Saturday, May 27, 2006

Love in a freezing cold climate...

I can't believe that June is only three days away. London is wet and grey and I'm really going to have to turn the central heating on after I've finished my blogging duties.

It's been a busy week. On Tuesday I was involved in two events as part of the Birmingham Young Readers' festival. I took part in a live debate in the morning - I was speaking for the motion that Text Speak Is Destroying the Engligh Language and lost, but I was blown away by all the schools who took part. I was shaking so hard I could hardly hold my microphone, but the teenagers who came on stage to speak for and against the motion were confident and articulate and impressed the hell out of me. And hi to Bethany and her friends!

I've also learnt to knit this week. I've been wanting to learn for years and I knew the only way I'd get round to it was to have a deadline. I'm so goal-orientated! So I pitched a feature about knitting to a magazine and was then told I had four weeks to knit "a really long scarf." I'm also writing something that may never see the light of the day and my main protagonist is a passionate knitter so it was a good way of getting inside her head. It was all going horribly wrong, I couldn't even cast on and then yesterday I had a crash course in the basics from a friend who used to be a knitwear designer. Now I can cast on, cast off, do knit stitch and purl and add in new colours of yarn. I think I might be hooked!

I also took delivery this morning of a hard copy of the first draft of what will be my new book. I always prefer to read on the page and my little printer certainly can't cope with 322 pages, so my editor prints it out for me so I can scribble all over it and scratch out great chunks with my scary red editing pen. I've got a lot of work ahead of me...

And next week I'll be recording a podcast for my US publisher (note to self: try not to swear!) and I'll give you all the details once it's up on the interpipe. I have a horrible speaking voice. I sound like I'm five!

One last thing, I got a comment from someone (sorry, I can't remember your name) asking if I see the covers of my foreign editions? The answer is no! I have a lot of input and creative involvement with my UK covers, get consulted on my US covers, but my actual foreign editions suddenly arrive on my doorstep and that's the first time I get to see the covers. It's just the way it is!

And actually this really is the last thing, anyone who wants to add me as a friend on MySpace, you don't need to ask, just go ahead! 99.9% of the time I will add you back but MySpace pages that take several millenia to load do make both me and my computer cry!

(Why do I feel the need to end all my paragraphs with an exclamation mark?)

Until next week, my sweets



(cross-posted to

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Oh, how I adore you, Dory Previn...

Salut pop kids!

So, can I just say that excerpt is spelt just like that. Your task for this week is to spell it correctly and use it in at least one email/text/essay/whatever! And yes, there will be more posted in the coming weeks.

In reply to some of your questions:

* The readers event in Birmingham that I'm taking part in on Tuesday is only for pupils in the schools are are participating in the Young Readers Programme, and tickets are all gone now. Sorry.

* There will be no new books from me until Spring 2007 if you live in the UK. I finished the first draft this week and am just psyching myself up for the Herculean task of actually sprinkling on the re-write dust and making it readable! Of course, if you live in the States, you will be getting new books from me as Diary Of A Crush and Let's Get Lost are out in June and October respectively.

* I'm also getting a lot of emails from girls who live in countries where my books aren't available yet. My publishers are working on various deals around the globe, but all my books are available at who ship internationally.

* I'm really glad that I'm no alone in my deep dislike of black cherry and the other red-headed step-children of the yoghurt family. My friend Andrea did turn me on to the hard-to-find pink grapefruit flavour. And I'll always be a slut for raspberry!

In other news, are now rolling out a new authors' area on their site. You can check out my profile and blog right here. It's probably stuff you already know, but, hey, it's worth checking out.

I'm expecting a marked downturn in my productivity levels now that Big Brother has started in the UK. Every year I promise that I won't get sucked in to watching a bunch of sociopathic, exhibitionistic wannabes for 13 weeks, but I always do. Isn't Shahbaz the most annoying man alive. And I want to whack Nicky over the head with her bunny ears.

And now I must go. I have books to write and a Eurovision Song Contest shindig to get pretty for...



(Cross-posted to

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A message from the bunker...


I'm in deep hibernation mode at the moment. I go to the gym in the morning so I don't actually take root behind my desk, then get home and stare at my computer screen for hours. I even write some words! At the moment I'm racing to get the first draft of my new book (part of a four book sequential series) done by about the middle of next week. It's meant to be 65,000 words, but will probably be nearer 75,000 before I start editing and re-writing and cutting huge swathes of it. This means that the DSL cable gets unplugged so I'm not distracted by the interpipe. It's a very solitary existence. I think writing is one of the few occupations where you never get rid of that "I haven't done my homework" feeling.

But as ever, I have stuff to say!

* Thanks for all your comments about the Let's Get Lost excerpt. I always over-write so even though I had to cut about 30,000 words, the book was a lot longer than most teen novels. The 30,000 words didn't really add anything to the story, it was more a case of quantity rather than quality and by cutting out all the extraneous stuff, I think it reads better. I will post a few more excerpts though if you're interested.

* I'd like to officially welcome all my new MySpace buddies! Thank you for all your comments and messages. There's nothing more heart-warming when I'm struggling to write (yesterday I spent three hours on one sentence!) to get a message from one of you. Fr'instance Lauren's comment of yesterday inspired me to bash out another 1000 words, so thanks!

* Both my books and I contain language that some people find offensive. I'm guessing you guys are the same!

* The US editions of Diary Of A Crush are now available to pre-order.

* I'm doing two events at the Birmingham Young Reader's programme on May 23rd. I'm speaking for the motion: Text speak is destroying the English Language for a debate in the morning and then doing a presentation in the afternoon on erm, I think what inspires me. Note to self: Find out for sure. If you're going to be there, please come and say hello. I promise you that my state of nerves will be far worse than yours.

* You all have to go out and buy the new Camera Obscura single, Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken. If you love Belle And Sebastian, then the Cameras will become your new favourite band. I'm going to see them tomorrow night in London and I'm already giddy with excitement.

OK, I have to go now. My goal for today is 5000 words but I'll leave you with my own profound thought of today. Why is it that those four packs of yoghurt always have one flavour that's totally rank? Black Cherry? I'm not feeling it. Mango? Get it out of here.

Apart from that, I got nothing!


Sarra x

(Cross-posted to