Archive for June, 2013

Nicely done interview and very timely for my garrulous alter ego….

Susan Finlay Writes

Frances Kay Brown

I’d like to introduce you to the fifty-ninth interviewee in my ‘Meet the Author’ series. She is Frances Kay, who also writes as Pan Zador.

Hi, Frances! Welcome to Susan Finlay Writes blog site. Can you tell us a bit about your background as a writer?

I started making stories of my own pretty much as soon as I could read [aged 3 and a half]. I press-ganged my little brother into appearing in plays by the time I was five [performed for parents and anyone who was in the house at the time]. The first book took a little longer – I was 12, and tapping away on a very old typewriter my parents gave me for my birthday. It was so heavy I couldn’t lift it. And that book, alas, never saw the light of day.

Your novel, Micka, was published by Picador in July, 2010. It…

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Children first! Yes!

Couldn’t be more different from my blog of yesterday. This is a simple description of the creation of  A PLACE TO GROW, where children can learn with delight. Reading it makes me happy, and gives me hope.

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I wouldn’t say I am normally a vindictive person, but I’ve recently been listening to the taped phone conversations of some singularly unattractive people. And I don’t think a public enquiry – now the horse is well and truly out of the stable, along with so many of his complaisant fellow nags  – goes anywhere near satisfying the anger that their conversations have aroused. So I’d like to suggest a theatrical-type scenario that might make everyone who is currently being bullied, squeezed and patronised by the current government and by so many governments before, feel that natural justice has been served.

I’d like to see those men, whose voices we can hear, whose laughter and whose contemptible self-serving greed set the tone for past decades, stripped naked, have their heads shaved in public, and then be made to walk barefoot through the streets of Dublin handcuffed to a tumbril containing, in cash, every penny of their personal pension pots, to be distributed to the populace by a couple of actors dressed as clowns. I’d like them to be accompanied by any TD or property developer or banker who had any part whatsoever in the actions of 2008, to have their pensions also filling the tumbril, tumbling out into the hands of those who are not to blame for our misery, and I would like them to be made to dance, caper, show us their bellies, those places where our money went as they grew fat and flabby on banquets and gifts, and of course, to sing some patriotic songs as they walk. To help them do this, everyone attending the spectacle would be encouraged to bring soft and rotten fruit and vegetables to throw. It could be a great day out for many. Finally, and only after the tumbril has been completely emptied, they would then be handed over to due process of law.

Just writing this has cheered me up. Oh, and don’t take my word for it. Listen to the tapes yourself:


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I’ve just been standing in a bowl of elderflower cream. With the arrival of the rain, the size and drunkenly delicious fragrance of the blooms on my trees – and they are truly mine, because I planted these lime-loving witch-haunting trees in acid soil and they grew for me, which makes me definitely a witch – has drawn me to stand beneath them, dripping and delighted, picking four of the most extravagant heads to try an experiment. They [my friends the old wives and some recipe books I respect] say that the flower heads for making drinks should be gathered on a sunny day. These are wet with fresh rain. I shall make a comparative batch of elderflower champagne and test it out in two weeks’ time.

While I picked them, I remembered last summer, frantically  grabbing a few and making a batch before I left home to go into hospital and into a journey of horrible discoveries and miraculous recoveries.

I’m still here, and so are my elder trees – I may have shrunk a little, but they go onward and upward, getting more beautiful as they reach the sky.

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