So, my new book BECOMING BETTY is officially out tomorrow!
Launching a book is a really anxious process (for me, anyway). When I was younger, I used to keep all of my writing in a box under my bed, refusing to let anybody read it - not even my best friend, who was always asking. She still jokes that in a perfect world I'd probably still rather keep all of my writing - along with my feelings - in a box under the bed.
Writing a second book (and this is my second 'proper' book) is HARD. Everyone says it's hard. I wasn't prepared for quite how hard it would be, particularly as a lot of Other Stuff was happening in my life at the time. It involved a lot of tears and sleepless nights and missing my best friend's birthday party.
However, it also involved a lot of joy. Amid all the Other Stuff, it was an escape. I wrote a lot of the book sitting in cafes in France, in the sunshine with a cup of coffee or a glass of pastis. I wrote some of it on cross-channel ferries. I wrote a few big chunks of it at a borrowed desk at weekends, in an empty tower block with a beautiful view of Brighton, taking breaks for cups of tea and dancing around with my then-boyfriend to 'Take Me Home' by Cher, on a Paradise Garage bootleg compilation mix.
I hope some of that joy comes across. BECOMING BETTY is a book about music and friendship and identity (and flapjacks and haircuts and milkshakes and band T-shirts). I've had a funny relationship with Betty, but now I can look at her with a lot of love.
Tonight I am having a party to celebrate. I have a ridiculous outfit and new shoes. I have made a lot of cakes. I'm really happy to be celebrating this book coming out into the world.
So here is a playlist I made celebrating girlbands, which is definitely fitting - and brings me a lot of joy...