It’s day 2 of #14DaysofLove and we have something very special for you. Here’s a little YouTube treat in the shape of a Quickfire Q&A with Holly. We asked you for your questions and Holly answered them.
So, you know how Amber was always OFF ON ONE in Am I Normal Yet? about the other spinster club girls and their boy troubles? Well, I decided it would be fun if Miss Cynic fell in love. Hard.
I can’t believe How Hard Can Love Be? is out TODAY. I hope you love Amber’s journey as much as I do. Here’s to nice boys who call themselves feminists, Dumbledore’s Army, rainbows, and American roadtrips. See you at Summer Camp!
To celebrate the launch of How Hard Can Love Be? we will be hosting #14DaysofLove – a celebration
of love in all its forms – from first love to friendships to family. Keep an eye out for exclusive videos, competitions and more! Join in with #14daysoflove and #HHCLB.
Standing-room only for a talk about feminism in Waterstones flagship store in London Piccadilly, and I was lucky enough to be a part of it.
Anna James, Holly Smale, CJ Daugherty and I spend a lot of our spare time bemoaning the patriarchy. So we thought we’d add in an audience and see if people were interested. You. Are. Interested. It was a magical, empowering, inspiring evening and I love how many kick-ass feminists came to listen. Here are my best bits.
My left boob had a lot to say. Before we’d even started, we turned on the mikes and mine deafened the room with extremely loud interference. I didn’t know my left boob had so much to say about the patriarchy, or that it was so impatient to do so. But the evening started with me having to apologise to a room full of packed people for my angry boob and that basically set up the mood for the rest of the evening.
Holly Smale’s feminism omelette. Holly S made some great points about how different authors are ‘breaking eggs into the feminism omelette’ in different ways. It was SUCH an important point to make on how we class a book ‘feminist’ or not. Yes, Geek Girl has modelling in it but it has SUCH a strong message of empowerment and being true to yourself. As Holly S said, female characters don’t have to “shoot a squirrel through an eye at 20 metres” to be feminist.
When CJ kept giving me goosebumps, so much so that I had to clutch her. She talked about Allie’s journey in Night School and how she went from always being the girl who’s rescued, to rescuing herself. I got all emotional and just sort of grabbed at her and she was awfully nice about it.
Anna’s insightful comments about pubic hair. And how she’s noticed it’s only ever male writers who write descriptions of women’s pubic hair in sex scenes. Particularly ‘the historical novels and the blossoming bushes’. You can NEVER UNSEE this now.
The fact that I wasn’t politely asked to leave. I mean, I at one-point went ‘off-piste’ and started imagining aloud Katniss dripping period blood onto The Careers when she was stuck up that tree. And then I lost my temper and got…rather animated when a question came up about men who feel using the word ‘feminist’ emasculates them. I yelled the word “BALLS” a lot, and at some point screeched “I’M THE ANGRY FEMINIST MONSTER OF YOUR NIGHTMARES” and yet nobody told me to get in the sea, so thanks for that.
The amazing people who came. You asked insightful and challenging questions – about intersectional feminism and your concerns for the future of feminism. You told us of your own feminist battles. You were empowered and enlightened and just…ON-IT and I feel so positive about the future of feminism with a room full of people like you. So thank you so much for coming!
And one more thing – ONLY THREE DAYS UNTIL HOW HARD CAN LOVE BE? COMES OUT!!!!!
THE FINAL COPIES OF HOW HARD CAN LOVE BE? HAVE ARRIVED
There are so gorgeous and BRIGHT and amazing. And they are out on Feb 1st! And, if that’s not exciting enough, the first edition of these babies have EXCLUSIVE content. So get your grabby grab-hands out!
I so hope you love Amber’s story as much as I do. It’s much more soppy than Am I Normal Yet? Because not all boys are sex maniacs and/or general ballsacks like Ethan and Guy. 🙂
LOOK LOOK AT THEM!
Do tweet me your photos and feedback once you get your copies. Spinster Club forever!
So today was my last day working as an editor for
TheSite.org. I’ve been working at the charity for FIVE YEARS and I cannot
believe how much things have changed since then. I started as a junior
journalist, writing a book called Soulmates on my commute in…and my oh my where
things have gone from there.
TheSite.org is an incredible place for young people. It
gives advice and support about every single problem you can possibly imagine
growing up. And, to mark the end of my time here, I’m sharing the work I did
there that I’m most proud of.
Porn vs Reality
Porn is an unavoidable part of young people’s lives and you
see the consequences of it when you work at a youth charity. From boys worrying
their penises are too small or they’re struggling to get turned on by ‘real’
girls– to girls feeling pressured into doing sexual acts they’re not ready for,
or feeling like their boobs aren’t big enough. Combine that with a lack of sex
and relationship education at school and…well… quite frankly it’s a mess.
So, I wrote the script for this video ‘Porn Vs Reality’. The
video went viral within a day of upload and is now a recommended teaching
resource for secondary school students. This video also made the front-page of
a right-wing newspaper who declared it the death of humanity. Note: This usually means you’ve made A Good Thing 🙂
My vagina looks like
It’s a truth not-very-universally acknowledged that girls
worry their vaginas look like turkeys. In fact, not a day goes by at TheSite
where we don’t hear from someone worrying their vaginal lips are too big and
flappy (thanks again, porn!) It got to such epidemic levels, that I managed to
convince Vlogging GODDESS Hannah Witton to put a turkey hat on and set things
Panic Attack Monster
TheSite is such an incredible resource for anyone
experiencing mental health problems. I learned so much and it fed into my books
so much – particularly self-harm and anxiety disorders. We also did an amazing
project on Anxiety and Depression funded by Comic Relief, that ended in our
Panic Monster campaign – aiming to raise awareness and reduce stigma of panic attacks.
Bodies don’t behave. And young people are more likely to
google their…unusual symptoms than ask friends. So I have spent the best part
of five years writing about smelly willies, hairy nipples, missing periods, swollen ballsacks, tight foreskins, and ingrown bikini hairs. I’d like to thank
the amazing Dr Ranj, who was always happy to offer some medical insight about
all these – usually during an explicit phonecall before 10am.
A real highlight for me was getting shortlisted as Sexual
Health Journalist of the Year for my article about condom-related erectile dysfunction
(otherwise known as ‘The Condom Flop). Photo of the Editorial Team at the Sexual Health Awards with Dr Ranj below.
So, what next?
It’s been the most incredible five years. Working at TheSite
has – without a doubt – made me a better writer, and mostly just a better
person. My colleagues have been amazing and inspiring and I’ve enjoyed every moment of my time here. But the Spinster Club trilogy is getting so
exciting that I really don’t have the time to spin both my TheSite plate and my
authoring plate anymore. But I hope to continue working with them ad-hoc, both
as a writer and as a relationship advisor. And leaving is giving me time to write
A Very Exciting New Book
So goodbye TheSite! It’s going to continue to be such a huge support for young people, long after I’ve left. Growing up isn’t always easy, but this website really does help.
I’m so excited to announce that Am I Normal Yet? has been selected for World Book Night 2016! OMFG GUYS OMFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFG! I AM SO EXCITED I WANT TO GO BUY A GOLDEN TOP HAT!
World Book Night is an annual celebration of reading that takes place on Saturday 23 April. It sees passionate volunteers give out hundreds of thousands of books in their communities to share their love of reading with people who don’t read regularly or own books.
This year, there are 15 books on
the World Book Night list – with Am I Normal Yet? featuring alongside works from amazing authors and poets including Carol Ann Duffy, Matt Haig, Jonathan Coe and Sarah Hilary.
To see the full list of books and to find out more about how and when you can volunteer go to wwww.worldbooknight.org.
It’s only one of the special limited-edition proofs of HOW HARD CAN LOVE BE? with its exclusive anti-Valentine’s Day DOUBLE FRONT COVER?!
These should be tumbling their way out of the Usborne office into the hands of lucky bloggers and reviewers and competition winners soon! Keep an eye out on my Twitter if you want to get your hands on one. But, if you can’t get one, FRET NOT. Because these proofs won’t have AMBER’S ARTWORK inside, starting each chapter. The finished copies will. I’ve had a sneaky peek at the artwork and it is STONKINGLY beautiful. Plus, the first print-run is going to have exclusive content too. So there is SO MUCH to look forward to which is why I am so CAPS-LOCK this morning.
Here’s a peek at the inside cover of the DOUBLE FRONT COVER…