No news is good news: The last News of the World rolls off the press

So, it’s finally gone : read all about it.

Good riddance most will say. What happened with the phone hacking scandal has left most decent human beings cold. Unforgivable.

But let’s not pretend here. We all know that the NOTW will re-appear within a matter of weeks. Whether it be under the guise of The Sun extended to weekend editions or re-branded under another name, you can bet your last quid that it will re-emerge like the proverbial bad penny.

And after a few months, despite all the promises, people will buy it again. Fact.

Why are we so fickle?

What makes us fall under the hypnotic spell the media casts?

We believe everything we read right? We must do.

Do you know how many comments in reviews and negative emails we have had about Sugar & Spice?

A lot.

Let me just set the record straight here guys:

It is a work of fiction.

No, not all coppers are bent and most social workers are hard-working, decent people who truly have their charges’ welfare at heart. I get it.

It wouldn’t have made for a very interesting story though would it?

Oh and there was Baby P and 25 other children, failed by the system.

Not to mention those that ‘failed to spot’ Ian Huntley as a risk to children.

I could go on.

So, where do you draw the line with regards to writing fiction? Some people have suggested that we are actually asking readers to feel sorry for paedophiles. One reader (who’s review was subsequently removed by Amazon) even went as far as to say that we were condoning it!

I talk to other writers all the time and I often see them questioning themselves and their characters or actions.

Is there too much swearing in my book?

Should I tone the scene where my bad guy disembowels his mother with a garden trowel?

Is that rape scene too much?

I got news for you folks: life ain’t nice. People ain’t nice.

Good people have bad things happen to them. Bad people have good things happen to them.

Don’t shoot the messenger.

It’s a bit like the ability to turn off a programme you don’t like or hit the red ‘standby’ button on your remote if you’re disgusted at a show.

You can always choose not to read the book.

But if you do, before you rush to power up your PC and send a ‘strongly worded letter of complaint’ or write a scathing review about how disturbed you were at a book, just remember: you have the choice.

That’s the beauty of the world we live in, even if sometimes, it isn’t a nice place.

Saffi (not a monster, just a writer)

Child killers

For those of you who have read Sugar & Spice, you will already be familiar with the content.

Although a work of fiction, the original idea (albeit not my own) for the book was based on the notorious serial killer, Robert Black – one of the UK’s most prolific and well-publicised child killer/rapist.

Black’s reign of terror began way back in 1959 at the age of 12, when he first attempted rape, and continued until his arrest in 1990. During that time he is known to have molested and sexually abused dozens of young girls and murdered at least three. There are probably more.

In the UK, the heart-breakingly familiar list of names is thankfully quite short, although one-too-many long: Mary Bell, Ian Brady & Myra Hindley, Ian Huntley, Ronald Jebson, John Straffen, Robert Thompson & Jon Venables, Roy Whiting.

Although not all sexually motivated, most of the people listed above killed more than one child. Their reasons the subject of much professional, academic and domestic discussion, both past and present and no doubt, for many more years to come.

America has its very own list… which I will leave for another day.

Robert Black was known to the authorities for over two decades before he finally murdered. He was charged and released and sent to Borstal. His background was known and yet he was allowed to go on, to continue to abuse and eventually, murder.

Sugar & Spice looks at these types of crimes from various angles and asks some serious questions:

Are potential abusers/rapists/killers let down by the authorities?

Do they receive intervention early enough to prevent their fantasies becoming reality?

Would it make a difference if they did?

Are they all dangerous monsters; beyond help with fragmented childhoods and sexual deviances or are they simply abused children who grow into abusive adults?

Is there even (successful) treatment available?

Sugar & Spice is simply fiction, although based on real-life events…but it happens, we know it happens.

So what do we do to stop it happening again?


  • Buy Sugar & Spice from Amazon

  • Buy the French edition of Sugar & Spice (Paraphilia)

  • Buy Snow White from Amazon

  • Buy Snow White in PRINT from Amazon

  • Buy Rapunzel from Amazon

  • Buy London’s Burning from Amazon

  • Buy Ring A-Ring O’Roses from Amazon

  • Buy The Night Before Christmas from Amazon

  • Buy Anca’s Story from Amazon

  • Buy Anca’s Story in PRINT from Amazon

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  • Buy ‘Awakenings’ – Book ONE of INDIGO KIDS from Amazon

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