Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Why do we do it?
Do what?
Push ourselves beyond our inclinations…

At the age of fifty I took early retirement from teaching (my teaching career followed after freelance designing) and trained for non-stipendiary Church Lay ministry. Overcoming my natural shyness (not easy I can tell you), I became the first woman in this area to preach in a number of churches, conduct funerals and church services, visit nursing homes as chaplain, as well as visit the housebound, the sick and bereaved, and generally assist the clergy. Yes, some hostility but not from the general public. Having become addicted to study, I gained the rare A DipR. Then decided to do an Open University BA (hons) degree (mainly religion in Victorian times).
Then aged 69 and unable to drive because of failing sight, I gave up ministry and turned to writing fiction. You might think writing to be just the right occupation for someone like me, but…

One of my novels was Blazing Embers (now rewritten as SMOULDERING EMBERS by G B Hobson, and published by Dare Empire). Since I had been inspired by something witnessed on the UK TV Kilroy Programme, I wrote to Robert Kilroy Silk to see if he would comment on my manuscript. I received not only a yes, but also an invite to appear on his TV show. WOW! (Er… did I really want to make a fool of myself?)

When I reached the London studio I was told the title for the show that day: ‘I’m still sexy though I’m older’! (Definitely NOT ME. So what on earth was I — a retiring CofE Reader — doing there?) A few women were already being given prompts to cause animated and aggressive discussions concerning their sexuality.

Robert, while moving along the rows, drew out conflicting opinions about dating, dress and the sexy behaviour of some seniors. Sometimes the discussion became quite heated. Would you believe, one young woman said it wasn’t fair that older women were taking it from them. (Presumably when competing for men — not enough of ‘IT’ to go round? What a laugh!) Then came my turn to be involved.

(The following is only as I remember it. I cannot bear to look at the video of the occasion.)
I felt Kilroy’s hand on my shoulder. He addressed those gathered there.
Robert: ‘Gladys sent me a manuscript to read. It was about a granny who wanted more sex.’ (Howls of laughter.)
Me: ‘Well, actually, Alice wanted an orgasm…something so far denied her…’ (Oooooo and more laughter)
Robert: ‘And that isn’t sex?’ (Howls of laughter.)
Me: ‘Of course, but watching late night TV made her aware…’
Robert: ‘Didn’t I suggest you cool down the sex?’ (Oooooo! And more laughter.)
Me: ‘Yes. But this is serious, Robert. People my age did not get sex education. Many people were totally ignorant about love-making, even on their marriage night.’
Robert: ‘I expect they found out by morning.’ (Howls of laughter.)
Me: ‘This is serious, Robert… ’ I was getting cross. ‘In those days…’

And so it went on with Robert Kilroy Silk causing belly laughs. That is, until a woman in front of me joined in. I was still trying to get over the difference between fulfillment and ‘just sex’ and how a woman could go through life unfulfilled, but she diverted the chat to other matters. Okay, so the book is truly funny as well as poignant. I guess I kind of asked for the teasing.

Eventually Robert asked the guy next to me if older people can still be sexy. He assured everyone this was so, in fact better because older couples were more experienced and likely to take more time with preliminaries.

At the end of the show I was surrounded by most of the women present, wanting to know where they could buy my book! So too when I got back home. Alas, all I had was a manuscript and although literary agents were interested, they didn’t think they had the contacts for that particular genre to take it on. (The main publishing houses want stories that fit neatly into pigeonholes and likely to sell in the hundreds of thousands — I guess my story is a bit kinky!) But my son set up my own publishing house and now all my books are in print. Better still, DARE EMPIRE has contracted all my novels (where I am known as G B Hobson), and Justin James has given them all attractive covers, especially Smouldering Embers and The Dark Mirror. They are all available in PRINT and as eBooks.

I still have to push myself as far as publicity is concerned. Sometimes I just want to curl up inside my shell and have a quiet life. It is good though when readers tell me how much they enjoy reading my books. One said she had passed round this particular book so many times that it has become tatty. (Encouraging even if not good for sales!)

You can also get unusual handcrafted copies of my novels from
— who knows, maybe one day they will be collectors items!

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