Hannah at the wonderful blog Once Upon A Time was nice enough to feature us as guest authors on her blog so I am reposting our feature piece here. If you want to read the whole thing, go to
[Guest] Looking For La La
Tuesday 2nd April, 2013 by Hannah
Right before I decided to stop accepting guest content, I had a lovely application for a fun feature from the Campbell sisters which I was more than happy to accept as my final piece of guest content for a while. Looking For La-La sounds like such a fun and slightly whacky chick lit with a mystery and a hunk of humour. Here is Lorraine to tell you a little about the inspiration for Looking For La-La.
Malicious Joke or Unexpected Inspiration?
From Lorraine Campbell (one half of the sister writing team, Ellie Campbell)
We’ll always deny it. No one wants to lose their friends or stop the gossip flow but all writers are thieves. Call us literary kleptomaniacs – we can’t walk into a room without wondering what we can steal. Perhaps our latest hero should have that violin case carelessly slung in the corner and his aunt possess the Lalique vase and that interesting mannerism of repeating everything twice? With luck, the victims will never know they’ve been robbed and the critics will rave about keen observational skills. But sometimes it’s not so subtle.
In my twenties, as a novice short story writer, I used every ill-fated romance, every moment of angst with little attempt to disguise the guilty. Naturally I altered events so that I (uh, my totally fictional main character) won the day with my (I mean, her) foolish unworthy lover begging to come back or discovering he’s been replaced by someone much much better – IN EVERY WAY, ASSHOLE. (What can I say – it was cheaper than therapy!)
But occasionally life hands you an unintended gift that’s too good NOT to use. Like the postcards which arrived at the door of my sister and writer-partner, Pam Burks, proclaiming love for Pam’s husband and implying they were having an affair. (OK, perhaps only a writer would see that as a blessing). Fast-forward a few years and here’s the opening to Looking For La La, our latest Ellie Campbell novel.
“Not a sound is heard as it lands silently on the mat. No drums rolls, crashing thunder, shafts of light. The walls don’t start crumbling, the ground doesn’t vibrate with terrifying tremors and a yawning fissure fails to zigzag across the kitchen floor and separate my husband from his breakfast marmalade.
In short, I’ve no clue as to the impact it’ll have on our lives. Mayhem. Marital breakdown. Murder. It should at least have been written in blood or come in the beak of a dark-winged raven.
It is a postcard. “Love from London” blazoned above a giant pair of pouting lips kissing a cherry-red heart.
At first sight it appears to be one of those “Please Come to Our Rave” flyers which get thrust through my door periodically. Now the chances of me, a world-weary, put-upon mother-of-two, going to a rave are slim to none, but heck it’s nice to be invited.
I turn it over.
Dearest, sweetest Declan’ – it begins. My eyes widen as I take in the blue spidery handwriting and race to the signature. ‘Love from La La.’”
So, OK, yes, we’re busted. This time we did borrow directly from real life. But as neither Pam nor I know the identity of the mysterious La La, we don’t feel all that guilty. Besides it’s a safe bet that her motives in sending the cards were probably not to promote marital bliss. Luckily Pam knows her husband too well to ever believe they were anything but a bad or malicious joke. But we had a lot of fun imagining how events might have transpired if our heroine Cathy was just a little more crazed, if someone were truly lusting after Declan, and if there were a person who wished Cathy ill – perhaps even a murderer – lurking in the neighborhood. Beyond that opening, however, you can rest assured everything came from the bottomless depths of our unbounded imaginations. Except the Lalique vase. And the hero’s violin case.
Looking For La La by Ellie Campbell is available from Amazon for Kindle or Print.
Cathy is no exception. Her dull, uneventful days as a stay at home, mother of two, are radically transformed however with the arrival of a heavily lipsticked postcard addressed to husband, Declan. Who is the mysterious La La? Could Declan really be having an affair? And is Cathy actually being stalked?
Whatever – it will definitely prove riveting gossip for the Tuesday Twice Monthlies, Cathy’s ‘Mothers Restaurant Research’ group where scandal flows as recklessly as the wine. But what starts as a light-hearted investigation with best friend Raz, soon turns into something much more sinister.
With a possible murderer on the scene, a sexy admirer igniting long-forgotten sparks, and all her friends hiding secrets, it’s not only Cathy’s marriage that’s in jeopardy. Add in the scheming antics of Declan’s new assistant, the stress of organising the school Save The Toilet’s dance and the stage is set for a dangerous showdown and some very unsettling, possibly deadly, revelations.’
Again, you can see the whole thing on Hannah’s blog. Where, I have to say, it looks a lot better than on this one. And don’t forget to enter our Book Giveaway through the link on the top right side of this page.