Writing under the ‘McDroll’ banner has been a bit confusing for some poor souls who have assumed that I am a man; can you believe it? Here I am dressed in various shades of pink from head to toe, nails polished and manicured, my long blonde curls casually tumbling down my shoulders, the picture of femininity; so why the confusion? Oh right..I heard you
I confess, I have been known occasionally to use such words as ‘fuck’ and‘bollocks’ in my sweet stories and I do believe that just the odd time my darling characters have used the teeniest amount of violence, but is this a problem for you? Have I shocked you? Am I not allowed to rip asunder from navel to adam’s apple with some sharp cold steel as I sip my chilled chardonnay? Can I not write about drugs hidden up a man’s arse if I’m also watching Gardeners’ World on the T.V.?
Is True Brit Grit aimed at only the male of the species? Well, hang onto your knickers and listen up! Little ladies of a certain vintage have a dark side too and when I say dark I’m talking about the black that’s at the heart of the abyss. You may look at me and think I’m a sweet little old lady who spends her days talking about grandchildren and her pet Skye Terrier (called Angus, if you must know) but you are so wrong my dears.
Inside beats the black heart of a woman who has mopped up more vomit and piss from her children than you’ve had pints of warm heavy (I think that’s a manly drink); a woman who has survived sucking radioactive iodine through a straw in a room resembling a nuclear bunker; a woman who has suffered the indignity and pain of several transvaginal ultrasound scans. Hope you haven’t choked into your pint of warm brown stuff.
My point is that if you are daft enough to think for one minute that gritty crime stories are a male only territory then forget it mate. Woman have so much experience of the dark and violent pit of life, strong emotions that can be drawn on and heartbreaking experiences to share, it’s a wonder that there’s any room for male writers at all.
So don’t be surprised when a woman writes about murders, describes torture or blasphemes like Bernard Manning on steroids (not a pretty picture) because we have the war medals from many hard fought campaigns, we have been oppressed, abused, maligned and pushed aside. Now is our time to come out of our corners, throw off the shackles of stereotype and embrace the complex nature of humanity that is found in abundance between the pages of contemporary crime novels.
This is a genre truly suited to women – wear it with pride! I’m now off to eat a strawberry cupcake and write about a serial killer.