Monday, 6 August 2012

Guest Post: Carrie Duffy writes about 'Why I love bonkusters'

I'm so pleased that I decided to set up the guest post feature as already had several fantastic articles written and have another couple already lined up.   The latest author who has written a fab post for me is Carrie Duffy, author of bestselling novels Idol and Diva, on why she loves bonkbusters. 

I read my first bonkbuster when I was 16.  It was Career Girls, by Louise Bagshawe, and it was like nothing I'd ever read before - glossy, glam and utterly filthy.  I loved it!  The heroines were gorgeous, ambitious, take-no-prisoners women who had great clothes, great careers and great sex.  I wanted to be just like them.

Back then, I was growing up in a small town in North Yorkshire, and these novels offered me a glimpse into a world I could only dream of, with exotic locations, a jet-set lifestyle, smoking hot men and powerful women who battled their way to the top and crushed their enemies beneath a skyscraper stiletto.  I found them incredibly inspiring and aspirational - and they also made me want to write a novel of my own some day...

Unfortunately for me, bonkbusters fell out of fashion in the 1990s - only a few authors such as Lesley Lokko, Tilly Bagshawe and Tasmina Perry were writing in this style.  But I still had the whole Eighties back catalogue to work through and devoured anything by Jackie Collins, Shirley Conran and Pat Booth.  I even loved the look of these books - big, fat, 600-page blockbusters, with glitzy titles in gold foil and sultry heroines silhouetted against an impossibly glamorous backdrop.

The best bonkbusters all take place on an epic scale and feature a huge cast of characters, often covering whole generations of families.  Their settings criss-cross the globe, taking in the world's most exclusive locations, and the plots are stuffed with scandals, secrets and lashings of sex, offering the reader a glimpse into an extreme lifestyle most of us will never get to experience.

Recently, these novels have been making a much-heralded comeback, with a new wave of writers such as Lulu Taylor, Rebecca Chance and Victoria Fox.  Like the classics of old, they feature ballsy women, outrageous storylines and plenty of raunch, but with a fresher, more modern feel.

For me, the bonkbuster will always retain a special place in my heart, and now I'm lucky enough to have written two of my own - IDOL and DIVA.  I may not be a movie star, or heading up the board of a major company, but writing about these people means I get to live in their worlds, just for a little while.  Every day I get the glorious, glamorous escapism I'd always dreamed of and that's why I couldn't be more thrilled that bonkbusters are now firmly back in fashion!  

Thanks so much for this feature Carrie, I agree I love the fact that bonkbusters are making a comeback.  Like you as a teenager I used to read Jackie Collins and Shirley Conran's books although I somehow missed out on Pat Booth as never read any of hers.

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