This is the official website of Sarra Manning, author or You Don't Have To Say You Love Me and Unsticky » guitar girl
Posted by Sarra on December 26, 2007 at 11:38 am

Happy Giftmas, readers!

I’m still in a food coma, but can just about move enough to post my send present to you: an interview with Molly from Guitar Girl. I think I did this for my US publishers when the book was first published in the States in 2004 so some of the references may be a bit dated. Oh, and the subject title is from a song by Helen Love, which reminds me of Molly a little bit. Of course, we find out what Molly did next thanks for her guest starring role in Let’s Get Lost. (And you’ll never guess who shows up in Fashionistas: Irina!)

1. Why did you decide to start a band?
“Because I heard Kelly Clarkson on the radio and knew that it didn’t have to be like this. And I loved Ruby X and her music and I wanted to touch people like she’s touched me.”

2. What inspires your music?
Everything. Emily Strange, watching rain-drops trickle down the windows of the tour-bus, messy-haired boys, Chunky KitKats, running down hills really fast.

3. What advice would you give to other girls who want to start a band?
It’s very simple:
1. Believe that you want to be in a band more than you want anything else in the world.
2. Form a band.
3. Play your first show as soon after that as humanly possible.

4. What’s on your iPod?
“My iPod is broken because Dean got really drunk one night and decided to dunk it in a glass of diet Coke to see if it would float because he’s deeply and frequently idiotic. But I did compile a really ace mix CD last night to get us all pepped up before we go on stage. Hang on, while I dig it out of my bag. OK:
1. Give Him A Great Big Kiss – The Shangri-Las
2. 40 Boys In 40 Nights – The Donnas
3. Is This What I Get For Loving You Baby? – The Ronettes
4. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head – Kylie Minogue
5. Oh! – Sleater Kinney
6. Bitch Goddess – Ruby X
7. I Know What Boys Like – The Waitresses

It kinda goes on like that and you should be able to download these songs off the interpipe. Hmmm, not that I would ever encourage doing anything like that, ’cause it’s illegal and stuff.

5. How do you handle groupies?
“I don’t get groupies. I get cool girls who want to talk about hairslides. I get not-so-cool girls who demand that I give Dean their phone numbers. And I get really geeky boys who want to know what the chord sequence is for the bridge in Hello Kitty Speedboat. So, no groupies but that would be too scary to cope with anyway.

6. So what’s the deal with you and Dean?
“What deal? There is no deal. There’s just Dean.”

7. And how do you feel about there being ‘just Dean’?
“It’s a cross I have to bear.”

8. You know that people think you’re seeing each other.
“Well, we are in a band together. You kind of have to see each other for that to work out.”

9. You know exactly what I mean, don’t you?
“I do. And I really don’t want to go there. It’s just… y’know… too complicated. Next question.”

10. Do you regret telling the press that you were a virgin?
“Oh God! It was just a tiny slip-up, I didn’t even use the v-word and then it was all over the papers, along with the words “reluctant sex symbol.” It was just hideous. To come down for breakfast and your Dad’s reading the paper and there’s a story about his daughter’s sex life. Or lack of it. And now everything’s changed and people are still banging on about it.

11. When you say everything’s changed, does that mean that you’re not a virgin?
“It means that you better think of another question if you want this interview to continue.”

12. What’s the best thing about being famous?
“I’m still trying to figure that one out. I s’pose it’s meeting really amazing people. Like, girls who come up to me after we’ve played a show and they’re all beautiful and they get what I’m trying to do and it makes me remember why I started a band and what it’s all meant to be about. And, though it sounds really shallow, I’ve also got to meet some heroes of mine though that isn’t fun so much as trying really hard not to wet myself.”

13. How does it feel to be the voice of disenfranchised girlkind?
“Am I? I get a lot of that. ‘Ooooh, you’re the voice of your generation’, and if I’m the voice of my generation, then my generation is royally screwed. Most of the time, I don’t even know what I want for dinner, let alone be able to speak up for anyone else. I don’t think girlkind is disenfranchised, I just think that boys don’t understand anything about us so they have to use long, negative words to describe us ’cause it makes them feel better.”

14. What do you then when you’re not being disenfranchised?
“Oh ha ha! I hang out with Jane and Tara. I watch my Buffy DVDs. I post on my blog. I scour charity shops for interesting t-shirts and I eat lots and lots of chocolate. And cheese and onion crisps.”

15. And what are you going to do after this interview’s over?
“Probably worry about all the things I shouldn’t have said. And I have a meeting with my manager to discuss who’s going to do be doing our merchandising. Then I’m going to go home and do my laundry. It’s not very rock ‘n’ roll, is it?”

Posted by Sarra on December 21, 2007 at 8:34 pm

To start my Chrismukkah extravaganze, I’m going to give you a pictorial guide to the Guitar Girl cover.

First there was this picture of Courtney Love, which I loved like a fat kid love cake:

I sent it to my publishers, who used the Courtney pic as inspiration and came up with this. Yikes!:

I ranted. I raved. I had to have a lie down every time I looked at the picture on the back cover. But once I calmed down, I realised that actually I rather liked the picture on the spine and also that Molly’s hair should actually be a rather unnatural shade of red. There was a bit of email ping pong and then, with the benefit of Photoshop, there was this:

It truly was a Chrismukkah miracle. And if anyone says that they preferred the original cover, then I will ban them from this blog!

Check back soon to read an interview with Molly from Guitar Girl.

(Edited to add: Also Guitar Girl was originally called The Startripper, after a song from an obscure band called Biff! Bang! Pow!, but it was decided that it sounded too much like a sci-fi novel. And the rest is history. Well, not history so much as I came up with another title and all was fine.)

Posted by Sarra on April 4, 2006 at 1:44 pm

Just eating a late lunch and drinking a glass of Welch’s grape juice, which has this really gross undertaste of scented erasers. Ick!

Not much to report really. I’m hard at work on the first book in my new four-volume series, which will be published next year and the year after! I’m averaging about 3000 words a day at the moment, which is kinda lame for me but I do faff about a lot on MySpace and sending stupid emails to 6 Music. I’m distracto girl!

I would like to thank everyone who’s left comments on blogspot and My Space. It’s probably worth repeating to any newcomers that there are NO plans to write sequels to Diary Of A Crush, Guitar Girl or any of my other books. What you’ve got is what you’re going to get, I’m afraid. I’m also quite amused by the reviews for Guitar Girl on that are obsessing about how the book was based on the Sex Pistols, or No Doubt or Babes In Toyland. To which I have to officially say, not even! I was a music journalist for three years and Molly’s story is the classic story of any wide-eyed kid that gets thrown into the music industry too far and too fast. Yes, it’s easy to read the book and then find a real-life person in a band and draw paralells (hmmm, that’s not spelt right) because evil managers and screwed up relationships with other band members and the like happens all the time. Sorry for the rant, but I’m always upfront about my influences and inspirations, and those reviews have really been bugging me.

So because all I do all day is write and not actually have a life, I thought I’d post about a few things I’m into at the moment.

I’m reading…

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

He’s such a funny writer and this is the perfect book to read before I snuggle down for the night.

Cooking With Fernet Branca by James somebody or other

I had to read this for my book group and it’s awful. Easily on my top three list of worst books I’ve ever had to read. It has all these reviews on the back about how funny it is. But they lie. Boy, how they do lie!

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

When I was in the States, I did my usual trip to Borders to stock up on interesting looking books – usually teen stuff and books about hipsters who dress really well while they try to find themselves. I picked this up and can’t wait to read it.

The Nightwatch by Sarah Waters

I love her books, even though I couldn’t finish Affinity because I got too scared.

I’m listening to…

Belle And Sebastian

Mainly because I’m always listening to Belle And Sebastian and their new single is out this week.

My new work-out playlist

Which is all the really fast bits from the last Go!Team and Goldfrapp albums.

The Essex Green – The Cannibal Sea

I heart this band. Gorgeous vocals and they’re a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, a little bit magical.

The Priscillas

One of my best friends is in this band (in fact, she’s cooking me dinner tonight before she tries to kick my arse in Scrabble.) They have really big hair and they rock. No, my mistake, THEY ROCK!!!!!!!!

I’m watching…

The OC

I’m mid-way through a big project to re-watch every single episode of The O.C because OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seth + Summer 4EVA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


But I might have to give it up because I really do get too frightened . I should probably point out that I’m the most fraidy person in the world. Even a car back-firing in the street sends me into conniptions.

America’s Next Top Model

This is my total TV crack. I love this show so much that if it wasn’t completely illegal I’d be downloading the newly airing US series off the interpipe. Not that I am because it would be wrong. But, hey, if I was – what is Jade’s problem? Qu’elle une bitch!

Veronica Mars

She’s my second favourite, tiny blonde ass-kicker after Buffy.

And now I need to get back to my contractually obligated 3000 words. I’m still waiting for the other competition winner (that movie cast promo I ran) to leave me her email. I can’t remember your name, but hey, step to it!

This grape juice really is disgusting…

Live on


(cross-posted to