Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Teens, Tweens and Queens


When I first started writing longish stories, I thought I was writing for kids aged around eight. Then I was told no, these are 'tweenager' books. It was a term I hadn't come across, meaning in-betweenies, pre-teens, sort of 9-13ies. Then I started finding some of my books in the 'Teen' section of bookshops, and I started to think, hang on, how did that happen? Do I really belong alongside Jennifer Donnelly?? I think not. Then came 'Young Adult', and all of a sudden, 'Teen' started to mean 'Early Teen'. Are you with me so far? I said, are you with me so far?? Oh, you nodded off; sorry. The point is, it's all terribly confusing, if you ask me. And if 'Teen'+'Girls'=snogging, then I'm afraid I score pretty low down on the snogometer. It's not what my books are about.

So when I was asked along to the Queen of Teen awards, I thought, what the hey, okay. Not sure if I qualify, but why not? And if there are 'crossover' children's books that adults enjoy reading, then I'm sure it's possible to crossover from kids' to teen, and I'm only too delighted for that to happen, ladies.

Some are born pink, some achieve
pinkness, and some have pinkness thrust upon `em: I literally had pinkness thrust upon me, in the shape of a satin sash; I was then installed beside a pile of copies of the second Lulu Baker book, Cupid Cakes (snogometer alert: one or two very tame references!!) after which even more pinkness was thrust upon me, in the form of the fabbishly attired young ladies you see above (who look a lot like tweenagers to me anyway!)


As a not-quite-teen writer (I'm still only twelve) I didn't expect to win; in fact, I wasn't even shortlisted. But Sophie McKenzie (left) and I were nominated, apparently, so our consolation prize, rather like at the Oscars, was to announce the winner, the truly magnificent Louise Rennison, author of all those Georgia Nicholson books with the wonderful titles like Startled By His Furry Shorts. Here she is (below) looking startled but as far as I know, not because Ted Smart was wearing furry shorts (he was perfectly decently attired when I saw him, in the pinkiest pinkest pink sweater I have EVER seen on a man).

Other nominees included the equally magnifique Dame Jacqueline Wilson and my personal fave, the very funny and gorgeous Diane Keaton lookalike Karen McCombie (left).

From Tiaras to Earrings
I had to run away early because – and this is going to sound appallingly luvvyish – I had a ticket for the West End opening night of the stage adaptation of a truly excellent book, Tracy Chevalier's Girl With A Pearl Earring. Go and see it! You'll love it. It stars Kimberly Nixon and Adrian Dunbar...no, before you ask, I'm not related to him either (see FAQs; previous posts). Although spookily, he is a neighbour of mine. I think I'm beginning to sense a thread on Dunbars I'm Not Related To...

6 comments:

Candy Gourlay said...

that photo alone of you in pink sash with pink fans is worth the trip! my lot here in tufnell park are now reading cupid cakes, incidentally. we finally found cupid cakes AND choc wishes at the highgate bookstore!

my daughter says she won't be reading anything else (apart from lulu baker books) until tiger lily gold comes out. wonder if there's a pre-order on amazon ...

fionadunbar said...

Yes, Highgate are very good at stocking my books.

Re: Mia: oh dear! I mean, I'm REALLY flattered, but it won't do at all, especially as I'm STILL tinkering with it, and it won't be out until next spring.

I'm going to have to start writing faster, aren't I?

Katherine Langrish said...

Love the pictures, Fiona! And congratulations on the TV series - even it it isn't 'quite' faithful to your books...

fionadunbar said...

Thanks Kath! Well, it can't possibly be 'faithful', as it's not a straight adaptation. Would be lovely to think that one of those might happen someday, but we all dream of that, don't we? I bet your readers are always asking when the Troll Fell movie's going to be made!

Candy Gourlay said...

what? tiger lily gold isn't out until next spring? shall i have the girls picket your house?

seriously, she says she WON'T read anything else. it's a problem because there's secondary school admissions and i should at least get her to read War and Peace.

come on. write faster.

fionadunbar said...

I'm sorry! Will try harder. Meanwhile, you of all people can think of other books to try her on, I'm sure!