Monday, 2 November 2015

Coming Clean

I haven't been entirely honest with my GreyMatter readers over the last year.  I owe you all an explanation about a little scam I've had going - I hope you will forgive me for misleading you.

A few blog posts ago, I raised the alarm about a particularly nasty 'grey-hater'.  A rather snide, misogynistic fellow with a large beard, who hates his wife and doesn't have much to say about women in general.



In the post I re-tell how he offended my friend Midge, then wrote about it in his blog livingthedreamdfl.

Well, I have to confess - C.K. Blaine, the evil grey-hater, is in fact, me. Well - he's me in the the written sense and my husband (long suffering poor chap) in the pictures.


My very sporting, supportive husband - in an itchy, fake beard.


So - what on earth made me write a blog pretending to be a complete tosser?  Well Conrad (C.K.) Blaine is one of the main fictional characters in my new novel DOWN FROM LONDON.  I started blogging as him just as an experiment, to see how audiences might react to him (they hate him/love to hate him).  Very quickly, I was getting a lot of traffic through the blog and I have to confess it got a bit addictive!

My GreyMatter followers did a stirling job defending my lovely friend Midge (she was in on the whole thing) and I always felt a bit guilty about that, so towards the end of my time as C.K. I tried to redress the balance.  Here is his post in which he has a terrible experience when trying to dye the grey from his beard - MId-Life Meltdowns and Mentors.  So, you see, he has his comeuppance and eventually has some respect for those that chose to cut the dye.

We had enormous fun writing the blog and although I still haven't been forgiven for making him wear the beard, going out with my husband dressed as a hipster were some of the funniest outings we've ever had.  And the funniest thing of all?  Everybody - for a time at least - thought he was real. He's been quoted in newspapers and hotly debated and vilified on social media.  He made friends on Twitter - one lovely chap even wanted to take him for a beer. 

So, now you are all in on the joke, here are some pics of my husband 'bearding up' ready for another outing as C.K.Blaine.









And more disturbing still, several of my friends have told me that 'they would'.  This inflated the husband's ego somewhat until I pointed out that 'they wouldn't' if he was just being himself. Beards clearly have an intoxicating effect on women!

So, the book.  It's called Down From London and is set in my home town of Whitstable.  People who are 'down from London' got given the nickname of DFLs shortly after they began to visit in large numbers in the early 1990s.  The story is really about the tensions that still exist between locals and 'outsiders' - the mutual hostility, the misunderstanding and the huge class and cultural differences.  

Of course this isn't an isolated story of one town.  This happens everywhere, all over the world. Wherever there is a pretty, 'quaint' sea-side town within easy access of a city people will visit. Holiday-makers, tourists and urbanites will inevitably flock there, to escape city life, the heat, the poor air - whatever.  And in turn, this influx will inevitably change the character and dynamic of the town.  I hope people who read the book will see parallels in the places they may live too, whether they are stressed-out city dwellers desperate for some sea air, or long suffering coastal townspeople, fuming at the hoards of fancy-folk descending at the weekends.

So apologies for the deception - I hope you will enjoy Blaine's blog, now knowing it was me!  I hope also and that knowing my motivation behind the blog, you might want to check out my book.




It's available for Kindle and for Print On Demand on Amazon.  Please click the title below to take you through to my Amazon page.  

DOWN FROM LONDON

And if you live in the UK you can pop along to Whitable town and get the book in Harbour Books too! 

You can also check out the other things I'm up to on my website.  New blog coming soon.  Click AliDilnutt.

Thanks for your continued reading and support!  x

















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