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Newsletter

Welcoming LADY BAG

November 24, 2013

Hereís another small taster from LADY BAG. Our heroine and her rescue greyhound, Electra, have just seen her ex-lover with another woman outside the National Portrait Gallery.


I Follow The Devil And His Doxy

I saw him but he didnít see me. He was with a woman, of course. She was a few years older, of course. Not beautiful but well constructed and carefully dressed. Of course. And of course he was charming and attentive. Of course, of course, of course.
I could smell his soap, his shampoo and moisturiser, his laundered shirt. So clean, so fresh and so inhuman. However close I came to him I could never smell his body. The Devil leaves no scent. Maybe that shouldíve tipped me off.
I stood for a second, stunned, and wondering if Electra could catch a whiff of Gram Attwood. Maybe that is a dogís superpower Ė distinguishing between the merely evil and the Devil by smell alone. But she stood patiently, waiting for me to move on. Dogs are sweet creatures who know nothing about evil so maybe they wonít recognise the Devil when they see him.
Gram Attwood walked across Trafalgar Square towards Haymarket without a flicker of recognition. His right hand lightly grasped his companionís elbow. His touch was intimate, the touch of ownership. Maybe he paid for something. Heíd certainly gone up in the world since I knew him. When I knew him I paid for everything Ė including the price of his freedom.
ĎCome on,í I said to Electra, and we followed the Devil.
The woman parted from him outside a theatre. She kissed him on the mouth, laughing and lingering a little. His smile was a work of art. Iím so interested, his smile said. Fascinated. Treat me right and I might just love you.
I was in the dock the last time I saw that smile and I did treat him right. I did exactly what he asked of me. Or rather it was what I didnít do that was important. And you could write a hundred books about what I didnít say. When I finally realised that he was never going to visit me, that heíd left me inside to rot, I understood what hatred actually is. Hatred is love with maggots gnawing at its living flesh. Itís love turned inside out, its guts and soft places exposed to the maggots and the acid rain.
Thatís what I learned in prison. Pretty, eh?


I notice that Amazon is already offering the paperback for sale Ė even though I have not yet seen a proof copy. Don't ask, I know nothing and understand less.
The photo should have been of me raising a glass to toast the future of the new novel. But a glass is inappropriate for Lady Bag Ė It had to be the whole bottle or nothing. So I sacrificed myself to the need for plausibility. I'll write again when the headache goes away.

Winterís greetings. Liza

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.