Hey guys! So on Wednesday 6th April I attended a book event of Holly Smale’s (author of the wonderful Geek Girl series) to promote book 5 “Head Over Heels” (released 7th April – TODAY! GO GET IT!)
Head Over Heels (Geek Girl #5) by Holly Smale
Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Summary from Goodreads: “My name is Harriet Manners, and I will always be a geek.”
The fifth book in the bestselling, award-winning GEEK GIRL series.
Harriet Manners knows almost every fact there is.
She knows duck-billed platypuses don’t have stomachs.
She knows that fourteen squirrels were once detained as spies.
She knows only one flag in the world features a building.
And for once, Harriet knows exactly how her life should go. She’s got it ALL planned out. So when love is in the air, Harriet is determined to Make Things Happen!
If only everyone else would stick to the script…
Has GEEK GIRL overstepped the mark, and is following the rules going to break hearts all over again?
It was so much fun and I learnt a lot, which is always a plus. I was front row and centre. Felt a bit self conscious but it was okay. Holly was asked a number of good questions, including one from yours truly. Most of which I’m going to talk about with you now.
When asked if she would show her early work to family or friends, Holly said she used to show it to her mum but soon lost confidence with her after she was told “it’s good but it won’t sell.”
There were a few writing questions asked, which I always like to hear. She explained how she writes one first draft and then completely rewrites it for second draft. Then there’s small amounts of editing done after that.
Holly said that when she goes to bed, she’ll close her eyes, and let her imagination weave a story and the characters develop in her head, though not always the names. She uses baby books for those. For some names she uses friends names, too. I thought that was interesting because sometimes my ideas come when I’m trying to sleep, but as I told her, I mostly forget to write them down. Haha.
Her mum inspired her to start writing at a young age and she was read poetry as a kid.
Good news: Holly has a short story coming out in the summer, which isn’t actually that short anymore. She said about how it was supposed to be like the Christmas story – length wise – but has turned out to be a lot longer. She’s also writing another short story to go at the back of that, which will be from a different characters POV, showing their view of Harriet. She won’t say who, though. Sigh.
When asked if there would be a film on her books, she said there may be some news in the pipeline (on film/tv adaptation for Geek Girl.) Fingers crossed! I’m not sure how I feel about that, but it’d certainly be interesting to see how they’d portray it.
All of the trips involved in the book were places she’s been to: Russia she went to on a school trip. She lived in Japan for 3 years to teach, that’s why there’s a lot of detail in second book. Book 3 was set in New York, and she went there as a research trip. Book 4 was Morocco, which she went back to for research. Book 5 is set in India and she went there for 3 months. Holly explained how Book 5 was originally going to be set in Cambodia but she found it didn’t feel right so she changed it.
When it comes to the romance, Holly states that Nick, the so-called hero of the series, hasn’t been present since book 3. She wants to make the relationship between Harriet and Nick healthy and logical. Harriet’s life doesn’t end when she doesn’t have love in it.
I braved my anxiety and asked whether any of the characters were based off people she knows or if they just popped into her head…here’s her answer. (Paraphrased. Obviously.):
Some of the characters are based off real people like Richard (based off her dad), her dad would give a list of jokes to add to the books. Harriet is loosely based on her. She based Toby off Edward Cullen, stating that if you take away the hotness, the behaviour isn’t good. Rin is based off a friend she made in Japan. And in general she picks up seeds of different people and combines them.
There was much more that Holly said, and was asked, but I felt like these were the more relevant points to mention. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I’ll have another one up tomorrow in which I talk about seeing Alexandra Bracken, Melinda Salisbury and Eliza Wass.
Oh and here’s a mug shot of me with Holly: