Saturday, February 25, 2006

He likes to read books written for girls...

Salut, ma petits anges...

I'm practising for my trip to Paris. My first ever press trip where I'll be doing a bunch of interviews (with a translator because I think doing an interview is a bit more hardcore than ordering une verre du vin blanc, s'il vous plait) and appearing at Salon de Livre on Saturday March 18th to do a signing. If any of you happen to be in Paris then, please come along!

In other news, I've now started writing my next book. In fact, I've written 5003 words exactly. It won't be out until next year and it's the first novel in a four book series. I think it's safe to tell you that, though unfortunately I can't go into more detail as yet. What I can tell you is that you'll get three books from me next year and the last book in the series at the beginning of 2008. If I stick to my deadlines. But as I'm pretty goal orientated I'm hoping that won't be a problem.

And of course, Diary Of A Crush and Let's Get Lost will be out in the States in June and um, October respectively.

But if you're missing my 'bitching' prose style (yes, those were sarcastic quote marks), I do write a monthly column for British ELLE, as well as various features for them. And there's a review and a short interview with me at the end of it, here: Please follow the exact link (you'll have to cut and paste it), otherwise you'll end up on a porn site!

So, onto your questions:

girl_with_the_most_cake: The LGL preview is a PDF file. I'm on a Mac so it just opens immediately but you might need to open the PDF application and then manually open the LGL chapter in that. I hope that makes sense. As far as I know there are no plans, as yet, to preview DOAC. That would be up to my US publishers.

Paint_box_pastel: Hopefully I've already answered most of your questions. You can find out more about the mysterious Emily Strange at Google is our friend!

So, that's it from me this week. I love that I'm sticking to my weekly updates

Live on

Sarra x

Saturday, February 18, 2006

You Are What You Love...

Hello my little zabagliones...

The state of the Manning at this time on a Saturday is hungover and aching. We had a little Ellegirl reunion last night, which incidentally was probably one of the happiest periods of my life when I was shut in a room for six months, with some of my favourite people in the world, working on the first issue. There was much wine and reminiscing last night and I remember managing to set fire to the leather wallet that the check came in but after that it's all a blur. Then this morning I started on the running machine and weight reps at the gym and am in a thousand agonies. I'm fit for nothing, I tell you. Nothing!

So, I want to thank dreamer, Natasha, Stacey, Ellie, mutilated_bliss (I hope that's not your real name!) and Le-anne for being so effusive in your praise of Let's Get Lost. I'm still getting a real kick out of seeing it on the shelves in the various bookshops I've been in to and then re-arranging it into a more prominent position. I think all authors do that and if they say they don't, then they have to be lying!

Stacey - I know there are glitches on the microsite but thank you for pointing that one out because it had escaped me. They promise that they're working to fix it.

Le-anne - I think Nina meant to post your wonderful review at my microsite, although the automated star-letter thingy doesn't seem to be working.

Princess-rosie - Gosh I can't even remember what I was listeneing to when I wrote LGL. But I was definitely listening to Broken Social Scene's You Forgot It In People, which is why Anthems For The Seventeen Year Old Girl because the theme tune for the book. I was listening to a lot of emo stuff though; Death Cab For Cutie, Modest Mouse etc. Seth Cohen and I share the same record collection.

girl-with-the-the-most-cake - I was planning to give away a couple of signed copies of the book but now I'm hoping to get a couple of promo items from my publishers instead, which you won't be able to buy in the shop. Watch this space! And I got spoiled for this series of ANTM so I know who wins. Glad it wasn't that awful pageant girl who refused to cut her hair or Lisa who bugs me in a really special way. You're getting the new series this week, which I'm so jealous about!

lady_julieanne - I posted the CDs on Thursday night so they should be turning up imminently. And I'll let graceofmyheart go but I know for a fact that anyone who has the email cutiesnowgirl has to have got it from DOAC because it was an obscure in-joke between me and my friend, Sarah. Kinda funny though!

Nothing much else to report because my brain is really not working like it should. But I've finished full-time work for the time being so I can get up at nine every morning and on Monday I start my next book. I hope I can tell you a bit more next time I post.

Be good

Sarra x

Sunday, February 12, 2006

If I could have a second skin I'd probably dress up in you...


Especially if you're here for the first time and found this blog address in the back of Let's Get Lost. I want to thank you for all the comments you've left about the book. If you want to rave about it on, that would be cool with me too!

London is grey and rain-soaked today. But I'm back from the gym, all freshly showered, freshly pyjama-ed, listening to the new Belle And Sebastian album and with four episodes of The OC to watch after I've made some toast, so life is good.

A few things I need to say. My microsite: has been re-designed and updated. There's an interview with Molly from Guitar Girl, an article about crushing from Edie of Diary Of A Crush fame and an excerpt from Let's Get Lost up there too.

What else? I got an email from Nissa telling me about an IM chat she had with a boy from Egypt who has the same email address as Dylan in the DOAC books and that he's been bombarded with emails from my readers, some of whom have been to visit him. I'm quite concerned about this. Dylan is a fictional character. That means he's not real and not real boys do not have email addresses. Certainly when the books were first written, that email address was not operational. The books have now sold thousands of copies here in the UK and in France and Sweden and are just about to come out in the States. The email address can't be changed. But I hope that all of you would exercise caution on the internet and wouldn't email or chat with people you don't know. There are some really freaky types out there. This boy seems harmless enough but the thought that anyone would be irresponsible enough to meet up with someone anywhere just because they share an email address with a character in a book is seriously not cool. Please, please, please be careful.

OK, lecture over now. Josie and Lady Julieanne, sorry, I still haven't got those CDs in the post because I'm lame. I will make it happen this week.

Now Seth Cohen is calling to me and I'm powerless to resist...

Love Sarra x

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Let's Get Lost goes on sale in the UK tomorrow!

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I'm proud to announce that Let's Get Lost is available to buy from all good bookshops tomorrow, including Ottakers where it's Book Of The Month.

Although I love all my books equally, I'm especially proud of Let's Get Lost as there were times when I thought I'd never finish it. I guess this is the book that most made me feel like a proper writer as I put so much of myself in to it.

It's about a girl called Isabel who doesn't seem very likeable. She's one of the popular girls at school, the meanest of the mean girls. She rules her friends with an iron fist and a divide and rule philosophy. Despises her family. Keeps herself heartless and hard. Then she meets a boy called Smith and begins to unravel. All of us like to present a front to the world and keep the undesirable stuff hidden, but Isabel has it the wrong way round. And Smith finds her gooey soft centre, stirs it around and all of her secrets start spilling out.

I started the book about three months after my mother died and it was too painful and difficult to write. So I took a break to get Diary Of A Crush ready for publication, wrote Pretty Things and then took another look at Let's Get Lost. It's taken me three years to write, gone through about ten different drafts and if I'm brutally honest I cried every day as I wrote the last three chapters. But it's not all doom and gloom and woe is me. Like, all my books you'll find enough to make you smile including caustic one liners, smirky, know-it-all boys and tons of references to The OC.

I'd really love to know what you think of the book and Isabel, in particular. Be sure to review me on Amazon and/or leave a comment here. And Let's Get Lost will be out in the US and Canada in October, I think, of this year.

Smith walked fast with a loping gait, almost bouncing on the soles of his sneakers and I liked that he was so free, so unaware, not knowing that I was looking at him. Like when you’re on the bus and you stare into someone’s front room and you see them watching television or slumped on the sofa and it’s like you’re taking a tiny piece of them home with you.

He ambled into a couple of charity shops and rifled through battered piles of vinyl records and tattered paperbacks. I loitered by the racks of musty smelling polyester dresses - I was going for this whole melting into the walls vibe but I just looked really shifty if the suspicious attention I was getting from the blue rinse brigade manning the tills was anything to go by.

I hadn’t been able to get a good look at him before. It had been dark and there had been quantities of alcohol involved but daylight softened out the slant of his cheekbones and the hard lines of his jaw, so he looked less thuggish. Didn't know anything to lessen the effect of his nose. If you were being kind you'd call it aquiline, if you weren't, you'd call it beaky. And I could see those lips that I'd kissed - how they looked as pillowy as they'd felt. His hair was still ridiculous, he'd obviously never got intimate with a pair of straightening irons. But what I liked about him (and I did appear to like him, even though he had a stupid name and needed to stop kissing girls at parties because he thought they were other girls he'd kissed at other parties) was his serenity. There was something utterly calm about him, no matter how fast his elegant hands leafed through records or pored over books. It was if everything was out of focus except him.

He brushed past me on his way towards the door and I pressed myself against a rail of coats. I waited for the door to shut behind him, then cautiously slunk out in time to see him disappearing into the newsagents next door.

Luckily, I could pretend to read the ads for exotic Swedish massages while I peered through the window and watched Smith buy a packet of cigarettes and some chewing gum. As he was walking down the length of the shop, I realised my cover would be blown so I dived into the nearest doorway, which happened to be a hardware shop and looked with feigned interest at the display of screwdrivers and oooh, power saws. Imagine the damage I could do with one of them.

At first I thought it was the wind brushing against me, but then it happened again, someone was tapping me on the shoulder. Even before I turned round I knew it was him.

I’d forgotten how blue his eyes were. I wanted to compose sonnets in my head about ocean depths and cloudless skies because I was obviously suffering from severe sleep deprivation. He was frowning at me, this little furrowed line popping up between his eyebrows.

I felt like I’d finally been caught shoplifting. My cheeks were burning traffic light red as he fixed me with an intractable look. “Are you following me?”