Lobelia Quest published her first novel, The Lady and the Boot Boy, at age 16, winning praise for its originality of grammar and freshness of vision, with one critic remarking, 'I will never again be able to look at a rotary shoe-polisher without blushing.' Since then she has worked in a variety of genres and styles—'each song creates the singer anew'—and has twice won the Silver Vulva at the Montreux Passionate Writing Festival. Her advice to aspirant writers is stern: 'One has to give and give to one's readers and then give some more until it hurts ... One cannot be a slave to the dictionary. One has to transcend it. Often one must voyage far beyond the right word in order to land on the really surprising one.' To get into the mood, Miss Quest usually works naked apart from a rope of pearls and a dab of Givenchy. This may make it easier to apply her patented 'nipple test' to each line of prose: 'Nipples are nature's own early-warning system for boredom. Slack nipples mean slack writing. When the writing is taut, quivering, and threatening to gush just a little bit, so are my bosom-antennae.'
Nowadays, Ms Quest prefers to dictate her opuses to a series of eager and obliging male secretaries. Her current amanuensis is Michael Kelly, a British humourist otherwise best known as impresario to the fetish-fiction king Ulrich Haarburste.