Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I must eat so many lemons...

Hello earthlings

After the wettest, soggiest summer since records began, I'm happy to report that London is finally sunshine-y and warm. Hurrah! Also, I escaped unscathed after getting run over by a bus but will never step out into the road without looking again.

On to more important topics. Thank you so much to everyone who commented on the first Fashionista's book, Laura. I know that it seems light and fluffy on the surface (and on the cover!) but like all my stories, it's about what lies beneath the masks that people wear. And I'm really grateful that so many of you understood that.

Unfortunately, I have no news to report about any US or Canadian publication date for the series. The British edition should be available on amazon.com and amazon.ca though. Austrlian and NZ readers, the series should be on sale at the usual places and there will be French, German and Dutch editions next year.

However, I am working on a little something that will only be published in the US next year. Can't say anymore at this stage but you guys will be the first to know when I can spill.

I've also done a little press for Fashionistas at two of my very favourite websites. The first interview is at pink-world.co.uk. You can find it here
and I also answered my own question, 'what does being a fashionista mean to you?' at chicklish.co.uk. You can read my thoughts here.

While I'm in a linky mood, I wanted to rec a couple of books I've read recently. I don't really read much teen fic 'cause I like to stay in my own little teen world but y'all have to rush out and get a copy of Notes From The Teenage Underground by my MySpace pal, Simmone Howell.
She's an Australian writer who tells the story of Gem and her two frenemies, Lo and Mira and their plans to stage an Andy Warholesque happening. Except it doesn't quite work out as Gem thought it would. This is such a great book about movies, how fraught friendship can be and what it feels like to be on the outside looking in. I really identified with it as I was obsessed with Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick when I was a teenager.

The other book I wanted to rave about is my mate Grace Dent's Diary Of A Chav: Trainers vs. Tiaras. It's about Shiraz Bailey-Wood from Essex who's a pink hoodie-wearing chav with an emo older sister, a fat dog and ambitions to become a reality TV star. Don't read it on the bus though 'cause you'll start cackling out loud and people will think you're deranged. It's also worth checking out Grace's Big Brother blog At the moment I'm hating on Ziggy so hard.

What else? I'm listening to Kate Nash too much and spitting out words in a mockney style. Want to weep for the travesty that is Britain's Next Top Model. Need to sort out what I'm doing for my birthday next week and will be fostering a six week old kitten who needs bottle feeding while my cousin is on holiday.

I'm also writing some words that will become a book one day. Y'know, same old, same old...

Live on

Sarra x

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry who?!

Forget about the adventures of that Potter kid and get yourself to a bookshop tomorrow when Fashionistas: Laura officially goes on sale in the UK!

fash_ion-is-ta - Noun

Pronounciation: [fash-uhn –ee-stuh]


1. Someone who eats, sleeps, breathes and lives for fashion.
2. Someone who works in the fashion industry.
3. Someone who would never be seen dead in last season's looks

Laura isn't that surprised when she beats 12000 other girls in a nationwide modelling
competition. After all, she's beautiful and beginning a glamorous new life in London as the newest model on Fierce's books was bound to happen sooner rather than later.

But is being beautiful going to be enough? Laura never expected three fame-hungry flat-mates, sleazy photographers and a weight problem to stand between her and success in the fast-paced world of fashion.

At least she can always rely on her boyfriend Tom. But things change and will Laura have to do the unthinkable and choose between her heart and her dreams of being a model?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sneak preview of Fashionistas: Laura

I'm gearing up to the publication of Laura in a couple of weeks. It's worth reminding you that this is its UK release. French, German and Dutch editions will follow, but there's no US release date as yet. I've been getting comments from people who've already seen copies on sale. As far as I can understand, this is because bookshops receive delivery early but some of them break the publication embargo and shove them on shelves as soon as possible.

Anyway for those of you still without a copy, I thought I'd post a taster of what you'll be getting from the story of an uppity, up and coming model who has a lot to lose if she's ever going to make it in the high-faluting fashion world.


The studio lights were hotter than a heatwave in the Sahara Desert. Despite the industrial strength quantities of powder, Laura was sure that she was starting to sweat. Beside her, she could feel Nemi shaking. Her hand squeezed Laura's tightly, even though last week she'd been caught on camera calling her "a fat cow." Nemi didn't deserve to win. Nemi wasn't going to win. She had bulgy eyes, weird thread veins on her legs and, worst of all, she was a shrieking drama queen who thought that Europe was a country "somewhere near France, innit?"

Laura tried to concentrate as Daisy Bloom, ex-supermodel, now shiny-haired TV presenter went into her final spiel of the night. "The judges have deliberated, the public have voted and soon I'll reveal the winner of Make Me A Model 2007. But first let me remind you of the prizes the lucky girl will receive: A contract with international model agency, Fierce Management, a cover shoot with Skirt magazine shot by renowned photographer, Gerry Valandrey and an exclusive contract with Sparkle Comsetics worth £100,000…blah blah, for the love of God, blah blah…"

It was too bright to see the audience as anything other than a vague blur of faces, but Laura knew her Mum and Dad would be in their usual place at the left end of the third row, Tom sitting behind them. His face would be a conflicting mess of emotions from embarrassment that he was live on ITV, to pride that he had such a gorgeous girlfriend. Aw, poor conflicted baby.

Time had become just a relative concept. Laura was standing right on the edge of her new life and it was starting to feel a lot like being trapped in purgatory, eternally condemned to wish that Daisy would just quit amping up the tension even though the studio manager was holding up a card, which read, "SPIN IT OUT FOR ANOTHER 30 SECS." Also, she really needed to pee and the tape, which was holding her dress together was itching.

"Good luck," Laura whispered to Nemi, who squeezed her hand even tighter. What she really meant was, "Good luck when you find yourself asking your customers if they'd like to supersize their fries, beeyatch."

"So I have two beautiful girls standing in front of me," Daisy husked, gliding towards the two girls. Laura's face was shifting into a frozen grin, her lips sliding over dry teeth because all her saliva supplies had been directed down toward her bladder. "Stop thinking about peeing", she told herself sternly.

Daisy paused yet again for dramatic emphasis. It was verging on excruciating. "But I only have one photograph in my hand. One of these girls is undeniably beautiful but that's only one small part of being a model. We want to see if the beauty is on the inside too. Week after week, we've watched Nemi rock the cameras but we've seen an ugly side to you at the judging panel. The public love your look, Nemi, but is it enough?"

Nemi seemed to think it was because she was crying on cue like she did every week. A single crystalline tear gently rolled down her caramel smooth cheek telegenically but not enough to smudge her make-up.

"But the public also love you, Laura. You haven't had a single bad shot in this competition but we also got to see your beauty of spirit, your quirky sense of humour and even when you fell over during the final runway test, you made it work to your advantage. But is your spark enough in the cut-throat world of modelling or will it just burn out too quickly?"

Laura was tempted to scream at the top of her lungs, "Just announce the fricking winner!" But common sense prevailed at the last moment. It was taking all her last vestiges of strength to make her eyes Bambi-big so she wouldn't start crying. God, she wanted this more than anything. She wanted it so much that she could taste it and it tasted exactly like the world's biggest chocolate fudge sundae with extra sprinkles.

Daisy stood there for another five seconds. She'd told Laura off-camera that she counted in her head "one elephant, two elephant, three elephant…" so she got the timing exactly right. Finally, she drew herself up to her full 5 feet, 11 inches and tossed back her platinum blonde curls, which netted her £1 million a year in shampoo commercials. Then she drew the photograph out from behind her back.

Laura squinted at it. For one deliciously, dreadful moment she thought it was Nemi. She shut her eyes and opened them again. Had it been Nemi? It didn't look like Nemi. It looked like her in that last ridiculous shoot, where they'd had to dress up as sea creatures. Laura had been a dolphin. That grey satin dress really had done her no favours and as for…

"Congratulations, Laura, we're going to make you a model," Daisy was saying, but her words were drowned out by Nemi noisily bursting into tears.