In the midst of doom, gloom and seriousness, sometimes it’s nice to kick back with a doorstopper of a steamy saga. And who better than Jilly Cooper, who shoehorned the subgenre for her own with RIVALS, published back in 1970? Now she’s back with a new book, WICKED! (not to be confused with Gregory Maguire’s exclamation point-lacking novel) which explores the underside of schooling, private and public. But as she tells the Bookseller, her publishers insisted she get with the times with regards to sex scenes:
“There’s a sex scene in the [WICKED!, due out this May from Transworld] where the copy-editor insisted I put in a condom. She said, ‘The reader will be so in love with this character by now she will like him behaving in a responsible way.’ I’ve never had a condom in a sex scene before and I found it extremely difficult. I’m just not that generation.” She laughs now at the joke of having been forced to clean up the sex, but says she was “very sulky” at the time.
But considering she was recently awarded an OBE for services to literature, Cooper concedes that she’s “becoming slightly more respectable,” in her golden years.