Crushed Diaries

A blog for Young Adults

Friday, October 13, 2006

Crushed Diaries

I used to be very friendly with an eccentric family who lived in London. The father was a normal businessman, but the rest of the family were very artistic. My friend, the mother didn't have to go out to work but loved to paint at home for fun. As a result, she was always splattered from head to toe with oil paint, even when she went out for dinner to smart restaurants with her husband.

Her daughters were always drawing, painting or making jewellery out of wire coat-hangers and beads. In the summer, they even used to cover an orange box with florescent coloured paper and put their home made jewellery on top of it. They used to sell their home-made, fake jewels to friendly passers-by who willingly gave them coins for their pretty peculiar stuff. The grown-ups didn't seem to mind either when their newly purchased earrings deteriorated as soon as they inserted them in their ears. They admired the girls' initiative. They also respected the girls for being so creative and not wasting their youth glued to the television like a lot of their friends did. The girls would loved to have watched TV all day long if they had their own way, but as their mother wouldn't allow a televison in the house, they had no choice but to be artistic at home.

The youngest daughter looked like an angel, but she was a Leo with a terrible temper. If she didn't get her own way which was most of the time, she used to stramp her feet and scream. When she wasn't being bad tempered, she used to dress up in little spangled skating costumes and ice-skate in the local ice-rink, that her mother drove her to every weekend. She wanted to be a professional ice-skater when she left school.

The eldest daughter was unusual looking, was a good-tempered Libra and wanted to be a cartoonist. But, unlike her younger sister who used to love dressing up and put on makeup, she was a bit of a tomboy and couldn't care less what she looked like. Similar to Door in "Crushed" she was tall and thin, and could easily have been a teen fashion model if she had wanted. But, she couldn't be bothered to look tidy. Maybe, it was because her Mum kept nagging her all the time to make an effort with her appearance, but the eldest daughter wasn't interested in clothes and would have been happy to go to parties in a food-stained plastic bin-liner if she had been allowed to.

Both girls were completely different. They had different interests, went to different schools and didn't share the same friends. But one thing they did have in common was having crushes on pop stars. Their bedroom wall was splattered with posters of their favourite idols.

I used to play tennis with the mother, and often used to go to her house afterwards for a meal. One day, while the whole family and I were eating a Chinese takeaway, my friend suggested - wouldn't it be wonderful if I wrote a book based on her family? What a genius idea I thought, and felt so inspired, that I went away and wrote "Crushed" very quickly - in the space of a few months only. And, considering the book is 250 pages long, that was quite an achievement, believe me.

"Crushed" was definitely inspired by this family, but I made the girls in the book completely different. First of all, in real-life, there wasn't any sibling rivalry between the girls, and in the book they are non-identical twins. Also, in the book, Door loves to play the drums, while Dee in the book is a ballet dancer.

Even though the Brevington family in "Crushed" is completely different from the family in real life, the charachters in the book seem realistic, even though I made them rather mad and eccentric. I think it's always best if you write about what you know, even though it's not the exact truth. After all, writing fiction is a bit like being a fantasist. However, I couldn't resist putting real stuff about the family in the book, like the girls going to different schools, and detail stuff about their bedroom walls being covered in pictures of their current pin-ups. I suppose that's why the girls recognised themselves in the book, even though I was very careful to make them appear completely different.

Copyright: Frances Lynn 2006


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