A comic novel about what happens when the worlds of a 1960s fashion diva and a modern teenager collide
Outrageous former fashion celebrity Eloise Slaughter and introverted Kilburn council estate kid Bradley McCreedy are poles apart. She’s an extrovert, seventy-something, gin-soaked diva. He’s a seventeen-year old who’s learnt it’s safer to keep his eyes down and his mouth shut. She has a past she likes to boast about. He’s already given up on his future. Yet against the odds, as this comic novel describes, the two of them become a formidable team.
Bradley and Eloise’s relationship is volatile, not helped by her devotion to Bombay Sapphire gin and an increasing tendency to confuse the past with the present. While Eloise struggles with memories of long-ago betrayals and humiliations dating back to her days as a 1960s ‘shock frock’ fashion designer, Bradley grows in confidence and cunning. A locked room in Eloise’s chaotic London flat adds to the mystery.
Note to Boy is an entertaining romp that touches on universal truths: don’t write people off, just because they’re unimpressive or annoying; don’t let your past screw up your present; and value friendships, no matter where you find them. Oh, and it’s funny too.
She weren’t a bit like I expected.
‘Kindly remove your headgear,’ she goes, ‘in the presence of a lady.’
Well, that’s me done for, I think to meself, pulling off the beanie. Just when everything was going smooth as.
It’s a miracle I get there at all. Never go in that newsagents no more. On the Parade. On account of the creep behind the counter. He’s a gawper. One of the worst. That’s why I always wear a beanie or a hoodie when I’m out. Both sometimes. On account of the gawpers.
ET I call him, inside my head. His fingers is black, you see, from the papers. All except one. That’s pink, glowing pink, like ET off of that old film. Why? ‘Cause it’s always up his nostril, that’s why, digging for buried treasure. One minute he’s snot mining, the next he’s serving sweets to little kiddies. Makes me want to vom.
Like I say, it was stroke of luck I saw it. Sellotaped in the corner of the window.
‘’Wanted!! Urgent!! Refined, respectable lady authoress seeks domestic assistant of same ilk. A degree of reflexology. Usual rates.’
And a mobile number.
Well, I get the ‘domestic assistant’ bit. That’s a cleaner, right? But I don’t know nothing about ilks nor degrees. Still, what have I got to lose? I break my rule, nip into the newsagents and pretend to be browsing in the gardening section. I glance over. ET’s got his elbows on the counter, head deep in a mucky mag. As I’m leaving, I feel his dead, gawping eyes follow me to the door. Don’t matter ‘cause I got the card in my pocket. Well, don’t want no-one else going for it, do I?
I go home. Just my luck, Dom’s up. He’s in the kitchen, ramming a sarny in his gob like he ain’t ate for a week. Raspberry jam dripping everywhere. Right off, he eyeballs the card. Next thing, he’s snatched it.
‘Watch it,’ I go. ‘You’ll get jam over that.’
‘You’ll get jam over that,’ he goes, in a stupid whiny voice what’s supposed to be me. ‘What’s this then, Bradley? Postcard from your boyfriend?’
He’s always saying stuff like that.
‘It’s a job,’ I tell him. ‘Leastways, could be.’
‘You stupid or something?’ he snorts. ‘You know Ma’ll go mad if you get a job. What about her bennies?’
‘No, it’s sound,’ I go. ‘Cash in hand.’ Leastways, that’s what I’m hoping.
‘What kinda job?’ He squints at the writing. Never were much cop at reading, our Dom.
‘Dunno ‘til I call, do I?’
‘Cheeky,’ he goes, cuffing me one round the ear. I take my chance and reach for the card. He grabs my wrist, twists my arm up my back and shoves his pie-hole up against my ear. ‘You come across anything interesting, you be sure and let your big brother know,’ he hisses, spraying jammy paste over my cheek. ‘No sneaking behind my back, you little freak.’
He loosens his grip and for a sec I think that’s it. Then he comes back at me, jabbing a nasty little Bruce Lee punch above my elbow. He strolls off, still chewing. I hear the flatscreen fire up and stand there, wiping jam and tears off of my face.
Note to Boy on the air!
Monday, 11 February 2019
I’ve got the trousers but where the hell's the jumper? And why is it raining, today of all days? I’m not panicking. I am not. I am going to stay calm and mindful, as Ruby Wax advises in her wise books.
What’s happening? I’ve been asked by Radio Oxford to do a live interview about Note to Boy, that’s what. And I’m caught on the hop. Even though I sent them a press release offering to do an interview…
69 - oo-er, missus!
Tuesday, 29 January 2019
Sorry about the dullness of this image, dear readers. It was either this or unadulterated filth.
Let me explain. Note to Boy is at 69%, after a rush of January pledges. A cause of considerable joy. My thanks to those who, full of post-Christmas bonhomie, have backed my book. As we approach the three-quarters mark (I’m rounding up quite generously here) it seems its publication may be a reality…
The Last Mincer in the Fridge
Saturday, 29 December 2018
Well, boys and girls, did you survive? Are you retrenching, ready for New Year’s Eve? Did you, like me, find when everyone had gone that one lonely mince pie was quietly going stale in the fridge door?
When you come to read Note to Boy (which can’t be too long now. See note at the bottom for progress report) you’ll discover that Eloise and Bradley were so keen to celebrate Christmas, they brought…
A present that's better than pants
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Just look at those puppy dog eyes! This is a blatant appeal on behalf of a truly worthy cause. This Christmas, instead of novelty pants, fluffy slippers or handkerchiefs, why not give your friends and family the lasting pleasure of something wonderful to cuddle up with on the sofa. Yes, I'm talking about offering a forever home to an Unbound book on the 'still funding' list.
Through no fault…
It's beginning to feel a lot like ...
Saturday, 3 November 2018
No, not what you think. I was going to say .... getting published. ***
That's right folks. Note to Boy is now 64% of the way towards publication, with 125 wonderful people backing it. Thank you, one and all. In celebration, here's a little snippet-ette from the novel, to whet your appetites.
*** PS Your eyes do not deceive. Lurking in the background of this stylish shot are two packs of…
Peace, man! Let’s go back to the sixties
Thursday, 25 October 2018
People sometimes ask me - all right, one person once asked me and she was backed into a corner and couldn’t escape - how I did my research for the Swinging London section of my book, Note to Boy? Easy, I responded, releasing her arm from my iron grip, I lived it.
You can read more about my Flower Power past, when my elephant jeans were as wide as they were long, in this lovely interview by the…
Mistress Clark’s Diary - October 2018, Waterstones Emporium of Literature
Tuesday, 9 October 2018
Up betimes, by carriage to Nottingham and thence to The Curious Tavern where met with sundry entertaining scribes, scribblers and wits allied to the crowfundingly glorious company Unbound.
Gathering in the following forenoon we traversed the city to Waterstones Esteemed Book Emporium for a day of exceeding pleasant discussion, readings and bantz. Much erudition and laughter on display - as well…
Sixty per cent!
Wednesday, 26 September 2018
Wow! Note to Boy is now 60% funded. That's more than halfway, right? Almost two-thirds. Won't be long before it's three-quarters. And then ... and then....
Boundless thanks to all who've helped me get this far, particularly those loyal folks who've recently upgraded their pledges or donated.
In a little under two weeks, I'll be part of an exciting and unique Unbound authors' event at Waterstones…
Slow and steady wins the race*
Tuesday, 28 August 2018
Not so much Usain Bolt as Shinzo Kanakuri. You must know him! You don’t? He’s the man who holds the record for the world’s slowest Olympic marathon. (More than 54 years, since you ask. Even I might do better than that. If I had the wind behind me.) To get back to the matter in hand, progress on Note to Boy is slow but steady. I’m pleased to report that Note to Boy is now 57% funded.
I have a few…
Passing the great milestone of 120 backers - and another thing!
Monday, 20 August 2018
Two very exciting things happened today.
Firstly, we reached the fantastic milestone of 120 backers. That means 120 people - some of whom I haven't even blackmailed - have put their pledges where their mouths are. I can't thank this lovely 120th pledger in person because he or she has decided to remain anon, but I do thank them - and all of you - through this Update and the medium of a little victory…
Harken! Eloise would like a few words
Thursday, 26 July 2018
There are two main characters in Note to Boy. Bradley and Eloise. Seems to me (but I'm only the writer after all) that Bradley has had it too much his own way. We haven't heard from Eloise. And believe me, she always has plenty to say. Except when she's in a monumental sulk. Then she doesn't speak for days.
So below. Eloise lets rip. But before she does, just time to say a very big thank you to…
Scandalous Truths About Unbound Author Revealed!
Thursday, 5 July 2018
My secrets revealed, my life laid bare in this searing grilling by Eamonn Griffin. Read it if you dare!
Be In The Book While You Can
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Hi Lovely Supporters,
Thanks to the generosity of someone who's just pledged to name a character in the book, Note to Boy has now reached the magnificent total of 54% funded, with 111 backers.
Do you fancy being immortalised in print? If you've always secretly hankered after being a 1960s fashion model, a lairy modern teenager, a lawyer with flexible principles, or one of the other colourful…
Thanks Ewan. Your books will soon be on their way.
Wednesday, 23 May 2018
This motley collection of 1960s-themed books will soon be winging its way to the generous backer who edged Note to Boy past the 50% mark. These are some of the titles I read for background amusement - it would be a stretch to call it research - in writing my comic novel. Thanks so much to Ewan, and to all my generous supporters. Only another 50% to go!
Hooray and Huzzah, halfway there!
Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Very excited to report that Note to Boy is now halfway to publication. Yes,, we crossed the 50% point this very day, thanks to the generosity of a discerning backer called Ewan.
As his reward he will shortly be receiving a bundle of well-thumbed tomes on 1960s fashion which I used in what I laughingly call ‘research’ for the book. It’s comic fiction, right? It doesn’t have to be historically accurate…
Teetering on the brink of the edge of almost tipping over into halfway there!
Thursday, 10 May 2018
NOTE TO BOY is 49% of the way to publication. For those of a mathematical bent, that means a gnat’s crotchet away from halfway. Next comes a big one. 50%. Who will be the lucky person to receive a bundle of 1960s related books, as an reward for getting us to 50%? All it takes is a click on Pledge. And you get a special edition, personalised copy of the book too! A cool and hip offer.
100 backers and counting!
Monday, 30 April 2018
One hundred backers! I never thought when I set off on this journey into the unknown with Unbound that I would be able to persuade, cajole, nag and blackmail one hundred people to pledge support for my book. But I did. And you have. Thank you, thank you, thank every single, wonderful one of you.
Now, I've never climbed a mountain and probably never will, but I've seen Touching the Void twice…
How many gin puns can you think of?
Friday, 27 April 2018
Many GINiuses have been GINspired by the juniper-flavoured drink to create puns to help them GIN and bear the GINsanities of life. OK. I'll stop now. You can have too much of a good thing after all. But you get my drift. Puns about gin abound.
One of the main characters in Note to Boy, Eloise Slaughter, is very fond of a cheeky G&T. In order to research her character and ensure authenticity…
Less than 3% off halfway - and your chance to win an outrageous prize!
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Listen up. I have a special treat for someone. Only 3% to go before we reach halfway. As encouragement to reach that magical point, I'm offering my copy of the autobiography, Moll: Making Of Molly Parkin, to the lucky person whose pledge tips the total over to 50%.
Who is Molly Parkin? In the 1960s she was a fashion celebrity and hell-raiser, promiscuous, potty mouthed and a total one-off. At…
It's A Numbers Game
Tuesday, 10 April 2018
Unbound Authors are obsessed with numbers. How many people follow them, like their posts, retweet their tweets?. How many people have backed them with pledges? And the biggie, what percentage funding have they reached?
For a while now I've been obsessed with getting to 50% funding. Somehow, I feel once I'm halfway to being fully funded, the road to publication will become less bumpy. I stare at…
Is there STAWberry jam still for tea?
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
Am I weird? I enjoy the editing part of writing a novel. Creating a draft is either a feverish affair, as my brain and fingers struggle to keep up with my ideas, or else a painful slog when the ideas seem buried deep, encased in concrete, under a motorway bridge.
With editing, you've got something tangible to knock into shape, like bashing a baggy slab of dough. OK, so whole sentences, paragaphs…
Naming of names
Sunday, 11 March 2018
I’ve often wondered if I should use a pen name. There are some lovely, colourful and exotic monikers among the Unbound community. And Sue Clark isn’t exactly unusual or memorable. But it is my actual name.
What if I called myself Tallula Featherstone Witty or B K Broomhead? Would it improve my reader (and pledge) appeal? I know some authors change their names almost as often as they change…
Life begins at 40 ... %!
Tuesday, 20 February 2018
OK. I know it's not a great headline but I'm too excited to come up with another. After languishing in the 30s for a while, thrillingly, Note to Boy left 40% eating dust and is now resting (temporarily, of course) at 41%. That's more than two-fifths of the way to publication, people. Or, for those of a more precise mathematical nature, damned near to nudging halfway.
So, yaaaay! And thank you to…
Scrappy scripts and messy manuscripts
Thursday, 15 February 2018
Browsing through other Unbound authors' pages, I discovered several offer as rewards early drafts of their manuscripts. How brave of them. They must be better organised than me. I mean, who in their right mind would pledge to own the bundle of scrappy papers, post-it notes, cuttings and scrawls that eventually turned itself into Note to Boy? Exactly!
Thank you pledgers! We're getting close to halfway…
What do you know? My eternal gratitude has been claimed!
Wednesday, 7 February 2018
You're too late. It's gone. My eternal gratitude is no longer up for grabs. An anonymous supporter has generously pledged for it. I'm still trying to work out who it could be? Cillian Murphy? Ian McEwan? Richard Curtis? The woman down the road with the fluffy dogs? More seriously, I'm wondering how I'm going to be able to write a personal dedication to a person who's anonymous. Whatever, my vow of…
What do you know? Note to Boy has reached 33%!
Tuesday, 30 January 2018
Note to Boy, according to my O level maths, is now a third of its way along the journey to publication. Hooray, and thank you to all my supporters! You're a wonderful bunch of heroes. It would be great if we could get it past the 50% landmark, then I could perhaps relax and not keep checking progress every few minutes.
Thanks also for your kind comments about the video. I hope it made you smile…
The video is up!
Monday, 22 January 2018
Check out the Note to Boy video on Unbound. You thrilled to the spectacle of The Last Jedi and the drama of Darkest Hour. Now comes Note to Boy - the Movie. Two and a bit minutes of ... well, me. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks to my trusty film crew for their patience and skill.
Biggest pledge yet
Wednesday, 17 January 2018
Received my biggest pledge yet, to join me on a tour and tasting in a gin distillery. Such a great feeling to know people believe in Note to Boy. Or maybe just really love gin. Either way, thanks.
Wow, 10% already!
Wednesday, 10 January 2018
A huge thank you to the generous and lovely people who have pledged their support. With your help, despite Christmas and New Year distractions, Note to Boy is 10% of the way along the road to publication. Your reward will be ... wait for it ... a short video, ready soon, telling you a bit more about the book. Sorry about the presenter. It’s the best we could do. Even though he’s now available, Stephen…
Lights, camera and ... hold on a minute
Thursday, 4 January 2018
Takes longer than you think, this filming lark. Just spent an afternoon getting three minutes of usable material for the Note to Boy video. Let’s hope our talented editing team can sprinkle some fairy dust.
Pinch, punch, first of the month
Monday, 1 January 2018
Thanks to all those lovely supporters who've dragged themselves away from the mincepies and the awful telly to pledge their support for my book. I don't deserve it. No, really I don't. Well, maybe I do. A bit. It's only the first day of the New Year and already we're up to 6%. What happens next? The video, that's what. The film crew and I have been green-screening and CGI-ing like mad (not really…
First pledges are in!
Friday, 22 December 2017
Yippee! We’re out of the traps and the race is on. My sincere thanks to the lovely people who’ve already pledged their support. You’ve made my day.
We have lift off!
Thursday, 21 December 2017
The Note to Boy campaign has been launched. Eloise and Bradley - heaven help us! - are out in the big world, depending on the kindness of Unbound supporters for their survival. She, gin-soaked and demanding, and he, quiet and cunning, have scores to settle and a racy autobiography to write. Help me get them into print by pledging your support. You’ll be rewarded, not only with a glow of satisfaction…
These people are helping to fund Note To Boy.