Thursday, July 28, 2005

Diary Of A Crush - I gave you the best years of my life...

I spent over four years writing Diary Of A Crush as a column (and three cover-mounted books) for the fantastic and now sadly departed J17 magazine.

I fell totally in love with Dylan and Edie and loved living in their world and getting to tell their story and watch them grow up. The column led to some great things for me; mainly my book deal. I was also so pleased when I finally got to rework the series slightly and have it on sale in bookshops.

It's slightly strange to me that a lot of the letters I get about the trilogy all ask when I'm going to write the next book in the series because they want to know what happens to Dylan and Edie. I'm like, you've already had three books. That's your lot! The series finished at a definite cutting-off point with Edie and Dylan as a couple who were moving in different directions but staying together. And as I've said so many times that I think the words might be stuck on my forehead, it's a teen series and writing about a pair of 20-somethings is moving DOAC somewhere that it shouldn't go.

For a long time I didn't even own the copyright to DOAC, which meant that if the copyright owners had got someone else in to write more books there wouldn't have been anything I could have done about it. I do now own the copyright but I still feel very strongly that I have nothing left to write about Edie and Dylan and there are other stories that I want to tell more. If I did to write some more books in the Crush 'verse as I call it, they certainly wouldn't have Edie and Dylan in the starring roles. And more books would only happen if the trilogy does amazingly well when it gets released in the States next year.

So when I get asked if Dylan and Edie are still together or if they got married, I'm not really sure how to answer. To me, they're frozen in time on Camden Road, Dylan's head stuck out of the window as Edie runs after the car until it's a little speck in the distance. I know people love happy endings, I don't. I like slightly messy, ambiguous endings. Edie and Dylan got their happy ending and what happened next is as much up to you guys and the little daydreams you have about them, like I have my little daydreams about what happened after the credits started rolling at the end of Lost In Translation.

Don't get me wrong, I love, love, love that Diary Of A Crush has had such an amazing effect on the people who've read it. Dylan and Edie are hugely important to me, but their moment has passed. And being ornery and difficult, when I get emails telling me that if I "fob" you off with any more "excuses" about why I won't write any more DOAC books and that you'll write to my publishers and complain about me, it has the opposite effect.

So, to sum up. No more Edie and Dylan. Maybe some more Diary Of A Crush in the dim and distant future. Don't hurt my feelings with really aggressive emails. And stop sending me chain and spam emails before the back of my head explodes!

Love

Sarra x

25 comments:

SCARLET said...

Hi Sarra

my name is scarlett and I work in the Press Office for a cosmetics. I've just read your article in the Guardian called Big in Fashion and felt that elements of it were so close to my own experience that it was if we knew one another.

I also being big, having more gay male friends than I can fully re-call and having an eternal passion for all things beautiful, fashion and especially make up I just wanted to e-mail and thank you for writing something that I wouldn't have had the courage to. Your frank and honest style seemed at times, too close to the bone for me and i sat at my desk wincing hoping that no one would notice the big girl, reading the big girl story with big tears in her eyes.

Last year I did an internship at a large glossy magazine with the Beauty team, just across the hall from where your office would have been at Elle Girl and I adored it. I always had a little nagging suspicion in my mind that although i know my lipshades and create this seasons smoky eye without a second thought, that there was something about me in that environment that didn't quite add up. Or it added up to too much.

And so whilst I try to navigate my way through a career in Beauty forever feeling like i need to compensate and apologise i take comfort in your words and use you as my inspiration.

With thanks

SCARLET said...

Hi Sarra

my name is scarlett and I work in the Press Office for a cosmetics. I've just read your article in the Guardian called Big in Fashion and felt that elements of it were so close to my own experience that it was if we knew one another.

I also being big, having more gay male friends than I can fully re-call and having an eternal passion for all things beautiful, fashion and especially make up I just wanted to e-mail and thank you for writing something that I wouldn't have had the courage to. Your frank and honest style seemed at times, too close to the bone for me and i sat at my desk wincing hoping that no one would notice the big girl, reading the big girl story with big tears in her eyes.

Last year I did an internship at a large glossy magazine with the Beauty team, just across the hall from where your office would have been at Elle Girl and I adored it. I always had a little nagging suspicion in my mind that although i know my lipshades and create this seasons smoky eye without a second thought, that there was something about me in that environment that didn't quite add up. Or it added up to too much.

And so whilst I try to navigate my way through a career in Beauty forever feeling like i need to compensate and apologise i take comfort in your words and use you as my inspiration.

With thanks

Anonymous said...

hey!!! i really like your book.. pretty things!! :D i had so much reading it! and i love the book cover! :D anyway.. good luck to you! and God bless! :)

leica said...

oh yah. i chose your book as my presentation for my english task. see thats how much i love your book. :P

caroline said...

Hi Sarra

I havent read the other books yet other than the first DOAC but I'm absolutely thrilled that you got to do what you always dreamed of doing.
You rock!

love Caroline S
xxx

Anonymous said...

Hey sarra:) i just finished the three diary of a crush books for the first time. I'd like to say thanks hey, for the best read i have ever had! Edies so cool, and dylan sounds so hot!! Haha!! Anyway yeah i loved the ending, it keeps me thinking.. its the best! What other books have you realeased and do you sell them in australia? thanks:) u rock!

Anonymous said...

hey Sarra!
i just finished rereading Guitar Girl for the fourth, maybe fifth time? I love that book. It would make an awesome movie, don't you think? Anyways, keep rocking on.

Audrey, from France said...

hi!!
I'm Audrey, i'm from the south of France and this summer, one of my English fiends gave me "diary of a crush: kiss and make up", which i really LOVED, so I looked for the others ones on the net and found on ebay the books "french kiss" and "american dream", so I was wondering if "american dream" is the same as "sealed with a kiss", and if "losing it" is the same book as "kiss and make up"...I actually read that you released them first in the magazine J17!!??... thanks for your help!!!
oh, and please, keep on writing, and plan to release your books in France!! they all would have a great success, for sure!!!
Best regards,
Audrey

Anonymous said...

Hey sarra
i live in canada so ive only read guitar girl n pretty things cause your other books arent published here. i really loved those two though. u should publish your other books in canada. that would rock. well my bass beckons me. buhbyes
Sara XOX

girl said...

Hey.

Even though I am a SERIOUS DOAC fan, I'm almost glad that they're is gonna be no more Edie and Dylan, coz that closing image of them was so beautiful, and its just nice to think of them frozen in that place. DOAC was one of my biggest influences and inspirations of my (earlier) teen years, in more ways then one.

But I do wish that Grace's year would be published in book form, since I missed most of that due to a move to Australia, and J17 being devilishly difficult to find over here.

Kalli said...

Sarra,

I just read the first two DOAC books and i LOVED them. I got Kiss and Make Up last night and read straight through it it was so hard for me to put it down to go to the bathroom. I want a Dylan of my own so badly because you make him seem so interesting and intreaging. You should extend the DOAC seris beyond these 3 books cause i dont know how i will be able to survive without my daily fix of Edie and Dylan's complacated love life.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxo Kalli

KateD said...

Hey Sarra,
Well,what can i say?
I think iv read Diaries of a Crush about 100 times now,i cant seem to stop!i love them!
I love Edie,she seems like one of those realy lovely,pretty girls [even though i will never know what she looks like,i can still imagine].

Anyway,iv read all your books actually!and all of them have been amazing!

Pretty Things - i love the cover - Brie [bless her] and all the other characters were amazing!

Guitar Girl - when i finished that book,i was silent,i couldnt speak,i was actually speachless!

Keep writing,i await the next book which i predict will also blow my mind away with awesomeness!!

Thank you!!

Kate

chelseaa said...

hey sarra,

yah i get wut u were saying about the whole dylan and edie thing but maybe would there be anything in the future of the whole grace and jack spin off thing ..idk it just seemed like when grace told edie that maybe she should start writing a diary it was somewhat going in that direction. well wutever either way i loved the books that i read in a total of like 2 weeks ... they were very very good what can i say other then i have no life. well k sorry if this is way annoying.

Chelsea

kay said...

Hey Sarra,

My name is Karina and I am 13. Lieca and I have something in common; we did your book for an English project.

I love DOAC sooooo much!!! I miss that you're not writing another book but I can't talk seeing as I've only almost managed to finish reading Sealed with a Kiss.

All my friends are reading your books now - isn't word of mouth the most fabulous advertising?! XD

Um... I really want to know about how Grace and Jack are moving because I though J1ught I saw somebody write something about her story being in "J17" I've never seen this magazine as I live in Australia. Anyway, you're on my ever-growing list of inspirational writers that make me want to do the same (become a writer too).

Thank you for being stimulated (possibly one of the worst words for it, but I can't keep say "inspired" all the time) to write your books they've changed me - or at least they've moved me.

I shall shut up now, please keep writing and I shall keep reading.

Karina
XxoxX

kay said...

Hey Sarra,

My name is Karina and I am 13. Lieca and I have something in common; we did your book for an English project.

I love DOAC sooooo much!!! I miss that you're not writing another book but I can't talk seeing as I've only almost managed to finish reading Sealed with a Kiss.

All my friends are reading your books now - isn't word of mouth the most fabulous advertising?! XD

Um... I really want to know about how Grace and Jack are moving because I though J1ught I saw somebody write something about her story being in "J17" I've never seen this magazine as I live in Australia. Anyway, you're on my ever-growing list of inspirational writers that make me want to do the same (become a writer too).

Thank you for being stimulated (possibly one of the worst words for it, but I can't keep say "inspired" all the time) to write your books they've changed me - or at least they've moved me.

I shall shut up now, please keep writing and I shall keep reading.

Karina
XxoxX

kay said...

Hey Sarra,

My name is Karina and I am 13. Lieca and I have something in common; we did your book for an English project.

I love DOAC sooooo much!!! I miss that you're not writing another book but I can't talk seeing as I've only almost managed to finish reading Sealed with a Kiss.

All my friends are reading your books now - isn't word of mouth the most fabulous advertising?! XD

Um... I really want to know about how Grace and Jack are moving because I though J1ught I saw somebody write something about her story being in "J17" I've never seen this magazine as I live in Australia. Anyway, you're on my ever-growing list of inspirational writers that make me want to do the same (become a writer too).

Thank you for being stimulated (possibly one of the worst words for it, but I can't keep say "inspired" all the time) to write your books they've changed me - or at least they've moved me.

I shall go now, please keep writing and I shall keep reading.

Karina
XxoxX

Rebecca Jane said...

After reading them, i was all hyped up and oooh what happened! But after reading that i think i get you, its kinda nice that it was just left like that. I was wondering that it might be slightly carried on but with Grace as the main character, after she talked to Edie about her writing a diary. Id just like to say thankyou for writing them and each of your other books (i have them all) they have inspired me (cant think of the right word) that my dylan is out there, and to enjoy being this age. So thankyou for writing such kick ass books.

Becky
xxxxxx

Leez_1991 said...

hii Sarra,
My name is Lee-Anne Gale-Smallman, i live in south australia and i am in love with your book diary of a crush. the book really inspired me to keep reading as i wasnt much of a book person. I would love to have the chance to get some info about you and the book, as i am doing a 30 page journal for English at school. You are my choosen Author and i really need some info about you and your child life. thank you for taking the time to read this thanks

Lee-Anne

Ruby2sdy said...

It's weird for me that DOAC is now in book form... I find it slightly unfair that I spent weeks anticipating what would happen next, and now people can just go out there and buy it all!

I just wanted to say that I always loved DOAC, it had me hooked and was responsible for many a day dream, whilst I imagined what Dylan and Edie might do next. DOAC was my earlier teen year addiction - I'm at college now, and it's only now that I can truly understand the importance of an art boy in every girl's life! But, the fact that I'm supposedly 'all grown up' isn't going to stop me from buying the books, just to relive something from long, long ago ;)

Also, my lil sis has just found my 'french kiss' and 'losing it' books, read them, and fallen in love with them too... It's nice that DOAC is like that!

Thank you Sarra, you rock!

Tuesday x

Aliss A xxx said...

Hey Sarra 8D

I just wanted to say (like most girls here), that your books are awesome. Myself I've only read the DOAC books so long, but I just went to the library today and borrowed Guitar Girl (yay ^^ can't wait to read it!!).
The first book I read was Kiss and Make Up, and I just fell in love with it, almost got obsessed. I looked for the other books, and I read them both in like a day >.<
Now I'm reading "Sealed with a kiss" for hmm.. the 6th time, I think. I'm really obsessed with them >.<
I even draw fanarts for them 8D

Anyhoo, I wanted to tell you that your books really rock, and they really leave marks in your soul, after you've read them. (I know this sounds silly, but I think it's so damn hard to write something that really matters on internet and all)
I really loved these books, so I told my sis and friends about them, and everyone that read/is reading them, really love them!
I think it's great that you can spread the word, so that your books get even more popular ^^

You really are an awesome writer, and you describe how Edie feels so good. Once when I was in school and we were having English, I was reading DOAC 2 when I was waiting for the teacher to come, and I was reading that part when (spoiler) Edie and Dylan break up, and I started crying in front of all the others >.<
It was really embaressing X3
(although it was like the third time I read it, and like all of my friends have already read that, so they were like really understanding xD)

I really hope DOAC will become movies any day, that'd be The Awesomeness ^^
Although I think it's good, but still really sad, that you didn't continue writing anymore books in this serie, cause I don't think it'd be the same now that they're like 20 (just like you said) and I really like fantasising about what happenes after the ending.
So I kinda support your decision not to write anymore DOAC, althought it's sad that you're leaving us (and Dylan :P) Edieless ):

Take care, and keep on writing! <3
With love

Aliss A
xxx

may said...

Hi Sarra

You know that feeling of deep sadness when you finish a truly amazing book... When you feel sooo depressed you just want to lay on your bed for days thinking about all the details aand re-reading the book about a thousand times... Well, that's what I felt when I finished each Diary Of A Crush. And believe me, that has happended to me VERY few times. In fact, I think I have only felt that with one other book. Which pretty much explains how much I adore the love life of Edie and Dylan.
The thing is, I don't know how you do it. I mean, at first look, Diary of a Crush just seems like your ordinary teenage novel. Great story, but nothing out of the ordinary. But somehow, this trioligy (sadly...) has deeply marked me. And for that I admire you very much. And thank you even more for making my days :)

ty said...

Hey there Ms. Sara Manning,

Im Tyla from Florida US nd i absoluely love ur DOAC book! They're amazing to me because they're extremely real in a sense that young girls like me can relate nd dream about. I love that bad boy but caring sexy guy like Dylan nd idk who else doesn't but i love all teh controversy but lways at the end the two Edie nd Dylan know they're just meant to be. Actually i hate the controversy, i wish they could just stay together but that wouldn't make the excited jumps in the book. I finished the second nd on my way to the third nd i can;t wait ! I wish you could continue making DOAC series because they're such a joy to read. Well with all my love nd best wishes..thank u soo much for ur beautiful teenage, creative mind
XOXO a humungous fan Ty

keith said...

hi sarra

my name is natasha i have read all of your books and enjoyed them so much!
i feel like edie has alot in common with myself as i love to shop at vintage shops and buy dresses =]
at the end of some of your books you put your music choices like belle and sebastion and death cab i love these too
i listen to them alot especially death cab, i fell in love with seth cothen after watchin the oc and there is also a debate in my head over who is the best the oc or gossip girl
i also love listening to hole and courtney love
i still cant get over that doac finished but i think it finished at a good stage because if it was any different it might go too far

i just wanted to say i love your books and keep writing =D

PEACE OUT!

tasha
xoxo

P.S
i'm on my dads google account thingy so it says my name is keith =]

beth:) said...

Sarra Manning,
First of all, I need to thank you, for diary of a crush. From the age 13 to know, 15, I have read your diary of a crush book, a thousand times, (well maybe seven or eight). I would have read them more but I get so depressed when I do. But the books are amazing. Secondly I would like to say that the charector edie, it felt like I was her. Like I was living the version of events your wrote about. I cried when she did, I laughed when she did, I felt love when edie felt it, I felt my heart being torn out when hers was because of dylan, but you just couldnt damn well not love the guy, because as he says, he is pretty damn loveable.

Edie inspired me to be the person I want to be. To find my dylan, and I'd be his edie.
God, Im so sad, im actually crying now.

I feel like you left diary of a crush in a good place, but i do wish there was more, i understand that its a teenage book and it will never happen because there in the twenties and stuff. I just want to know where they end up, (you dont have to answer that cos probually thousands of people have, and you probually want to reach your hands through the screan and throtle them whilst screaming that its up to the readers). I just imagine the alternate endings, where they end up and what happens. Like, weather they really would stay together, or weather they would just call it quits and move on, which i really hope they dont. It didnt really help that in the end of the last book stupid bite put 'will the distance drive them apart?' but I really hope it doesnt.

I really dont know why im writing this to you. Im sorry. I just seemed like a good way to clear my head and stop bloody crying at the end of the last book, (but never all the way through the second, but not the end of it), because i know theres not another book coming to tell me what will happen to them, but I suspose you can never have everything you want (unless its chocolate).

But really, honestly thank you for being such an amazing writer, and inspiring me to be like Edie, and to find a Dylan, and for making me happy, sad, depressed and slightly warm and fuzzy on the inside. You've inspired me to do many things, to be less shy ect, ill not bore you with even more details.

I hope hope hope that you could publish Grace's diary in a spin off thing to Edies diary ofa crush (even though i would feel a lonely pang with out Edie and Dylan, and as i start to love another two people who arent real, but anyways).
Also if you did publish it, would you post an update of Edie and Dylan in it? Like we had emails of Grace to Edie while they were in America? Or even just a Dylan and Edie are still together or there not, whatever.
Or would there ever be a possibility that now your writing adult novels, you could do a Edie and Dylan one? Now that there out of adolesecent, ofcourse.


Well, i think its my cue to leave.
So sorry if you feel like throteling me and screaming in my face (please dont hurt me) but i just needed to get two years of it off my chest while i go to read the three books in two days and one hot night i could just not sleep at midnight for a few hours.
Also I would just like to add, your the best writer I've ever heard of, your stories rock my primark socks and you made me feel like I was in the book, like I was Edie (y'know?) And to be honest, if that doesnt prove that your an AWESOME writer I dont know what does, Please please PLEASE keep up your amazing work and them some more if its possible (cue big puppy eyes).


A friend of Edie's is a friend of mine, (that'd be you)
Beth.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
P.s I feel the same about the spam and chain letters.
& p.p.s I can read a lot of Edie in you when your writing in your blog. Where you your inspiration for writing about Edie? If so, that means you had a Dylan, right? Im jelouse.
& p.p.p.s Sorry for this being so long, hope you dont mind.

Denalias said...

It honestly never even occured to me that you might write another book in the DOAC series. I thought it very obviously ended with that last one, and that it was a very good ending at that.
I'm 21, and you're one of my favorite authors. I own every one of your books so far and snag the new ones as soon as they come out in the States (or find a way to purchase them online if I can't wait). Keep up the good work! You're amazing! :D