Saturday, February 17, 2007

Announcement: Fashionistas Book One out on July 17th

Finally, after months and months, I'm absolutely chuffed to be able to tell you about my latest book. I've been working on a four-novel sequential series called Fashionistas about four girls sharing a flat in London who are all signed to the Fierce Talent Agency; two of them are models, one of them is an ex-child star trying to re-launch her career and one of them is a reality TV celebrity with punk rock icons for parents.

The first book, Laura is published on July 17th, 2007, with the second book, Hadley on 20th September 2007, then Irina, which I've just started writing in January 2008 and finishing up with Candy in March 2008. (As yet, there's no news of US publication dates.)

All the covers have been illustrated by the talented Ray Smith who also did the UK covers of Pretty Things and the beautiful Let's Get Lost.

And this is a little taster of what you can expect from the first book:

Beating 12,000 other girls to become the newest model on Fierce's books is Laura's dream come true. But she knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. She's gorgeous – everyone thinks so.

But once the thrill of winning has faded, Laura is alone in London, in a shoebox bedroom with three fame-hungry flatmates. Being beautiful doesn't seem enough now… not when her booker thinks she's way too fat, and her devoted boyfriend isn't the rock she thought he was.

Laura's got to make some difficult decisions. And time is running out…

I'll be posting some sneak previews from Laura in the next few months but right now I'm about to go off and make myself purty for a big night out!


Sarra x

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Why I heart Lisa Simpson

There's really nowt going on. Well, there's lots going on but as I still can't tell you anything about my new series and I refuse to do the whole "there will NEVER be a fourth Diary Of A Crush book" speech for the umpteenth time, I've been trying hard to think of anything interesting to post.

But this week, I was searching through my hard disk and realised that I have a ton of articles that might amuse and entertain you. Most of them were written for UK magazines that have since closed. (Such is a writer's lot in life!) This is one of my favourite ever pieces, written for the wonderful Minx magazine, which was like a cross between Bust and old skool J17. There'll be more to come...

Head/ Minx of the month
Sell/ Lisa Simpson: she's yellow but she ain't yellow…

Lisa Simpson is a paradox. We're talking about a girl who's yellow, has weird pointy hair, favours strapless, orange dresses with uneven hems and has three fingers on each hand. She also has Homer Simpson as her paternal signifier. But despite (or maybe because of) these insurmountable obstacles, Lisa has triumphed.

Unswerving in her feminist beliefs, Lisa's still uncynical enough to believe that she can really make a difference. When her favourite doll, Malibu Stacey is marketed with a voicebox which utters such Pammyisms as "Don't ask me I'm just a girl, ha ha", it's Lisa who takes on the might of Malibu Stacey Inc and persuades the pseudo-Barbie's creator to make a new doll with a feminist conscience.

Lisa's righteousness - that same righteousness that we used to have before we discovered the magical diversions of expensive cosmetics and vodka - knows no bounds. She debunks the myth of Jebediah Springfield, even though her teacher labels her a PC thug. She trains Bart in the ways of Zen to make him a crazy golf champion. Hell, she even enrolls in a military academy when the second grade of Springfield Elementary School fails to stimulate her intellectual neurons.

The only blip in Lisa's otherwise faultless world is that she doesn't have many friends. Her yearbook is nowt but a collection of loser accolades and pristine pages lacking autographs, but after a fortnight at the beach (in the Summer Of 4ft 2), Lisa makes buds, not with her newly acquired wardrobe of happening threads, but because she teaches her new pals "about nature and why you shouldn't drink sea water."

Without wanting to be too tree-hugger about it, Lisa ain't afraid to get real - she doesn't shield her oddness, she wears her oddness like a shield. Like, Lisa's still young enough to write really bad poetry ("I had a cat called Fluffy, she died, she died/Mom said she was sleeping, she lied, she lied". But she's mature enough to realise that even brainiacs need to shake their thang too, whether she's duetting with Bart on The Theme From Shaft, guffawing at the slasher antics of Itchy And Scratchy or persuading her prototype riot grrrl acquaintances to capture Bart and slather him in make-up.

What makes Lisa so cool is knowing that when she grows up she's going to totally rock, either as a lipstick feminist with a controversial theory about date rape or as an angst ridden, guitar-wielding pop-type. OK, the reality is that Lisa is perpetually eight, but we can wish all our wildest teen ambitions on Lisa's sloping shoulders.

So, how come Lisa turns out to be such a Grade 1 wuss? In Lisa's Wedding, set in 2010, La Simpson's a "humourless vegetarian" post-graduate about to marry a Hugh Grant-alike who's had a copy of Burke's Peerage inserted up his rectum. And, way worse than that, she lost her virginity to Bart's terminally geeky pal, Millhouse. Sorry, Mr Groening, we just don't buy it.

We might have lost our faith but Lisa will always ooze conviction from every single one of her little, saffron pores. Maybe that's why we love her - 'cause there's a little bit of Lisa in us all.

Lisa Simpson, iconoclast, poet, idealist, feminist warrior - we salute you.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Whatever gets you through...

Very busy right now. Very, very busy. Every time I turn my head there's another manuscript that needs editing or a big piece for a magazine to write. Not that I'm complaining. Except actually I am. Loudly and frequently because it's that very special time in a girl's month. I think you know what I'm saying!

Right now though, the video above is causing me much joy. Little Korean kids playing marimbas really fast. I've never tried adding a video this blog, so fingers crossed it works. And I've bagsied the little one on the end, playing the tambourine.

I've also added a couple of links to the list on the right. My friend Kate now has her own blog raving about all the weird, esoteric stuff she likes. And my friend Amy makes beautiful, customised purses that you can buy.

Now I'm off to listen to ELO and do some work...


Sarra x