I absolutely love the Ladybird series, so I am over the moon to have the author, Jenny McLachlan on the blog to tell us seven secrets about the final book in the series, Star Struck.
1) Star Struck opens with Pearl trying to get her confiscated mobile back from her headteacher. People sometimes think that students who get into trouble at school don’t enjoy being there, but this isn’t always the case. Pearl much prefers being at school to being at home and is close to a lot of her teachers even though she drives them mad in lessons. I taught quite a few students like Pearl when I was a teacher.
2) The action in Star Struck takes place around a musical production of Romeo and Juliet. I always wanted to be in school productions when I was a teenager, but I was too shy. Once I went to audition for Nightshriek, a musical Macbeth, but I chickened out and ended up turning pages for the boy playing the piano. Writing allows me to indulge in a lot of wish fulfilment!
3) Pearl’s family don’t have much money and they live on a farm. Urban poverty is perhaps better represented in YA fiction than rural poverty, but I thought living on an isolated farm suited Pearl’s story.
4) Hoshi is the new girl who arrives at Pearl’s school and who refuses to be intimidated by Pearl. Hoshi’s mum is Japanese and this allowed me to include a lot of references to Japanese culture, which I love. I’ve visited Japan and found it a fascinating country. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pearl ended up living in Tokyo one day. Yes, I’ve created adult lives for my fictitious characters!
5) Pearl’s brother Alfie is probably the nastiest character I’ve created and I wanted the air to prickle with tension whenever he stepped into a room.
6) When I planned Star Struck, Pearl fell in love with a different character, but as I was writing it became clear that there was one character who was a match for Pearl. The kiss in Star Struck was my favourite one to write!
7) Originally, Star Struck ended in Japan and Pearl played a different character in Romeo and Juliet, but this changed dramatically thanks to a great idea from my husband (cheers, Ben!) and the realisation as I was writing that I didn’t need the final planned chapter. I still get goose bumps thinking about the last scene in Star Struck. Go, Pearl!
I can't wait to find out what happens in the end now!
Star Struck is published TODAY!
In a huge fantastic final hurrah to our lovable heroines - Bea, Betty, Kat and Pearl - Jenny McLachlan's latest book tells Pearl's story. Pearl is the 'bad girl' of the group - she drinks, she smokes, she swears - and she's mean to Bea and Betty. But she did fly halfway round the world to rescue Kat in Sunkissed. If there's one thing Pearl knows deep down, it is how to be a friend. And now, more than ever, she could really use a friend.
To find out more about Jenny Maclachlan: