Sex after pizza and posh cork screws by Sophia Money-Coutts
For readers who haven’t (yet!) read your witty novel, can you tell us about it in one sentence? Did You Miss Me? is a funny, nostalgic examination of first love, starring Nell, my heroine, who suddenly comes face-to-face with her first love at a funeral, 15 years after last seeing him, and it kickstarts this whole *journey* where she wonders: ‘should I be living in Clapham with my slightly boring boyfriend who talks about his posh corkscrew all the time, or should my life have gone in a completely different direction so that I live in a Northumbrian castle with a handsome toff called Arthur?’ Relatable, I think you’ll all agree. Your book encapsulates the conundrum for many aspiring, achieving women – to settle or not to settle. Do you think you’d follow the same path as Nell in your real life? To settle or not to settle? The big which Shakespeare didn’t ask, probably because he was a man. I think the question of whether to settle or not plagues many more women than men because we are STILL asked to give up so much, to relinquish so much of ourselves than men are in the interest of furthering the human race. Should you opt for Mr Sensible, like Gus in my book, who has a trouser press and talks about his posh corkscrew all the time, or should you hold out for someone more electrifying, who may bring more drama into your life but make it more exciting? And can excitement last forever anyway? I certainly haven’t worked out the answer to that one yet. Any help or tips from wiser women than me gratefully received. We love that you decided to call out disappointingly average sex in your book! Why did you decide to include this, and do you get embarrassed at the thought of an ex reading your great words? If I think back over all the times I’ve had sex in my life, there’s been some good sex, some great sex, but also a good deal of disappointing sex. And I think this often gets lost in the portrayal of sex on screen and in books, when we see or read about people thrashing around together, groaning and moaning and climaxing at the EXACT same time as if they’re in some sort of sexual Olympics. But what about the less thrilling sex that you have on a Tuesday evening when you’re tired? Or the sex you have on a Friday night when you’ve eaten too much pizza? Or the sex that you have with a partner even though you don’t really feel like it but you haven’t done it for a while and feel as if you should? All sex should be represented on the page, and that includes sad, disappointing sex. And I don’t mind if any of my exes flick immediately to the racy bits from my book to see if it’s based on them. It might make a few buck up their ideas, quite frankly. If we may ask, where did you get inspiration for Nell’s awful rich clients? Having worked as a journalist for a decade before starting to write novels, including a five-year stint at Tatler magazine, I came across all sorts of rich, entitled, spoiled people who provided very useful inspiration for Nell’s awful divorce clients. Although I should probably say, for legal reasons, characters like Prince Rudolf of Lichtenstein are entirely fabricated and absolutely, definitely not based on anyone in real life. Finally, can you tell us why you think CWIP is important? You know every year when the Edinburgh Festival publishes their ten funniest jokes of the Fridge? Last year, eight of the funniest jokes were by men, two of the ten were by the same male comic and not once in the past 14 years has a woman been crowned the winner. Come on, world. We can do better than this. Prizes like the CWIP help challenge this peculiar myth that men are funnier than us. For one thing, this simply cannot be true given that Victoria Wood existed.
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