Sunday Times Magazine
Sunday Times Magazine
The Management gives an interview.
The over-imaginative mind behind Mouse to Minx appears on Sunday 7 August in the Sunday Times Magazine. Daphne Thistlethwaite-Smythe got the short-straw and conducted this complementary interrogation in her usual pithy style.
Mouse to Minx members have been aware for sometime of the personal turmoil going on behind the chirpy façade and have been kind enough to hold-on for better times. Some have even sent personal messages of goodwill and best wishes, which The Management cherishes and appreciates.
But we are where we are, and ever inventive, The Management is now writing a book about the last two years – and as you would expect, it is very much in a similar vein to the tone that Mouse to Minx fans have come to love from her characters.
The story - a piece of creative non-fiction - tracks the main character through a series of episodes exposing her to constant entanglement with trouble, embroiling her in each conflict until she escapes to stumble into the next.
A rollicking, witty and satirical adventure, she appears to be constantly in and out of ‘scrapes’ and has to adopt ingenious powers of re-invention and survival in the face of impenetrable systems, organisations and individuals.
Ever bewildered and frequently lost, she enters quizzically into the rituals of bank foreclosure, liquidation, unemployment, repossession, homelessness and bankruptcy: the maelstrom of confusion made all the more bizarre given her talents.
Describing the book “as if Alice and Dorothy met up with Gulliver and set off into uncharted waters,” Paula explains the reason for taking this approach as being because of her “overwhelming sense of disbelief and confusion,” at her circumstances and not wanting to go down in history as having written something called a “misery memoir.”
Appearances are made along the route by a host of supporting characters such as the local bully, peculiarly illiterate individuals working ‘in recruitment’ the spectacularly disjointed ‘City Corporation,’ and a very small Housing Minister.
The latter encounter on a live radio debate provoked an ill-thought through invitation on his part, to visit his committee meeting where our heroine is seen to spectacularly drub the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Welfare Reform in front of a spell bound audience of civil servants.
Paula concludes, “as well as being on the look out for a business partner to enable me to take forward the plans I had in 2008 for Mouse to Minx which has had a signed-up membership since 2005, now on five continents,” she went on (and on) to say, “I am also now looking for a literary agent to represent me to a publisher so that this story can be told.”
Before we could shut her up, she managed to squeeze in “if for no other reason, because many more people are going to be experiencing these trials in the next few years.”
When asked if her book has a happy ending she replied, “I’m still living it,” sharply. We then went and put the kettle on.