The third of the Lodes Chronicles, I call this my ‘divorce book’ (is that too indiscreet? Probably) and it was written far too fast, a breathless rush of liberation from a long period of unhappiness. And – equally indiscreet – I fell in love for the first time in years while I was working on it. I would write a scene in which the hero and heroine have a secret whispered conversation and kiss, bodies liquifying with lust, then find myself acting it out for real hours later. It was the most amazing time and I probably wasn’t concentrating very well, because I would dearly love to go back and tidy Four Play up one day. Writing about a band is a tricky balancing act too, rather like writing about a stand-up comic as I did in Snap Happy, because it’s hard to give any sense of the live performance without a soundtrack. While I was hearing Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush and Dido, I think others heard Black Lace, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Kajagoogoo. But sweet singing Magnus was my first truly metrosexual hero, and I still hear him whenever Chris Martin comes on air.
Trivial fact: All the Lodes books end with a horse event of some sort, from the water meadow flat race in Lots of Love to the midnight steeplechase in Tongue in Cheek, later the gypsy horse fair in Love Hunt. In Four Play it’s a team chase, which is a fabulous hell for leather gallop across country.