The Author of Maggie Scratch Reads in Ibiza at Libro Azul

I landed on Ibiza in the dark.

The whole island smelled like firewood!

Chimney smoke! Damp earth! Trees! Sky! Balmy air! Home!  The moon!

The sky ablaze with stars just being born!

I slip a mini-flashlight out of my bag and take notes in the back seat with bright little Alba while Paloma drives us along the dark, smooth, paved roads I don’t remember. My heart and eyes  overflow with the old familiar faces, all the faces come to me, stay with me, smile at me. New faces too! People in Ibiza.

What an honor, what a privilege to be invited to read my book.

The perfect place


Maggie Scratch

Santa Gertrudis

a magical place

Libro Azul

Now back in Barcelona, I have a few things more to say. Henry Miller once wrote, “Writing is a luxury.” For me, “Luxury is writing.” It’s luxurious! I don’t need much! It’s free! “All you need is a bare light bulb!” A friend  in Ibiza told me once. In those days I was living without electricity. Writing was a luxury because there was nothing to need. To this day all I need is a pen or a pencil or  an eyeliner stub. “I’m a writer with a place to sleep.” Charles Bukowski took the words right out of my mouth.

Maggie Scratch Reviewed…and Returning Soon to the Scene of the Crime…

By Cat Milton in Spotlight, January 9th, 2013

If you search Kindle for an entertaining fictitious read about Ibiza, overall you run the risk of being sorely disappointed. More likely you will be inundated with endless lists of Club and Island guides rather than a rousing good read to make you feel less homesick for this gorgeous isle. However, just of late one or two authoresses have decided to take this void and fill it – and do so from a perspective of personal experience.

So it was that Maggie Scratch came to our attention. Going back in the day, authoress Susana Gross used to write for Ibiza Spotlight! The years have passed but her life on the island seems to have stayed firmly with her, inspiring much of the insights and tone of Maggie Scratch. (Her grandfather, Harry Gross, actually nicknamed Susana “Maggie Scratch”, a pseudonym she used as a rebel reporter and much in part an inspiration for the book)

Again, regrettably, we’ve not had time to stop and read the eBook ourselves but if Amazon Kindle verified reviews are anything to go by, the book is a stunning success with its audience to date, garnering no less than twenty-two 5 star reviews.

Briefly, the storyline seems to take on many subjects that still remain taboo in open conversation (at least outside Ibiza) but allow quiet smiles of knowing as ones eyes absorb the words.

Maggie Scratch, the central character, explores relationships and all their foibles, across the years and across continents, before finally settling in Ibiza, where Maggie Scratch realises what is fuelling her restlessness… Of course, the answer is not an easy one – as a single woman, she wants a child – and one can imagine what follows, in light of the fact this part of the book is based in Ibiza, island of ‘anything goes’…

(Can’t wait to meet everyone at Libro Azul!)

Maggie Scratch in Yesteryear on the Road with Seneca

The friend who inspired Seneca is the ultimate BFF.

We were inseparable.

I love you Seneca.



Maggie Scratch tells it like it was…

At the end of the summer Seneca and I took a trip together in my new Volvo, a gift from Bubbe Berkowitz. Seneca nicknamed it The Vulva. We packed our sleeping bags and a tent and drove to Canada. All along the way we sang folk songs because the radio didn’t work. Seneca taught me “Four Strong Winds” and we sang that song over and over. We had several fights about how to put up the tent. Seneca was bossy. I got tired of fighting with her, I gave in. She was usually right. We hardly ever agreed about who should drive. It seemed to me that Seneca was always driving. When we looked at maps, I didn’t really care where we went but Seneca did, she had ideas. One starlit night, after a cranky day in the car, we ended up camping out in the Lake George Campgrounds. It was the best night of our trip. The air was fresh and we didn’t fight. We put up the tent, no problems. We ate Chef Boyardee with our spoons in the can. We found a tetherball and slugged. It was fun. We stayed up all night talking in our moldy sleeping bags. Seneca summed us up in one word. The same word she used to describe our tetherball game, “Tumultuous!” On Martha’s Vineyard I learned that eggs, butter, pickles and ketchup don’t have to be refrigerated. I washed my hair in a muddy swamp with a cake of Ivory soap. We lived on the beach, in the sand and the dunes. It was like a desert. The day we hiked four miles to go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean was the day I found out that Seneca had been lying to me. The dunes were high and hilly and full of tall grass. Seneca said she wanted to be alone and walked off by herself. At sunset I went looking for her. It was almost dark and I was getting worried when, there in a dune, surrounded by thick scrub, curled up in a ball, lying on her side, was the person I loved most in the world. Her face was exposed in the crook of an arm. Her eyes were closed. I was afraid to touch her.

“Seneca?” I whispered. “Sen, are you all right?”

One eye opened, then the other. I slumped down in the sand and slid an arm around her. After a minute she started to cry, not hysterically, but pathetically, sobbing, sucking in her breath like a child. Her nose grew red and began to run. I wiped my bare arm across it, drew her to me and held her in my arms.