I love this name, thanks again to lovely buddy (who might prefer to remain nameless) for thinking it up about five minutes after I asked for a name that would be suitable for a book too lively and risque to go out under the EJ Lamprey name.
A few years ago I joined a website for mature singles to do some research for Five Six Pick Up Sticks. I wasn’t terribly impressed, only expected to be there for three months, had a lively battle with the website when they willy-nilly renewed my membership (watch out for that, if you join a paid website!) for another three months, and apart from making lasting friends with a very nice man, who contributed some of the anecdotes in the book, and the very nice woman he eventually met, it wasn’t something I expected to do again. However, the further my books developed my four main characters, the more I realized I wasn’t really keeping up.
I innocently joined a free website with a lively blogging facility, and turned my life upside down. It coincided with the start of the lovely period I call Indian summer in my blogs, and has been enormous fun. I got a few stories of my own from it but also made friends, ‘met’ a great many people on line and a few in real life, and and heard horror stories about scammers, heart-breakers, players, sociopaths, pathological liars and malignant narcissists. Second-timers are a whole new kettle of fish. Some still have the naivety they had first time round, but that gets knocked out of them pretty quickly. Even the nicest people on line – and there are some very nice people indeed – are cynical and cautious because of bad experiences.
Although being on the website was research for the Lawns books, it triggered a novel of its own, about looking for love among love’s rejects – A Second Rainbow. There’s love, tears, genuine fear, betrayal, but there’s also laughter and hope and Dorothy, the main character, changing completely as a person into someone she rather likes.
Autobiographical, no and yes. If the book was a cake, the eggs in it would be my own experiences but the histories of others added other ingredients and imagination added the baking powder. It is fiction, but fiction based on reality.
Dorothy’s story is a road of self-discovery after she finds herself unexpectedly single after a placid and sedate life and a long but dull marriage. She meets a fairly standard cross-section – a serial cheat, a player, a younger man with some very odd ideas, a pathological liar, a fairly hard-boiled bunch of single women who have been hopping on and off the shelf for a long time – and gets caught by a well-handled scam. Does it have a happy ending? Anyone believing a happy ending with a flawless perfect Mr Right was possible needs to read this book before venturing onto a website. There’s a sub-theme: the thread running through most of the book is linked to the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, not the film, the L.Frank Baum book first published in 1900. There is sex, not pornographic, but far too overt for a EJ Lamprey book. Leo, the ‘cowardly lion’, would make even Donald and William blink. There’s an extract of their meeting which can be downloaded on this link – Leo section
It’s a book for women, but men curious about how women see their side of the singles life, and what other men out there are like, would learn a lot, and it got some good reviews. One reader said she’d expected it to be a guide to second-timer websites and that sparked a guide to second-timer websites: Looking For Mr Will-Do-Nicely
Instead of rabbiting on about diet and exercise and being ready for all the adventures that would come up in the search, I also published advice on glowing as an autumn rose, On Perfecting Your Indian Summer
The most recent Clarissa book is not as merry as the earlier ones, and was linked to one of the Lawns books – I simply couldn’t face creating another writing name and it most certainly couldn’t go out as a Lamprey book, so it joined the Clarissa stable. It is the gritty back story of Miranda, the guest character in Seventeen Eighteen Past Lies Waiting, The Money Honey.
Clarissa’s Facebook page is predominantly jokes and videos which celebrate, rather than mock, being no longer young, not yet old.
If you’d prefer to buy here through the website, I’m set up through Paypal on the SHOP tab.