Thursday, 28 January 2010

Mobbed by my mates

My friend, let’s call her K, wants to buy When I Was Joe. She wanders into a bookshop. Looks around a bit. Disappointed not to see it on display. Approaches the counter.
There’s a blonde woman in front of her. “I’m looking for a book,” says the blonde. “It’s called When I Was Joe. I don’t think you’ve got it.”
The shop assistant looks it up. “How do you spell Joe?” she asks.
“With an ‘e’” say K and the blonde in unison.
The shop assistant looks a little surprised. “I want to order it as well,” says K.
“Oh right,” says the shop assistant. “Both of you. The same book. Goodness. I don’t think I know it.”
“Oh you should,” says the blonde woman. “I’m friends with the author. She’s quite local. London, anyway. I’m sure you’ll have lots of people asking for it.”
K is thinking fast. She doesn’t want the assistant to assume that it’s only friends of the author who want to buy my book. “I’ve heard it’s very good,” she says. “Really excellent. I’m surprised you haven’t got it. After all you’ve been asked for it twice in two minutes.”
The assistant starts looking it up - it’s out of stock at the publisher’s she says, but she’ll try the wholesaler. K is running late. “I’ll come back another day,” she says.
As she’s getting into her car she sees the blonde woman again – my friend H, as it turned out. “They were able to order it for me,” H tells her. So K confesses that she actually is one of my friends. And has my book. She’s ordering it from bookshops here and there to get it noticed. And because she's a lovely friend. And because she's decided to give it to every teenager she knows who has a birthday this year.
This is the sort of anecdote that makes me laugh a lot - and then makes me hyper-ventilate worrying that no one will ever actually see my book in a bookshop or buy it unless they know me. So how completely fabulous that on the same day I get a message on Facebook from someone who has seen a customer buying When I Was Joe from the Salt Mills Bookshop in Saltaire. Saltaire. I don’t even know where it is. It can’t have been a friend of mine…can it?
Anyway, clearly K and H have accidentally come up with a new and exciting way of promoting books. Friend power is added to the considerable efforts of the publisher's hard-working sales force. Watch out booksellers…a flash mob of my mates could be coming your way.

Monday, 25 January 2010

On rejection and Buddhist monks

Buddhist monks are a waste of your time. Forget their serene faces and colourful robes. They will get you absolutely nowhere. Burlesque dancers too. Especially in black and white.
I know this because my last job was at an agency which represented photographers and sold their work to magazines around the world. Once a week we would hold a meeting to assess the new work that had been sent to us. It was the photographic equivalent of the literary agent’s slushpile.
Why did we reject photographers? Let me see…
- Hackneyed subject matter. All those Buddhist monks. All those burlesque dancers. It really didn’t matter how fabulous the pictures were, they were a cliché. Every time.
- No story. Intriguing pictures, but no consistent theme or explanation to string them together. The best advice I could give any young photographer keen on photo-journalism was to find a competent writer to work with. Your girlfriend who thinks she can write in English despite being Portuguese is unlikely to suffice.
- Too samey. An entire set of pictures all taken from the same angle. All horizontal. No people. Perhaps this might work in a gallery or a book, but not for magazines.
- They didn’t follow our submission guidelines. They wanted us to look at their slow-to-load websites instead of providing the information that we required. A battle of wills with the production department is not a great way to start a working relationship. However nice their pictures were, alarm bells would ring if we felt they might be unwilling or incapable of working with us in our way.
- Unsellable. Sadly we knew that downbeat stories about suffering were far less likely to sell than tales about - say – motorbikes, millionaires or sex toys. We might love the pictures and feel passionately about the subject matter. But we also had to take account of the market, and what profit we could expect to make.
- Too similar to work we already represented. If you’ve just sold a feature about girl guerrilla fighters in Columbia, then you’re not going to take on another one the following week, even if it is better than the one you’ve already got.

Having said that, we did break our own rules, all the time. One week we’d lay down a blanket ban on all Buddhist monks, the next we’d be offered a wonderful story about Buddhist monks who tamed tigers, with stunning pictures of a huge toothy animal wrapped sheepishly around a nonchalant monk’s shoulders. We couldn’t resist.

We’d agree to exercise caution around stories of suffering - knowing that only Marie Claire Malaysia really believed in its readers’ big hearts - and then we’d see a story about homeless children in Haiti eating mud to survive and we’d feel that we had to do our little bit to spread their story around the world. We’d urge photographers to ditch the illiterate girlfriend, and spend ages weaving a sensible feature to accompany their pictures. We even took a quick peek at the odd website or two.

An unpublished writer approaching a literary agent is like those photographers who sent their work to us. You don’t necessarily realise that your novel is the equivalent of a set of glorious pictures of Buddhist monks or burlesque dancers. Your great idea may be ruined by poor execution or presentation. You may find it irksome that every agency has different submission guidelines, but you shouldn’t make up your own. Your novel may be flawless, even important, but deemed wrong for the current market. The agency that represents one writer of gritty contemporary novels may not be keen to take on another.

So…when a rejection slip comes through the door, don’t despair. It doesn’t mean you’re rubbish. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It’s just that it wasn’t a good fit for that agency at that time. The next one you try may be looking out for the next great Buddhist Monk novel. Especially if there's a tiger in Chapter One.

Friday, 22 January 2010

The Second Amsterdam Book Club

A few years after I quit my first Amsterdam book club, I slowly became aware that book clubs were the new big thing in the world of expat wives.

Whoever I spoke to seemed to be reading something for Book Club, trying to find a copy of a book they needed for Book Club (not so easy...the English bookshops would sell out quickly and the Dutch parcel service was so unreliable that often books went straight back to Amazon).

But most of all my friends were planning menus for Book Club dinner, shopping for Book Club nibbles and spending the week beforehand cooking in a competitive frenzy.

I congratulated myself on being well out of it. After all I was a working mother - most unusually in the world of expat wives. I had enough on my plate with my exceptionally cool job in the glamorous world of international photojournalism. Or so I told myself…and anyone who asked why I wasn’t in a Book Club.

But then I started feeling a bit left out. A mother put up an ad on the school notice board advertising a ‘Book Club for American Moms’ which offended every other nationality, and was unofficially deemed to have breached the international ethos of the school. In the discussions which followed, it turned out that nearly everyone was in their own Book Club. Feeling a little left out turned into raging paranoia. Why wasn’t I in a Book Club? Why didn’t someone invite me?

But the best Book Clubs seemed to be extremely exclusive. You had to be invited. You had to be nominated by someone who was leaving. I fretted that my culinary skills had been judged and found wanting by one group, that I wasn’t intellectual enough for another. I didn’t like to ask outright if I could join, for fear of being rejected. But no one seemed to want me in their group.

And then…it happened! The Book Club I’d set my heart on, the crème de la crème, the one that several of my friends belonged to, had a place for me. I joined Book Club. And instantly became as exclusive about it as everyone else.

This Book Club was great. For the first time in Amsterdam I was in a room of predominantly English women (I felt a bit guilty about the American Mom when I realised how much I loved the feeling) We could use common cultural reference points (The Archers, Coronation Street) confident that others would understand us. We understood each other’s backgrounds, accents and jokes, and could gently tease the posher ones. And, best of all, there was a tradition of everyone bringing a contribution to dinner, so the hostess’s job was more co-ordinator than superchef.

I’ve been trying to remember books we read and discussed at Book Club. The only one I can remember with certainty was Suite Francaise, by Irene Nemirovsky. And I think we discussed Diplomatic Baggage by Brigid Keenan - a book about expat wifedom that made me laugh so much that I fell off my sofa.

Some books were great, others tiresome. I just have a blur of memories of interesting discussions that went off at strange tangents. We talked about life, death, marriage, work and on one entertaining occasion, what our mothers had told us about sex when we were growing up('If you're going to have sex, have good sex.')

Book Club was strictly female. Some members had their husbands well trained – to collect coats, say hello, then disappear. One memorable meeting was held at Justine’s house. We sat in style in the dining room. Justine’s husband was outside in the pouring rain, clutching an umbrella and barbequing our supper. My husband was not interested in food preparation or coat duty. He disappeared out when it was my turn to host Book Club.

When I came to leave Amsterdam it was my turn to nominate a new member. I couldn’t decide who would be a good fit with the current members. Then I met Red, recently arrived to take up a top job at a fashion company. Unusually - almost uniquely - in our expat world it was her job that supported her family, with her husband, a freelance designer, taking on the bulk of domestic duties.

Red seemed to me to be just what Book Club needed. Frank and forthright, she’d be outspoken and provocative. What is more, a woman who spent her life in the boardroom or spending quality time with her children might enjoy the relaxed mixture of friendly support and free-flowing conversation that Book Club offered. I asked her along to a meeting. I sensed a little wary scepticism on all sides. And then I left the country.

Now, just over two years later, I have written a book, it’s just been published. Red emailed to congratulate me, and share her news - she’s landed a great job in Seattle, she’s about to leave Amsterdam.

We cooked up a plan. For her last Book Club meeting, the one where she’ll introduce her new nominated member, why didn’t they read my book? Why didn’t I come over? I checked my husband’s airmiles account. He had the miles! I convinced him that this was just the treat I needed to mark the publication of my book. He kindly made the sacrifice.

So, this week I went back to Amsterdam. It was great to see old friends, walk in the park which doubled as our garden, remind myself of the life we had for eight years. And I arrived at Red’s house, for the surreal experience of returning to a Book Club which has lots of new members, with my book the subject for discussion. Ed, her husband, took my coat, then disappeared. Book Club traditions seemed to be in place.

We started off with cocktails - brilliantly mixed by Red, but worrying for an author who might have to speak coherently about her work. It felt strange to be back in the world of expat wives - to ask questions like ‘What does your husband do?’ And ‘How long are you here?’ But, true to form, expat women are open and friendly and inventive in the ways they find to transform a nomadic existence. By the time we sit down to dinner - and wine - I feel like I’ve never been away.

And then we talk about the book.

It’s a strange, strange thing to hear your own book discussed by readers. People pick up on odd things, they have their own ideas about characters. One perceptive reader had picked up on quite subtle hints about relationships between sisters, about motherhood and Catholicism. The book starts to have its own life. It’s like that moment at mother and toddler group when you realise that your toddler has toddled off and is finger-painting on someone else’s floor. You’re proud and scared and you feel utterly responsible and slightly redundant.

Book Club wanted to know how long it had taken to write, how the idea had started, how I’d built various characters. We talked about knife crime and feeling fearful on the streets - and how that’s not so true in Amsterdam. They asked how I had thought myself into the head of a teenage boy. They laughed at my Kanye West joke on page 251.

And then - as always – the conversation spun off at several tangents. We talked about what would happen if women ruled the world. About how to make teenage girls feel good about themselves. About make up and clothes and whether they matter and how much women dress for themselves and how much for men. We talked about cosmetic surgery, boob jobs in particular, and who’d have one. Then Red brought out a magnificent meringue cake, spread with home-made lemon curd and covered with edible gold dust, and Natasha presented her with a personalised cookery book, made up of Book Club members’ pictures and recipes, and made an emotional speech about how much they'd miss her. Red talked about how she’d loved Book Club, how much it meant to her, how it was the thing she’d miss most when she left Amsterdam. I felt very pleased with myself for nominating her.

The meeting broke up at 1am. We said our goodbyes and set off into the Amsterdam night. As I walked around the corner to my friend’s apartment I realised how safe I felt. How different the expat world is from our lives back in London. And why it was easier to talk about books than write them when I lived in Amsterdam.
Update: Have just changed the pictures to show Red cutting the amazing golden cake, Natasha presenting the leaving gift and Maria discussing boob jobs. Could you have guessed?

Two links

I've written about Strathclyde Police's success in combatting knife crime before. So I was glad to see it featured in the Guardian today . I hope other forces will follow Glasgow's lead.

A guest post on my sickeningly fast - or was it? - journey to publication at Candy's blog here

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Amsterdam Book Club, part 1

The first book club I joined in Amsterdam was, in retrospect, a bit of a mistake. My husband pointed it out after I came home from the first meeting. I was full of enthusiasm - after 18 months of mixing exclusively with mothers and toddlers I’d been in a room with men! Younger women!
‘You haven’t joined a book group,’ he said, ‘You’ve joined a singles club. Everyone else is on the pull.’
He may have been right. The group consisted of earnest but beautiful American women and eager British and American men of varying attractiveness. But I wasn’t bothered. I was only too delighted to discuss anything that didn’t involve potty training. It was also quite entertaining - for me anyway – that one of the single men actually worked for my husband. Amsterdam is a small town. Especially if you’re an expat.
One of the first books we discussed was ‘How to be Good’ by Nick Hornby. Reading this book took me straight back to my lost, lamented North London - the cynicism, lack of public spirit, the terraced streets where no one knows their neighbours, the incredulity when a man decides to help others. I loved it. But Alison and Loren, the cute American women weren’t so keen. “Such a downer,” complained Alison. “Why were they all so miserable?”
“Well…errr…they’re Londoners,” I said, feebly.
“But it just wasn’t plausible,” insisted Loren. “All these good works…their churches would be doing that. It just didn’t ring true.”
“But no one in Britain goes to church,” I exaggerated. Slightly. They looked at me open-mouthed. The British men looked sheepish, and shuffled their feet. And changed the subject. After ten minutes of book chat we started talking about the difficulties of being an expat.
I should have been warned. But I kept going. After all, one of the great comforts of expat life is finding other foreigners to complain to. Our meetings settled into a regular pattern. Half an hour of book talk, then ninety minutes of moaning about Holland and the Dutch, followed by another half an hour’s debate about our next book. Occasionally my husband’s employee forgot himself and whinged about his job. It was great fun watching his horror when he realised that I was in his audience.

Then Alison suggested we read The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo. “Of course I’ve read it many times,” she said. “But we never read anything uplifting or spiritual. I’d love to share this book with you.”

I read The Alchemist, with none of the awed admiration shared by the millions of readers that have made Coelho a bestseller around the world. The fable of a shepherd boy who leaves his flock and follows a dream to find treasure left me stone cold. I arrived at the meeting in a state of trepidation. How could I trash Alison’s favourite book?

First Alison and Loren spoke about their profound connection with Coehlo’s story. The hidden meanings, the biblical allusions. The simplicity of the message within. “Sometimes we all have to make that decision,” said Alison. “To leave our flock and follow our dreams.”

That was my breaking point. “Nonsense!” I said. “Wait until you have children! You can’t abandon your flock then. You’re too busy looking after your bloody flock to have a dream. Forget the treasure. You’re more likely to be trailing around after someone else’s sodding dream.”

There was a silence. And then Simon, one of the single men raised his head and looked Alison bravely in the eye. Simon must have realised by then that he’d been out-classed in the pulling stakes by my husband’s rather handsome underling. “I have to say,” he said, diffidently, “that I did think this book was complete and utter bollocks.”

Soon after that meeting Alison drafted in reinforcements. A colleague with an unparalleled ability to drone on for hours telling us about her own experience of anything connected with the book in question. She was unbearably dull. And she was Dutch, so our cosy moaning sessions were somewhat curtailed. I realised that every time I went to book club I came away with a headache. And I quit.

Coming soon: The second Amsterdam book club.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

The Winners!

Thanks to everyone who took part in the lookalike contest. I think that when more people have read the book then I'll have some more, to get an idea of what other characters looks like.
Anyway..the winners! They're both pictures of teenagers, and they've been sent in by a proud mum and a proud daughter.
The runner up is Candy Gourlay's cover mock-up modelled by her son. Both hilarious and brilliant - worthy of a signed copy.
And the winner is Lorelei King's picture of her dad, John King, taken when he was 16. Lorelei says, "The whole uncropped picture has him sitting there with an open book and a pipe ... and he was just 16! Too adorable. I think he must've been in university then. He was quite brilliant and went to uni very young.
He's been dead for 25 years, I'm sorry to say... He would be about 78 or 79 now had he lived.
He was brilliant, funny, maddening, difficult, charming - and a devil with the women!"
You have to imagine John in a hoodie, because his hair's not right, but the eyes, mouth and eyebrows have it. And I love the idea that his picture wins a contest more than sixty years after it was taken.
So Candy and Lorelei, send your addresses to and your prizes will be with you as soon as I can lay my hands on some more copies.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Lookalikes, part 1

Time for the first batch of entires in the lookalike competition. Thanks to everyone who entered, and found this crop of lovelies. Some are a bit old, but all are gorgeous.
From the top, we have
Taylor Kitsch, actor on Friday Night Lights, entered by Cat - gorgeous face, crazy name.
Jude Law, entered by Fish - actually an amazing lookalike, but a bit old.
A Morganville Vampire boy, entered by Jo - lovely but slightly disturbing eyes.
Daren Kagasoff - entered by Phoebe - mmm, looks too carefree
Zach Gilford, also from Friday Night Lights, anothe entry from Cat. He's also a little old but the cheekbones are superb and I must start watching this show.
Unidentified hoodie, entered by Amber. Gorgeous atmospheric picture. Shame we can't see more of his face, but I love it.

Tomorrow...the winners..

Update...argh...the pictures seem to have moved around while I wasn't looking. How? Why? Anyway, if you can't work out who's who then tell me..

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Award Time

Ooh,how nice I've been awarded the One Lovely Blog Award by two lovely writers, Candy Gourlay and Katherine Langrish (whose excellent new blog deserves a lot more followers by the way).
I have to pass it on to ten worthy bloggers. So...

1. Nayu's Reading Corner The lovely Yunaleska - thrower of great parties, writer and thoughtful reviewer.
2. The Bookette For being my dream reader and writing possibly the best review in the history of book reviewing.
3.Steph Bowe's Hey! Teenager of the Year A seriously talented YA writer, and she's only 15. Gulp
4. YA writer Cat Clarke's This Counts as Writing, Right? She asks excellent questions, and the title always makes me laugh.
5. The Hand Dryers of Great Britain. We're just going to pass over the weirdness of this one, OK. And also not mention my contribution to it. But it did spark a surreal conversation on holiday, and I suspect it keeps its compiler out of mischief.
6 Bateau de Banane Madame Defarge writes brilliantly about just about everything.
7. Babbling about Books and More. I love this blog for two reasons. First the book covers which are always hysterical and often feature huge moobs. And second because when Katie doesn't like a book she writes fantastic killer reviews.
8.Joe's Blog A lttle bit of new blog love for Joe Layburn, fellow Frances Lincoln author who has a new book Street Heroes out this year.
9. And Jon Mayhew also has a book out this year, Mortlock, which sounds completely Gothically wonderful.
10. Tuesday Kid, your blog is one of my guilty pleasures. And I would love to see this twee award adorning your site.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Internet love...

You hear a great deal about the dangers of the internet. Correctly, children are taught to watch out for evil paedophiles posing as friendly teens. The internet is a place where you can find extreme politics and extreme porn, ugly views and ugly manners and you can never be sure who's watching you or who's contacting you.
However. You hear considerably less about the love you find on the internet. And I'm not talking about online dating - although it seems to me to be a quite reasonable way to meet someone, and a gentle exchange of emails, texts and phone calls leading up to a date seems infinitely preferable to copping off in a nightclub.
I mean the general warm and friendly supportiveness that seems to thrive on the web just as much - and possibly even more - than the evil stuff. The bloggers who give up their time to read, review and promote books. The writers who use their blogs, Twitter and Amazon to promote the work of new authors. The people who comment on blogs and become your friends. The feeling that we're all comrades in a new kind of democracy - a democracy which genuinely gives everyone an equal say.
Last week Yunaleska threw a fabulous on-line launch party for me and I can't thank her enough. And thank you everyone who twittered about Joe, signed up on the new Facebook page, mentioned me on their blogs, reviewed me, interviewed me and generally made me feel loved and celebrated. I can't thank you enough, and I promise to do the same for you. Very soon.

PS Don't forget the lookalike contest! Getting some great entries - still time to enter.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Party time!

Wonderful Yunaleska is throwing an online party for me on her blog, as I'm snowbound on publication day. Come on over and taste the virtual cookies...

PS And check out the comments for an exciting giveaway from Frances Lincoln.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

It's J-Day! And a competition...

It’s publication day! And I have a competition for you..

Amna, over at Amnawrites is keen to get her mitts on the contact details of the gorgeous boy on the cover of my books. Sadly, Jane Donald the talented designer at Frances Lincoln who created the covers claims she has no idea who he is. The pictures are stock from an agency and there is not even an individual photographer’s name to go on. (I for one would not be surprised to find that this is not true at all and that Jane has had long arduous casting sessions to find just the right boy, and, having found him, has hidden him away somewhere.)

But surely there must be some plausible lookalikes out there. If you know someone who’d look Joe-like in a hoodie, then get a picture. Or if you have a possible celebrity in mind, that’ll do. Send me your pictures at and there’ll be a signed copy of When I was Joe for the winner. And another copy for the picture that makes me laugh the most.

In the meantime I have some candidates. When I was writing Joe I found a picture of the lad who plays Freddie on Skins (boy in grey hoodie above) and thought he looked just like Ty. Unfortunately when I saw him act in Skins he wasn’t like Ty at all – too gormless. But I still like this picture.
Then there’s Joe McElderry (in the blue hoodie) - but he’s a bit toothy and smiley. And someone mentioned Jonathan Rhys Meyers (no hoodie)- yummy, but a bit old. I’m sure you can do better.

Almost True

Have sacked the blog-writers in Bangalore…a nasty contretemps over a disputed bill…please ignore any attempts to ruin my reputation made in the last post. Ahem.

Today I can unveil the cover for the UK edition of Almost True, which will be out in August. I absolutely love the cover, which was designed by the very talented Jane Donald at Frances Lincoln and features the same gorgeous model who's on the cover of Joe (who is this boy? Can we track him down? Hmmm...)

Almost True continues Ty’s story. The cover copy will read something like this:

This isn’t the first time that someone’s tried to silence me forever. It’s just the first time that someone else has died instead.

Ruthless killers are hunting Ty. The police move him and his mum to a quiet seaside town. But a horrific attack and a bullet meant for Ty prove he’s not safe yet.

On the road again, Ty’s in hiding with complete strangers . . . who seem to know a lot about him. Meanwhile he’s desperate to see his girlfriend, and terrified that she may betray him. Ty can’t trust his own judgement and he’s making dangerous decisions that could deliver him straight to the gangsters.

In Almost True you learn a lot more about Ty’s background and about the crime that he witnessed. It examines questions about truth, loyalty, friendship and memory. Yes, some of Ty’s friends from the time when he was Joe reappear. And there are lots of new characters as well.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The last...

Another day...another interview...

So…how did you overcome your natural indolence to write a book?

Well, I know myself well enough to realise that I can only deal with very short deadlines and minimal forward planning. So I wrote the book in 1,000 word chunks. I thought I’d only need about 60 of them, but in the end I did 80. Then I stuck them together and did some editing.

Is it true that you completely neglected your family while writing the book?

Who? Oh…err…no, of course not. They were very useful for trying out plot lines, and my son even had a go at proof-reading in a desperate bid for attention.

Are the rumours true that you have a large staff of junior writers servicing your many social networking outlets?

No, that’s a completely malicious falsehood. My Facebook status updates are as exquisitely crafted as poetry - I agonise over every word, and can take hours…days… to find the exact right phrase. ‘Could murder a cup of tea’ is a recent example - notice the subtle inter-textual reference to the crime thriller genre, the careful use of London vernacular.
The blog is outsourced to WeBlog4U inc in Bangalore, and Veselina, my Bulgarian cleaner tweets for me during her cigarette breaks.

So why did you chose writing for children? Had it always been an ambition?

Absolutely. All my life I have dreamt of weaving stories to entrance and enchant little minds. I wanted to reach out, influence youngsters and emulate my heroes, masters of the craft such as JK Rowling…Stephenie Meyer…the woman who writes Horrid Henry...If I can just achieve 90 per cent of what they’ve achieved then I will be satisfied. Extremely satisfied.

Why did you decide to write a realistic book about crime, when it’s clear that the money is in wizards, vampires and angels?

Look I screwed up, OK? Poor market research. My next book will be about a wizard who stabs a fallen angel, much to the excitement of the gorgeous vampire who lives next door.

What research did you carry out for the book?

I spent six months living undercover as a 14-year-old boy at a south London comprehensive. It was gruelling, but fascinating. Luckily no one ever looked closely enough under my hoodie to spot that I’m actually a middle-aged mum.

Do you come from a literary background?

I come from an ancient dynasty of social networkers. My great-grandfather actually invented Twitter. Unfortunately the internet wasn't invented for another 150 years.

So, what did you think about the reviewer on Amazon who called your characters ‘obnoxious and unlikeable,’ and thought the plot was far-fetched?

Ah yes. The person who didn’t believe that London has gangsters who threaten the lives of people who cross them. He learned the hard way.

At this point the interview with Keren David was terminated, while the interviewer alerted the police. To read another interview with Keren click here