I received an email from an Eavesdropper saying that if I were a man writing for men, my shameless promotion of my book would have driven my readers away. This surely cannot be true, as the best way to sell books is for the author to turn up places and talk about it. Incidentally, I wonder how thin I could get if I consumed nothing but porridge, oranges, borscht, fish and coffee?
Since I live in an attic in an old house on the east coast of Scotland, I cannot easily turn up in the midst of large crowds of Catholics wearing a skirt suit and a winsome smile to talk about my novel and deny that it is autobiographical. I keep telling Hilary White that everyone will think Catriona is her, an idea that may please Hilary less when she reads the book. (N.B. I met Hilary years after the book was done.)
I wish I could go on TV more often. I do rather well on TV, not because I am pretty but because I am very animated and have supernaturally thick hair, so that people sitting in front of the TV yell to their loved ones, "Come and see how much hair this lady has!" Meanwhile, when I saw myself on the Michael Coren show, I noticed that my legs, ending in stiletto heels bought for the show, were in shot quite a lot of the time, and this was the Christian TV station. Maybe it was a coincidence.
Anyway, enough about me and TV. This post is about me and radio. I have another radio interview coming up. This one will be on MONDAY, 8:15 AM Central Time (9:15 Eastern Timee), on Relevant Radio. This time the interview will be 20 to 30 minutes long. I want to be more articulate this time, so I will write some interview questions for B.A. and make him interview me for twenty minutes. No more hemming and hawing if I am asked "Why would a person like you write a book like this?" At the time, I thought the Catholic interviewer was mad at me. Only after he mentioned he hadn't read the book did I realize he was just trying to get some basic information.
Perhaps it would have been easier if he had first asked, "Who are you?", although I was so nervous, I may have channeled Pope Francis and just blurted out "A sinner." I suppose a "person like me" is a cradle Catholic who grew up feeling rather uneasy with the world, for although my perception of my city was that it was "half Catholic"--roughly divided between Catholic school supporters and post-Protestant school supporters--I knew that the elites, from the Queen on down, were not Catholic.
I think my parents were wary of making me ghettoized, for they sent me to Brownies at the local Anglican church instead of to the Catholic Brownies at our parish church. But this meant my father had his Evelyn Waugh moment of putting his foot down against me participating in Brownie Church Parade. This led to some tension with Brown Owl or Tawny Owl (probably Tawny Owl) over this, which increased my sense that something was wrong with--not me and my family--but almost everyone else.
I couldn't understand, for example, why I saw so few of my soi-disant Catholic classmates in church. And I couldn't understand why Catholic priests treated Catholic teachings so seriously, and Catholic teachers didn't. And when I found out about the existence of ab*rti*n--whew! That was basically it for me ever winning the Order of Canada because Canada was floating on a river of baby blood, a mari usque ad mare, and as the eldest of five children, I could never, ever make peace with that. The whole scandal rather flies in the face of our insistence that we are are polite and peaceful people. And people call Victorian attitudes towards sexuality "hypocritical"! (!!!)
Islam, which has so many and varied schools of theology that it is actually silly to talk about Islam as if it were one, easily definable religion like Catholicism, does not always outlaw ab*rti*n, at least not in the early stages of pregnancy. And I honestly think this makes observant Muslims more at home in Canadian society than observant Roman Catholics.
Ab*rtion rights are the feminist sacrament, and they mean more to Canadian and American establishment feminists than anything else, including honour killing and forced marriages. As long as Muslims stay out of the pro-life movement, their religiosity is a-okay with (even admired by) the taste makers and the powers-that-be. It helps Muslims aren't usually white, for post-Christian and post-observant Jewish white feminists are petrified of seeming racist or colonialist. Saudi Arabia, I would point out, has no problem with colonization, for it has been sending and funding Wahhabist missionaries throughout the world, in many cases supplanting indigenous, more easy-going forms of Islam. And, incidentally, I learned this interesting fact at Boston College.
I was at BC after 9/11, and I flew in and out of Boston's Logan International Airport rather often. This meant I thought about 9/11 rather a lot, and I was so interested in religion-inspired violence that I alarmed at least one of my classmates. The Mohammed Cartoon Crisis broke out while I was there--that was good for a paper on freedom of speech (what is it for?) and one on whether violence was an appropriate response to blasphemy (works for Muslims!). And then, of course, I went to Germany, where I was when Canadian police stopped what would have been Toronto's 7/7 or 9/11, and where I missed being blown up by the Cologne bombers by two days and faulty mechanisms.
Well, that covers the Catholic and terrorist bits of my book. Probably, though, for the sake of the radio, I should just mention that I am a Catholic former theology student who found modern Germany fascinating and was most exceedingly cross when some Islamist foreign students set a bomb on a train leaving Cologne two days after I left Cologne. I wanted to write a novel set in Germany that addressed the moral weaknesses of the West and the threat of extremist, colonialist, religious terrorism. Just writing it was a slap both to people who don't want people to talk about such things and to a western literary establishment that preaches "freedom of speech" and then caves at once when scary people threaten it.
P.S. Poles often complain about Poland, but 76% of Poles between 15 and 24, i.e. the ones who don't remember Communism, are solidly pro-life. Our Lady of Częstochowa, by your intercession save Poland from the worst horrors of the West's sexual revolution. Módl się za nami!