Friday, January 25, 2013

Too Good to be True

Computers often make me feel like this. They promise so much but deliver frustration. They don't boot immediately like they do on TV, nor download pages from the Web in the blink of an eye. They can't think for themselves. I want a computer like the one in Star Trek, on the Enterprise: always ready to give me information. All I have to do is ask. 

Things don't work like they do in the infomercials. The Renovator doesn't cut anything as fast as promised, and makes more noise than a jet taking off. The twirling head on the battery operated duster falls off all the time. By the time you have searched your Smart TV for the show you want to watch, you could have driven to video store, rented the entire season, bought some Maccas on the way back and watched it.

There are no romances like Edward and Bella's, where the passion literally lasts forever. (And not just because vampires don't exist.) There are no families like The Brady Bunch where conflicts are resolved in 22 minute episodes, and the challenges of step parenting are minor inconveniences rather than vitriolic relationship destroyers. 50% of marriages fail. Nearly every family has a broken link, a black sheep, a Voldemort. Real life happy endings aren't as common as we want them to be.

Very few things are the way they should be. Even our desperate and sometimes pitiful attempts to fix things, to right wrongs, often lead to more disaster. More anxiety, more frustration. David Lavender, in my novel Loathe Your Neighbour, is a classic example of the struggle between what is and what should be. His marriage isn't working. He doesn't get on with his stepson, has a strained relationship with his father, and strong antipathy towards his neighbour. All his solutions lead to more problems.This is why fantasy, in all its forms is so popular. Reality often sucks.

I would like to offer you a free digital copy of Loathe Your Neighbour. Please go to, Like the page and I'll send you a coupon. You can also win a signed paperback at