‘“What would you like me to call you?” I asked as we shook hands on parting.
“You can call me what you like,” he said. “I shall call you Beloved – all the girls who work for me are Beloved – but you can call me whatever you want.”
“In that case,” I said, “I shall call you Tiger.”
“I like it,” he said, and kissed my hand.
Our partnership produced lots of newspaper articles, interviews with well-known figures and several non-fiction books. But although they brought Tiger a sense of fulfilment, there was no lasting contentment. Eventually he became convinced that the way ahead for us lay in a different sort of publication. The real test was the novel.
“We need to evolve,” he said.
I did not demur . . .
How to proceed? Write what you know, they always say. But what did I know? Suddenly I knew nothing. In a bid to avert panic I decided to make a list of things in my favour. The list was not long but it was a start:
1. I have written a lot already (just not a novel).
2. I have read lots of novels.’
Jennie Erdal wrote letters, speeches and articles for a flamboyant London publisher. But when he asked her to write a novel – a passionate romance – in his name she faced her biggest challenge . . .