Authors: Fiona Walker
Tags: #Romance, #Chick-Lit
lives in Worcestershire with her partner and two children plus an assortment of horses and dogs. Visit Fiona’s website at
Lots of Love
Tongue in Cheek
Kiss and Tell
Published by Hachette Digital
All characters and events in this publication, other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2012 Fiona Walker
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of the publisher.
Little, Brown Book Group
100 Victoria Embankment
London, EC4Y 0DY
For the Boddington Bon Vivant, the flame-haired Freudian and the High Peaks academic, whose kinship and company is such a joy, and who enjoyed the ‘real’ Spywood; with love and gratitude.
Thank you for forwarding the Finnish edition of
Ptolemy Finch and the Emerald Falcon
for Gordon; I will mark one for his attention.
Kelly has just put this in front of me and once again I am astonished by the liberties taken in translation. I have been working my way through it with the aid of BabelFish and a Finnish dictionary and see that in
when Ptolemy suffers a reaction to the sting from the dune wasp, Purple tells him ‘your dick is swollen’. Later, in
, when Rushlore asks Ptolemy where his sidekick is, he replies ‘I had sex with Purple yesterday’. I know the Finnish are liberal sorts, but I will remind you that this is a children’s book.
I believe that in Finnish the phrase for ‘swollen tongue’ is very close to ‘swollen dick’ and there may be a small typo, which we trust will not affect the reading pleasure of your many Finnish fans. Similarly, I am told that ‘I saw her yesterday’ only requires a missing umlaut to become a far more intimate statement. Again, I’m certain it won’t affect readers’ enjoyment.
It’s essential that Ptolemy remains asexual. Perhaps this is why in
of the Finnish version, when he and Purple are sitting on the clifftop above the Sea of Sand, he says ‘I am a parasite’? Parasites reproduce asexually, so no doubt you will reply assuring me that I should be grateful to my Finnish translator.
P.s. I cannot get through to Conrad. Where is he?
I gather ‘iloinen’ (happy) and ‘loinen’ (parasite) are easily muddled, but of course I will take this up with your Finnish publisher as a matter of urgency.
May I take this opportunity to apologise profusely on behalf of Conrad, myself and all at Fellows Howlett for any distress this is causing you.
Conrad is out of the office all day, I’m afraid, and not contactable on his BlackBerry. I haven’t seen him since yesterday, but I will make sure he’s apprised of this.
Is that ‘seen him’ with or without an umlaut?
P.s. Please do not always cc our correspondence to Kelly; displacement activities like re-translating translations are an author’s secret vice, and my assistant is my guilty conscience.
Nothing umlautish about Conrad, as you know.
As secret vices go, I believe teaching yourself Finnish is deeply noble. I have heard back from your publisher in Helsinki who reassures me that the translation is perfect and that BabelFish is leading us both astray. I trust that makes you feel parasitic.
Indeed, my tongue is swollen with delight. I think Conrad has a great deal of the lout about his accent. In diacritic terms, I am regrettably grave.
With apologies for antagonism,
No apology needed.
P.s. I’m acute.
Fellows Howlett has an imposter in its midst; a sense of humour is surely against company policy. I believe you are also a fan of detective fiction?
It’s my dream to discover a bestselling crime writer from the agency’s slush pile.
What future would you suggest for a Finnish detective named Iloinen Loinen?
A name change. While you were quite right to insist ‘Ptolemy with a silent P’ could be loved and understood by the public, Iloinen Loinen is never likely to be big in Japan.
P.s. Scandinavian detectives are very last year.
And what do you predict will be big in Japan, Allegra?
A young, gutsy female detective from west London; you can feature popular tourist attractions interspersed with violence, murder and Knightsbridge department stores. Think rumpled, blonde, big smile, kind heart. Incredibly sharp, witty and courageous.
I take it the grizzled, hard-drinking man with a broken marriage is also ‘last year’, along with monochrome landscape of high rises, dingy pubs, back alleys and sex workers … ?
That’s still a good formula. How about a double act? She = rumpled and feisty; he = grizzled and boozy. Mismatches are always a hit; readers will love the sexual chemistry.
I’ll remind you that sexual chemistry is not within my literary canon.
Untrue! Ptolemy Finch always makes me v hot under the collar when chatting to Purple on clifftops. You totally understand the secret of building sexual tension over soooo long it makes your readers ache.
You must moderate these urges if you are to remain as my research assistant. You must also stop discussing our communications with Conrad, in or out of work.
I shall call my detective duo Julie Ocean and Jimmy Jimee. Their relationship will be entirely professional, a concept you will need to use your undeniably vivid imagination to grasp.
P.s. Please forward IM+ name and keep an open line at all times.
Is IM+ name like porn star name (first pet and street name)?
|Cc:||Gordon Lapis; Conrad Knight|
|Re:||From Gordon Lapis|
Gordon asks that you stop sending emails direct to him because he is working on a new project entitled
The Girl with the Parasite Ache
all afternoon. You can direct any further emails via my address as usual.
DO NOT encourage Gordon to write detective fiction; we have enough problems keeping him focused on Ptolemy. You must remain professional. Think ‘Reveal’.
It has been brought to my attention by Human Resources that your personal mobile phone is inadequate for your enhanced professional role. Fellows Howlett are therefore providing you with a company cell-phone which will be carefully monitored for use. Do not play games on it.
P.s. Book our usual table for dinner.
Booked! A xxx
P.s. We don’t have an HR department, do we … ?