Della Says…..

OMG. ‘Della’s over the moon when she kisses her long-standing crush at a party – but then she discovers her diary has disappeared…
When scans of embarrassing pages are sent to her mobile and appear on Facebook, Della’s distraught – how can she enjoy her first proper romance when someone, somewhere, knows all her deepest, darkest secrets?’

Keris Stainton has written this YA novel and rather than repeat how amazingly fabulous this book is (and it is – trust me, you will LOVE IT) I decided, as part of Keris’ blog tour, to interview Keris about some aspects of the book that interest me and, hopefully, you!

Q: I expect a lot of people have asked you this before, but how did you begin writing young adult novels?

Keris: I’m not actually sure. I’d been writing adult novels for a while and hadn’t managed to finish one. I was thinking about how your identity can often become fixed from childhood – how one child is often thought of as the clever one or the fat one or the lazy one and how that can inform your self-image right into adulthood. I started thinking if there was any way you could change that and thought of amnesia – basically if I’d had a blow to the head and not remembered that I was supposed to be the clever, fat, sensible one would I still have BEEN the clever, fat, sensible one or would it basically have given me a do-over. So I wrote that book (it’s called Forget Me Not) and absolutely loved writing it. I found it much easier than I’d ever found writing the adult novels and then I had another idea for a YA book and it grew from there…

Q: ‘Della says OMG’ is about a girl who interacts with social networking and electronic communications. How did you come up with this idea? Do you think most young people will identify with this?

Keris: I just thought about how horrified I was at the thought of anyone reading my diary when I was a teen and how much easier it would be to spread something like that around these days. You only have to look at how fast something like an inappropriate email can spread (and the consequences it can have). I hope young people will identify with this. I know people are using social media from such a young age these days (younger than they’re supposed to). When I did a talk to 10-year-olds in my son’s school, one of the first questions they asked me was “Are you on Facebook?”

Q: There has been a lot in the press recently about online identity and cyberbullying. How does Della fit into this?

Keris: I can’t say too much about that really without giving away the plot. One thing that worries Della is that she gets a message on Facebook from someone she doesn’t know and can’t remember accepting as a friend. Personally, I don’t accept anyone I don’t know on Facebook.

Q: Did you do a lot of research for the book online?

Keris: I didn’t do a huge amount of research, no. There’s only actually one incident involving Facebook, most of the other methods of broadcasting Della’s diary are a bit more old school 🙂

Q: You have a fairly prolific online presence. Did this help in writing the book?

Keris: I don’t think it helped with the content, no. But it certainly helped with writing it in general. The thing I love about social media is the support. My blog, Twitter, Facebook and the various forums of which I’m a member all act as a virtual cheering squad and instant research network. Plus it’s just great to have people to chat to when you’re sitting at home alone and in a world of your own!

Q: What other types of writing do you do?

Keris: Lots of blogging for various sites. Journalism – I’ve written for various parenting magazines, a couple of national newspapers, some women’s magazines. I enjoy it, but I prefer fiction. I’ve also written an adult novel that I need to edit soon.

Q: What’s your next book about? When is it due out?

Keris: It’s about a girl from Manchester who spends the summer in New York. It’s about first love and chance meetings and finding yourself. And it’s due out next summer.

I’d like to thank Keris for the interview. I certainly know how Della and Keris feel about teenage diaries. I remember writing in the front of mine: ‘Anyone who reads this is nosy.’ Which was enough to get me grounded for months. This book brought back lots of memories about first crushes and teenage worries which made me smile a lot.

Buy Della Says: OMG – it’s a brilliant book about teenage lovedupness!