Fiction or memoir? Well, both.


Are my books fiction or memoir? Well, both.

When I wrote my first book, I meant to publish it as a novel. I sent three chapters to a well-known French author. She read the chapters, and advised me to publish it as memoir. With hindsight, maybe that was not the best advice.

Of course, all writing is autobiographical.

“Madame Bovary, c’est moi” said Flaubert.

My favourite Junot Diaz – his novels feel autobiographical, many others, too. But are they?

So Lucie in my books is me, my thoughts, my way of thinking. Many other characters are real people in my life, but their names, stories and descriptions are fiction. Lucie’s life is not my life. She is not me and I am not her.

And now I have my sequel almost ready for publishing, and I am re-writing my “Woman with (no) Strings Attached”, mainly making it shorter, both to be published at the same time sometimes next year probably.

And in the sequel again, the old disclaimers are true:

I copied and pasted this two from “The Book Designer”

  • This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

My addition:

Not coincidental, but fictionalised all the same. I took real people’s thoughts, characteristics and some stories, and put them into blender of my imagination together with lots of thoughts, people and stories I made up. The result is something which feels real. But is than not what good fiction should do?

Remember “Memoirs of the Geisha”?

The writer was an American man, not a Japanese woman. Yet, it felt real.

Hopefully, my books feel real, too. They must do. I recently started blogging my 100 words blogs- from a closed group of fellow writers. Every week, I try to condense one of the chapters of my sequel to 100 words.

Some time ago, one of my sons phoned me to ask if I was all right. He seemed worried.  I did not understand. “Why shouldn’t I be?” I asked. Then I realised that he read my blog.

Blog about a sad woman in love. He was relieved to find out that like a lot of my writing, it was pure fiction.

Maybe I should take this as a compliment to my writing. That it is very much like true life. But it is fiction, and unlike the woman in my sequel, I am happy.

But as the wise Julie Maloney from Women Reading Aloud says. “Remember, it is fiction!”






More 100 words from my soon to be published sequel- my shy gardener part 1


I started it. I had two tickets to the Threepenny Opera.

Peter was pruning the bushes in my garden. I asked him.

In the theatre, we talked about Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weil. Peter knew a lot. He pretends not to know anything, with his “I am just a simple gardener” demeanour and shy mumbling. In fact, talking to him about German literature was fun.

I thought about David. Talking to David always rubbed away the thin veneer of cultural knowledge.

I whispered, “This is so great, let’s do it more often”.

I was going to kiss Peter later.


More from my sequel Hospital visitors- yes or no?


With visitors, Tom sits up. Smiling is painful. It is not just those mouth ulcers; it is the effort of not yelling:

 “Don’t you see I am dying? Do I still have to do this?

Of course, Tom doesn’t yell, he keeps his feelings to himself. He smiles, tells them he is getting better. He asks about his nephews’ sports achievements, his brother’s business. He asks lots of questions to stop them asking him. That old trick always works.

They say he is brave. He remembers a quote Lucie told him: “To be brave, you have to have a choice.”


100 words blog- from the sequel : Lucie is falling of the bike on a May Saturday in Central Park, NYC.


I borrowed a bicycle.

I was a teenager last time I cycled.

“ It’s like riding a bike, you never forget it”..?


It was very busy, cyclists, people with prams, horse riders, cars, rickshaws, pedestrians, joggers and me on the bike I could not control.

One of the joggers I passed shouted “Jesus, I am going to get run over by a bike!” I fell off, and he picked up my handbag, coat, keys, money, all those things that went flying. We laughed.

 I was too stubborn to stop.

A broken rib and bruises, but who cares?

It was an adventure.

More hospital – from my sequel

The next day started a roller coaster of painful and humiliating procedures, treatments, investigations.

This was the first time Tom was off sick for twenty years. He missed work.

He tried to understand what was going on, to get in control. “The only thing I am in control of are my bowels,” he thought sarcastically. If he can keep his sarcastic humour, he’ll be all right.

Then one day, after having chemotherapy, it happened. He looked at the brown sticky smear on the bedsheet, and started crying. He turned to the wall, and he was waiting to die.

How ill is Tom ? more sequel 100 words

Tom’s muscles were aching, and he got breathless.

“It is all in the mind, I am fine” he told himself.

But then he had the fall. He was walking down the stairs talking to a client and slipped. He fell and couldn’t get up.

They put him into plaster, but kept him in the hospital. None of the doctors gave him any explanation why they need so many tests on a man with just a broken bone.

Then the surgeon came:

” You have a pathological fracture. The bone was diseased. Our esteemed haematology colleagues will tell you more tomorrow.”


More 100 words- Theatre,dinner, and now it is time to stop.

just food

David was telling me his opinions on Chekhov, it sounded like something he read on Wikipedia. Flattering that he would make the effort, but I wasn’t really listening.

After theatre in the restaurant, David made a big fuss about ordering the food. The hors d’oeuvres, the sauces, the wine.  I felt like saying I’d like to go to MacDonald’s. I behaved. The food was all right, but I was reluctant to admit that.

I told him didn’t want him to stay the night. Pity, sex with David was the best thing about our relationship.

But it was time to stop.