A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

Happy book birthday Holly Bourne


Spinster Club girls Evie, Amber and Lottie are having a New Year party to remember! For the first time since leaving college, all three girls are back together. It’s time for fun and flirting, snogs and shots. (And not tears and tantrums and horrible secrets.) Because everything’s going right for these girls Spinster Club for ever! Right?

Get ready for some serious partying – and some major New Year’s revelations – from everyone’s favourite cheesy-snack-loving feminists.

Rhian: Happy publication day! The Spinsters have been a huge success and this Spinster Club Special is going to go down a treat with fans. I’ve read that you had a Spinster Club when you were younger, where did you get the idea from? Did anyone give you grief for it or try and copy your club?

Holly: It was quite a private club and much less political than the Spinster Club I write about. It only really involved eating wotsits and dancing around our bedrooms.

Rhian: Who doesn’t love wotsits and dancing?

Holly: Surprisingly, it didn’t really catch on.


Rhian: *surprised face* So what was your most memorable NYE?

Holly: Getting sort-of dumped just before midnight.

Rhian: Smooth mover.

Holly: Yep. That happened. But it’s ok, because I’ve put it in a book.

Rhian: Cathartic and the very best kind of revenge. And how about now, what do you do to celebrate NYE and how does this compare to when you were a teen?

Holly: The best thing about being an adult on New Year’s Eve is realising the whole night is a farce and accepting you will never have fun. Ever.


Rhian: Not even when good old regular pub charges you hideous amounts of money to get in because it is New Year’s Eve.

Holly: Exactly, so you can just stay in, relax and eat a whole baked camembert to yourself which, actually, is pretty fun.


Rhian: How much did editing inform your Spinster books?

Holly: It was great for just being aware of all the different issues you have going on at that age. Although, that said, these issues haven’t changed much since I was a teen. It’s all still the same worries about being normal, feeling lonely, feeling like you’re the only one who worries about being normal and lonely. I don’t know if that’s reassuring or depressing…

Rhian: Bit of both I guess. So what kind of questions do teen readers ask you most? Is there a particular question that you always get asked?

Holly: It’s always questions with the word ‘normal’ in it. Is my vagina normal? Are my thoughts normal? Is my sex life normal?

Rhian: That’s what I liked best about Am I normal yet? I think the title allows readers to really examine what that word means and that there isn’t a perfect answer.

Holly: That’s what prompted me to write ‘Am I Normal Yet?’ – to let young people know there’s no such thing as normal! Apart from maybe worrying you’re not normal.



Rhian: And I’m so glad you did. It’s such a great book to recommend. What’s the best bit of relationship advice you’ve been given?

Holly: The most important relationship in your life is your relationship with yourself. Get that right, and all the others fall into place.

Rhian: That’s great advice! If you were stuck on a desert island with the spinsters who would

a) drive you mad?

b)make you laugh the most

c) be the most practical and Bear Grylls about the experience?

Holly: Probably Lottie for all 3!

Rhian: *wonders if that means Lottie is Holly’s favourite?* Now you’ve probably been told this before but your books remind me of Louise Rennison’s, has she been an influence on your writing? Any other authors who’ve made you the writer you are today?

Holly: Louise is my biggest influence by miles! I loved her style, her comedy, her dialogue.


Caitlin Moran is also a huge influence of mine too. We share a love of EXCITABLE CAPS LOCK

Rhian: CAN’T BEAT A BIT OF CAPS LOCK TO REALLY GET YOUR POINT ACROSS. I think Caitlin Moran really should be made Queen of the World. Now, if you were Queen of the World what changes would you make to improve the state of our teens’ mental health?

Holly: I am just writing a book about this very topic! So hang on until 2018 and all will be revealed…

Rhian: Colour me intrigued. On that note what’s been the biggest breakthrough we’ve had in the growing public awareness about mental health?

Holly: This is a hard question!

Rhian: It is, I thought I’d give you a tricky one halfway through just to keep you interested.

Holly: I think high-profile people ‘coming out’ as it were has been helpful for awareness but I want the conversation to be moved on. It’s not enough to be aware of mental illness, we need to support people better and also ask questions about what causes mental illness in the first place.


Rhian: Is there anything you wouldn’t write about and why?

Holly: I’m quite a private person so can’t imagine ever writing an autobiography.

Rhian: So no Daily Mail serialisation of Holly Bourne’s Best Bits any time soon.

Holly: No! That said, I’m so boring, no-one would want it anyway. All I do is read books in my pyjamas and occasionally, reluctantly, leave the house to buy milk for my tea.

Rhian: Sounds like every writer I’ve ever met. So no glossy shots of Holly at Home in OK or Hello but how about a film/dramatization of your Spinster books is there anyone out there good enough to play Evie, Amber and Lottie?

Holly: They’d have to be legit British otherwise nope. Not in a Brexit way… more I don’t want a repeat of Anne Hathaway’s Yorkshire accent in One Day way.


Rhian: *shudders* no-one wants that, no-one. Moving quickly on, what’s next for you now you’ve written your final spinster book?

Holly: I have a standalone book out next October that I’m SO excited about! I can’t say much yet apart from it’s a romance set in a cinema. And anyone who followed my #BestMovieKiss hashtag will be very happy indeed.

Rhian: That sounds interesting. I’ll just leave this here


while I go and look up #BestMovieKiss hashtag. Thanks Holly. Holly? Holly?

Holly: *lost in a Keanu haze*



Holly spends her days helping young people with their problems. She spends her nights writing YA novels about young people with problems. She’s a journalist and relationship expert for, a charity-run advice and information website for 16-25 year-olds, and gets her feminist rant on for The Vagenda too. Her first two books, Soulmates and The Manifesto on How To Be Interesting, have been translated into six languages.

Her favourite things to complain loudly about are: the stigma of mental health, women’s rights, and the under-appreciation of Keanu Reeve’s acting ability. She also has a famous Grandpa, cartoonist Larz Bourne, who created the Deputy Dawg series.








About rhianivory

I am a YA author, Creative Writing tutor and workshop leader. I have 4 novels published by Bloomsbury under my pen name Rhian Tracey. The Boy who drew the Future will be published on September 17th 2015 by Firefly Press. HOPE will be published September 2017 by Firefly Press.


This entry was posted on November 1, 2016 by .

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