Saturday, November 25, 2006

Lagged of jet

I'm back from NYC and struggling with the dreaded jetlag. I'm going to bed late, really late, like 3.30 am late, not sleeping and then struggling out of bed at lunch-time. Oh dear!

But I had a wonderful time, so different from my London life where I live in jeans and spend most of my time in front of the computer. I went to lots of fashionable restaurants, an Edie Sedgwick book launch (I was obsessed with Edie Sedgwick when I was but a mere slip of a girl) at the swank Gramercy Park Hotel, a shop opening and tried to find the perfect vintage leopardskin coat at the Chelsea Flea Market, Fake leopardskin, I should add.

But mostly I shopped. I shopped and shopped until I could shop no more. I went slightly crazy in Anthropologie at their clearance rails, cleaned Old Navy out of pyjama bottoms and woolly socks and I don't even want to talk about what happened at Marc Jacobs. Though I managed not to buy a very expensive dress. I felt so financially and morally bankrupt that I had to have long walks in Central Park (I was staying at very posh hotel over-looking all the autumn foliage) to cleanse my soul of all the rampant consumerism.

I did also find time to go to Barnes & Noble on Union Square and sign a stack of copies of Let's Get Lost so if you still haven't got a copy and you're in the Manhattan area, that's the place to go.

Now I'm back in London, I should be working hard but actually I seem to be spending most of my time bidding on vintage cake tins on eBay and worrying that I've been contaminated by noxious poison like that Russian spy dude who's just died. Apparently, he lived just down the road from me and I do think I have a bit of a sore throat.

I've started to get the inevitable "will there be a sequel?" questions about Let's Get Lost. You know, in some ways I would love to. Against my better judgement, I re-read the book this week (it's a very painful read for me) to get myself back in the Manning head-space. I did find myself getting all over-excited about Isabel and Smith again but really, it's a complete work. There was the big mystery and the emotional conflict, but it was all resolved! So I don't really think that either of them have a story left to tell, much as I enjoyed writing about them. I'm pretty hardcore about my "no sequels" rules even if my editor (Hi Emily) would love to pin me down and force me to write a Guitar Girl 2, which would certainly not be suitable for teen readers.

But I am all about giving. I really am! And I haven't done a competition for a while. So, it's that time of year when I like to make a little mix CD of my favourite tracks of the year to send out with my Crimbo cards. And two of you could win a copy! All you have to do is write a Christmas message to one of the characters from any one of my books. It can be funny, heartfelt, heck, it could even be in rhyme! And I give top marks for the super-creative! Just leave your message in a comment with your email address and I'll announce the winners really soon.


Sarra x

(Cross-posted to

Saturday, November 11, 2006

What's in a name

Guten tag my little strudels

My contact lenses are giving me grief so I apologise if this post is riddled with typos.

It's been quite a tumultuous week. I'm still reeling from the Britney and k-Fed split, not like it was any surprise. And even more importantly the Roland Mouret 10 dresses went into Gap, while at H&M was the quite wonderful Viktor & Rolf collection. Alas, the Viktor & Rolf pieces seem to have sold out before I could get my hands on them, but truly we live in wonderful times.

I've been super busy writing for British Elle, but I have just started the second draft of the second book in my new series (still not out until Summer 2007 in the UK.) This involves reading the first draft and being pleasantly surprised that it's not quite as craptacular as I thought it was. But mostly, I've been a whirlwind of organisation as I fly to New York next Wednesday for a short holiday, though I will be signing some extra copies of Let's Get Lost in a backroom at Barnes & Noble, Union Square, which will then be available to buy. And shopping. Lots of shopping. Century 21 has already been alerted!

As ever, thanks for your comments, especially your thoughts on Let's Get Lost. Blue Floppy Hat asked if the title was taken from the Elliott Smith song, and actually it came from the original, Chet Baker version. Well, actually that's a little bit of a lie. Originally, many moons ago, when I started writing the book, it was going to be simply called Lost. Fast forward and there just happened to be a rather popular TV show of the same name that started in the meantime. I had lots of ideas as to what to call the book, some of them still scrawled on a Post-it note on my wall (Good, Bad, Whatever…, Crazy Mixed-Up Girl, A House Safe For Tigers) until I realised that Let's Get Lost was perfect. It just seemed to encapsulate Isabel's state of mind and her refusal to face up to what she was really feeling.

I also get asked for information for book reports every now and again. As ever, I just don't have the time to be of much help. One day I will have a proper website with a FAQ and links to all my interviews – or at least update my publisher's micro-site but until then, a simple Google search of my name, will turn up anything that you probably need to know for school assignments. There are quite a few interviews I've done that are up on the interpipe and that's the best way to find them.

Right now, I really need to jump in the shower (just back from the gym) and eat some lunch before my stomach stages a protest and walks to the fridge all by itself.

I won't be able to update next weekend as I'll be in New York, but I'll be in touch soon.


Sarra x

(Cross-posted to

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Blow Up!

A cheery top of the morning (or afternoon to be more specific) to you, dear readers

I am freezing. I'm sitting here with my stylin' Marc Jacobs fingerless gloves on as I type this because the central heating has yet to warm up the Arctic conditions in my flat. Despite the fact that I'm fighting a cold, tonight I will be attending a Bonfire and Fireworks Extravaganza at Alexandra Palace (Ally Pally as it's known to we North London locals,) to celebrate Guy Fawkes day tomorrow.

Non-British readers may wonder what the heck Guy Fawkes is. But basically he was a dude in doublet and hose who tried to blow up the Houses Of Parliament many centuries ago in some international master-spy plot. (Obviously I'm paraphrasing here.) He got caught and in an ironic move ended up getting burnt himself. Guy Fawkes Day teaches British children that it is neither big nor clever to stand in the way of democracy by trying to blow up Parliament. Also that burning effigies of people in big bonfires and letting off fireworks that scare household pets is cool. And this paragraph is why I will never attempt to write a historical novel.

Anyway, Let's Get Lost is finally out in North America. Hurrah! I have no idea how it's being received (apart from a few lovely comments on this blog and MySpace.) If you feel inclined, reviews posted at Amazon and Barnes & Noble are always welcome. I will be interested to see how it's received, as American reviewers tend to fixate on how much alcohol my characters consume. While I would never condone underage drinking, it's legal to buy alcohol at 18 in the UK and I have a theory that people always start doing things about three years before they're legally allowed to. Not that I did. I was a paragon of teen virtue.

As well, as working hard on my new series – the first book has been copy-edited and we're just finalising the cover and the second book is almost finished – I'm writing a couple of articles for British ELLE and getting ready to visit NYC in a few days. Mainly for the purposes of shopping, and hanging out with one of my dearest friends who currently lives there.

Right now I need to transcribe an interview tape (which is the most loathsome bit about being a journalist) and make a huge vat of chicken soup to see off my sore throat.

I hope you are all wrapping up warm and remembering to wear a hat when you go out.


Sarra x

(Cross-posted to A cheery top of the morning (or afternoon to be more specific) to you, dear readers