Saturday, July 29, 2006

A room with a view...

I managed not to update last week, mainly because I was buried under freelance commissions that had to be in for Monday morning. Being a writer is one of those jobs where inevitably you always have to hand something in on Monday morning and can never shake that 'back to school' feeling on a Sunday night.

I've started the second book in my four book sequential series and that's ticking along in a fun way. I love having a character mapped, the plot all figured out and then when you start writing, the girl you've created decides that she's in charge and does and says things you never imagined. So I'm busy with that and while it's early days with the second book, I am doing quite a few pieces for various magazines, mostly British ELLE because we have a mutal love thing going on.

So, I've also been looking at the comments you've left and I feel the need for some numbered points:

1. There is NEVER going to be a fourth Diary Of A Crush book. I've explained the reasons why in a couple of posts and I'm sorry but I have nothing new to add! The last book ended where it was meant to end, and I honestly believe that I left Edie and Dylan in a good place. I will add that it was left wide open for Grace to pick up the Diary torch but that's because DOAC started as a column in a teen magazine and for the last year or so, Grace actually took over the Diary Of A Crush column. But that doesn't mean that there's going to be a Grace DOAC book. I have so many other stories that I want to tell!

2. Lots of people are asking for writing help and tips.

I have made a few posts on this topic but I think this one is probably the most helpful.

What I plan to do over the next month or so is compile a writing FAQ and post it at my official microsite, so I'll let you know when it goes up.

3. I'm afraid that I no longer put my email address in books and don't personally answer emails anymore. What you will get is a very long, very detailed email answering the most common questions I get and advising you to visit either my blogspot page or myspace. I just don't have the time to answer letters any more and have had so many bad experiences, from people being very abusive about not getting a personalised reply to being added to address books and getting tons of junk email and spam email.
I also don't ever use IM in any shape or form. I don't belong to BeBo or any of the other network sites, apart from MySpace so please don't send me invites to join them.

Christ, I sound like such a curmudgeon! Time for a change of pace so I thought it might be fun to post pictures of my study so you can see the room where I write my books and spend most of my time.


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The Place Where The Clutter Lives

The library, the study, the office - call it what you will; this is the messiest room in the house and also where I probably spend the most time. I like being surrounded by over three decades worth of books, records, magazines, videos and huge amounts of paper. You can just see my polka dot Marc Jacobs bag by my chair!


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Starfleet Command

The very desk that I'm sitting at now. Note the heaps of stuff on the printer and scanner, which have never been operational. Plus the pink Post-It notes liberally scattered everywhere so I don't forget those occasional flashes of inspiration.
The actual desk is a 50's kitchen table I found in a junk shop and over the chair is my favourite cardigan. There is now a picture on the wall (The Great Bear by Simon Patterson) but this is pretty much it.

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Music And Bags

This is the CD part of the room, plus a mound of bags on the floor; you can just make out an Orla Kiely nestling on top. Plus loads of mess piled on the filing cabinet. That's my favourite red cardigan. It exactly matches my lippy!

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Ladder Of Success

Videos in the foreground and to the left, my DVDs, plus a general melange of folders, medicines and crap I don't know what to do with. Oh, yes and a ladder, How else do you think I reach the very top shelves?

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Books, Books And More Books

Most of the study is covered in these purpose built shelves I had a posh lady carpenter make to my specific requirements. This is part of the book section with a stoopid cardboard vampire standing watch over them.

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And There's More...

Even more books. Plus my collection of metal lunchboxes and cocktail accoutrements.


So, don't believe anyone when they tell you that mess gets in the way of the creative process. It just isn't true!

Anyway, I'm off to watch Big Brother now...


Live on

Sarra x


(Crossposted to http://blog.myspace.com/sarramanning)

19 comments:

Miss_S said...

Hey Sarra,

Since you don't have an email I can post this on I thought I'd leave it here (hope you don't mind!).

Here - goes:

I've been meaning to write this email to you for absolutely ages and haven't actually gotten around to it until now. In fact I've been searching for something on the web for years and was so excited to see a couple of months ago that you have a couple of interviews and a blog!

I have been reading your stuff since the very beginning. I was a young teen when Diary of Crush first came out. I got the first book as a supplement in J17 and I was absolutely addicted. I passed the book into my friend and from then we were always looking out for your pagely updates in J17. When the next book losing it came along we were (again) so excited. Of course I collected American Dream too and still have all the books. If ever I need a top up, I still enjoy reading them even though I now am 22!

I totally adored Edie and her thoughts were hilarious but oh so relatable - and I swear I've never had as much a crush on story book character as I've had on Dylan. He was *is* absolutely gorgeous! Lucky Edie!lol. Your series has to be one of my favourite teen stories till date. I just love the way you wrote the main characters, the supporting characters and all those references of Buffy (which again is one of my fave programmes). I know I'm getting all gushy but your writing captured me! I have to join the band wagon and say it is pretty sad that you won't be writing anymore Edie/Dylan books... although Grace is a cutie ( my fave scene is when she gets all aggravated about the cow throwing! lol) I dearly miss the main two and my involvement in their lives.

I myself have been writing since I've been very young and your stories have been a great inspiration. I just read Guitar Girl today and enjoyed that immensely as well- it was what finally prompted me to write this email to you to let you know that I enjoy your writing and to keep up the good work!

Off I go to purchase the rest of your books from amazon!

Ps: Why do you call diary of a crush 'podcast'. Is it from the show Roswell?

Love, S

PS: I love your room (you have a lot of copies of guitar girl!). Its what I would call organised chaos!

See you soon, I will defo be keeping up with how the writing on your end is going!

S

lolliepop378 said...

So this might seem weird but i like your blogs.But im writing to tell you what i think about your books.i love them they are so amazing.I have read all three diary of crush books and they took me less then 3 weeks to finish which is weird considering it usaully takes me forever.when i was reading the first book i hated dylan a lot of the time for the way he treated edie.But i was also mad that she didn't make the first move.While i was reading teh second book i hated veronique and i hated carter(and in the third book when he was moving out i waas so happy)because you could tell they thought the world revolded around them.i hated that carter was pretty much just preasuring edie into have sex with him and i hated that.In the third book which i just finished today.i hated that dylan pretty much pushed edie away and didn't even take a second to consider how she felt.I hated that they broke up but i knew that if they didn't they would end up havong a probalem just as bad down the road.
But enough about all the hated stuff i loved how no matter how apart shona and edie were apart they could become good friends all over again.But i hated the way shona pushed edie a away i know edie did soem of it too but still.i loved taht at the end of the third book edie and dylan were still together.
there are so many more things that i could say about the books but it would take to long and i'd ratehr write it down on paer so that i didn't miss word because im like that on the computer i'm thinking to fast and i skip words.
But i would like to no when there is going to be a forth bok for diary of a crush.

lolliepop378 said...

So this might seem weird but i like your blogs.But im writing to tell you what i think about your books.i love them they are so amazing.I have read all three diary of crush books and they took me less then 3 weeks to finish which is weird considering it usaully takes me forever.when i was reading the first book i hated dylan a lot of the time for the way he treated edie.But i was also mad that she didn't make the first move.While i was reading teh second book i hated veronique and i hated carter(and in the third book when he was moving out i waas so happy)because you could tell they thought the world revolded around them.i hated that carter was pretty much just preasuring edie into have sex with him and i hated that.In the third book which i just finished today.i hated that dylan pretty much pushed edie away and didn't even take a second to consider how she felt.I hated that they broke up but i knew that if they didn't they would end up havong a probalem just as bad down the road.
But enough about all the hated stuff i loved how no matter how apart shona and edie were apart they could become good friends all over again.But i hated the way shona pushed edie a away i know edie did soem of it too but still.i loved taht at the end of the third book edie and dylan were still together.
there are so many more things that i could say about the books but it would take to long and i'd ratehr write it down on paer so that i didn't miss word because im like that on the computer i'm thinking to fast and i skip words.
But i would like to no when there is going to be a forth bok for diary of a crush.

fuzzymuffin said...

Don't worry Sarra, I've got this one.

Lolliepop378, I'm sorry to tell you that there isn't going to be a fourth Diary of a crush book. If you read point number one in the post we're commenting on Sarra explains why she's happy leaving it at three. Don't be upset, when you finish the third book just go back to the first and start reading them again. That usually does the trick.

lolliepop378 said...

hello
Okay so i have wrotten about hwat i like about your books.Diary of crush book 1,2,and 3.And i ahve know found out there will be no forth i geuss im upset to not be able to no what is going on in edie and dylan's life.But i geuss it's for the best.Also that you left the eneding of teh trilogy with dylan and edie being together.
What do the book covers look like in the UK for i live in canada and never seen them and i own the different covers taht you show in your blog.

Jaymexxx

Miss_S said...

:cries: I can't find my first two books in the series. I took them to uni and was looking all over today and I think I left them there. Either that or the bf stole them! :P

Ps: I must add that word thingy at the bottom is mightily annoying. For the life of me i don't get why I can't seem to figure it out the first time!

v said...

Your tips are really helpful since I'm crap at writing things but can think of good plots! ;)
Your house looks like a bomb hit it! lol You've got so many books! Is it just me or do you have like 10 guitar girl books on your shelf?
Anyways, keep up the good work. I can't wait to read your new books!

Vikki xxx

Kels said...

if you think that's messy then i know you've never been in to the bedroom of a american teenager. Most of my friends rooms (and sadly mine as well) look like we've never learned how to open a draw(dwar oh god that's not how you sepell it but the first one's how you say it were i live) and put something in it.

Kels said...

so was just uber bord so i decided to go to ratemykitten.com for the first time! OMG I now am in love with that website!

ladyjulianne said...

My room's about a zillion times more messy than that, I don't have enough shelves so I've got a lovely box of magazines and various crap I brought back from uni. I can never throw out magazines. I'm trying to discipline myself to take out all the pages I want to keep and use the rest for papier-mache but it's hard when I've got so many. I don't even buy magazines, I just keep rescuing other people's before they get thrown into the bin. Anyway, I ramble.

miss_s- I rarely get the word verification right first time!

kels- it's drawer :)

Sk8 said...

Love the little bit of Spike in the corrner.

Roxy said...

I'm sad there won't be a part 4 to, DOAC. BUT i am madly in love with your other books that you have written, in face i've just recently bought to other books that you've written.
No matter what type of books you decide to write, you deffently have a reader to stay for good!

Finally, there is someone out there, who also believes that clutter dose not block out our writing path. I do not get writer's block, because i have so many books on so many shelves. THANK YOU! I am now, not the only one.

Kels said...

Thank you ladyjulianne! spelling isn't my strong subject.

Lauren said...

Two weeks ago my best friend returned from her summer holiday and the first thing she did was bring 'Pretty Things' to my house and INSIST that I read it because it "just had Lauren written all over it!"

I read it in a day and since then have bought the first book in the 'Diary Of A Crush' series with my birthday money and just today I found 'Let's Get Lost' in my local library and brought that home too. I fully intend to make my way through all of your books by the end of summer! You're an amazing writer, you really do just completely get into teenage minds. Especially in the character of Edie, you've created someone who I can relate so well too, in the situations that she's placed in and the characters she interacts with (Dylan!).

Anyway basically I'm just writing this to say how much I really appreciate your books and how much I love reading them. My next wage will most definitely be spent on the other two DOAC books and any other Sarra Manning titles I can find!

Lauren x

MrsSethCohenKT said...

U no i do get y u dnt want a 4th DOAC book cs i felt like u finished it in the best place that it could have bin finished. When i finished the 3rd book i was satisfied with the ending, i dunno mayb it ws cs it ws kinda left open and unfinished for the reader to kind of think of all the possibilities that could happen. But u no the one book of urs that im still longing for a sequel to (u so no which 1 im gonna say) after years now is Guitar Girl. I think its cs theres soo much more Molly has to give to teen girls and she hs soo much more to say to Dean! and all the other band mates too.

Well u probs have ur reasons but neway if u ever find urselves with absolutely no obligations at all (which is unlikely im sure) and u need some light relief that doent require brain cells check out my blog cs u r like the only person that has read it...lol

On the flip Side SM
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Clair said...

Hi Sarra,
i just thought i'd post a message on here. Like many of the bloggers on here, i started reading DOAC in j17 mag! I collected the 3 books and since then i've been hooked on your books, i love them all but my favourite is definitely 'Lets get lost' I feel like your books grow as i grow!
I don't agree with some of the bloggers that there should be a 4th DOAC book. I think it ended at a perfect time when Edie and Dylan were moving in to a different chapter of their lives.
I just wanted to say that my favourite part of your books are the conflicts and the making up. lol. the tension and the passion between the characters is so strong they become like your friends.
So i'm anticipating your next book and like the fact that it will be one of four, because the anticipation is as great as finding out what happens next!!!
love Clair x

Heidi said...

Hi Sarra !

I'm writing to tell you how much I adore your books. I come from Singapore in Asia and there isn't a great variety of your books here, but I read Guitar Girl a few years back and I loved it instantaneouly.

I'm 15 now and I've probably read Guitar Girl more times than my age, and it's still amazing each and every time. Its not like one of those dime-a-dozen chick-lit books that line the floor to celling of bookstores but a moving and inspirational Comming-of-Age story, one that every teenage girl truly needs.

So heres a big THANK YOU for being such an inspiration to me and to my friends who recieved copies of the book from me. :D

You're amazing, Sarra. You truly are.

-x---x-NiKKi-x---x- said...

Hiya Sarra, Hope your good.

This is just a little comment to tell that i read the UK version (is the u.s version ne different?)of 'Lets Get Lost' and i for it was amazing!! i couldn't put it down! it took me 2days to read it on holiday! my mum and dad sed i was terrible company wen i was reading it lol... im going to borrow your 'Guitar Girl' off my best friend when she finish it (she loves your books too), then im going to buy 'Pretty Things'. they both look like great books too!!

By the way i Love ur office/study/libary!! it looks lovely!! im gona have a room like that when im older, full of my books and music and art stuff .. and in a complete mess!

Newayz have got to go, Take Care!!
Keep writing great books!! :D
Love Nikki xxxxxxxxxx

Katilyn Jones said...

Nooooooo! I need more Edie and Dylan! I'm almost done with the last one because I've been taking it VERY slowly. I don't want it to end! *sniffle*