More sex please, Jilly!
With a jibe at ‘woke’ editors, writer reveals she was told to make her book raunchier
SHE has long been considered the uncontested queen of the ‘bonkbuster’.
But author Jilly Cooper said she has been ordered to include more sex into her latest romantic novel.
The 86-year-old said she submitted her new tome, which in a departure from her usual equestrian-set stories is set in the world of football, in January.
But two months later, editors are still demanding more raunchiness, she said.
Ms Cooper is a regular at the four-day Cheltenham festival but said she was forced to miss Tuesday’s opening day to work on her book, which is called Tackle.
She said: ‘Basically, I’m being asked to make my sex scenes a bit longer.’ The author’s ‘Rutshire Chronicles’ series of romantic novels, starting with the first in the series Riders, are set in the – apparently amorous – worlds of show jumping and horse racing.
Even book titles, which include Mount! and Score, tend to be saucy.
But speaking at Cheltenham, she said: ‘The football editor says it’s OK. This [book] was handed in in January and it’s now March.
‘It’s not very good because I’m very old now. I’m 86. You can’t play tennis when you’re 86 and you can’t write in the same way when you’re 86.
‘They want me to have more sex in bits [ of the novel]. Me?! I thought I was quite good at sex, but I think I’ve forgotten how to do it. My publishers want more intimacy in it, more women in it. But it’s mostly men.’
She initially suggested sensitivity readers, or editors had held up the book. But when asked why that was, the author clarified she was being ‘asked to make my sex scenes a bit longer’ adding: ‘The sensitivity editors are to come later.’
Sensitivity editors or ‘ readers’ offer specific advice on characters from marginalised groups, or on issues which may cause offence.
Earlier this month it emerged that Ladybird Books had used sensitivity readers to re-examine some of its children’s fairytales. Penguin was forced into a U-turn
‘I’ve forgotten how to do it’
after a furore over its hiring of sensitivity readers to rewrite chunks of Roald Dahl’s books.
Ms Cooper joked the involvement of sensitivity editors could result in ‘balls’ being ‘taken out of football’.
Asked if Tackle would still be ready for release in October, she said: ‘Yes, I hope it’ll be all right.’