Crushed Diaries

A blog for Young Adults

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Best Review Ever

An original and quirky writer called Brett Nicholas Moore (Tales of Brother Goose) just gave me my best ever review for Crushed on AD, the American Book Marketing site:

'Crushed' is one of the funniest books, if not the funniest, I have ever read. I thoroughly enjoyed the wit, which was razor sharp with the most hilarious unforgiving character descriptions ever penned. I don't consider myself a fast reader, especially novel size books, but it took me only a few hours to finish it because I was so hooked. I didn't even eat dinner because I didn't want to interrupt my reading. I just had to keep going to find out what was to become of Door and her odd but endearing family. There's not a wasted moment in the story. I never felt like I was being carried off on a tangent that had nothing to do with anything. Every disastrous event builds something in the development of the story and the characters. After I finished reading it, I felt like I would miss the Brevingtons. Exceptional work, Frances. I'm impressed.

Brett Nicholas Moore

The First Time I Lied To My Parents

The first time I lied to my parents was when I was fifteen. I was desperate to go to Middle Earth, a new club which opened at midnight. I knew my parents would never allow me to go, so I didn't even bother to ask them. Christie, my girlfriend had a flat in South Kensington, so I told my parents I was staying the night with her. It was all pretty innocent really, because I really did stay the night at her flat. We just didn’t get any sleep that’s all, because we were out all night clubbing.

After I dumped my overnight bag at her flat, we consumed gallons of black coffee to keep us awake, then caught the last tube to Covent Garden. In those days, everyone wore bells on their fingers and toes. We didn’t go that far but we did put loads of mascara underneath our eyes, so that everyone would think we looked wasted. We didn’t want the clubbers to suspect we were healthy girls who had never stayed up all night before.

We were both really excited after we paid our money and were allowed into the cool subterranean nightclub. There was flickering strobe lighting, and I couldn’t believe I was there watching my fave rock bands play. The clubbers were waving their arms around to the music, so we immediately copied them except I did feel a bit like a windmill doing it.

Christie was a perfect girlfriend to go out with. She was so beautiful that in no time at all, we were surrounded by long haired boys offering to buy us orange juice. They quickly realised she had no conversation, so latched onto me but the music was so loud I couldn't hear what they were saying anyway. One dark haired boy with no shoes on followed Christie into the Ladies Lavatory, but she managed to shake him off.

We emerged from the club at dawn and helped ourselves to some rotting pineapples that the stallholders had thrown into the gutters. It was too early to catch the first tube tube home, but we were so elated that we had stayed up all night, we walked all the way back to South Kensington.

We decided it wasn’t worth going to sleep as I had promised my parents I would be back in time for breakfast. We made a cup of instant coffee and had a discussion about our evening. Except it wasn’t much of a discussion. Christie didn’t speak much so our lingo was all rather one sided.

The doorbell rang, just when we were wilting - we weren't used to staying up all night.
‘It’s a bit early for the postman,’ Christie slowly remarked and went to answer the door.
By this time, she was wearing her quilt pink dressing gown and also looked like a panda. She was in the middle of removing her mascara and was holding a roll of loo paper in her hand. She opened the door and was shocked to see the boy with no shoes from the club. He had followed us all the way back to her flat.
‘I love you,’ was all he said before a startled Christie shut the door on his face.
We were both amazed. Christie had her first stalker. I wished I had one as well, but as I always had to report back early to my parents after they thought I had slept over with Christie from then on, it was a bit difficult.

However, one weekend I went to the club without Christie. She had fallen in love and was refusing to go out of the flat until the boy of her dreams (not her stalker) called her like he had promised. I parked my overnight bag at her place and went out solo, leaving her chainsmoking a million fags.

At the club, a frizzy haired Italian man, who wore an outfit resembling a Greek shepherd asked me if I wanted to go back to his flat to inspect his bathroom floor. But as my parents had given me an early morning curfew, I had to decline. Anyway, I had no interest in viewing bathroom tiles. Also, I remember feeling very sick. Too much excitement and subterfuge had unsettled my stomach, I suppose.

Copyright: Frances Lynn, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Library Talks

It seems like I'm suddenly on the Library circuit in London. Last week, I gave two talks about CRUSHED, my Young Adult novel at St Johns Wood Library in London. An English class of well-read twelve year olds from the local comprehensive actually asked for my autograph afterwards. They are studying "King Lear" at school. Now, Pimlico Children's Library have asked me to give a talk about "Crushed" in May. And, they are going to buy some copies of the book too. I've had such good feedback from readers about "Crushed", I intend to write a sequel. This time, the twins Door and Dee will be sixteen, so I'm asking all the eleven and twelve years I meet what their teenage brothers and sisters get up to.