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AUTHOR ARTICLE: WHO ON EARTH IS LA LA BY ELLIE CAMPBELL
What do you do when a mysterious postcard drops on your doormat mat, covered in lipstick kisses and proclaiming love to your husband? Pam Burks, co-author of the Ellie Campbell novels, How To Survive Your Sisters and When Good Friends Go Bad, hardly faltered. Instead of screaming accusations of infidelity and threatening divorce, she used the event as inspiration for a new Ellie Campbell novel, Looking for La La. Here she tells us how it came about.
Hi there readers,
Yes, it actually happened. Several years ago, we were all sitting round to breakfast when this love missive to my husband of 8 years fell through the letterbox. Lipstick kisses everywhere, ‘my dearest, darling, how I long to be in your arms again’ scrawled in big print. It was too soppy to be funny and Valentine’s Day had long gone. OK, as mother of three school-age kids, maybe I had put on a few pounds, scoffing pizza and chips, and 40 was fast approaching. Suffice it to say my ego wasn’t exactly flourishing while my husband was in his fit good-looking glory. Being programme director of a Leisure Centre, he was eternally surrounded by women – colleagues, clients, super-buff female trainers. Besides his managerial role, he led circuit training, aerobic and other classes and yes, all those ladies thought he was hot, so I was used to him getting a lot of attention. I absolutely trusted him though so at first I just ribbed him about his secret admirer… But then I got to thinking…
No, I didn’t stab him with the bread knife. When Lorraine and I needed an idea for our third Ellie Campbell novel we decided the postcard/secret admirer was too brilliant to waste, although from the first chapter on the heroine gets up to all sorts of high jinks and capers that fortunately bear no resemblance to real life. Looking For La La tells the story of Cathy Rogers, a disorganised thirty-something, loathe-to-get-back-in-the-workforce mother whose somewhat dull life suffers total upheaval when she decides to investigate the mystery behind these postcards. The novel takes a humorous look on the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood, but as in our other novels we manage to slide in some serious issues too – like trust, the power struggle between husbands and wives, the dangers of a gorgeous male admirer to a woman feeling unappreciated, and the crucial importance of having a lot of girlfriends who like to share a glass (or five) of wine. Oh yes, and let’s not forget the stalker and the murderer too. We had so much fun writing this one and I am thrilled that it has just come out as an e-book and is available in paperback through Amazon.
And the mysterious La La? (Yes, that was the name she used.) I still don’t know if the postcards were meant to stir up trouble or intended as a joke – and my husband insists he has no idea who sent them. But we’re still happily married and if Looking For La La turns into a bestseller, I’ll have to thank the anonymous sender – if she ever confesses. La La, are you out there?