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Maya Fowler

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

High Five to the Book Lounge

Five Things I Will Never Ever Write About: This was the topic Verushka handed me for a recent talk at the Book Lounge. For those who spent the last three months in Lapland or something, here’s a reminder that in December, the Book Lounge turned a fabulous five. They threw a party and invited five writers to speak. And now, for those who couldn’t attend, I’ve rounded up my five things. There are many tricky areas when it comes to writing, but here are mine.

Number 1, Alcohol. I will never ever write about alcohol, because people always advise that you write about things you know, and I have no idea what it feels like to be tipsy. I don’t even know what this Leopard’s Leap is that people come to worship at the Book Lounge, or what it feels like to wake up really, really thirsty on a Sunday morning. No, siree.

Number 2, A girl with any kind of tattoo. Mind you, at one point I actually had a brilliant-brilliant idea about a girl with a T-Rex tattoo, skinny-like, and into solving mysteries, uncovering conspiracies and so on, you get the picture, but then by the time I’d gone through 79 drafts, I discovered there’s this dead guy in Sweden who actually came up with the same idea, only he wrote his down first. Talk about raining on someone’s parade. Pff. So now I can’t do chicks with tattoos. It just wouldn’t be fair. It would confuse my readers, and then some. Which would cause difficulty for the Book Lounge, seeing that people would buy my book thinking they were in fact getting his book … They’d be streaming back to ask for refunds, etc, etc. Awww-kward.

Number 3, Sex with sound effects. Sex itself, sure, I’ll write about that, as you’d know if you’d delved into The Elephant in the Room. It’s not the sex that worries me, but the sound effects. I do think there’s a lively market for that kind of thing but personally I just can’t go there.

Number 4, Vampires. Because I don’t believe it’s right to reinvent a wheel that has already been reinvented.

Number 5, A cluster of things. I will never write about being horny, lazy, crabby or a pro-procrastinator because, once again, I would be completely out of my depth, and wouldn’t be able to come up with a single credible sentence or a shred of anything believable or based on actual experience …

Of course, not being prepared to write about something doesn’t mean I wouldn’t read about it. So, if any of you loungers have recommendations, shout!


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