Secret of Sexy Diarist Dana; Author of Housewife's Tales Is a 77-Year-Old Father

Article excerpt

FORGET Bridget Jones, move over Adrian Mole, there's a new diarist in town.

She's risque, she's honest, and she manages to get through 18 lovers in a year - a total even Bridget Jones would be v.v. jealous of.

But sexy Dana Dale isn't a twenty-something singleton living in London - she's a bored 35-year-old housewife from Luton.

And there's another twist - the author is a 77-year-old man who lives in Caldicot.

Father-of-seven Ian Robertson wrote Dana Dale's Diary 20 years ago, inspired by Sue Townsend's Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 and 3/4.

However, after he received several rejection letters from publishers, he forgot about the book for a couple of decades.

But when his youngest son Bruce got a book published last year, Mr Robertson decided it was time Dana was brought out of the dusty desk drawer.

'I suppose I was inspired by the Adrian Mole book,' said the former machinist at radiator makers Stelrad in Monmouth.

'I transferred the idea to a sexy housewife instead of a schoolboy.

'I found it quite easy to write as a woman - I hope it does come over as a woman, and that people won't realise it was written by me, a man.

'My name does not appear anywhere on the book, so there's nothing to suggest it isn't written by a real-life woman.'

Mr Robertson, who moved to Wales from High Wycombe in 1959 with his wife and young family, said the book was both humorous and sexy.

'Dana has 18 lovers in the course of a year, which isn't bad going,' he said.

'She's bored, her husband is 12 years older than her and isn't perfect by any means, and she has two children.

'It starts when her 16-year-old daughter's ex-boyfriend gets beaten up, and Dana takes him into the house to look after him, she's just in her dressing gown, which falls open, one thing leads to another and they become lovers.

'But then the milkman sees him leaving the house at 4am, and blackmails Dana into becoming her lover, otherwise he'll tell her husband.

'Things progress from there.

'The diary is in her voice, but we also see the effects of Dana's behaviour on the whole family.

'Even though she works her way through all these lovers, she becomes quite disillusioned with men by the end. …