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  1. Back in the noughties, I wrote the draft of 27, an erotic novel. I showed it to half a dozen readers, plus my agent, and did a music and chat show with Joe the Fish on Isles FM, who wanted to prove that it was possible to have an adult conversation about sex, in the afternoon, on live radio, on the Isle of Lewis.

    The introductory piece of music was an obscure English folk song, Hey Trolly Lolly Lo, sung by I Fagiolini.

    This is a comic ditty dating from the 16th century, about a traveller passing through a village who tries (and fails) over the course of several verses, to seduce a milk maid. After that, I was thrown in at the deep end with a question about mediaeval pornography – you have to be able to think on your feet on live radio – and things went on from there.

    Not long after, a friend overheard someone at a party saying there was a writer on the island making a packet out of writing porn – she’d listened to the Isles FM broadcast.

    Nothing could have been further from the truth. My other attempts at erotic writing at that time consisted of three flash (no pun intended) fiction pieces, all doomed to obscurity.

    After the readers of 27 had given positive responses to the draft, I sent it off to my agent, who was also enthusiastic. She sent it off to a publisher who was specifically looking for a sexy book. They sent it back, saying they wanted a sexy book, but not as sexy as that one.

    Running into several more road blocks, including my agent’s impending retirement, that was the last time 27 saw the light of day …

    … until the end of 2021, when I fished it out, thought there was a lot more I could do with it, and spent the next 18 months rewriting the original. By that time, Black Beast Books had been up and running a few years, and I had five titles on offer.

    Long story short, 27 is about to be the sixth.

    Watch this space.