Lynne McCrossan: Who wouldn’t be distracted by a naked heiress

When you are on a deadline the best thing to do is clear the decks and avoid distractions.

But that’s a bit of a luxury when space is at a premium in your one-bed Gorgie flat filled to the rafters with baby bumph, bulldog beds, Belfast boy’s clutter and an ever expanding wardrobe – mine, not his.

So whenever I touch base with the book agent as she inquires how manuscript number two is coming, I divulge my world of distraction in the vain hope she’ll understand the snail pace writing plan.

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She always does, and her sage words of encouragement are just the tonic to get me back on track. Until the next inevitable distraction. Except this one is a biggie. She’s Marchesa Luisa Casati, the eccentric Italian heiress who blew her vast inheritance and amassed a debit of $25 million bankrupting herself by 1930. She would take walks naked beneath leopard print furs and wanted to be known as a living work of art.

I initially started researching her as a character who passed though my fictional herione’s life. But since truth is stranger than fiction the Marchesa’s real story has bewitched me. I’m now face first in her autobiography, meaning I’m reading, not writing. Oops.


It’s time to ditch the big bag for something a little smaller. This season say ta ta to anything bigger than an envelope sized clutch as hand bags are being minimized for maxine effect. It doesn’t matter the material, colour or style, just as long as it only has room for your keys, purse, phone and lippie. It’s like the fashion world is feng shui’ing our wardrobes.