Here’s something cool that I can’t stop thinking about and has been ever-present with me since writing Venom.
The three girls in the picture with me all went to the same high school as me but we did not get along. Not saying who was the queen bee or the meanest or the outcast (Okay I was TOTALLY the loser) and I never EVER would have dared sit near them in school.
Then a few years ago, we met up when I organised the reunion (short straw they’re most of the former students are lucky I didn’t have pigs blood waiting- but I do love to host parties!!!) and got to be Facebook acquaintances. THEN, 2 years later, I started writing a Mermaid story and decided that after years of passing my silly little novels off to my mum or best friend or boyfriend- I’d give it to people who would be honest with me- two of which had been bullies once. I didn’t know how any of them felt about me- but I did know that they’d been, uh, bluntly honest with me 10 years before and that they all read so I held my breath and passed it along.
Well, they loved it. They read the first 3 books as soon as I handed them over, often chapter by chapter. THEY’RE the ones who indicated that I’d done a certain ‘boat scene’ well (I’d never written a sec scene EVER out of 30 novels before that!) and suffered through 5 or 6 re-writes. They were the first to tell me to publish and then jumped on the wagon when I self-published, bought the first copies and have shared my posts the most and have read and reviewed every book since!
We weren’t a clique then, but we are now and what I love about them so much is that when three of us went away a few months ago and left the 4th behind- she wasn’t spoken about except to be praised, and she was in our selfies thanks to my printer.
THAT’S friendship- when the only thing you have to say about a friend when her back is turned, is how much you miss her.
I love these ladies in my ‘evil trio’ so much! And I know, there are times in the last few years when I would have given up on everything if not for their support! The little chat group we started to discuss the books has been going for 3 years because we’re almost always too busy to get together- but we talk all day long, every day and I cannot believe that high school stood between me and my soul mates for 10 years!
Girls I know I’m busy and that I haven’t had a chance to help you even 1/500th of how you helped me- but I love you so much, and Snakebite is going to be dedicated to you and my mum and yes, when we make The Marked Ones movie, you still have dibs on oiling up the Tristan actor, even though I’ve amassed hundreds of fans who’d kill for the chance and have helped me so much since!
(Bros for the special hoes!)
And to any of my young adult readers, who are struggling with female friendships like Bronte- don’t lose heart! The best parts of high school might be waiting for you ten years down the track! I didn’t get my first boyfriend back, a clique OR on a cheerleading squad until I was in my twenties and it felt even BETTER!