MAGAZINE ENVY and where it led me …

Okay, it’s confession time here – my name’s Linda and I’m addicted to glossy magazines. I love those home-improvement ones best of all, and over the years I must have bought at least twice my body weight in Ideal Home, Living etc, House Beautiful, and their ilk.


I can’t bear to think of the money I’ve spent on them – possibly enough for a world tour. I’ve kept all my favourite issues, and this would be hilarious if it wasn’t also a bit sad because I have never, ever, bought a tin of Farrow & Ball paint, or a designer anything. My bathroom still sports the white plastic lampshades I bought for 2/6d (yes, really!) back in 1969. In 1972 I took all the seats (except the driver’s, obvs) out of my Renault 4 and went to Woolworth’s to collect the flat-pack, white, malamine wardrobe unit which is still in my bedroom today (assembled, of course)  – well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and all that.

Sometimes I think it is best to dream a little – would I be wanting to change everything on an annual basis if I coveted (and bought) everything I saw in glossy magazines? Probably. But I think there must be an interior designer in me somewhere wanting to get out and flash her samples and her mood boards about. And she has. Her name is Carrie Fraser and she’s the heroine of my novella, GRAND DESIGNS.




As we all know, a little research is essential when we write novels. So, as Carrie was going to go to the south of France and mingle with the rich, the famous, and the beautiful, I thought it my duty to go there too. So I did. And I had a lovely time. And as we all also know, there has to be a bit more to a novel than girl meets boy, girl parts from boy, girl makes it up with  boy and lives happily ever after. So, while GRAND DESIGNS is published under Choc Lit Lite there is depth to it, too….we all have sadness and regret in our lives and Carrie has her fair share. As – she finds out – does Morgan Harrington.

So, I hope that like Carrie on the front of GRAND DESIGNS (thank you, Berni, you’re a star!) you will sit down and get comfortable and find out what designs Carrie has on Morgan – or was it the other way around?


17 thoughts on “MAGAZINE ENVY and where it led me …

  1. Gorgeous cover Linda, and reading about the lovely south of France sounds so appealing on this cold morning. I like glossy magazines too, even if they do pander to the wealthy. We can pinch ideas though, can’t we?

  2. Love your guilty confession for the day, Linda! Every time I return to England I buy every women’s weekly type of magazine going – we don’t have anything like them here. It was a real highlight when I had short story in My Weekly once! Your book sounds good and it’ll be on my Kindle very soon!

  3. I’m like you, Linda, I love those ‘Home Style’ magazines (particularly the one with Readers’ Real Houses in). Unfortunately my place is 90% damp and 10% IKEA, but the intention is there… Best of luck with Grand Designs!

  4. I love the sound of this book Linda – and I don’t think you’re alone in buying those glossy magazines. We girls love to dream. I look forward to reading Grand Designs and dreaming a little more!

  5. Thank you all so much for popping by and parting with your pennies for Grand Designs…:) I don’t know about all of you but I’m finding that on publication day not a lot of work on work-in-progress gets done as I check sales and FB shares and Twitter RT’s and e.mails and….gosh, must go….time for FB again…:)Oh, and no housework done here today either…:)

  6. I too love interior design and used to buy loads of magazines (still do occasionally, but not quite as many as I used to). Unlike you, however, I do try to recreate some of the things they suggest, with varying degrees of success. I have fun trying though! Look forward to reading your story 🙂

  7. I’ve gradually shaken off the magazine habit as I prefer to spend the money on books (although I never say no to my sister’s cast off glossy house mags and I’m addicted to property programmes). I couldn’t resist starting Grand Designs as soon as it was on my Kindle and I loved it!

  8. I think, Christina, that you have an innate sense of style in everything you do so the interior design thing probably comes naturally. My trouble is I am far too eclectic in my tastes and if I tried everything it would look a mishmash…so best to dream!
    Chris….thank you so much for buying and reading GD so quickly, and for your lovely, positive, comment….:)

  9. I love Good Food magazine. I used to get it delivered and read it a section at a time so that it lasted longer.
    Grand Designs sounds fabulous.Another one for my TBR list. And it’s cheaper than the Good Food Mag. Bonus!

  10. Hey, Rhoda, perhaps we could use the line about our books being cheaper than mags as a selling tool? Yes!

  11. I’m not as bad as I used to be – I don’t buy many mags at all these days, but I do have a stash from when Noah was just a boy as I’m determined not to have bought them for nothing and will read from cover to cover one day! Antiques Roadshow could be the port of call afterwards.

    Good luck with Grand Designs, Linda – it sounds fabulous, and my TBR pile will be larger than the mag. pile.

  12. I love glossies and my husband indulges me with surprise US ones of all varieties sometimes after he returns from a trip to LA. He’s a pilot and can pick up the ones from business class if the airline has just got the next month’s edition in to replace the previous. I do love the premise of your story, Linda. Carrie sounds like a heroine I’d find really appealing.

  13. Thanks Live and Beverley for popping by….it’s a relief to know I’m not the only magazine addict…:)

  14. I think the cover is great, Linda! And lovely to see you using my pic of you for your photo here! I’m a magazine addict, as you well know (I had every issue of Country Living until a few years ago when they simply Had To Go.) I’m also a great believer in if it’s not broke, don’t fix, but I have used F&B paint – excellent stuff if you use the Estate Emulsion – for a super chalky finish. And we still have our original kitchen cupboards, c1985; when one of these cold calls offered a kitchen re-fit and I said our kitchen didn’t need changing, the young woman (obviously younger than the kitchen here) fell about laughing when I said it was around 25 years old and still going strong!
    Very best of luck with Grand Designs!

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