IT’S all about to get steamy in NW3 as friends and council colleagues of Conservative councillor Oliver Cooper get ready to take another peek into the imagination of his mother, Dr Carol. His writer ma is preparing to release ‘Hampstead Fever’ on June 30, her latest novel which comes with a picturesque cover of a pond on the Heath… and some vividly-drawn, carnal scenes which might make a few of her son’s colleagues at the Town Hall blush.
“Dan nibbled Laura’s earlobe as his fingers wandered over the contours of her breasts,” she kicked off a pre-release reading at the Covent Garden branch of Waterstones.
In another scene read to the book store audience, there is secret sex in a football changing room. “They gathered pace,” she recited. “Squeak, scrape, squeak, scrape, went the bench on the floor tiles. She hoped the rickety old thing would last their weekly encounters because she planned on many more. In a perfect world, Karen wouldn’t have been banging the children’s football coach, but she had become resourceful since her marriage broke down.”
But given the book is set on his Hampstead ward home turf, did Oliver have any influence over his mother’s output? Yes, as it turns out, but wisely enough, not seemingly with the saucy stuff.
“A novelist invents stuff, but it needs to be right,” blogged Dr Carol, known as The Sun‘s GP for her advice columns on that paper. “While I can’t define ‘right’, I had to make that call with the image on the front of my forthcoming novel Hampstead Fever. Cover designer Jessica Bell suggested adding a little red boat to the pond. The flash of red on the water seemed a delightful counterpoint to the red hat and red lipstick. But the pond in question is Hampstead Heath’s Number One Pond. Luckily one my sons, a local councillor, knows all about Hampstead’s ponds. As he explained, only the Model Boating Pond is a model boating pond. Cute as it was, my little boat had to be hauled out of the water.”
Or as Oliver puts it delicately, without mentioning the book’s rumpy pumpy, ’10/10 for the local theme and setting’.