frozen Foods that things start to get a little (more) complicated (than usual) at Toff Towers.
We can guess the answer to this question cos we’re chuckling already, but what genre is it?
Comedy, Romance, Chicklit.
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Anyone who likes a pun, having fun, a list and/or a twist! I hope fans of 1960s/1970s culture will find something to smile about too. Oh, and anyone who is into social networking: our heroine lives on Twitter (@RigidBones), as does her PR Agent (@SuePerdooper), and even has her own Facebook account: Rigid Bones. Come and make friends!
How has the book been received so far?
I am absolutely delighted with the response so far. Twitter followers have been incredibly supportive and my first review on the Amazon website was four star! The fact that the reviewer mentioned Miranda Hart, Bridget Jones and Wodehouse in the same paragraph completely blew me away! And, just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, another review appeared – five star! I was pinching myself!
The only negative comment I have received was regarding the original book cover, which I made myself! However, a very kind Twitter follower (@quebectango) stepped up and designed a brand new one for me. You can see more of his work here.
How long did it take to write?
All in all it probably took around two years to complete the book and I enjoyed every moment – even the challenging ones.
What were those challenging moments?
Our heroine began life as a character on a comedy website who reported every day on her trials and tribulations in Rigid Bones’s Diary. The biggest challenge was not to disappoint readers by missing a deadline. I simply had to sit down and do it – daily!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Doncaster, South Yorkshire but moved south to Eastbourne, East Sussex when I was eighteen where I enjoyed careers in retail banking and estate agency. I moved to Cyprus with my partner (and my cat) in February 2012 and love my new life in the sunshine. I consider myself very lucky indeed to be able to devote myself to my writing full time at last.
Have you got a blog where readers can keep up with your work?
I don’t have a a blog at present, however, I am planning to start one in the very near future. The best place to keep up with my work is via the Trouble At Toff Towers Facebook page and/or by making friends with Rigid Bones via Facebook.
2013 will see plenty more Trouble At Toff Towers – the sequel is currently “under construction”. Details of where to find my forthcoming blog will be given on the Trouble At Toff Towers Facebook page as soon as it is available.