I began Gimme More as a short story after John Harvey asked me to contribute to his anthology about music, Blue Lightning.

I was listening to Robert Johnson at the time, and I was once again struck dumb by a line in "Kind Hearted Woman Blues": "She's a kind hearted woman, she studies evil all the time." It's one of the strangest, most contrary lines I know and it occurred to me that I might be able to untangle it if I thought really hard about the kinds of women blues legends always moan about - unfaithful, gold-digging heartbreakers. (Blues legends often give women a very bad rep.)

The Kind Hearted Woman conundrum proved too big a subject for a short story, so I wrote something else, Walking Blues, for John (also about some of the myths that surround Robert Johnson) and spent another two or three years producing Gimme More.

I'm often very puzzled by the hate and heat poured on the heads of women in music - especially the ones associated with famous men like Mick Jagger, John Lennon or Kurt Cobain. And it's interesting to note that, like it or not, Marianne Faithful, Yoko Ono and Courtney Love are women of considerable talent themselves. Then there is the fact that sometimes great beauty, visibility and fame can be a burden. (The kind of burden a lot of people think they want but a burden all the same.)

These are three of the many elements I was playing with while writing about my kind hearted woman, Birdie Walker.

So for a little more detail, here's what an Amazon review says:

Linnet "Birdie" Walker declares herself to be a bitch at the outset of Liza Cody's new novel Gimme More: the opening chapter shows Birdie to be an adept hustler and con-artist, a fading ex-rock chick who believes that "spending my own money on clothes is a sign of failure". Birdie was formerly the stunning and arrogant babe who partnered luminous rock-god Jack--they were the world's foremost celebrity couple until Jack died in a fire that gutted his mansion. Now she is forced to live on her wits, the legacy of fame (and infamy) by association even now threatening to destabilise her precarious existence.

"The truth, whether it's mundane or exotic, is the only thing I've got left that hasn't been thumbed through and fucked over by strangers. See, when you're associated with the entertainment business everyone thinks that your whole life is there to entertain them. That's what you are--a living breathing soap--and they have the right to include themselves in your life.[...]It's like you made a contract to share every last thing with anyone who wants it. But you didn't."

But Birdie is much more than celebrity arm-candy: she's tough, sassy, highly intelligent and adept at the art of survival--qualities she needs in abundance when various music-biz executives get wind of some unreleased tapes that might be in Birdie's possession. The spectre of exploitation haunts Birdie's life again as she tries to stay ahead of the corporate predators who will do anything to cash in on the memory of Jack's music.

Gimme More is an intricately plotted, razor sharp dissection of the corruptions of fame and the sleazy depredations of the music industry: Liza Cody's analysis of the necrophilic nostalgia for the rock aristocracy of the 1960s and 70s is bitterly accurate (though her contemporary references strike a few false notes), and her account of the price of celebrity is compellingly rendered. Above all, in Birdie Walker she gives us a heroine for whom unsentimental self-interest is a virtue in a world where everyone is on the make. --Burhan Tufail

Yorkshire Post, Thursday 10th May 2001:
"Nirvana fans will find a kind of salvation between the pages of this book."

Selected Works

Don't judge a book by its cover, or a bag lady by her appearance. "I didn't always look like this," she says. "Being barmy doesn't mean I'm stupid." Lady Bag does have her problems - her close relationship with cheap red wine, for example. When she gets hammered she talks to her dog. When she's extra-hammered her dog talks to her. Guess who makes better sense. She and her greyhound, Electra, wander through the streets of London, seeing a Dickensian side of the capital city that's only visible to the homeless. Together they accept the kindness or unkindness of strangers with the same wry patience. Until, on one dreadful day, they meet the Devil outside the National Portrait Gallery.
All Birdie Walker wants is some justice for her husband, Jack. But since Jack was a rock star and the justice has to come from the music business, Birdie absolutely has to take some extreme measures.Click on the title for more information.
Short stories
All my short stories up to 2003 are in this collection. It includes two written specially. Click on the title for a bit about how I came to write short stories and more information.
The Anna Lee series
I wrote six novels about Anna Lee. Click on the titles for more information.
The Bucket Nut Trilogy
Professional wrestler Eva Wylie appeared in three novels in the '90s. Click on the titles for more information.
Other stand-alone novels
RIFT is set in the Ethiopia of the 1970s. BALLAD is the story of a girl with a miraculous musical talent. MISS TERRY is the story of what happens to someone who looks different from her neighbours when a grisly discovery is made. Click on the titles for more information.
The story collections I co-edited for Britain's Crime Writers' Association.
In the early '90s I helped edit these three books - aiming them to be more annuals than anthologies. They include many things we're proud to have published. Click on the titles for more information.