Monthly Archives: February 2011

On… thank yous

I have been a very poor blogger of late, my friends, as I am in the very last stretch of the first draft of my next book.

But I want to say thank you.

Because yesterday I found out that A Girl Like You sold over 10,000 copies in the first six weeks of publication in the UK alone.

This is, of course, small fry compared to the James Pattersons of the world, but for a girl who just wrote a couple of books because she was fed up with never finding the kind of comfort-read-with-balls she craved sometimes, it’s just… amazing. Kind of mind-blowing, actually.

So, anyway. Thank you to all you lovely lovely people who bought a copy and especially thank you to everyone who has emailed to say that they enjoyed it. I love your emails. You are the most delightful, hilarious and talented readers a girl could ever wish for. And I like your hair. And your shoes.


On… Friday mornings

Did you ever do that thing where you wake up and think, oooh, I’m going to go for a walk, and so you get up and you go for a walk and peoplewatch and eavesdrop for a while, and then you get a coffee, and then you walk home, and then you check your emails, and you email your mum back because you didn’t email her yesterday and you owe her like three emails, and you reply to a few emails from friends, then you check Twitter, and then you check Topshop out of habit even though you’re not shopping right now but just in case it has something you’ve wanted for years like the perfect flowery teadress or the hot pink Sakura heels you missed out on in 2009 though thank God you got them in electric blue because they honestly go with everything, and then think ‘ooo, haven’t looked at ASOS in a while’, so you look at that but you wonder if the ASOS materials will feel like the material that camping tents are made from because they often do, and then you think I wonder what I should wear this weekend so you check the weather, and then you think about how much happier you’ll be getting dressed when it’s warmer outside and you can wear bare legs because bare legs are really your thing, and then you think about all the weddings you have this summer and how you have nothing to wear to them so you look at NetAPorter for awhile and play Pretend Spend, and then you look at TheOutnet which is often really good like those J Brand skinny jeans that you got for like 65% off, then you think ‘should really check the news’ so you go to and then you go to just to round things out and then you think, hmmm, what a nice morning I’m having.

And then you remember that you have work to do – or, oh, I don’t know, a book to write – and you have just wasted an hour and really should get a grip on reality?

Snap. Me too.

On… Junk Kouture

On the weekend I caught up with my niece, Lisa, who is 15 and lives in Dublin. She showed me some photos of an awesome outfit she and a friend designed and made themselves. They came runner-ups in a design competition called ‘Junk Kouture’.

The outfit is titled ‘Party in the USA’.

How cool is it?! I would totally wear the shoes. The dress is made from woven, rolled and taped magazine pages. It’s dramatic but totally intricate. The shoes have hundreds of thumb-tacks in them and those huge pompoms are rolled up rubber bands.

If I was the kind of smart person who analyzed art, I’d say this was a bold, witty statement about the impact of celebrity magazines on fashion and pop culture, and the disposable nature of tabloid journalism. Only I’d probably say it better than that. Because I’d be smart.

What do you think?

On… copywriting tips

Let’s face it, most of my blog posts are the dillydallying type. I ponder, and
chat, and wander off point, and put in little asides. Then I have to use a lot of ‘So,’ or ‘Anyway,’ type words, to get back to the point. And then the point itself tends to drag on.

But that’s okay: it’s a blog. It’s not ad copy. Blogs are all about the dillydally.

Anyway (see?), I got an email from a would-be copywriter today, asking for copywriting tips. And so I thought perhaps I’d post them here. I wrote them like ad copy, so they’re nice and short. Enjoy.


1. Get to the point. I probably won’t read more than the first line.

2. Use the shortest possible words and sentences. So I can skim it and still understand.

3. Don’t bore or confuse me. Use active words and straightforward syntax.

4. Tell me why I should care. How will it make a difference to my life?

5. Don’t overdo it. No exclamation marks, no hyperbole, no grand promises. Smart copy tells, not sells.

And yes, you can do all this and still keep within the brand guidelines and tone of voice. Whether you’re being formal or friendly, medical or mummyish, selling BMW or Bovril, good copy is good copy.

On… NorthWest Magazine

Pretty cringe-making – I am NOT the world’s most natural poser, despite being a total poseur in so many other ways – but check out who is ‘the thinking girl’s chick-lit author’.

Here are a few more photos from the shoot courtesy of Archant and photographer Kristian Hana. Memo to self to not give up the day job till learn to smile without looking like I am also in pain. Also, that cardigan wrap thing that I thought was so cosy-chic is in fact all cosy, no chic. But the jeans are good. They may remain.

I’ll scan the whole feature, written by the lovely Tash Paulini, in as soon as I can.