BBC2 "The Trouble with Working Women" 18th May 2009
I featured in the first of a two part BBC2 documentary shown on 18th May The Trouble with Working Women. Part One was titled "Why Can't a Woman Succeed Like a Man?" where Justin Rowlatt and I went back to visit the property that became the First Womens Refuge that I set up in Chiswick.. "I have been saying that there has been a subterranean war going on between men and women for the last forty years."
The Independent on Sunday: People Section
Women who changed the world: 'There's always room for one more woman...' 14th March 2010
Our list last week of the 100 most influential women from the past 100 years marked the 100th International Women's Day. But it was never going to please everyone. Katy Guest sifts through the many readers' suggestions. Other names were mentioned more than once. "[The list] really should include Erin Pizzey," wrote Liz Finlay, from Cardiff.... read more
The two most asked questions for me are:
How do you write and Why do you write? How is easy. I used to write in long hand but thank goodness for computers because I am hopelessly dyslexic and spell check saves my life. I believe there are two sorts of writers. The first I call 'crafted writers' think of the great masters like Somerset Maugham and Graham Green. Every sentence they wrote was worked on. They polished, they chiseled all meaning out of every word. Their punctuation was part of the meaning of each sentence and they wrote very slowly. Most crafted writers are also literary writers. They tend to write from the intellect as though they are one removed from the action taking place on the page. They are the ones that win literary prizes and are the darlings of publishers and the chatter.
The second group I call 'inspiration writers.' They like me are usually story tellers. They can only sit down to write when, finally the story comes tumbling out. At first it is fairly incoherent but then once the characters introduce themselves, the story takes off and then it feels a bit like taking dictation from a very impatient boss. I find myself typing furiously on my computer trying to keep up. I know it sounds ridiculous but those people in my novels are as real to me as my friends. I remember when I was writing 'The Consul General's Daughter' I had an assistant called Lucy. I was at a stage in the book when a beloved character was dying and I was writing and howling in pain. Lucy brought in a cup of tea and looked at me with tears running down my face. I saw her looking horrified and then started to laugh. I ended up hysterical because here I was crying about a woman who didn't exist and upsetting Lucy. My characters are that real. Most story tellers are sneered at by my publishers. A particularly nasty editor once said 'There is our literature and then their is your books,' My books make the money,' I replied. Story tellers have to jump over their editors and get to their readers.
The second question why do I write is more difficult. I always wrote stories and plays from when I was a small child. My family life was violent and dysfunctional and my refuge were in the books in our house. By the time I was eight I'd read the whole row of Dickens and other great writers. I agonised with all the suffering people in Dickens's time and I learned to let out the pain when I wrote. A lot of writing is exactly that 'letting out the pain.' Sometimes I take time out and write books and are fun. 'Sluts Cookbook' was one of my joyous books. So is a novel called 'The Wicked World of Women' about three women who take a boat and a mad Italian Captain on a wild yacht journey from Elba and Greece. I always encouraged everyone in the refuge to write. We would get together in the mornings after the children went to school and read what we had written to each other. There were great story tellers and poets in the refuge. Every morning I sit up in bed, read my bible and then get my diary out and fill in yesterdays happenings. I write like I drink white wine. I write when I'm sad. I write when I am happy it is my drug of choice.
- This Way to the Revolution - An Autobiography
available for pre-order at Amazon, WHSmiths or Waterstones
- Scream Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear
- Infernal Child (an early memoir)
- Sluts' Cookbook
- Erin Pizzey Collects
- Prone to violence ISBN 0-600-20551-7 Out of print; full-text available
- Wild Child
- The Emotional Terrorist and The Violence-prone ISBN 0-88970-103-2
- The Watershed
- In the Shadow of the Castle
- The Pleasure Palace (in manuscript)
- First Lady
- Consul General's Daughter
- The Snow Leopard of Shanghai
- Other Lovers
- Swimming with Dolphins
- For the Love of a Stranger
- The Wicked World of Women
ISBN:0002252449 / 9780002252447 / 0-00-225244-9
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
- The Fame Game (work in progress)
- The Lifestyle of an International Best selling Author