Don’t put me in a box!

11 01 2013

Have you noticed how a single word can define a person? For example;

Actor, George Clooney was seen with a young blonde etc….

Supposing it said, Grandfather, George Clooney was seen with a young blonde….what a different perception we have of him.

I don’t get upset about many things in the press; life’s too short,  but what really makes me growl is the way the subjects of stories, particularly sensational or disaster stories are put in a box before you even get to read the article.

Grandmother, Maisie Brown (53), whose house was burned down last week….

Pensioner, Alice Evans (60) completed the Marathon in record time….

Ex-prisoner Jack Green saved a child from drowning….

You get my drift? It is lazy journalism and gives a totally boxed-in image of the subject before we ever read another word about them.

Cancer suffer, Steve White was involved in a hit and run accident…. The fact he is a cancer sufferer is irrelevant, so why say it?

And even worse, Famous person’s brother has been arrrested for drug possession. Nothing to do with ‘famous person’ so why drag him or her into the story?

I’m proud to be both a pensioner and a grandmother – but it isn’t how I want to be defined.

Author, artist,  or actress, Suzanne Stokes…yes, I’m happy with that because it makes me sound a more rounded and interesting person, but please don’t put me in a box! Well, not yet, anyway.



18 12 2012

Suzanne Stokes

Welcome to my Blog.

I have written a short article about me on the ‘About’ Page.

Three of my romantic novels are to be published by Musa Publishing as e-books in the first quarter of 2013.

Please feel free to add topics and comments to my Blog.


18 12 2012

Would Like to Meet….

When you’re  asked by a new acquaintance ‘what do you do for a living?’ and you reply ‘I run an introduction agency,’ you can rest assured they will not nod and move on to talk someone else.

The first question most people ask is what kind of sad people are so desperate for love they need to join a dating agency. Well, most of them were nice, normal people who find it hard to meet other single people in the run of their everyday lives. Women in particular feel very vulnerable going out alone to bars or clubs and many are wary of meeting friends of friends for fear of ill feeling if the dates don’t go well. So an agency, where clients are all met at home and, as far as possible, checked to be free, single and solvent, is still a relatively safe option.

I ran a branch of a countrywide agency for three years and met a wonderful variety of people and, to my credit, successfully matched dozens of people, many of whom formed long term partnerships. But it was nothing like internet dating – which personally I still think carries a huge risk factor -because all our clients were met in their own homes, either by me or a trained advisor, and we  didn’t take anyone on whom we knew we could not help, or who might be a potential problem to their dates. It wasn’t cheap to join – at around £500 for a year’s membership – but it did prove that clients were serious about their wish to find a long term partner.

But among the many lovely people, I met there were inevitably a few…what shall we say…eccentric, odd ball people who would be very hard to match. I once found myself outside a house which would have made a junk yard look tidy. Before I could make an excuse to leave, the owner, a surprisingly well turned-out and charming man, opened the door and invited me in. He made the standard offer of a cup of tea while we had a chat – and ushered me into ‘the living room’. It was piled high with every sort of widget and gadget, and having found a chair under a pile of debris, he sat me down, and moved the garden shredder a couple of feet or so out of the way.

‘Well,’ I began. ‘Tell me why you are looking for a lady in your life.

He looked astonished. ‘Well just look at the place,’ he replied. ‘I need someone to sort this lot out.’

On another occasion I went to visit a man who, when he opened the door, burst into tears. He was quite elderly and it transpired he had only buried his beloved wife two weeks before. He was lonely and said he didn’t even know how to turn on the washing machine. He also had a very angry parrot who looked oven ready because he had pulled out every feather while grieving for his dead mistress. A truly sad story, though I did arrange some help for the poor man and I hope he was eventually able to move on with his life.

Then there was the farty dog. His owner warned me as I entered the house that he was ‘windy’ – which was a massive understatement. He blew a force nine gale for the hour I was there, and most of the time he sat on my foot. And then his mistress decided not to join. I can still conjure up the smell…

You might think there has to be a book about all this – and of course there will be on 11th January  when Would Like to Meet… is published by Musa Publishing.

The story in brief:

From the moment Katy Grainger joins up-market introduction agency Meet Your Match, her life changes forever. Having been widowed and left with a young daughter, she hopes to meet a nice, normal man with whom to share her life – but sometimes people are not what they seem, and Katy finds herself with a problem.

Sandra Vine, who runs the agency with her egocentric boss Malcolm, meets her clients in their own homes – a job which brings her into contact with all sorts of people, including Charlie, an elderly man who is still devastated after losing his wife. He is clearly not a suitable candidate for Meet Your Match, but Sandra takes him under her wing, only to discover Charlie has a secret which will have a profound effect on her future.

Simon Graves is a wealthy businessman who also owns High Numbers – winner of the Derby and his pride and joy. But Simon is lonely, and on impulse, joins Meet Your Match, but finds dating an uncomfortable business. Is the hilarious Louisa, a cousin of the Queen, to be the girl of his dreams…or will he find her rather closer to home?

Would Like to Meet is an e-book, available through Amazon and other distributors, or by clicking on the link to Musa Publishing.