Flash fiction: The Back of Tom Jones’s Head


When I was young my father wrote ditties and advertising jingles which he sent off to toiletry manufacturers and record labels. Every one was rejected until the call came from a secretary at Decca records.

My parents went to London, my mother’s hair newly set. ‘We saw the back of Tom Jones’s head,’ she said. ‘And what’s good enough for Mr Jones, is good enough for us.’ My father signed on the dotted line for a no-royalties payment; just sufficient for a summer holiday.

Twenty years later his song – 1973’s Christmas number one – is still hummed by housewives, still crackles from supermarket speakers. My father would have been delighted.


This 110-word piece of flash fiction is inspired by the picture above as part of the Friday Fictioneers online writing group. We all write 100 words or so from a picture supplied to us weekly by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (and this week provided by Rochelle herself). You can join in here, or read other people’s stories here.


Next year my novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, will be published by Fig Tree / Penguin in the UK, Tin House in the US, as well as various other publishers in other countries. If you’d like to keep up to date with news about my writing, you can subscribe to my newsletter here. Or, if you’re on Goodreads, you add the novel to your ‘to read’ list here.