Dear Sir (or Madam)
My name is Auntie Doris, I died in 1995 at the age of 81. However, since I arrived on the other side I have developed the ability to contact the land of the living by manifesting myself through the body of my nephew, Michael. Although he is a ruddy useless so and so, I have managed to use him to write a number of little homilies and articles on a range of topics, including life after death, swearing, astrology, tarot reading and metaphysics.
He has put most of these pieces online for me, and this “blog” thing that he set up now has literally dozens of followers from all over the world, even as far away as the antipodes, (and as an educated person you will know that you can’t get any further away than them without actually getting nearer to where you were in the first place. Unless you blast off into ruddy space of course)
Any road, what with me now being internationally famous, I have got our Michael started with editing some of the articles into a proper book. “The Auntie Doris Years” which is my guide to the 20th century with stories about all the main players such as Hitler, Charlie Chaplin and Alexander Fleming, mixed with stories about people in my family, such as my Raymond, His brothers Cyril, John and Bernard, and my sister Pearl, (who didn’t speak to me for about ten years because she thought that she was entitled to that Chinese Tea Caddy that mother wanted me to have after she died)
The articles are all written, but they just need editing and tittivating up a bit. Our Michael, being the lazy lump he is, is taking his ruddy time over it. Mind you, he works for the council and is getting on a bit himself now, so he hasn’t got the energy that a younger man might have.
I was wondering if you could give him a boost by saying that you would publish the damned thing when he has finished it. Perhaps under the title of “The Oxford Auntie Doris.” I’ll leave the finer details like that to you though.
If he thought he was working towards something like that, he might get his ruddy skates on. He has always liked Oxford University, anywhere that they taught, Thomas Moore, Edward Gibbon, Graham Greene, Billy Bunter and Harry Potter would be right up his street.
There would be no need for a cash advance or anything. As I said, I am dead and our Michael already has a job, so he doesn’t need any money.
Then again. If you were able to offer him somewhere to write, some old ivory tower that you are not using, I am sure that I could help him to earn his keep by doing a couple of lectures a week on the paranormal or something. He might even stretch to marking a few essays. He is a qualified academic. He got a 2.2 in philosophy and religious studies from Newcastle University in the 1980s.
So there you go. I look forward to working with you in the near future, and you should rest assured that when you bring the book out, it will earn your university a packet. You might even be able to bring them tuition fees down on the strength of it. Perhaps
Dear Sir (or Madam)