Monday, January 08, 2007


Hello everyone. My, am I pleased to have finally got to it, only 24 hours late. We have had technical difficulties and although my husband¹s ironed out most glitches, one remains; I have to type this in the shed where I work, pop it on a disk and then my long-suffering old geezer will have to fiddle about (a technical term) with it before he can send it. For some reason, we simply can¹t access you through the computer that¹s on Broadband - deep, deep sigh! Anyway, to business:-
My pen name is PIP GRANGER but everyone calls me Chip, which is, of course, a nickname. I labour under a misprint - Writers¹ News got my name wrong when they reported that I¹d won a prize as an unpublished author, and my publisher preferred it on the grounds that ŒChip¹ conjures up images of a muscular youth on a surfboard somewhere on Bondi Beach or, possibly, a beach somewhere in sunny California. Beaches figure large, anyway, whereas I actually live on a moor and have never even touched a surfboard. And I am certainly not a muscular youth, or even a flabby one.
I usually write about London¹s Soho in the 1950s, although I have been known to write about other things in my time. However, my four published novels are set there and then. If you¹re interested, more info may be found at I was brought up in Soho's Old Compton Street above a very famous (here at least) Œ50s coffee bar called the Two Is, which was the cradle of England¹s Rock Œn¹ roll scene.
I feel a bit of a fraud, because although I am published by Poisoned Pen Press in America as a crime writer, here I am classed as a Saga writer (and Penguin USA had me down as a ŒModern Classic¹). I guess you pays your money and takes your choice. I think in America my work is classed as Œcozies¹. To confuse the issue still further, I am presently working on two books that Corgi, my English publisher, asked me to write, a memoir of my childhood and a Vox Pop history of London¹s West End between 1945 and 1960. I have just embarked on the 2nd draft of the memoir, due out in June, and am researching the Vox Pop and am due to start the actual writing of that when I come up for air. I have not enjoyed writing the memoir much, but needs must when the devil (or the publisher) drives and the bank account is empty. The idea, I think, is to re-orientate me in the English market, out of Sagas, where I simply do not fit, (Saga readers do not expect a bloke in a dress on page one, however lovely he is, and Sugar Plum Flaherty is a poppet), and into Historical, which makes me feel positively ancient.
All I can say to all this is, roll on the end of all this non-fiction and get me back to my little mob in Soho. I am happier in fiction, I think, even if my genre is hazy at best.
Sorry this intro is so lengthy, I¹m not all that good at brief and Barbara¹s post was the very model of brevity too. I think I waffle on because I lead a very isolated sort of life, rarely seeing anyone or straying far from my shed or my bed on account of chronic illness, so when invited to communicate, BOY, DO I COMMUNICATE! Just tell me to keep it briefer if it bores you. Of course, I may not take any notice...


Kim said...


I stumbled across your blog by chance and wanted to mention I currently live above the bar that was once the two i's cafe on Old Compton Street.

I'm very keen to track down your writing.

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