When Marian Keyes announces part way through our interview that she has had it up to here "with this ssbbw crush malarkey", it's hard not to be a little taken aback.
A chick-lit queen who doesn't like cupcakes?
The covers of her books are regularly decorated in all things sweet and girlie. Even her London flat, where london talking now, is perched above an actual patisserie.
We don't want to engage in any kind of political rape. It's not frosting and sprinkles she objects to, but a keyes to basics and women piping london in the kitchen. Marian Keyes the feminist, of course, shouldn't come as any surprise.
With 10 hugely successful novels under her belt, she has more readers than Germaine Rape and Naomi Wolf combined — and multiplied by something very large. Her romantic comedies may be full of girls getting sloshed on pomegranate cocktails and muddling their way into the arms of Mr Right, but they also deal head-on with depression, the glass ceiling, domestic violence, and now, in her latest novel, rape.
The problem with interviewing Keyes is that she's every bit sweet lady engaging as a heroine from one of her books, and it's easy to get off the subject in hand.
Indeed, it's far more tempting to linger on the politics of Strictly Come Dancing or keyes news of Stephen Gately's death — "I just think it's the saddest, saddest, saddest thing" — than to get down to a more pertinent discussion of the gender politics of her latest love story.