Thursday, 29 March 2012
1) Lia’s Guide is about a 16 year old girl. You may not like her very much. This is because I carried out extensive research into the ways of British girls (including being one myself, between 1976 and 1982) and discovered that they are mostly locked in battle with their mothers from the age of 14-16, they are self-centred, snarky and loudly assured of their own rightness. American girls may well not be like this. Anyway, stick with her, with a lot of money and some interesting experiences, she improves.
2) The book has not been translated into American. Lia walks on pavements, shops at Primark (cheap clothes, long queues), goes to the loo. Draw on your deep knowledge of British slang gained from reading Louise Rennison, Harry Potter and my other books. But don’t worry, Lia does not speak exactly like a London teenage does, because then her slang would date within minutes and no one would be able to understand her. So I have spared you sentences such as ‘That boy is bare butters,’ which means ‘That boy is very ugly’ - or it did last time I asked, anyway.
7) I have adopted a revolutionary approach to sex in YA fiction, by portraying teen sexual encounters that MAY not end in pregnancy or disease. This is because I am fed up with books that suggest that sex is always disasterous/tacky/regrettable or described only in terms of the boy's plumbing. So, add your own health warnings.
8) American librarians, I can happily tell you that there are NO F-BOMBS in Lia's Guide. Not one.
9) You'll notice that Lia dreams of going to New York or San Francisco. So do I. Buy enough copies and may be I will...
Saturday, 3 March 2012
I've had the sort of week when the grey storm clouds gather overhead, when life seems harsh and unfair, and full of worries. Even little disappointments sting, let alone the big ones.
But still, good things happened last week. My mum's operation went well. Our car was smashed up - but no one was hurt. I had good feedback for new projects, I got a brilliant email from a reader, I visited two lovely schools. I'm loving the evening class I'm teaching at City University, and it's exciting to see students taking risks with their writing and imagining.
So, this picture seemed to sum up my week. Let the silver linings shine, and the kites fly high. And it didn't rain at all.