Wednesday, 14 December 2011

On... a perfect t-shirt

Love this.
Courtesy of righteous dudes @keris and @sarramanning on Twitter.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

On... pregnancy obsessions

Fact: Life milestones cluster.

First, everyone you know turns 21 and all you seem to do is go to 21st birthday parties every damn weekend. Then everyone moves into grubby-floored shared apartments with friends, and all you do is go to housewarming parties where someone ends up sleeping in the bathtub. Then everyone moves in with their significant other and you go to a lot of dinner parties (and eat either roast chicken or lasagne). Then everyone breaks up with said significant other, and decides they hate their career, and you all go out to bars in hope of widening the social gene pool and drinking away the worries about how much you hate your career. Then everyone gets engaged and married, all at once, so all of a sudden you spend every second of your life travelling to, shopping for and recovering from weddings.

And then everyone gets knocked up. And that’s where I am right now. It’s baby baby baby, plop plop plop. Everyone I know is clearly getting laid. A LOT. And high five to all of you for that. (You smutty little filthmongers.)

On.... a new blog for SheerLuxe

As you may know, sometimes I write a blog for the luxenistas at SheerLuxe.

Here's the latest one.

Friday, 2 December 2011

On... The Afterparty

I chose this book just for the cover.

The Afterparty by Leo Benedictus.

And then I read it.

It's brilliant.

Friday, 25 November 2011

On... just for Dubliners

Do you live in Dublin? Or know someone who does?

If so, I have ace news for you: just go to South Anne Street today, or on Saturday 26th or Sunday 27th, and visit the NOHO pop-up store, say ‘Conor sent me’ and get 20% off the cost of NOHO!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

On... outfits from the past

Age four. Daisy bikini. Would totally still wear this.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

On... sartorial outrage

I really want these.

Unique Flare Jeans by Goldsign.

But US$278 on a pair of jeans is ricockulous. What are they made from? Unicorn sperm?

Monday, 14 November 2011

On... an email that I love

I have an email to share with you.

On... a new lip balm

Last night I was almost asleep when I realised I'd forgotten to apply lip balm. Dry lips are the bane of my life (uh, after my eyebrows... and the perma-hangnail on my thumb... and - oh, never mind, back to the point), so I drenched up the energy to reach into my nightstand and fumble around the mess for my trusty tube of Homeoplasmine .

It was not there.

Instead I pulled out a tube of Lanisoh nipple balm, the most useless item I bought when I was pregnant. I never needed it. My puppies adjusted to breastfeeding pretty effortlessly, bless their not-that-little souls.

So I gazed at the tube of Lanisoh sleepily through my lashes, thought 'fuck it, if babies are allowed to eat it it must be safe enough', and smeared some on my lips. It's very thick and clear, like a balmy-paste thing. It doesn't taste or smell of anything, either.

I woke up eight hours later with the stuff STILL ON, lips perfectly plump and moisturised, no cracks, not even a hint of dryness.

I thought you guys should know about it.

Best. Lipbalm. Ever.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

On... getting dressed

I've figured out the major flaw in the whole 'being a fulltime writer' thing.


Sunday, 6 November 2011

On... The Nail Files

Voila my story THE NAIL FILES for Tatler magazine! I hope it doesn't offend anyone. If you ask me to write 900 words about what I like and dislike about nails, you're gonna get some snark.

This story was in the October issue, which you can track down if you call the Conde Nast old issues office, or if your local newsagent is particularly lazy.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

On... The Boytician

Missed the September issue of Tatler magazine? (For shame!)

Here's The Boytician piece that I wrote. Hope you enjoy it...

I'll post The Nail Files piece from the October issue tomorrow. It's somewhere in my inbox, I just can't find it because, you know, I'm shit like that. My next Tatler piece isn't out till the New Year...

I highly recommend Tatler, by the way, my friends, and not just because I get to write silly little stories for them, but just because it's kind of ace. It's been totally transformed this year and is now the ONLY high-end glossy fashion magazine that is smart, sharp and - here's the kicker - funny. (Trust me. I read all of them. American, British and French. It's an expensive but highly enjoyable addiction.)

Friday, 4 November 2011

On... Fraggle Rock

So, I was playing on YouTube the other morning, looking for old Sesame Street clips to play to Errol, and I found this.

Awesome. Song.
Also, reminded me how scary I found Fraggle Rock. Being stuck in the dark underground with giant monsters above and things living in the rocks all around you and constantly static hair? Petrifying.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

On... a book print

I love this print.

It's from 20x200.

I want to commission one with my favourite books.

But then I'd have to decide what my favourite books are and oh God, that would be a nightmare.

Because how on earth do you choose your favourite books?

Do you choose the books that stunned you and made you gaze at the world / yourself / writing in a different way? (For me, that'd be - off the top of my head - A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway, A History Of The World In 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes, A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers.)

Or books that you couldn't put down, that you kissed and stroked and nuzzled with delight as you were reading them? (For me: The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper, Persuasion by Jane Austen, Tess Of The D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Evelina by Fanny Burney, The Best Of Everything by Rona Jaffe - oh golly, this particular list would be very, very long, I love a LOT of books.)

Or books that you loved passionately in the past but have since moved on from? (Anne Of Green Gables, The Babysitter's Club, Pollyanna, Little Women, Wuthering Heights, anything by Judy Blume, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, etc.)

Or, last but certainly not least, do you choose the books that you've read over and over and over again and know like old friends? (Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, Heartburn by nora Ephron, anything by Jilly Cooper or Nancy Mitford, Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis and of course dear ol' Bridget.)

The whole thing just stresses me out. What would you do?

Sunday, 16 October 2011

On... Bombay Bicycle Club

Gnarly band. Gnarly new album. Gnarly Sunday morning song.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

On.... childhood movies

I was watching Back To The Future with Fox the other day, and impressing / annoying him with my ability to say all the lines, verbatim, a split-second before they’re said on-screen (“Stella! Another one of these damn kids jumped in fronta my car!”).

Sunday, 2 October 2011

On... character-abuse

The other night I read an interesting piece in the New Yorker about Anna Faris. (Read it here if you're on an iPad.)

I can't stop thinking about this excerpt:

‘To make a woman adorable, one successful female screenwriter says, “you have to defeat her in the beginning. It’s a conscious thing I do. Abuse and break her, strip her of her dignity, and then she gets to live out our fantasies and have fun.”… Relatability is based upon vulnerability, which creates likeability.’

Saturday, 17 September 2011

On... an awesome trailer parody

I've been laughing so hard at this I have to share it.

First, in case you haven't seen this, enjoy. Zero coherency. Strangely exciting.

And now watch this.

I actually barked with laughter when 'Wocka' happened. (I rarely bark with laughter. I chortle and giggle and HA! a lot. But not bark. I barked constantly during Bridesmaids, particularly when she fights with the little tweenie in the jewellery store. I bark when I read David Sedaris or watch Arrested Development or Eastbound and Down. I actually choked during Eastbound and Down once. I was drinking water and chose the wrong moment. I could have, like, drowned. Okay, this aside has become totally unwieldly. I find it so hard to end asides, have you noticed? It's a real problem for me. Anyway, let me know what makes you bark with laughter.)

Friday, 16 September 2011

On... stuff I've been doing

So, inspired by Cup of Joe, I’m going to post about things I’ve been enjoying in the past couple of weeks.

Now, I’ve mostly been feeding Errol and/or gazing at him in a nauseatingly adoringly way and/or catching up on sleep with coma-like cat naps. But the rest of the time I’ve been...

Writing my next feature for Tatler - follow them on Twitter at @tatleruk and, if you like, read my current story in the October issue (it’s a rather snarky piece called The Nail Files, but you try writing 900 funny words about nails, my friend - snark happens). Or, if you can, track down the September issue and read all about how Fox is my Boytician.

Craving returning to the edit of my next book, the first in the Union Street series. I’m starting on Monday and cannot wait. It’s the strangest feeling: I miss it, and the entire world within it, like a friend.

Feeling inspired by this post – again, by Cup Of Joe. (I like her.)

Thanking the Lord that these exist. They work. And they work FAST. And for this woman. Her book Baby Secrets is the shizzle. (I am so hip the lingo.)

Buying these, now that I know they're still a sartorial option and the bump did disappear (see above). God! I've missed high-waisted jeans! And by the way, the fashion wasteland of the last 10 months was bad. I mean, I like clothes. Clothes like me. We’ve always been friends. But pregnancy clothes... man, they suck. What’s that? I sound shallow? Dude, I AM shallow. Did you not realise this by now?

Having baths with this whilst doing this. I read about it in US Vogue, so it must work, right?

Forwarding this to Fox as it is really goddamn time he learned to cook. He’s 33 for Pete’s sake.

Making one of these out of the 2,503 photos we've taken of Errol in the past few weeks.

Thanking hell these exist as breastfeeding would be extremely boring without them.

Enjoying this site, this site, this site and this site, on the above.

More soon. Am writing a long Q&A blog in response to a bunch of email questions I’ve received over the past few months, so if you have any questions for me, bring it on.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

On... reading

Hello chaps.

Gosh, what an annoying start to a post. My apologies. I used to live with a couple of terribleh Sloaneh boys who used words like 'chaps' all the time. They called me 'Burgo' and had thousands and thousands of 'mates' called things like 'Rotter' and 'Poo'. And those were the girls. No one has as many mates as Sloanes. It's like they're born with an in-built Yellow Pages with the details of every other Sloane in existence. It must be marvellous to be that sure of exactly where you fit into the universe. (Actually, I think it would be incredibly stifling and dull. But I digress. As ever.)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

On... Kindle sales


A GIRL LIKE YOU and THE DATING DETOX are both insaaaaanely cheap on Kindle (£1!) - but only for the rest of August!

They're currently in the Amazon Kindle bestseller lists (woo) at 14 (doublewoo) and 34 (triplewoo, but a smaller woo, like a woolet) respectively.

And if we can get them into the top 10 it would be really, really amazing and do wondrous things for my future career. Like, stupendously wondrous...

Now, you know I wouldn't normally ask you this, but if you can, please download one or both for your Kindle or Kindle for iPad or from the Apple Shop and I'll be your BFF. For serious. FOR EVER. I will hold your hair back when you are sick and lend you my favourite shoes and talk about your ex/boss/hair for as long as you like. Pinkyswear.

After August the prices will start going back up - so don't miss out...

Thank you and sorry for asking a favour. You know it's not really my style but it's just a teeny weeny one...

Click the links to download...


EDIT: Good God. Have just found out that A GIRL LIKE YOU is no.2 on the UK Apple iStore - second only to ONE DAY by David Nicholls. I am not yanking your chain. Anyone can buy it - all you need is an iTunes account for your iPhone, iPod, whatever... The same deal goes for eternal BFFism if you do.

SECOND EDIT: Wow. It's now Thursday 25th, and A GIRL LIKE YOU is no 13 across the entire Paid Books Kindle UK store, no 12 in Fiction and no 8 in Contemporary Fiction. And THE DATING DETOX is no 31 in entire Paid Books Kindle store, 29 in fiction and 15 in Contemporary Fiction. Thank you everyone who bought one. You rock. x

THIRD EDIT: I promise not to update you every time they jump a notch on Amazon - I mean, seriously, no one cares that much, I know - but this seems blogworthy: A GIRL LIKE YOU and THE DATING DETOX are BOTH in the Apple iTunes Books TOP 10! xx And yeah, that's a double kiss for you. I'm a total slut like that.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Thursday, 11 August 2011

On... male starlets and Sex And The City

Say what you will about Sarah Jessica Parker - and hell knows, after seeing Sex And The City 2, I said a lot to anyone who would listen, usually via shouty rants ending in 'FOR FUCK'S SAKE' and 'NEVER EVER AGAIN' - the woman has seriously good taste in men. Or her casting director does. Whatever. The point is, a lot of the guys she slept with in the TV series are now hugely successful actors.

So, in classically irritating Carrie Bradshaw-style, I'll put it as a question:

Was banging Carrie Bradshaw the secret to success for male starlets of the noughties?

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

On... Heaven Scent

I have some good news for you.

Particularly if, like me, you have read Jilly Cooper so many times that you can recall entire passages verbatim.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

On... The Boy'tician

I wrote a feature called 'The Boy-tician' for the illustrious Tatler magazine. And it's out now, in the September issue.

Please check it out and let me know what you think... if you like it. Otherwise just don't say anything and we'll never have to discuss it again, hmm?

I'm currently writing another feature for their November issue.

Am just at that sticky point where I wonder:
1. If it's ever going to come together
2. If the things I think are funny are, in fact, funny, and
3. If I shouldn't just give up this writing thing and learn to knit instead.

And the answer to your next question is yes. Being a writer plagued by self-doubt and melodramatic tendencies is totally exhausting.

Monday, 25 July 2011

On... Pumped Up Kicks

I am rather enjoying this song today.

Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks

I will now, almost certainly, listen to it 400 times before the end of the week and then never be able to tolerate it again. That's just how I roll, baby.

On... it's about time


Via the ever-brilliant A Cup Of Jo.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

On... a shiny new post for Sheer Luxe

So, sometimes I write a blog for SheerLuxe. Here's the latest one. Enjoy, my little daisyfaces.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

On... Footloose and angry dancing

I just watched the trailer for the new Footloose movie. Dudes, it does not look good. I won't even bore you with a link to it, that's how not good it looks.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

On... secondhand books

This bookshop changed my life.

I know, deeply unpromising exterior, right?

Sunday, 12 June 2011

On... Autignac and French pharmacies

I’m in Autignac, mes amies.

Yep, my folks really do have a house in the town in France where the protagonist from my second book A GIRL LIKE YOU’s parents have a house. (Uh, but the rest of it is totally fiction, dudes.) (No, I promise, it is.) (Actually, THE DATING DETOX is based much more closely on my life as far as details like job - copywriter - and things go. And my mother really does talk by cutting up. Her sentences. And she says shit like 'Kick him to the curb, honey! Kick him. To the. Curb.' Okay, back to the point.)

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

On... girl crushes

I'm prone to girl crushes.

Not in the breathless-adoration way (and I would never call anyone a 'goddess', what is with people doing that lately? It's weird), but when I see a woman who seems to have it figured out, I frown thoughtfully and nod in her direction, maybe do an hour or two of background reading on things she's done in the past, and then keep my eye out to see what she does next.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

On.... Mannerfrei

I have a copy of MANNERFREI, the German translation of The Dating Detox, in my hot little hands! (Actually, they're not hot, and they're manicured rather nicely with OPI Pinking Of You, but that's not the point right now.)

I thought I'd take a photo to share it with you. Cool, huh?

It's incredibly surreal seeing it in another language. Brilliant, I mean. But surreal.

And here's a photo of the book open to The Botanist chapter, with - just for the hell of it - a packet of matches from The Botanist, indeed. I was there on Sunday. The burger was absolutely exceptional and may have eclipsed Bar Boulud and Bumpkin in my Best Burger In London list. In case you were wondering.

If you have any German friends who are simply crying out for a bit of Die Dating Detox joy, you can order it here.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

On.... shoes, shoes, shoes

Every now and again I write a bloggy thing for the delightful fashionistics at SheerLuxe.

This is the new one.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

On... my next book

10 things I can tell you now about my next book.

1. It’s the first in a series of books called Union Street, about five twenty- something girls sharing a house in Brooklyn, that I’m writing for St Martins Press.

2. The protagonist is stylish, spoilt, sharp - and kind of awesome. I adore her. But I always adore the protagonist till I finish writing about her. Weird, huh?

3. I had the idea for the series as was ruminating on the fact that 21 to 30 is an extraordinarily tough, eventful and hilarious time for women, but I couldn’t think of any modern fiction that dealt with the entire period honestly and - most importantly - with humour.

4. The series was also inspired by The Group by Mary McCarthy, The Best Of Everything by Rona Jaffe and The Babysitters Club by Ann M Martin. (Trust me, it works.)

5. There will be more sex in it than there was my first two books. (Mother, don’t look at me like that.)

6. And wild partying and bad choices and drugs and drama and all kinds of good stuff. (Mutti. Seriously. You are really putting me off.)

7. I’ve just about finished writing it. Just icing the cake now.

8. Oh, the narrator of the first book is called Pia.

9. It’s about 120,000 words, which seems to be my magic number for some reason. (This is irrelevant but I needed it to get 10 facts.)

10.I really, really hope you like it.

PS Alas, I cannot tell you when it’s out just yet... but the moment I find out, you’ll be the first to know, kittenpants.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

On... chicklit and humour

I’m trying to write a feature for Novelicious for International Chicklit Month. And I’m having trouble getting started.


Because the topic is Humour And Chicklit.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

On... things that I find surprisingly difficult

Writing addresses on envelopes. (It’s just so boring.)

Remembering numbers of more than one digit. (Ask me to remember anything over nine and I stare into space like an inbred lapdog, drooling and panting.)

Answering simple questions when I’m writing. (“What? I don’t... In the drawer. I mean... oh. The bus.”)

Choosing anything but pork belly when it is on the menu. (It’s just so good. So good.)

Selecting a cocktail that isn’t vodka-based. (Look, it gets the job done.)

Sleeping in past 6.30am. (I have the bodyclock of a baker.)

Understanding the charms of nature in any meaningful way. (“Oh, it’s leafy. Awesome.”)

Understanding the charms of organised sport in any meaningful way. (“Oh, it’s a ball. Awesome.”)

Wearing a colour that isn’t white, black, grey, navy or red. (Seriously, I’m like a small French child in a storybook.)

Letting go of my lucky yellow clutch*, both emotionally and sartorially. (Readers of The Dating Detox will understand.)

Knowing where my phone is at any given time. (Really. That thing is like Ferris Bueller. It just takes off whenever it feels like it. It is probably driving around Chicago right now in a red convertible with a hypochondriac and a chick called Sloane.)

* I will happily wear a hint of yellow. Ditto hot pink or electric blue. But only a hint.

Monday, 11 April 2011

On... Heartbreaker

You know when you're in the mood for a romantic comedy but you've seen all the good ones and you'd stab yourself in the throat with your eyelash curler before wasting any time on a Katherine Heigl movie again?

Yeah. You know what I'm talking about.

Friday, 8 April 2011

On... Sweet Valley Confidential

Are you an Elizabeth or a Jessica?

I know a cultural phenomenon when I see one, particularly one that has lay dormant for a decade or two then come back, bigger and brighter than ever. And that phenomenon, my friends, is SWEET VALLEY HIGH.

Monday, 28 March 2011

On... Denim And Lace

There are a lot of bad songs out there.

And this is one of my favourites. As a bonus, the dude in this video is one of the worst lipsyncs I've ever seen, and I saw Paula Abdul in concert in Hong Kong in 1992. (She danced on stage! With a TIGER!)(A pretend tiger. But, you know, still.)

Anyway. Denim and Lace. I like to sing it to myself when I'm getting ready to go out.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

On... a new Sheer Luxe blog

So now and again I write a blog for the uhmazing shopping mecca website, SheerLuxe.

This is the latest one.

Friday, 4 March 2011

On... my newsletter

I send out a newsletter now and again about what I've been up to. Sorry, 'newsletter' sounds ridiculous; it's more like a long, chatty, mildly pointless email. But, you know, it's fun. And fun goes a long way.

If you'd like to get it direct to your inbox, just email me and put 'Email me!' in the subject line. Or click below and read it. Totally up to you, sugarnuts.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

On... SheerLuxe

Afraid this is just a little tiny wave hello, my friends, as I'm finishing a book and keep forgetting to find time to do things like, you know, breathe. But sometimes I write a fashion blog for the awestabulous site SheerLuxe. And I wrote a new one last week.

If you're interested, you can check it out here.

More soon. Promise. x

Thursday, 24 February 2011

On... thank yous

I have been a very poor blogger of late, my friends, as I am in the very last stretch of the first draft of my next book.

But I want to say thank you.

Because yesterday I found out that A Girl Like You sold over 10,000 copies in the first six weeks of publication in the UK alone.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

On... Friday mornings

Did you ever do that thing where you wake up and think, oooh, I’m going to go for a walk, and so you get up and you go for a walk and peoplewatch and eavesdrop for a while, and then you get a coffee, and then you walk home, and then you check your emails, and you email your mum back because you didn’t email her yesterday and you owe her like three emails, and you reply to a few emails from friends, then you check Twitter, and then you check Topshop out of habit even though you’re not shopping right now but just in case it has something you’ve wanted for years like the perfect flowery teadress or the hot pink Sakura heels you missed out on in 2009 though thank God you got them in electric blue because they honestly go with everything, and then think ‘ooo, haven’t looked at ASOS in a while’, so you look at that but you wonder if the ASOS materials will feel like the material that camping tents are made from because they often do, and then you think I wonder what I should wear this weekend so you check the weather, and then you think about how much happier you’ll be getting dressed when it’s warmer outside and you can wear bare legs because bare legs are really your thing, and then you think about all the weddings you have this summer and how you have nothing to wear to them so you look at NetAPorter for awhile and play Pretend Spend, and then you look at TheOutnet which is often really good like those J Brand skinny jeans that you got for like 65% off, then you think ‘should really check the news’ so you go to and then you go to just to round things out and then you think, hmmm, what a nice morning I’m having.

And then you remember that you have work to do - or, oh, I don't know, a book to write - and you have just wasted an hour and really should get a grip on reality?

Snap. Me too.

Monday, 14 February 2011

On... Junk Kouture

On the weekend I caught up with my niece, Lisa, who is 15 and lives in Dublin. She showed me some photos of an awesome outfit she and a friend designed and made themselves. They came runner-ups in a design competition called 'Junk Kouture'.

Friday, 4 February 2011

On... copywriting tips

Let’s face it, most of my blog posts are the dillydallying type. I ponder, and
chat, and wander off point, and put in little asides. Then I have to use a lot of ‘So,’ or ‘Anyway,’ type words, to get back to the point. And then the point itself tends to drag on.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

On... NorthWest Magazine

Pretty cringe-making - I am NOT the world's most natural poser, despite being a total poseur in so many other ways - but check out who is 'the thinking girl's chick-lit author'.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

On... true stories

I keep being asked about this, and yes. Almost every single thing in my books is made up. The characters, the storylines, the events. The emotions and reactions are based on things I’ve felt, obviously – I’ve been cheated on, and fought with people, and worked with cockmonkeys, and fallen in love, and broken up with people, and had shit dates, and all the rest of it. But the events are made up.

Well, except one or two.

Monday, 17 January 2011

On... interviews, reviews and thank yous

Dearest everyone. Thank you so much for your support since dear ol' AGLY came out two weeks ago.

In case you missed it, A GIRL LIKE YOU was featured in The Sun newspaper and Heat and Closer magazines last week. (Everyone please throw a mental high five to the uhmazing Charlotte Allen at HarperCollins, that is all thanks to her.) I tried to post a link to the reviews, but I've only got the PDF and, um, I can't figure out how to do it.

I also did an interview with Lindsey Canant at luxury magazine Pink Memo, another one with my friend, the star author and blogstar Talli Roland and one with lovely Melissa at Chicklit Central.

Thank you also to all the wonderful sites and friends who have written reviews of A GIRL LIKE YOU - Chloe and Leah at Chicklit Reviews, One More Page, Dot Scribbles, High Heels and Book Deals and Ruth at Between The Pages.

New addition! Exceptionally lovely review from Judging Covers.

(If you wrote a review and I misesed you out, I'm sorry! I had them all saved and pfft they disappeared. Like magic. Please email me and I'll amend that, stat - and by the way, Novelious and Chicklit Central reviews are, I think, coming soon, so check back for the links...)

And lastly, thank you so much to everyone who has posted a review on Amazon. I dont know about you, but I always read the reviews before buying the book, and sometimes buy a book I've never heard of on the reviews alone - so I think it really makes a difference, and I truly appreciate it.

Everytime someone says they loved A GIRL LIKE YOU, I glow and twinkle inside. It's the nicest feeling ever. x

Friday, 14 January 2011

On... 25,000 trailer hits

As you might know, last year I made a trailer for my first book, THE DATING DETOX, with a cast of friends and a budget of pretty close to nil.

It's had almost 25,000 hits. Not bad, considering I employed the old 'If you build it, they will come' approach to marketing it. (Did I mentioned the budget was nil?)

Got a moment? Check it out. It's a tiny scene from the film, dramatised within an inch of its sassy little life. I'm in it. I'm the chick on the phone crying. I know, I know, it's a breathtaking performance. Why write when you can act like that, huh?

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

On... a new book series

Well, I have some news. (Clears throat.) I’m writing a new book series for St Martins Press in NYC.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

On... a new newsletter

I send out a newsletter every now and again, just to say hi to people who've emailed me in the past year. And this is the one I sent out today. Want to get the next one? Just email with 'Email Me' in the subject line.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

On... John Hughes music

I watched Easy A last night. Apart from being hilarious and smart, it had a kicking soundtrack of 80s songs, and footage from my favourite EVER film, Sixteen Candles.

Dang, I love that movie.

I love all John Hughes films, but Sixteen Candles is perfection. I mean, duh: I named the hero of The Dating Detox after Jake Ryan.

Jake Ryan!

I own Sixteen Candles in both DVD and VHS, even though I haven’t owned a VHS machine since 2002. I also have the CD soundtrack, though – and this is a key anorak moment - I couldn’t actually track it down so I put it together myself, in 2004, and made a proper cover to go with it. I use lines from the film in everyday life, as though everyone would know them. Like ‘no, he’s not retarded’ and ‘I loathe the bus’. Sure, most people probably think I am un peu strange, but just saying whatever you think is funny is like throwing an in-joke at the universe and waiting to see what it throws back. Once I was in a work meeting, and someone said ‘I’ve got déjà vu’ and I said ‘Have we not met before, monsieur?’ under my breath, and the guy across from me shouted ‘TOP SECRET! ARHHHH! BEST FILM EVER!’ He was so excited, I thought he might cry. Anyway. I digress.

I wonder if perhaps my books have an eerie amount in common with Sixteen Candles. There’s no real bad guy and the plot relies on a lot of silly dialogue and coincidence. There tends to be a crazy party or two and there’s some lying-in-bed-pining scenes. Hmm.

I even edited – probably about edit six, aka the 'sprinkles on the icing' edit - both the last scenes to my books listening to the last scene song from Sixteen Candles, which is the best last-scene song, ever, ever ever. I figure if that song works when the hero and heroine are finally getting their shit together, I’m hitting the right tone.

Let’s do a test: read the last few pages of either book while listening to this, and see if you think it works.

Hmm. Now I'm really in a John Hughes mood. So here, in no particular order, are some of my favourite songs from the John Hughes milieu.

Some Kind Of Wonderful. Eric Stoltz, you delicious man. Contains the immortal line ‘you mess with the bull, you get the horns’, which is appropriate in just about any situation where you don't know what else to say. And has the sexiest kiss in any John Hughes film, between Mary Stuart Masterson and Eric. When he kneads her denim bermuda shorts with his grease-stained fingers! Argh! I knew what moment to forward the video to in order to watch that scene. I was that kind of 13-year-old. (Okay 23-year-old, whatever.) Anyway, it's She Loves Me by Stephen Duffy.

I don't know why that clip has subtitles. Sorry. I can't find another decent one.

Pretty In Pink. If You Leave by OMD. Again, a last scene song. Again, perfection.

How adorable is Duckie?! And now he's in the worst TV show ever. With Charlie Sheen. Ew. I hope he uses a lot of hand sanitizer after a day on set.

Sixteen Candles, again. The Divynyls. Ring Me Up. When she ALMOST speaks to him in the gym locker room after the dance! And he opens his mouth to speak to her, but she turns away! The horror! The pining! Argh. Great for when you’re marching to the tube (bus/tram/subway/MTR/metro/free bike/public transport of choice) and in a ballsy mood. One of my all-time favourite songs.

Uncle Buck: the unappreciated fat kid in the John Hughes family. “Is it the hat? This hat angers a lot of people.” Tweedle Dee by LaVern Baker. It also, by the way, has Young MC’s Bust A Move during a teen party (which is a strange, dark, late-80s teen party, rather than one of the crazy pastel mid-80s teen parties of Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, etc). Bust A Move is one of those songs that I learned every word to by pausing the tape and writing them down in about 1990. (Geek alert.)

I can't find a decent clip of either of those songs in Uncle Buck, so instead I give you the song Wild Thing by Tone Loc (which is an AWESOME song that I play at every party I go to, sometimes even if they ask me not to) and the scene where he goes bananas at the principal. It's so awesome, I dare you to watch it without grinning...

Ferris Buellers Day Off. Danke Shoen by Wayne Newton. Now, another anecdote about me, because - hey! that's the beauty of a blog, sugarnuts - I wanted to find this song so much in 1997, when I was at university, that I wrote down the name of the song and entertainer from the credits at the end of the video, then went to several music shops till I found one that would order a Wayne Newton Best Of CD for me. God, life was harder before the internet.

I won’t go through all the John Hughes movies: these are just a few highlights. And I’d like to widen the post to include the best songs from other great 80s favourites, including St Elmo’s Fire, which I watched aboout a 150 times one university holidays, and Mannequin and Overboard, but we’d be here all day.

This is off-topic, but this John Hughes mashup goes so perfectly with Phoenix’s song that it has to be shared. Enjoy.

PS: Happy New Year.