Mavis's Shoe

Author of two novels and a creative memoir.

Monday, 28 November 2011

The cat that got the cream

I like this. I think the cat that got the cream is me and not Antonio Banderas, but I'm a red-blooded woman and don't mind sharing my front page with him. The pandas are kind of sweet too, but I wish I'd included the whole of their faces when I took the picture.

That's my Mum's thumb on the left, proud Mum. We were in Campbeltown in the howling gale of the weekend. I had slept like a top, admittedly with a pillow on my head to keep the noise out, while she got up in the night to examine the double glazing and reflect on the fact that some draft-proof windows are not, er, draft-proof: there is always the problem of the outside edges and how they fit with the building. But nothing would have kept the whistle out. It was a fierce storm, and when we emerged blinking into the light of another November morning, we had to stop on the track down from our clifftop B & B to gasp at the turmoil that was the sea and the deep band of froth and foam along the stretch of the western coast between Bellochantuy and Glenbarr. Islay was hidden behind the rain, as was the sun. Then a bolt of sunlight burst through and dazzled us, like a sudden joke, and vanished as surprisingly as it had appeared. We picked up some fresh veg and eggs from the road-side stall and headed into Campbeltown.

By the time we'd arrived the rain was horizontal and the car door was whipped open taking my arm (and me) with it. Between the car and the newsagent's I was drenched down my left side. The shopkeeper whumped the Scotland on Sunday onto the counter. I resisted the temptation to poke a finger into Mavis's Shoe and say, 'that's me', but stuck it under my wet left arm instead and ran back to the car, soaking my right side en route.

Of course there are people who think this giveaway is madness, but I'm hoping more people find out about Mavis's Shoe. And now I can say I was on the front page of a national newspaper, and without murdering, stealing or lying either.


  1. There is a lot of debate online about giving books away. Some find it boosts sales, others don’t notice much of a difference and get despondent thinking, Well, if I can give the stuff away why am I bothering? My own thought in your case is that you don’t have a nice back catalogue that people can delve into. Once they’ve read this book what next? Wait for the next one? You know what people are like. A week after they’ve finished the book they’ll have forgotten your name so I don’t see them on tenterhooks waiting for your next release. But that’s cynical ol’ me. The bottom line is that you never know. Look at Charlotte Church and Rupert Murdoch. She waives a £100,000 fee in the hopes that she will reap the benefits down the line and what do we see now she’s all growed up? The woman now in court claiming how the papers ruined her career. Let’s just hope you have more success than her. It’s a gamble. But sometimes gambles pay off.

  2. Not being a salesperson I'm more interested in the fun of seeing Mavis on the front page of a paper with a circulation of 50k and the slightly ridiculous drama of struggling through a storm to be one of the readers. Waverley Books, the publishers, have been outstanding in everything else, so I have to trust them in this, and it's not costing us anything to do it.

  3. That is great, well done Sue! I wish I'd known, I'd have bought a copy - rarely buy a Sunday paper. I'm sure that some people will remember your name, and lots of people will read it - that's what's wanted after all, isn't it? That's what I think anyway.
    Well done,