Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Random Days Of Chrismukkah: Don't say it's a crush 'cause it's not, it's the real thing

Just before I head bathroomwards for a super intensive beautification programme as I'm going out tonight, I'm posting the next Chrismukkah gift for you.

This is Edie's (of Diary Of A Crush fame, like you didn't already know that) giode to crushing. Way back when God was a boy, this was a non-Edie feature for J17. And after that, it became an Edie-centric article for my micro-site, which has floated off into the interpipe ether. So its now here for your reading pleasure, even if it is slightly dated now.


Hello, Edie here.

Now, I might not be the class brainiac, although there are some things I'm an expert in. Like, buying vintage frocks on Ebay or 15 different ways to eat a Twix. But the one subject that I get an A plus in every time, is the ancient art of crushing. I crush, therefore I am.

I've decided to share the benefit of my wisdom and after months of hopelessly lusting after Dylan, I've worked out that there is 12 degrees of crushing from the slightly embarrassing things any girl will do to catch the eye of the heir to her heart. And then there are the other things - the deranged, insane things that will probably result in you being sectioned or sent to your room until your 30.

I've written it down in a handy list:

Low-level love stuff

1. Weirdy compatibility stuff
It's not enough to just like the look of someone. You have to know that it's meant to be. So find out his date of birth and cross-match your astrological compatibility in the love horoscope section in magazines.
Or, sit at the back of biology playing love, like, hate, adore or working out your love percentage rating (it's got to be more fun than learning about the digestive system) and boring your mates with comments like "Uh! He hates me but I adore him" or "Yay! We love each other 98%!"

2. Having a working knowledge of his time-table
How the hell else will you know exactly what classroom door your beloved will come out of at the end of fith period? And you can tell so much about a boy by knowing that he has a double Food And Nutrition lesson on Thursday afternnon, can't you?

3. Trying out his surname
Just so you know whether to keep your own name when you get married or whether you'll actually like the way Mrs Shovelbottom sounds.

4. Thinking of excuses to talk to him
Stick to the weather, dissing school and telly. Don't make the mistake of spending too long thinking of something to say. 'Cause when you do pluck up the courage to like, talk to him, you'll end up saying something completely hatstand. "Do you like The OC?" will come out as "Seth! Ryan! Marissa! Unk! Unk!" leaving your love-god with a look of bewilderment on his face. But, hey, at least you got his attention.

Mildly alarming amour antics

5. Obsessing over stuff he's touched
About a month into your crush (if no-one tastier has come along) you'll find that you've amassed a small collection of bizarre white elephants and objets d'art. Let's take a look, shall we? A couple of old coke cans, a balled up sheet of Italian vocab, an empty Doritos bag and, best of all, a sweaty footie shirt that you, erm, found in the boys' changing room. What have all these items got in common? Why, they've all known the touch of his heavenly hands, like you didn't already know that.

6. Special coded communications
Although you and your mates all know the true identities of your respective crushes, it would never do to mention them by name. Instead you create a new way of communicating with each other. Why? Because the world would end if anyone were to hear you discussing the pert pecs of Trent from the record shop. Instead you say things like, "Discman has arm bumps. Over." Should come in handy if there's over an opening at MI6.

7. Planning to bump into him
And it's not enough that you might just happen to bump into him. You plan every potential encounter with your special boy like a military campaign. For starters, you've already memorised his weekly movements so you have a pretty clear idea of when and where he'll be. You also spend hours designing a look that suggests you've just happened to throw on the nearest outfit. And then when you do track him down, you're too freaked out by his nearness to do anything but run away.

8. Ripping his number from the telephone directory and keeping it with you at all times
As if you'd ever forget his number!

Brrrrrrring! Brrrrrrring. Stalker alert!

9. Phoning his number 24/7
Because when he picks up the phone and says, "Hello, 4436988", it makes your heart turn somersaults. And if you dial 141 before tapping in his number he can never trace your call. Well, not until his family get the police involved, that is.

10. 1471ing 24/7
In your heart of hearts you know that one day your crush will suddenly wake up, realise that you're his and make that call. Until that happy day, you spend all your life doing 1471 just to check that the phone didn't ring while you were doing noisy stuff like running water or shouting at your younger brother. The fact that all your 1471ing actually makes the phone engaged should he call seems to have escaped your notice.

11. Analyzing everything
When he says, "Hi" to you after you "accidentally" crashed your bike against his, you begin to wonder what he meant. And why did his voice go slightly up in pitch at the end of the syllable? And did he raise one of eyebrows half a millimetre higher than the other one? And if he did, what was he trying to tell you? Why? Why? Why?

12. Walking up and down outside his house
You sad, sad girl. Stop it right now.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Random Days Of Chrismukkah: Girl About Town

Happy Giftmas, readers!

I'm still in a food coma, but can just about move enough to post my send present to you: an interview with Molly from Guitar Girl. I think I did this for my US publishers when the book was first published in the States in 2004 so some of the references may be a bit dated. Oh, and the subject title is from a song by Helen Love, which reminds me of Molly a little bit. Of course, we find out what Molly did next thanks for her guest starring role in Let's Get Lost. (And you'll never guess who shows up in Fashionistas: Irina!)

1. Why did you decide to start a band?
"Because I heard Kelly Clarkson on the radio and knew that it didn't have to be like this. And I loved Ruby X and her music and I wanted to touch people like she's touched me."

2. What inspires your music?
Everything. Emily Strange, watching rain-drops trickle down the windows of the tour-bus, messy-haired boys, Chunky KitKats, running down hills really fast.

3. What advice would you give to other girls who want to start a band?
It's very simple:
1. Believe that you want to be in a band more than you want anything else in the world.
2. Form a band.
3. Play your first show as soon after that as humanly possible.

4. What's on your iPod?
"My iPod is broken because Dean got really drunk one night and decided to dunk it in a glass of diet Coke to see if it would float because he's deeply and frequently idiotic. But I did compile a really ace mix CD last night to get us all pepped up before we go on stage. Hang on, while I dig it out of my bag. OK:
1. Give Him A Great Big Kiss - The Shangri-Las
2. 40 Boys In 40 Nights - The Donnas
3. Is This What I Get For Loving You Baby? - The Ronettes
4. Can't Get You Out Of My Head - Kylie Minogue
5. Oh! - Sleater Kinney
6. Bitch Goddess - Ruby X
7. I Know What Boys Like - The Waitresses

It kinda goes on like that and you should be able to download these songs off the interpipe. Hmmm, not that I would ever encourage doing anything like that, 'cause it's illegal and stuff.

5. How do you handle groupies?
"I don't get groupies. I get cool girls who want to talk about hairslides. I get not-so-cool girls who demand that I give Dean their phone numbers. And I get really geeky boys who want to know what the chord sequence is for the bridge in Hello Kitty Speedboat. So, no groupies but that would be too scary to cope with anyway.

6. So what's the deal with you and Dean?
"What deal? There is no deal. There's just Dean."

7. And how do you feel about there being 'just Dean'?
"It's a cross I have to bear."

8. You know that people think you're seeing each other.
"Well, we are in a band together. You kind of have to see each other for that to work out."

9. You know exactly what I mean, don't you?
"I do. And I really don't want to go there. It's just… y'know… too complicated. Next question."

10. Do you regret telling the press that you were a virgin?
"Oh God! It was just a tiny slip-up, I didn't even use the v-word and then it was all over the papers, along with the words "reluctant sex symbol." It was just hideous. To come down for breakfast and your Dad's reading the paper and there's a story about his daughter's sex life. Or lack of it. And now everything's changed and people are still banging on about it.

11. When you say everything's changed, does that mean that you're not a virgin?
"It means that you better think of another question if you want this interview to continue."

12. What's the best thing about being famous?
"I'm still trying to figure that one out. I s'pose it's meeting really amazing people. Like, girls who come up to me after we've played a show and they're all beautiful and they get what I'm trying to do and it makes me remember why I started a band and what it's all meant to be about. And, though it sounds really shallow, I've also got to meet some heroes of mine though that isn't fun so much as trying really hard not to wet myself."

13. How does it feel to be the voice of disenfranchised girlkind?
"Am I? I get a lot of that. 'Ooooh, you're the voice of your generation', and if I'm the voice of my generation, then my generation is royally screwed. Most of the time, I don't even know what I want for dinner, let alone be able to speak up for anyone else. I don't think girlkind is disenfranchised, I just think that boys don't understand anything about us so they have to use long, negative words to describe us 'cause it makes them feel better."

14. What do you then when you're not being disenfranchised?
"Oh ha ha! I hang out with Jane and Tara. I watch my Buffy DVDs. I post on my blog. I scour charity shops for interesting t-shirts and I eat lots and lots of chocolate. And cheese and onion crisps."

15. And what are you going to do after this interview's over?
"Probably worry about all the things I shouldn't have said. And I have a meeting with my manager to discuss who's going to do be doing our merchandising. Then I'm going to go home and do my laundry. It's not very rock 'n' roll, is it?"

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Random Days Of Chrismukkah: You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover...

To start my Chrismukkah extravaganze, I'm going to give you a pictorial guide to the Guitar Girl cover.

First there was this picture of Courtney Love, which I loved like a fat kid love cake:

I sent it to my publishers, who used the Courtney pic as inspiration and came up with this. Yikes!:

I ranted. I raved. I had to have a lie down every time I looked at the picture on the back cover. But once I calmed down, I realised that actually I rather liked the picture on the spine and also that Molly's hair should actually be a rather unnatural shade of red. There was a bit of email ping pong and then, with the benefit of Photoshop, there was this:

It truly was a Chrismukkah miracle. And if anyone says that they preferred the original cover, then I will ban them from this blog!

Check back soon to read an interview with Molly from Guitar Girl.

(Edited to add: Also Guitar Girl was originally called The Startripper, after a song from an obscure band called Biff! Bang! Pow!, but it was decided that it sounded too much like a sci-fi novel. And the rest is history. Well, not history so much as I came up with another title and all was fine.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Much news, so much news...

Hello from my sunny study where I'm frantically trying to lose 15,000 extraneous words from the final draft of Candy, the last book in the Fashionistas series. And sprinkle magic dust on the words that are left before the end of next week. Jeesh!

I wanted to give you a heads up on my plans for next year. The third Fashionistas book, Irina is out in March and Candy will follow in April (if she's ever finished!) I hope you all squeal with delight when you discover who the special guest star is in Irina. I also have a short standalone story published in a US anthology and am in the really good company of Megan McCafferty, Sarah Dessen and Carolyn Mackler to name but a few. I'll give you more details when I have them and yes, I'm pretty sure that you'll be able to order the book from There's stil no US publisher for Fashionistas but I'm really hopeful that now that the series is almost complete, we'll find abuyer for it. Also the news that Let's Get Lost has sold really, really, really well in hardback in the US should help. What else? Oh, yes! The Diary Of A Crush trilogy is going to be re-issued in the UK with gorgeous new covers. Well, I hope they're gorgeous - I haven't seen them yet. Apart from correcting some shocking typos and punctuation errors and updating some of the references (Blazin' Squad?!), the insides of the books haven't changed.

Then I'm going to be taking a little break from my tawdry teen fiction to write my first adult novel, Unsticky for Headline, which will be published in 2009. Please, don't give me the puppy dog eyes! I'm not going anywhere! I love, love, love writing teen fiction and will continue to do so, but I also want to write stories about older girls for an older market. Unsticky probably isn't appropriate reading for under-16s but hey, that's between you and your parents.

So, I'm aware that time constraints really prevent me from replying to comments (which can be summed up as: no sequels, no films, no US release for Fashionistas, check my blog archives for writing tips.) And I'm also aware that I usually run a competition to win the annual mix CD I compile of my favourite songs of the year, which I send out with my holiday cards. Alas, I'm so over-worked this year that I have serious doubts that I'll even send out cards, let alone burn CDs. So I'm going to do something a little diffferent. Something I like to call


In a disorganised, haphazard way I will post thrilling, lovely things over the festive period. Kind of like the special features on a DVD. These will exclude extras from Guitar Girl, Pretty Things and Diary Of A Crush that originally were posted on my Hodder microsite (which has now committed cyber suicide), unpublished extracts from Let's Get Lost and Laura and Hadley and sneak previews of Irina and Candy.

How very exciting, eh? The first post will go up around December 21st and will continue into the New Year so keep checking in.

OK, back to Candy version 3.0...

Live on

Sarra x