Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Young Editor - Kate

My lastest blog for Girls Heart Books

Back in 2008 when I started working on the book which became Ask Amy Green: Boy Trouble, I had a dilemma. My main character, Amy was and still is thirteen (it’s been a long, dramatic year for Amy!), but it had been a long time since I was a teen. Maybe things had changed, moved on. Maybe girls weren’t as boy, fashion and friend obsessed as I had been at thirteen. I decided that before I went any further I needed to find out how modern teens thought, and most importantly felt about everything. Which is where Kate came in.

Kate was in my son’s class at the time – 6th class at Glenageary/Killiney National School – and was and still is a huge reader. She is smart, funny and chatty, and I asked her to gather some friends - Emma, Sinead and Isobel - and meet me in a coffee shop to talk all things teen. It was wonderfully interesting and informative, and I came away knowing for sure that although, yes, a lot of things had changed for girls since I was a teen, a lot of things were exactly the same. A lot of the hopes, dreams, aspirations, fears and worries sounded so familiar I could almost taste them.

It was both helpful and inspirational – they are such great girls! And it made me realise how cool Irish teenagers are and how much I wanted to write for them, give them the kind of books they deserved: funny, smart, immersive books set in Dublin. Most of the books Irish teens read are set in the US or England. We are a small country of four million people (smaller than Birmingham!) and this year I’m delighted to report that this year many other new Irish authors have started to write books for teens set in Ireland.

Above is a picture of Kate and Emma and if you’d like to find out more about them check out my Amy Green Fanzine here.

Kate is now sixteen and is heading towards important exams, so I’m looking for some new young editors. She’ll always be part of the Amy Green team of course, I couldn’t do it without her!

So I’m holding a competition to find some new young editors in September – when the new Amy Green book, Love and Other Drama-Ramas is out – I’ll put the details up on the Girls Heart Books site, so watch this space!