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“Your mother’s famous,” I told Peony. “And it’s thanks to you.”

(Peony can’t hear sarcasm. Her father had the same hearing issues.)

I’m just going to reproduce the whole interview. It seems easier than explaining all the wrangles that led up to it. It appeared yesterday on an American book blog called Wuvvly Books.

I know.

Tempest Could Whip Up a Storm!

We hadn’t heard about Mrs Tempest’s Marriage Bureau. Had you? But once we were alerted and we got a copy, well we couldn’t put it down. This is why we love it:

1 It’s short.

2 It’s got some crazy cussing in it.

3 It’s about old people for a change.

Let’s talk to the author, HA Ferdinand.

WB What inspired you to write Mrs Tempest’s Marriage Bureau?

HA My stupid dog. Mr mother. My arid life. It’s just a story, actually. I wasn’t serious about what I just said. I’d read about the inter-war marriage industry and thought I’d place a marriage bureau in a modern setting. Hilarity ensued, as they say.

WB Does it reflect your own life?

HA No.

WB Has the response been good to the book?

HA It has a small following, I suppose. I don’t do much publicity. Perhaps I ought.

WB We don’t get a lot of the British humor or vocabulary. What’s a barrister?

HA They’re lawyers who work in the higher courts. They wear wigs.

WB No way!

HA It’s not really relevant.

WB Why is Miss Smalls yellow?

HA Well, she’s not really. It’s just that she’s a bit different, a bit of an angel. Oh I don’t know how to answer such specifics.

WB While we’re on the subject of angels, do you love Jesus?

HA I’m sorry?

Wuvvly rating: very wuvvly!!!

I won’t bore you with the book review – you can look it up yourself if you’re really interested.

“Now, sit back and watch your sales rocket,” Peony told me.

“Most books on that site seem to get a very, very, very wuvvly rating,” I pointed out. “I just got one very.”

“Surely a very wuvvly is good.”

“I don’t know. I’ve honestly no idea. I don’t even know if that was a good interview or not.”

“Mum!” she declared and put her hands over her ears. “Just cut out all the negativity, willya. You’re being talked about. What more do you want? Anyway, next stop Plankton Books.”

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