Sunday 11 September 2016


Today is the final stop on the blog tour for Super Awkward, the hilarious new novel by Beth Garrod! I'm please to share with you all this Q&A with the lady herself.

1. Hi Beth, welcome to The Queen of Teen Fiction! Can you tell us a little bit about your novel, Super Awkward?
Of course! Thanks for asking me. Ok, Super Awkward. It’s about a fifteen year old girl, called Bella Fisher (Fishy Balls, to her ex) and her quest to have just one day pass by without doing something so mortifying she Googles, ‘how much food would I need to buy to officially become a hermit’. It’s a book that’s about friendships, boys – specifically the hottest boy in the world, NO BIG DEAL – and worrying that everyone else has it all figured out. Oh, and there are a lot of crisps in it. And Dairy Milk with Daim.

2. What was it that inspired you to write the story?
I guess I wasn’t inspired as such, it was just getting the chance to write similar sort of stuff as a job (AKA THE DREAM JOB) when I started off at the BBC in Science, and realised I could swap writing about planets, for popstars and periods. Sometimes even popstars having periods. And once I started, I fell in love, and as my job changed it was the thing I carried on doing as a hobby. I have also spoken to some many young people who feel as if they’re the only ones who feel like they don’t fit in, or are worrying about weird stuff – so if just one person feels a bit happier at the end of a day, or realises that, like Bella, it’s totally normal to not have stuff figured out, I will die happy (ARGH, I’M PROBABLY NOT MEANT TO WRITE ABOUT DEATH WHEN TALKING ABOUT A BOOK ABOUT SNOGGING, I’M REALLY SORRY).

3. Tell us about your main character, Bella! What do you think readers will love about her?
Bella. Hmmm. Well, what I hope readers will love about her, is that she’s constantly trying to get stuff right, which only makes her get it all more wrong. And, in life, I know I much prefer people with good intentions that those with good life skills. I also hope they also love her dog, as she was based on my very own dog when I was a teenager (RIP Mumbles) (ARRRRGHHHHH, I’M TALKING ABOUT DEATH AGAIN).

4. What was the most challenging part of the writing process for you?
Not writing about death all the time cos I’m clearly obsessed with it.
NO. Obvs that was a joke.
I’m really disorganised, and don’t plan anything, so for me the hardest parts were trying to make things happen in the right place.
I also cringe at writing kissing stuff (lucky Bella isn’t exactly a snogging lothario, or I’d be in trouble), and I don’t enjoy the bits where stuff isn’t working out. SPOILER – THINGS DON’T ALWAYS WORK OUT. (But mainly they do). (But sometimes they don’t).

5. Do you have a favourite writing place?
No – I’m so lazy, that wherever I’m sitting down is my favourite place. And you mainly have to be sitting down to write, as it’s a real trip hazard if you’re trying to walk and type on a laptop. Although, it is extra lovely to be able to see nice things out of the window, and one weekend by the sea in a little village in Cornwall was probably my absolute favourite. Don’t know how much writing I got done though, as I was too busy trying to look intelligent, and literary, while gazing out of the window.

6. What made you want to write for a YA audience?
Guess that comes back to question two. Because it’s the audience that I think is funniest, and most interesting. And YA books are my favourite. You’ve got to write something that you’d want to read, as you’re going to read it more than anything else in your whole life (other than adverts on the tube).

7. What were your own favourite books to read as a teenager?
Anything by Judy Blume. Anything with a horse in it. If Judy Blume had written about horses falling in love, I would have been in heaven. I also got really into my parents’ murder mystery books (BACK ON THE DEATH THING AGAIN). And Diana Wynne Jones was incredible. I think variety is an amazing thing.

8. Finally, what have been your own super awkward moments?
How long have you got?
I’m also really happy you haven’t added ‘as a teenager’ as I’m still racking them up now. Obvs I’m going to pretend the ones in the book are totally fictional, and I definitely didn’t text a boy a liked with a message meant for my friend, describing said boy as ‘world’s fittest man’. (If he’s reading this now, I would like to claim in my defence, that it was just extra early research for my book, not actually a mortifying mistake). A couple of weeks ago I stayed in a posh hotel – after a mini-camping trip. While one of the staff was giving me side-eye, I tried to wiggle something out of my suitcase, but accidently flicked a slug on the wall. It must have been wanting to swap campsite life, for a turndown service. Or there’s the time I knocked myself out walking into a wall (I got two weeks off school – actually quite a result). Or had someone (an actual stranger) on a packed tube point out I’d got my top on inside out. Or the time I accidentally threw three tampons out of my bag and into the lap of an old man. The list is too endless. Which is why it’s never fun taking life too seriously. As you’re only ever a second away from choking on a Pringle.

Huge thank you to Beth for the awesome answers! Super Awkward is available to buy now, and you can read my thoughts here. If you've missed any of the stops of the tour, but sure to check out the blogs that have taken part!

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