Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yes! Finally it's the Annual Chrismukkah/Festivus/Holidays competition.

Happy Holidays, dear sweet readers

I hope whatever your religious affiliations (even if it's to the Great God of eating so many mince pies that you hurl) you have a wondrous time over the break and that 2010 will be your best year ever. (By the way I'm calling the new decade The Terrible Teens, please join me!)

Anyways, onto more important stuff. I have a great competition lined up for you. There will be five (count 'em, five!) winners who will all receive a copy of my new teen novel, Nobody's Girl (which is out in February 2010, plus a Nobody's Girl poster and bookmark. I think that's pretty darn cool.

Obviously I want to make you work for it:

it's simple. I want you to write a poem about one of my books. It can be about the characters, the story, a dress, a kiss, anything. And the poem can take any form: limerick, haiku, sonnet, rhyming couplet, ode, er, that's about all the different types of poem I can think of off the top of my head. And yes, they can rhyme, but they can also not rhyme. It's up to you.

Leave the poem AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS in a comment. I will award points for originality, so I don't want fifty different versions of The Ballad Of Edie And Dylan, though if it was really off the wall and/or funny enough to make me snort hot tea out of my nostrils, then a poem about Edie And Dylan would be AOK.

Closing date is 5th January 2010. And open to all nationalities, creeds and genders.

Now, get to it! Of course, you can always pre-order Nobody's Girl on Amazon (especially as it's only coming out in the UK and available on import in OZ and NZ so far.) And you can follow me on Twitter, should you so desire.

Live on

Sarra x

Friday, December 18, 2009

Strictly filler post...

Just wanted you to know that a) I'm still alive and b) I will be posting news of my usual Chrismukkah competition very soon. You will collectively pee your pants when you find out what the prizes are. (Or at least I hope you will, but I'm talking about metaphorical pee, if you will.)

The reason for the delay is boring and technical. I use this comment aggregator thingy but now it's been bought by someone else and I need to find out how to uninstall it before I run the comp so I don't lose your comments.

You still awake at the back?

So, keep checking back here for details of the competition, OK?

Live on

Sarra x

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tweeting Nobody's Girl

Greetings my little choux buns

I have, not more than an hour ago, finished going through the page proofs for Nobody's Girl (out February 4th.) Then I got to thinking as I'm wont to do of a way to give you a teaser ahead of publication, so...

Every day from now until publication, I'm going to Tweet a random line from Nobody's Girl on my Twitter. Here's the link. Of course, my tweets show up on this blog, but why not come join me on Twitter? It's the only place where you're guaranteed to probably get an answer to a question (as long as that question isn't 'Are you writing any more Diary Of A Crush books?!) and I'd really like to get up to a 1000 followers by the time Nobody's Girl is published on February 4th. Come on! Let's do this thing! Hell, yeah!

Anyway, that's quite enough pep from me.

Also, do any of you cool, young things have a spare a Spotify invite code lying around that I could have? Please? Be your best friend...

Live on

Sarra x

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

First look: Nobody's Girl cover


Wanted you guys to be the firs to see the cover for Nobody's Girl. The cover that's circulating on the interwebz is not the correct cover. Sigh. Let's not even go there, otherwise I will have a rage blackout!

Anyway, I hope you like it.

Live on

Sarra x

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nobody's Girl synopsis and cover news

Just to let you know that the Nobody's Girl cover that's up on Waterstones and Amazon and the blogs is an early, rough version of the cover and not the finished product.

As soon as I get a jpeg of the right cover, I'll post it here! But here is the full synopsis:

Bea thinks she's the most boring seventeen-year-old in the world. She's not pretty or popular or funny, unlike her mother who had Bea when she was 17. The only glamorous thing about Bea is the French father who left before she was born and lives in Paris. She yearns for la vie Parisienne every moment of her dull existence.

So when Ruby Davies, the leader of her school's most elite clique picks Bea as her new best friend and asks her to go on holiday with them, she's wary but delighted. If nothing else it's two weeks away from her over-protective mother.

But when the gang arrive in Spain, Bea is crushed to realise that Ruby and her posse have simply been using her. Bea wreaks vengeance on her so-called friends, and plans to decamp to Paris to find her father. But when she falls asleep on the train and wakes up in Bilbao, she meets a group of American students who are backpacking around Europe and bonds with them straight away, especially the gorgeous Toph, who helps heal Bea's hurting heart.

And though Bea has a shock in store when they finally get to Paris, the 'City of Lovers' really works it magic on Bea and Toph, who spend a week wandering the sun-dappled streets of Paris, talking, holding hands and falling in love. When it comes time to go home to confront her Mum about her mysterious father, the new version of Bea is determined that she 'll never go back to her old, boring way of life - she's no longer Nobody's Girl; she belongs to herself and to Toph... But with an ocean between them, will he wait for her?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

And the title is...


I can exclusively reveal that the title of my second grown-up novel will be:

You Don't Have To Say You Love Me

Yes, after the Dusty Springfield song because Dusty makes everything better.

On the teen front, the synopsis for Nobody's Girl is now up on Amazon.co.uk

Also, if you are a serious producer interested in the film rights to any of my novels, you need to get in touch with my film and TV agent, Joe Phillips at Curtis Brown.

Sorry for the fly-by but word quotas need to be achieved.

Live on

Sarra x

Sunday, August 16, 2009

So, how have you been?

You know you're long overdue a blog post when people are leaving gentle reminders on my Twitter asking me when I'm going to update. Ooops!

Anyway, here I am with a few snippets of news and links and some stuff for you to look at. I'm deep in the first draft hinterlands for my second grown-up book, which is not going to be called Lightweight anymore. It's going to be called something else but I need to check that TPTB are completely happy with the new title, before you guys can be the first to know what it is. I'm on a very tight deadline for this book so my whole world has shrunk down to chapter outline, whiteboard and word count.

Here's a picture of my lovely whiteboard, with the next few chapter sketched out. Main plot in blue marker pen, sub-plot in green, purposely taken from a long distance so I don't give away any secrets:

And here is my lovely word count envelope. Every day when I open up Microsoft Word, I look at my word count and then scribble the number down on the back of an envelope. I don't know why I can't just use a pristine piece of paper, it always seems to be the back of an envelope. You can see that some days are more productive than others.

Apart from frantic book writing, I'm getting the next teen book, Nobody's Girl, oven-ready. Just waiting for the copy-edited proofs to come in and the latest version of the cover - I can say no more than that, otherwise I'll probably start crying. And I'm percolating the teen book after that and the third grown-up novel. It's very busy in my head right now. But rest assured, there will be both teen and grown-up books in my future. As long as people want to publish them, I'll keep writing them.

Talking of which, I wanted to show you the French covers for Fashionistas: Laura and Fashionistas: Hadley.

Tres jolie, mais non?

There are also Brazilian editions of Fashionistas to come and Italian Diary Of A Crushes. There are no plans for foreign editions of Unsticky just yet, though the English edition is on sale in Australia, New Zealand and India. Global recession, don't you know. Let's not talk about that but move on to happier things like links!

An interview I did for the Australian magazine and website, Mindfood.

A lovely girl called Lucy made a trailer for Pretty Things using the characters from the show, Almost Famous. Yes, there's a bit of artistic license (never a bad thing in my book) but I think she did a fantastic job.

And as ever, I am on Twitter. I update far too much during the course of a day and this is the only place where you can get in touch with me and have a good chance of getting a reply. Though if it's to ask for sequels of anything or writing tips, then I will just direct you to the tags on the left hand side of this here blog, because there's only so much a girl can say in 140 characters.

One of these days I need to make a proper website with an FAQ but we're talking time, money and technical skills, none of which I have!

OK, I think that was everything I needed to tell you. Sorry I've been such a slacker of late but I'm all tunnel vision girl with writing the second grown-up book at the moment and nursing the big toe on my right foot. Had to have the toenail removed after too much working out at the gym, then stubbing my toe so hard that the nail lifted up. Hurt like a beeyacth, let me tell you!

If I haven't updated in a couple of weeks, nag me. I respond very well to the right kind of pressure.

Live on

Sarra x

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's been too long...

Hola! Holla!

I know I've been absent from this blog for a while. I wish I could tell you that I was doing all sorts of glamorous things, but sadly the truth is that my adsl has been wonky for weeks. In fact it's been one of those months where I should have taken to my bed and refused to move.

There's been flooding (my washing machine,) fire (someone set my fully laden recycling bin on fire so I had several firemen hosing it down at 2.30 in the morning,) a mouse (now sadly demised, I'm afraid,) taxes and other fun things. But it's nearly July and the sun is shining so nothing else matters.

I'm currently just finishing up some revisions on the next teen book, Nobody's Girl and am well under way with the second grown-up book, which is currently untitled. Or it did have a title but now it needs a new one so back to my iTunes shuffle I go.

Unsticky has been out for about six weeks now and it's selling very respectably considering that we're in a recession and we're all going to hell in a handbasket, blah blah, blah, repeat to fade! Thanks to everyone whose left reviews on Amazon or commented here or on my Twitter about what you thought of the book. I know I may come across as a little hard-hearted but it really means the world to me. (By the way, feel free to follow me on Twitter. I'm pretty good at replying to tweets.)

I leave you with links of some stuff that I've done recently:

A piece I wrote for the Dove website on body image.

An interview I did for the lovely Lisa Clark's Sassy Minx website

And some added value Unsticky bits and bobs for Hachette's Readers' Circle.

Anyway I'm off to the flicks to see a film about the legendary Joe Meek. I promise I won't leave it so long between posts again.

Live on

Sarra x

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Unsticky out today in paperback!


Finally, the day is come when the paperback of Unsticky goes on sale in the UK! Hurrah! It is my first grown-up book and not wholly suitable for under sixteens but YMMV.

And I've just finished and delivered my next teen book, Nobody's Girl, so that will be out in February 2010.

Now, run, don't walk... in fact, don't even run but sprint full pelt to your nearest bookshop and buy a copy of Unsticky.

Live on

Sarra x

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mostly housekeeping...

Sunny salutations, sweet readers

Nothing much to report from round these parts. I'm a mere handful of days away from delivering my next teen book, Nobody's Girl, and am actually writing the first three chapters of my teen book after that, as inspiration has struck and I don't want to forget it all. But I will be writing my second adult book first.

I got my first proper paperback copy of Unsticky in the post today. It's out on May 14th from all good bookshops (and probably from some bad ones) and I'm hoping for some news on foreign deals soon. Again, Unsticky is a book for grown-up girls, 16+ and upwards, I would say. But that's between you and your conscience.

I'd also like to gently remind you that all the content on this blog is tagged. So if you're looking for writing tips or wanting to know when there will be a fourth book in the Diary Of A Crush series (that would be some time like never), then you just need to click on the right tag and the relevant posts will come up.

It's also worth bigging up my Twitter again. I have no time to reply to emails, but if you send me a Tweet, you're more or less likely to get a reply as it's quick, easy and I only have 140 characters to play with! You also get all the real time info you could possibly want about my drab, humdrum life.

One last thing: Rosie/Redheads rock - can you leave me your email addy? I screen comments so no one else will see it. Thanks!

Sorry to post and dash but Microsoft Word awaits...

Live on

Sarra x

Friday, March 20, 2009

This is not a test...

Bonsoir mes amis

I bring you news. Exciting news from London town. I have just finished the first draft of my next teen opus and it will be published in February of next year in the UK. It's also going to be called Nobody's Girl. Well, it is at the moment. I'm not sure that I love that title but have yet to come up with anything better. I'm not sure if I nabbed it from one of your shuffle selections or one of my own. If it was your's, please do let me know.

Some of you are very interested in my writing process so I will tell you what I plan to do with my first draft.

1. I read it as a hard copy. That is, as a paper print out rather than on screen.

2. As I read, I mark it up with corrections, crossing-outs, bits I want to add in and things I've changed my mind on. Like, for instance at the moment my main boy was studying Philosophy and has just done his finals. Now he's studying Anthropology and has only just finished his second year. I don't bother with spelling mistakes and typos as I usually do them as I go along and really concentrate on them for the third draft.

3. I will go through at least three red fibre tip pens from Muji as I do this.

4. I also scrawl big notes on a White Board that's propped up by my desk. This is for major stuff like developing characters and fixing whopping great plot holes.

5. As I start working on version two on screen, I add in a lot of new stuff that occurs to be as I'm doing it that I haven't marked up. For me the second draft is about making the story come alive, rather than just telling it. I call this process "sprinkling on the magic dust." I'm hoping to have a big delivery of the magic dust by Monday.

6. I'll also let you in on the fact that the first draft is a gargantuan 114,722 words. I'll be looking to cut about 25,000 words as I go. I know a lot of you freak out about how long stuff should be, but my books tend to be pretty long for teen fic (apart from the sparkly vampire books.) And I over-write. Boy, do I ever! I can take 2000 words just to describe my heroine's bedroom.

In other news, Unsticky is available for pre-order on Amazon now. I will state again, that I don't think it's necessarily suitable reading for under 16's but then I think of what I was reading when I was under 16 and it was all sorts of stuff that wasn't necessarily suitable! Luckily, my parents never minded about my reading material, though I'm not sure they knew exactly what I was reading. I will say that if you plan to pre-order it, get the paperback that comes out in May rather than the much more expensive hardback and trade paperback that come out in April.

I am also Twittering like a maniac.
You'll see that I've started to show my tweets on this blog. (Look to the left hand side of the page.) I just don't have time to reply to emails or even send my standard bounce back email these days, so if you have a question to ask me or just generally want to represent (as you kids say), then sending me a Tweet is a good idea. It doesn't take me long to reply as I only have 140 characters to play with! Also, Twitter is the new Facebook (hate the redesign) so come and join me and find out what I'm doing in real time. Mostly eating fistfuls of muesli and railing about how crap fashion is at the moment. Harem pants? Bitch, please!

Also, I am obsessed with the She And Him (that would be Zooey Deschanel and M Ward) album, Volume One. Seriously, I'm listening to it as least five times a day. It's bloody gorgeous.

Live on

Sarra x

Sunday, February 22, 2009

First look at the Unsticky cover...

Sunday salutations

I've been very quiet of late, I know. I have some family stuff that's taking up a lot of my time right now, but I am twittering frequently and you can follow my tweets right here.

I am still hard at work on my next teen opus and still mulling over titles, but mostly I'm gearing up for the publication of my grown-up book, Unsticky, which comes out in April in hardback and in May in paperback. Only a UK release so far, but I hope to have some foreign sales soon and will keep you posted.

Anyway, I wanted to show you my lovely cover:

And here's the back cover blurb:


Money makes the world go round – that’s what twenty-something Grace Reeves is learning. Stuck in a grind where everyone’s ahead apart from her, she’s partied-out, disillusioned, and a large five-figure sum in debt. If she’s dumped by another rock-band wannabe, squashed by anyone else at her cut-throat fashion job, or chased by any more bailiffs, Grace suspects she’ll fall apart..


So when older, sexy and above all, wealthy art-dealer Vaughn appears, she’s intrigued against her will. Could she handle being a sugar-daddy’s arm-candy?


Soon Grace is thrown into a world of money and privilege, at Vaughn’s beck and call in return for thousands of pounds in luxurious gifts, priceless clothes – and cash. She’s out of her depth. Where’s the line between acting the trophy girlfriend, and selling yourself for money? And, more importantly: whatever happened to love?

High fashion, high art, high expectations – this is Pretty Woman for the twenty-first century

This is definitely one for my readers aged sixteen and above, but, like I say, I'm working on the teen stuff every spare hour of every spare day!

Live on

Sarra x

Monday, January 26, 2009

All Manning, all of the time...

My ladyfingerlings

Thank you so, so, so much for all your shuffle suggestions. I am blown away by the response and also in awe of your eclectic and deeply cool song stylings. There are a couple I'm quite taken with and a couple I came up with all my by very own. I will keep you posted. And you know how I said that my new teen book (they very one, which I don't have a title for!) would be out next September? Er, apparently not. More like Spring 2010. I know! I know! I have very little control over these decisions.

What I really wanted to say is that I'm now on Twitter. If my infrequent blog posts aren't enough Manning for y'all, you can now follow my very drab, very humdrum life 24/7. Or like maybe 16/7 'cause I need to sleep and stuff.

You can find me HERE Please do 'follow' me, or whatever the approved twitter speak is for adding me to the list of people whose tweets you read.

But even if you dodn't twitter me, I'll be back here soon enough.

Live on

Sarra x

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Competition winners and reader-generated content!

May I introduce you to the two winners of my Chrismukkah quiz? All hail Ella McBride from Blighty and Kathryn Piekkala in Australia, which is going to cost me a small fortune in postage!

Ella and Kathryn won because they had the most right answers, I liked their tie-breaker answers and they also went above and beyond in getting round blogger's maximum wordage in comments rules.

Ella's tie-breaker answer:

QUESTION If you could be any character in any one of Sarra's books, who would you be and why?

I found this a really tough question because you have created so many amazing characters in your books, and I see elements of who I'd like to be in lots of them. I think the character I identify the most with is probably Edie, because I think she's the girl I really want to be. I just love her entire style, the way she thinks, the way she can be shallow and deep, how she wears her heart on her sleeve despite having it broken, and always throws herself back into the world, each time a little stronger. Plus she has awesome hair ! I would choose Edie from the second book, Kiss And Make Up, because I feel this was her darkest hour, and she still came through. I really empathised with her all the way through the book and I really loved the festival, especially Veronique in a pit of poo =]. Ooh! And those hotel scenes ! They really made me smile, my favourite bit was "When Artboys Attack" :)

Kathryn's tie-breaker answer:

If you could be any character in any one of Sarra's books, who would you be and why?

I think that of all the characters in your books I was most envious of Edie and Brie. I love the way you create your characters with such depth and I felt that Edie (more specifically toward the end of the diary of a crush trilogy) and Brie both had the lighthearted personality I don’t share. I relate more to Isabel in the way that she reserves her trust for a select few and keeps her emotions bottled up inside until it’s impossible not to explode. I would much prefer their characteristics over my own however having said that...you always want what you don’t have and if I was like that I would probably want it back the other way. I love the unintentional humor of Edie and just Brie in general.

Apart from that......I have always wanted to live in London and work in a cafe and be in a band and go on a roadtrip and definitely have a Dylan. =D

I may be a bit sparse with the updates at the moment - I have some personal stuff that's all consuming and I'm beavering away of my next teen opus, due out in the UK in September. Except I don't have a title and I'm this close to putting my iTunes on shuffle and choosing the fifth song that comes up as the name of my book. Seriously!

Live on

Sarra x

EDITED TO ADD: Kind and attentive regular, Koko has just left me a comment, which has inspired me. Readers, friends of mine, people, run to your iTunes, stick it on shuffle and tell me what the fifth song is. It might well be the title of my next book! Me? I'm off to rummage through Serge Gainsbourg's back catalogue and see if anything there will do at a pinch.