Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2012 by ruthramsden

Ok. First off, a quick thank you to Jonny Gibbings (or ‘my mate Jonny’ as I shall now be calling him) for tagging me in this embarrassing book cabal. The premise of the whole thing is that I’ll answer the ten questions below and then tag five other authors, who will do the same and so on until the world eventually runs out of authors to promote. Embarrassing? The embarrassing thing is I don’t know five other authors. Tough. I’m going to do it anyway. Whether you miserable lot like it or not, I shall be selflessly promoting your work, OK??

Here it is. It’s called THE NEXT BIG THING. Well, I’m big. Pretty much in the same way that The Stranglers were Big In America. In other words not at all (although they were very nice in Nice). Would I like to be big? Yes, certainly, who wouldn’t? Although being big is never any guarantee of acceptance as Lynda La Plante found out at a near deserted book signing when a Hilda Ogden crone thrust her chin at the renowned author and said, “Well, I’ve never ‘eard of ya.” So who knows, one day, I may never be heard of. One can only dream.

Right, here are the questions (and some answers too):

What is the working title of your next book?

It’s called ADVENTURES IN THE SIN TRADE and is a pun on the title of a Dylan Thomas collection of short stories called Adventures in the Skin Trade, although I found out recently that it’s also the title of an episode of Xena Warrior Princess. Naughty Xena, eh?

Where did the idea for your book come from?

It’s the second in a series of books about a Dominatrix called JJ Franklin who finds herself involved in various criminal underworld activities, murder and mayhem. It’s really a continuance of her first appearance in BLUE MUDER AT THE PINK PARROT.

What genre does your book fall under?

Difficult. It’s humorous; it’s a thriller; it’s erotica; it’s alternative, a bit dark and silly with some bikers and a lot of spanking. Cookery? No. I have no idea what you’d call it.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your main characters in a movie rendition?

Again, that’s difficult. JJ is a robust woman – tall and sculpted; not fat, just voluptuous and I can’t think of any actresses striking enough that aren’t stick thin. Maybe Nigella Lawson in a red wig. Her main foil, Max, maybe Edward Norton a la American History X or Chiklis if he grew a goatee and lost some weight..* I should mention that the novel I’m currently working on has a role written in especially for Johnny Depp – it’s part of a long term plan I have for when I’m ‘not heard of’ and I can pick who I want to perve at on a movie set.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

JJ tries to deal with her lover, Max, a drug dealing pimp, rival motorcycle gangs, the machinations of a rich sadist and his bully boy accomplice while she finds a killer, maintains her clients and her intake of claret, chocolate and cocaine.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

Neither. The lovely folk at Cutting Edge Press will be publishing it, as they did BLUE MURDER AT THE PINK PARROT.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I tend to work quite quickly when the mood is on me and Sin Trade initially probably took about three months to finish. Then I went back and re-wrote it completely and then I went through and edited it some more. The whole of that process, bleh, maybe six, eight months. It’s still not finished, mind.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Gawd. Given that I haven’t been very genre specific, that’s hard. The Perils of Pauline? No. Humour? Well, there was something wonderfully rich and silly that Willie Rushton wrote called WG Grace’s Last Case, a murder mystery involving WG Grace, Dr. Watson, Oscar Wilde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and on and on. I like to play with words and contexts in something of the same fashion as he did there and get as much good stuff in as possible. Well, that’s what I’m aiming at, anyway. Crime? I think my writing style is probably a bit too baroque for classic noir fiction, although I hope to grab something of the insouciance of the private dick (fnar) while keeping a bit of edge. But maybe because it’s unclassifiable, I’d say Robert Rankin’s The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse is closer to the mark, although mine has fewer toys and nursery rhyme characters, obviously.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Both Pink Parrot and Sin Trade are really based on my own experiences and a lot of extrapolation. I’d rather not say how much is autobiographical but I’ve been on the SM scene for decades now and some very strange things have happened to me and people I know. Sex is something you have to laugh about at times and when you add whips and chains and all that jazz into the mix the oddities taken without bat of an eyelash are legion. I could mention all sorts of weirdos – I’m one myself, so I’m not being weirdist but the specific thing that triggered me to write Pink Parrot was the perfectly serious offer of £20,000 from a man who wanted to come and live under my stairs as a pet. One of the few occasions (no, the only occasion) when I could truthfully say twenty grand’s not enough.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

OK. It has murder, torture, drug dealing, drug taking, sex, sinister types with evil laughter, smacked bottoms, perving on motorbikes, people getting naked, a couple of strip clubs, a gun fight and a lot of red wine.

Here are my five authors in no particular order:

Charlotte Rodgers: Charlotte is an amazing woman. An artist, writer and sculptor who’s magickal thinking should be more widely appreciated. Her book about ritual blood work and primal magick, The Bloody Sacrifice is about to be updated and I have the privilege of being involved with her astonishing memoir: P Is For Prostitution – A Modern Primer, a journey through chaos that few would survive to flourish as Charlotte has.

Mark Ramsden: Should declare an interest as Mark is my partner but anyone can see that his writing is witty, articulate and cutting, darkly humorous and full of ideas. His Serpents Tail trilogy The Dark Magus and the Sacred Whore, The Dungeon Master’s Apprentice and The Sacred Blood are still available on Amazon and he’s also written the young adult fiction novel War School. His tribute to Dickens, serial slaughter, lust and obsession, Eddie Drood, will be with us soon.

Mogg Morgan: Mogg is marvellous. He’s boss man at Mandrake of Oxford and a talented author who’s ideas and insights into Egyptian, Greek, and Babylonian paganism have formed a wonderful and radical synthesis between Eastern and Western magical beliefs. Among his books: The Bull of Ombos: Seth and Egyptian Magick; Pan’s Road; Supernatural Assault in Ancient Egypt: Seth, Renpet and Moon Magick.. Mogg has humour and charm as well as serious academic chops and I can’t pretend I’m worthy.

Gavin Baddeley is probably one of the funniest men on the planet. He is witty and articulate, a scholar, if not a gentleman. Lucifer Rising: A Book of Sin, Devil Worship and Rock and Roll does all it says on the tin and more. Much, much MORE. If you’re going to get to know only one Satanist, make sure it’s Gavin.

Madeline Moore is actually HUGE anyway. Her novel, Sarah’s Education came 3rd in The Daily Mail’s poll of the most titillating takes of all time. Sharp and sexy, she’s one of the best erotica writers in the business. There are few authors as stylish in any genre, so check her out, without delay.



Posted in Uncategorized on October 16, 2012 by ruthramsden

As a precocious girl who grew up in the 70s and blossomed into the marvelouslly mature woman you see before you now, I have to say that I’m a little disconcerted by the current paedogeddon surrounding the Jimmy Savile horror. Those who have muttered, quite correctly, that it was a different culture then, have been drowned out by a quite righteous revulsion filtered through a very modern Zeitgeist. I used to have a photograph of myself aged nine, in a bikini and sunglasses that looked like Lolita (yes, I know, I peaked early) and by the age I could legally have sex I was a very old hand at dealing with other old hands who should have known better and didn’t. I had filed these saddos in a bin marked ‘pathetic’ and I was indeed lucky that the only feeling engendered by this proto-kiddie fiddling was contempt. Don’t get me wrong, I was never seriously sexually assaulted; me and my 36E abutments were ‘merely’ the victims of a certain amount of wanton groping, together with the occasional attempt to forage further South. This was somehow a tacky right of passage through pubescence in the 70s. I’m not saying this was right. I’m just saying this was how it was. Nowadays we are far more enlightened about how young girls (and boys) find out about sex, their bodies and sensuality.

It doesn’t surprise me at all that many other celebrities from the decade that taste forgot are receiving a retrospective punch in the mouth for their fumblings. Those who occasionally used their position to cop a quick feel from excited adolescent pop groupies must be terrified. I just wish (not for the sake of my bank balance, obviously) that some of those leering lorry drivers/door to door salesmen/whatever could be recalled and tracked down so I could point the finger at them – “Aha! You pervert!” Because there were a good few. So I have to ask the question – Where is the line to be drawn? Does it only matter if you’re famous? “Kid Jensen touched my bum!” He didn’t – but why should it matter less if it was some scrofulous bloke who helped stack boxes round the back of Gateways. The culture was different then.

But for all its post 60s shortcomings, it was also different from a man who clearly was a paedophile. Rather than the odd fumble, this was a man who arranged his work, his position in society and his play so that he could abuse children. A sociopath; an arrogant, smiling, cigar waving villain who held charities to ransom so that he could indulge his sexual proclivities without disruption to his anorexic conscience. The different culture of the 70s may very well have helped this man to hide in plain sight but looking for scapegoats among others still in the public eye is only a way of getting back at Jim’ll Fuck It by proxy. By all means prosecute those guilty of sexual assault but please don’t redefine sexual assault as ‘feeling a boob in 1974’. Probably the only person ‘untouched’ in the 70s was Cyril Fletcher and I couldn’t say for sure about that.

I’m concerned that all this new paedogeddon deflects attention from rightly compensating those who’ve had their lives effected by the slithery track suit wearing pervert with the double bed in the back of his Landrover.

Spaced Out

Posted in Uncategorized on October 15, 2012 by ruthramsden

When I was young, I remember Blue Peter interviewing Joe Kittinger and (I think) showing a photograph he’d taken just as he left his capsule. Kittinger said he thought for a moment something had gone wrong as he could feel nothing at all when he stepped off, a solitary member of the several miles high club, until he realised that was because there was no air resistance rushing passed him. When he looked up he could see the capsule hurtling away;  in perfect calm and silence, he had no way to tell if he was falling or not.  I remember being utterly stunned that a human being could do this and I’ve never forgotten the feat or the calm, matter of fact man who’d accomplished it. Kudos to Felix Baumgartner for this re-affirmation of the human spirit in troubled times. And kudos too to Kittinger for mentoring him. Now there are two of a kind.

Separate Lives

Posted in Uncategorized on October 7, 2012 by ruthramsden

I’ve read silly criticism by those optimistic romantics who have bought into the Darcey ideal that Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton aren’t being close enough because they maintain separate houses. What a load of silly wank. Every photo I have ever seen of this marvellously eccentric couple has radiated kissy cuddly glowiness. They have a connecting door, two kids, some terrapins and a tortoise. What more could they crave? Although clearly it’s different strokes for different folks, I have to confess that me and the old man share a similar arrangement. Although we’re not sloshing about with enough lucre to set ourselves up with separate front doors, we do tend to keep to different zones and we certainly don’t sleep together. SHAME! WHAT ABOUT LURVE? WHAT ABOUT SEX? Well. I have managed to maintain a loving enthusiasm for a man who would probably have driven me crazy in other circumstances by re-newing my acquaintance with him daily. And we fuck all over the house, no problem. If I had to sleep with him as well (which occasionally happens when we have guests), he would have scratched his own head off in an agony of irritation and I would have been sectioned through lack of sleep. I’m often awake and working until four or five in the morning and he needs to listen to the TV in order to drift off. I need dark and silence. And we both snore. I’ve been reassured my emanations could summon Samael and on bad nights, Mark sounds like a combine harvester going over a cattle grid.

This is reality. What would Miss Bennett have done after that first kiss? As Darcey’s mood swings became irksome and she had politely to suffer the predations of his bloody awful aunt and her pasty faced daughter? A separate residence would have given her time to breathe, a haven from the bratlings and somewhere to fantasise about his wet tee shirt episode, so she could re-encounter him smiling an sexy over the dinner table. One day, when I’m older and even more eccentric (and so is he) maybe we’ll have two houses on the hill and those who criticise Carter/Burton can bloody well file it, along with their decree absolutes.

Robert Hughes 1938 – 2012

Posted in Uncategorized on August 7, 2012 by ruthramsden

Robert Hughes, the greatest art critic of our time, has died. As man whose wit and polemic was as incisive and expressive as his love for real modern art, his passing will leave a yawning gap that simply can’t be filled, certainly not by those toadying fashionistas that suck up the bullshit on the press releases of the now not so YBAs. I first became aware of him, like many people in the 1980s when his TV series The Shock of the New aired. It’s still vivid in my memory 30 years later as the definitive commentary on a century of modernism. His disillusionment with Conceptualism and the horror of its commercialisation is shared by many and his commentaries on it are as terse and accurate as a lover would be decrying mutton dressed as lamb, or in Damien’s case, a sheep dressed as a shark. He realised that much of the modern British art lauded by his literally uncomprehending contemporaries is little more than a cash converter service for those barren of expression or ignorant of anything beyond the cache of auction headlines.

I’m certain his passing will leave Damien, Tracey, Martin et al unruffled. Sadly their confidence in their own pre-eminence and the current trends of the art market will have little cause to shy. But as an artist myself, it is a comfort to remember Hughes on precisely this:

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize .”

Robert Hughes, a humanist and, in some ways, an artist on his own right.


Posted in Uncategorized on June 14, 2012 by ruthramsden

As a crime writer, I’m a ghoul. It’s an occupational hazard. That’s my only excuse for watching Killers Behind Bars: The Untold Story on channel 5 on Monday. I’m not often moved to spitting outrage by a true crime programme but Professor David Wilson’s presentation managed to make me furious. There was precious little on show really about Stephen Wright, the killer being profiled and far too much of Wilson, who’s gesticulating form, aided and abetted by the director’s bizarre camera angles, filled every frame of the programme. While Wilson trundled around various crime scenes in East Anglia shouting, we were focussed on his hands, then wobbling somewhere round his earlobe, his nose, his midriff; the whole mise en scene was punctuated by his messianic posturing captured in hovering pseudo vertite camera work and CSI flying graphics. I could have put up with this red-top News of the Screws production if the science had any merit but the only thrust of the programme seemed to be Wilson’s contention that because Wright had killed five people, that must mean he had killed before. But David, there’s a first time for everything. Most serial killers have a history of petty crime, sexual assault, violence, many other indicators that lead up to murder and this is what profilers and police look for when it becomes clear they are dealing with one of these beasts. Wilson picked on an unsolved murder in Norfolk, that of Michelle Bettle, found strangled in undergrowth by a stream, as proof that the ‘Suffolk strangler’ had killed before. Whether he’s right or not, I couldn’t say. No-one can, probably not even Stephen Wright, who’s “no comment” response to his other crimes is notorious. But  this didn’t stop Wilson going on ‘a journey’. He interviewed an expert, who agreed with him, his class of students (“they’re not just here to agree with me”), who agreed with him; he agreed with himself more often than not. Most sickening of all, he interviewed the girl’s father until he broke down talking of his lost daughter. The camera zoomed in on the tears then lingered long enough that we could hear Wilson –  “it’s alright, it’s alright, take your time…” In the end what he offered boiled down to this: the deposition sites were similar and Michelle had once got into a car with someone who cross dressed (Wright had once been known to do so). “There can’t be two serial killers in Norfolk,” he shouted. Excuse me Professor Wilson, who said anything about two? When has one other murder amounted to two serial killers? “I’m sure if the police went on the same journey I have…” Well, yes, how very remiss of them. Sadly, this wasn’t about the fate of Michelle Bettle, who’s family are still desperate for answers and who’s story does indeed remain ‘untold’, it was all about David Wilson.

A Whole Lotta Love

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15, 2012 by ruthramsden

Yeah!!! Bonzo!!! I’ve been trolling through my music (I nearly gave my age away there by saying ‘record’ collection’ – is that for your ‘stereo’, dearie?) and I’ve been appreciating the skills of REAL musicians, getting me all loved up with life again. In the wake of a tap dancing dog – sorry, I REALLY wasn’t paying attention – it’s nice to have my bits jiggled by people who know what they’re doing. As opposed to those who just jiggle their bits. I feel I must say a thing or two about some genuine rock gods.

Dribbling through my telly via SkyArts, a half hour programme, featuring the musical stylings of an early Led Zeppelin had me aunty dancing round the parlour and reaching for the old back catalogue. Fabulous, peerless, still unsurpassed, Zep are rock colossi (is that really a word? The red wriggly line that is the tell of my spelling Nazi seems to think so. Oh well…) Robert Plant, Jimmy Paige, John Paul Jones and John Bonham stand at the summit of every rock musician’s ambition. All of them are virtuosi (I’ve done it again) – Robert Plant’s wonderful, wailing blues voice still soars above the howl of every heavy metal imitator; John Paul Jones, a multi instrumental savant, his bass like a crawling king snake; Jimmy Paige, quite simply a guitar genius plucking riffs from the air, tattooing them into your psyche and John Bonham, just the best rock drummer there’s ever been. I watched him on the strange TV black and white beat-fest with smiling incredulity at his talent. His heavy right foot driving Zep on, keeping them anchored to the galleon of his drums, the licks and fills livening the narrative of each song, crashing ahead of him like waves. You always end up sounding like a pratt trying to explain the visceral effect good music has on you. John Bonham has a casual power that few other drummers can close in on, never mind surpass. Dave Grohl has a similar presence and there’s no prizes for guessing his hero. Unless you’re a drummer, it’s unusual to be drawn to the beat man in a rock outfit but I was always drawn to John. It’s not so much his pyrotechnics, I’ve never been a fan of the extended drum solo (who has?) as the quality of his beat. It has an attack and depth that cuts through, that drives on, that resonates. Listen to When The Levee Breaks, listen to Whole Lotta Love, listen to his re-entry at the end of Stairway to Heaven, God, it knocks you backwards. He and John Paul shared a love of soul and funk that made Zep, maybe more than any other rock band, hit a warm and sensual groove in their blues, a counterpoint to Plant’s orgasmic agonising and Jimmy’s sweeping kaleidoscopic axeworks. Led Zeppelin really swing.

The drummer of a band is the engine room, the pistons, the turbines, the sweat and grease and noise and power. If I may offer an idiotic metaphor – had John Bonham been the engine room of the RMS Titanic, she could have ripped through that iceberg and carried on, full steam to New York, her passengers enjoying the party, waving and raving, rocking to the same rock steady that still lights us up when we listen to Led Zeppelin today. Yeah!!! Bonzo!!! That’s GOD, Simon, not DOG