‘What’s So Fascinating About The 1960s?’ by Sue Clark

Today I hand over Bloomin’ Brilliant Books to Sue Clark to talk about her debut novel Note To Boy and how the 1960s feature in it. Note To Boy is due to be published by Unbound and is currently going through crowdfunding. Sue explains more about that in her post.

What’s So Fascinating About The 1960s?

Why did I choose to focus on the 1960s in my comic fiction, Note to Boy? How could I not? The exuberance and colour of those times have passed into modern mythology – and I actually experienced them at first-hand.

In the late 1960s and early 70s, I was a young innocent living in London near Oxford Circus, working for a US film company, sharing an office with David Niven Jr’s PA, shopping in Carnaby Street, and going to parties where it was possible to bump into the latest James Bond actor. It wasn’t quite as glamorous as it might sound but, nevertheless, what writer could pass up such a rich source of material?

It was a time of great hope. Our generation, we naively told ourselves, was going to be different from the ones that had gone before. We weren’t boring and ‘square’. We were free-thinking, free-loving individuals. Peace and love were the order of the day. We’d wear our tie-dyed T-shirts, stick flowers in our hair and wait for the revolution. It didn’t come, of course. Instead we got the 1980s, and shoulder pads, legwarmers and awful perms.

Note to Boy looks at Swinging London through the eyes of Eloise Slaughter, a woman now in her seventies, who reminisces about her time as an outrageous fashion guru. Now, elderly and broke, she bitterly misses her time in the spotlight and vows revenge on those who conspired to cheat her out of it. She wants her celebrity life back.

Fate brings her Bradley McCreedy, a downtrodden teenager from the wrong part of town. Bullied by his brother, ignored by his mother, unknown to his father, he just wants a life.

The two couldn’t be more different but, after a rocky start, they strike up an unlikely friendship. Discovering they might have a common purpose, Bradley hatches a plan to help her escape her past, and build himself a future.

The genesis of the book lay in a short story I wrote about celebrity. What happens to people who achieve it? How do they cope if it suddenly vanishes? This morphed into the present full-length novel. And Eloise and Bradley were born.

Both characters epitomise people who are often overlooked and underestimated. Eloise is bad-tempered and friendless, but was once a sexy and successful ‘it girl’. Bradley is uneducated and inarticulate but possesses a cunning that could be made use of, if only people would see beyond the obvious.

Who are they based on? Eloise is a demanding, arrogant monster. So, of course she’s not based on anyone I know, although I have worked in radio, television and newspapers enough to know there are some monstrous egos out there. No, I’m not going to name names!

Likewise, as I’ve never been a browbeaten teenage boy, Bradley is pure invention, although I’m sure we can all empathise with the feeling of being young, frustrated and already written off.

When will you see Note to Boy in bookshops? That could depend on you. The book, you see, is being published by Unbound. Unbound books come about in a rather different way to most others, being crowdfunded directly by their readers.

As I write this, Note to Boy is 58% of the way to being fully funded. Readers can pledge for – that is, pre-order – e-books, special edition paperbacks, or go for one of the other rewards options. It’s all explained on the Unbound website.

Please feel free to browse Unbound’s many diverse and often unique titles. And if your mouse should land on the ‘pledge’ button of Note to Boy, I – and Eloise and Bradley – would be eternally grateful. Thank you.

NOTE TO BOY by Unbound author, Sue Clark, is crowdfunding now.

Get involved at https://unbound.com/books/note-to-boy/

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Thank you so much for the great guest post, Sue. I wish you luck with the funding of Note To Boy and look forward to seeing it in the shops soon.

About Sue Clark

In a varied career Sue Clark has been a scriptwriter, journalist and PR copywriter. She’s worked for BBC radio and TV, local newspapers, and no end of corporates. Her TV and radio credits include: Alas Smith and Jones, Weekending, and The News Huddlines.

She’s interviewed John Humphreys and Ronnie Corbett and penned funny lines for Lenny Henry, June Whitfield, Tracy Ullman, Roy Hudd and David Jason, among others.

Although the comic fiction Note to Boy is billed as her debut novel, there are others lurking in desk drawers that may one day see the light. And there will be more to come!

She lives in an Oxfordshire market town much like the fictional setting of Midsomer Murders with her long-suffering husband. She has three children and one adorable grandchild. 

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