Ask Mrs Bradley.
What you really need, when you’re writing, is a bulwark between yourself and the world outside your den. For me, Mrs Bradley is that bulwark.
Of indeterminate age, star sign and natural hair colour, the apron-clad Mrs Bradley both feeds my imagination and shields me from the blast. She says things I would never say, in a tone of voice I wouldn’t dare to employ. She it is who deals with contracts, royalties, grant acquittals, and letters from pedants begging to point out that jack-boots did not exist in 1852 (they did) and to inquire, for instance, how I could possibly know that Superintendent La Trobe squinted through his lorgnette at a New Holland honeyeater in the garden outside the French doors of Government House in December 1851. (Mrs Bradley’s reply? I knew because I was there. In my shed is a time-machine, roughly similar to a rotary hoe in appearance… etc.)
If she has used my petty-cash tin to feed her gambling habit (we don’t use the word embezzled, not anymore), then I owe her the 15 per cent of royalties that would normally be a literary agent’s due. Let’s say we’re about even.
Should you wish to contact me, Mrs Bradley is the conduit through which your communication must pass.
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