Cathy is riding high in her brand-new job at a (surprisingly bitchy) top London advertising agency working with best friend Rosa. But when Rosa’s pregnancy goes amiss and enemies sabotage her new career, she finds herself leading a chaotic double life of lies and deception, hiding a shameful secret from all, especially husband Declan who appears in the throes of a nervous breakdown. Meanwhile she’s agreed to unmask the notorious Crouch End Creeper, a burglar terrorizing their neighbourhood. Little does she know that her meddling, assisted by fellow mothers (the Wednesday Once Weeklies) and the Neighbourhood Watch, will lead their dangerous opponent to murder. And that it’s not only the tall elegant transvestite who is placing herself at risk…
Targeted Age Group:: 25-65
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Lots of things. With How To Survive Your Sisters we wanted to explore the dynamics between four sisters, their similarities and differences, the way they can drive you crazy one minute and be your best friend the next. In When Good Friends Go Bad we were imagining what it would be like to meet your old schoolfriends again and how you would get along, what you’d still have in common – especially if you discovered one of them had betrayed you in a significant way. Our third novel Looking For La La was inspired by a postcard someone sent to Pam’s husband, proclaiming passionate love and signing herself La La. We got a kick out of using it as the first chapter of our novel. To Catch a Creeper follows on from Looking for La La, although it is a stand alone novel. We intend it as the second book in a The Crouch End Confidential Mystery series – but it totally stands alone if someone hasn’t read the first. We love human interest stories, the dynamics of relationships and we love using humor to get our point across. And also because life is basically funny.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
To Catch a Creeper follows on from the first of the Crouch End Confidential Mystery Series – Looking for La La. Our main character Cathy was such a joy to write that we ended up writing the whole series around her, her best friend Rosa, husband Declan and cleaner Pimple.
‘It must have been horrendously frightening, Cathy,’ Holly Willoughby’s sparkling white teeth are shining directly into my eyes causing me to spontaneously blink, ‘finding yourself stalked and then almost strangled to death.’
‘Oh yes,’ I nod and refill my water glass. ‘Terrifying.’
Although, I squirm as three huge cameras circle closer like a cackle of hyenas moving in for the kill, nowhere near as terrifying as being on live TV. All through the interview I keep getting these uncanny impulses to indulge in a touch of Tourette’s, spouting obscenities while intermittently flashing a nipple.
‘And then not only did you capture the culprit but you managed to turn the situation round and through it launched the most talked about advertising campaign this decade.’
‘Not just me…’ I grin bashfully as Camera One’s red light gives a little wink in my direction.
‘So as a woman who’s spent the last eight years as a mother and housewife,’ Holly continues brightly, ‘how are you finding it being back out in the workplace?’
How am I finding it? Fantastic. Sodding-bloody-fantastic, I want to reply but for some reason, ever since the camera did that little wink, my throat simply refuses to co-operate.
‘It’s a…a…’ I cough and reach for the water, ‘case of…’
‘And balancing this brand new exciting career with taking care of two primary-school age children?’ prompts her co-presenter nicely. ‘You must be very organised…’
‘Well, Joseph… I mean Jason… I mean…’
And that’s it. My mouth freezes while I rifle through my memory bank trying to recall his name. Jason or Joseph… But no, it can’t be either. Joseph was the biblical character that this guy portrayed at a West End theatre and Jason…he was the ex-Neighbours actor who also played Joseph as well as dating Kylie Minogue and picking David Guest’s nose on some reality show. So this guy, the one sitting in front of me, all mike-ed up, awaiting an answer while millions look on… God, who is he? Sweat pools under the armpits of my new Vivienne Westwood polka-dot dress with the waist-cinching corset as I scan and rescan his grey speckled hair and cute baby face. ‘The thing is…’
A reassuring hand rests on my arm. For the fifth time this morning, Rosa steps in to save me.
‘Oh she is, Phillip,’ she laughs lightly. ‘Super-organised, that’s our Cath. Packed lunches prepared night before. Uniforms folded neatly on chairs. Dishwasher and washing machine fully loaded. Plants watered. Fish fed. Wonderwoman has nothing on her.’
She slaps me on the back, just as I take another gulp of water. Instead of drowning the giant South American toad now living in my larynx, a fountain shoots out from my mouth and nose.
Holly smiles once more as she smoothly links back to the weather, before the cameras wheel away, allowing her to dab at her water-spotted jacket and mercifully ending the second most scary moment of my entire life.
Ellie Campbell is a pseudonym for sisters, Pam Burks and Lorraine Campbell who collaborate across the mighty Atlantic from their respective homes in Surrey, England and Colorado, USA, finding writing together a great excuse for endless phone conversations. Together they have written three previous novels How To Survive Your Sisters, When Good Friends Go Bad and Looking For La La. They love any chance to connect with their readers.
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