The Wonder of Wodehouse
Having barely crept round the park with goddaughter and her two smalls for the best part of two years, in March I went to Harrogate and dived into a wonderful gathering of PGW aficionados called Wodehouse in Spring.
In the recklessness of a pre-Christmas euphoria I had offered to do a talk on Wodehouse’s romantic novelists in comparison with the real thing at the time.
By February the glitter and baubles effect had rubbed off and I was pretty much talking to myself as I lost my research notes and tried to put a coherent argument together out of what used to be sheer delight.
There was even a moment when I seriously considered simply reading out the story of Mervyn Keene, Clubman, as Madeleine Bassett (the one who thinks the stars are God’s daisy chain and a baby is born every time a fairy blows its wee nose) tells it to Bertie Wooster.
Only the fact that everyone there probably already knew it held me back.
In the end, postcard-sized memory joggers in trembling hand, I stood up before 40-odd strangers and did my best, starting with Aurelia McGoggin, she who got her inspiration from white lilies. (Actually she only whips through a short story and even quite a few of the PGW experts had forgotten her. So that was all right. Phew!)
I got through all but the last 20% because, of course, I’d written too much. And everyone was very nice about it, even when I lost my place.
And that was the first time I had been in a room with more than eight people for over two years. Let alone wittered at them. It filled me with unladylike triumphalism. Like PGW’s J Hamilton Beamish, I came out of the ordeal saying to myself, “Who’s the Bozo with the big bean then?”
Last July I taught an online course on punctuation for the Romantic Novelists’ Association. And, as always with these things, came away having learned more than I taught. I am even more convinced that punctuation is an art form today. But its origins are truly fascinating. So I’ve put up my (very first!) video introducing the stuff.
I enjoyed the challenge of a new genre. And all the minuscule trials of lockdown are in there, because I was suffering them as I wrote it. So it’s a sort of historical document, too, I suppose.
For new readers and people whose copies are falling to pieces, I’m slowly putting into e-format previously published stories.
Red Hot Lover
Super cool architect Joe Gomez is a brisk businessman, world class flirt and, allegedly, a Red Hot Lover. He gets what he wants.
Alex is one of the world’s peacemakers, efficient, nurturing and loyal to all sides of her warring family. She’s too busy to even think what she wants.
BUY LINK Red Hot Lover
Free Spirit versus Sexy Control Freak.
Newly arrived lord of the manor, high-handed Robert Challenger decides to reform musician Lucy Wild’s relaxed childcare. But Lucy is a tiger when it comes to protecting her small nephew and niece.
She’s going to stop him dead in his tracks.
BUY LINK Goblin Court
A revised and expanded edition of the print version of this much loved story, originally published by Harlequin Mills & Boon in 1976
Follow me on Twitter @sophiewestonbks
Click here for Sophie’s bio