In the grand tradition of George Sand, a woman
who wrote as a man, and J. K. Rowling, a woman who
disguised her gender for the first Harry Potter
books, The Sun City Cannabis Club is written
by two men hiding behind a woman's name.
"I didn't think people would take
an action-adventure novel whose main characters are
women seriously, with men as the author," says Jock
McNeill, one of the writers. "As it turns out, I
underestimated the reading public!"
Paul Cilwa, McNeill's co-author,
says writing as Armentine Duryea was "a hoot! We
made a conscious effort to use phrases a hip,
eightysomething woman would write."
"It really helped us to get into
the mindset of that generation and gender," McNeill
adds. "We had to understand it to write it."
Coming out of the Armentine Duryea
"closet" means the first printing of the book, with
Armentine listed as sole author, will likely become
something of a collectors' item. And McNeill and
Cilwa have generously offered to autograph any first
editions if requested to do so.
"Imagine owning a copy of George
Sand's Indiana signed by Amandine-Aurore-Lucile
Dupin, her real name," Cilwa points out.
"I know what I'm giving for
Christmas this year!"