I can not believe that there is just one week left until the publication of Othergirl. I was told that the gap between signing the deal and publication date would go by in a flash… but this is crazy! After dreaming about this my entire life, finally next week I will be a published author. WOAH.
So I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you a bit about the background of Othergirl, and why I wrote it.
The truth is, that I’m the other girl. Always was, and in some ways, always will be. Never the prettiest, never the most popular… I always felt like I had to struggle to get people to like me, and had to work that little bit harder to get what I thought came naturally to a lot of people. I was the wingman when my friend wanted to hook up with the boy she’d been flirting with for ages. I went shopping with friends to find cool clothes, knowing that I was too fat or too tall to fit into anything they were trying. Ditto with shoes – I have size 10 feet. So whilst my friends would sit around in shops trying heels on, I would just have to stand there, or I’d wander to the mens section and wonder what ugly flats could possibly pass for unisex. Boys were never interested in me, the cool kids thought I was weird, and the weird kids intimidated me. My teenage years weren’t easy.
But it was only after I’d grown up a bit that I realised I wasn’t alone. Turns out, that everybody feels this way at some point or another. There’s always someone nearby who’s better than us, or bolder than us, or achieving the dreams that we’ve strived for. None of us are alone.
When I decided that I wanted to write a book that explored the idea of being the other girl, making one of the characters a superhero seemed like a natural and playful choice. I wanted this book to be lively and fun, and what better way to explore this scenario: what if your best friend was not only prettier and more popular than you? What if she could also fly?!
This was the premise that the entire book was then set on. Then I realised that I wanted to write a book about female friendships, and finding your personal strength, and coming of age in a world that’s a little bit out of your control. I also wanted to make sure that the book wasn’t too serious. Comic books are obviously a major influence, and I really wanted to invoke the feel of a comic book: fast paced, brightly coloured, exciting and fun, with something in there for younger readers as well as older ones.
And now here we are: one week to go, and Othergirl will be let loose in bookstores and libraries across the country! For those waiting to read it, I hope you like it. This book is written specifically for every guy and girl who has felt like the other one. I know that there are loads of you out there! For those going through it right now, there’s one thing I can definitely promise you: one day you will find your people, and they will see you for being as awesome as you really are. It takes time to learn how to be happy with yourself, so be patient, and enjoy discovering what makes you you. I firmly believe that everybody has a secret superpower, and if you haven’t discovered yours yet, then don’t panic! You’ll find it soon, I promise!