1. I wrote Love Bomb in six months while I was working full time as a head of English at a secondary school. It was hectic because I have two young children. I wrote every night of the week and all of Sunday and often on Saturday too. That year, we all got the winter vomiting bug over Christmas. I remember writing on Christmas Eve feeling horribly sick.
2. When my first daughter was born, like most parents, I was overwhelmed with love for her. I wrote a letter to her so that if anything ever happened to me (hormones and an over-active imagination made me think about this a lot) she would always know how much I loved her. I found it incredibly difficult to write this letter and it made me wonder what a parent would write to a child if they knew they were going to die. I thought about those letters for around five years and then I turned them into Lorna’s letters in Love Bomb.
3. Originally, Love Bomb was called Love Mumface.
4. Like in Frozen, there are two love stories running through Love Bomb and one is more conventional than the other.
5. Bettye Swann’s ‘Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye’ is an important song in Love Bomb and I listened to it many times when I wrote certain scenes. I usually listen to music when I write. M. Ward’s ‘Primitive Girl’ and I Am Kloot’s ‘Northern Skies’ are very connected in my mind with Betty.
6. I found the chapter where Betty goes to Toby’s party difficult to write. I knew the tone had to be just right so I spent a lot of time on it.
7. My stories are alive in my head and feel almost indistinguishable from memories. I think that this is probably emphasised because I write in the first person. Essentially, I feel that the events in the book happened to me which is very curious. When I finished Love Bomb, I had a sudden awareness that it wasn’t real and I felt strangely sad for a few weeks. Suddenly, my friends – Betty, Bill, Kat – had all disappeared!
8. I really enjoyed writing Lorna’s letters. I made her the same age as me so I could just rummage through my own memories of being a teenager in the late 80s. No internet, no mobile phones, no social media…just a lot of Guns and Roses and DMs.
9. It’s possible to recreate Betty’s perfect day out in Brighton: visit Dave’s Comics, wander around The Lanes, play with Lego at the Lego Store and then get a doughnut from The Mock Turtle. The other day, I went back to The Mock Turtle to check the doughnuts are still ‘the size of a baby’s face’. They are.
10. Rue, Nick Plum, Lorna, Julia, Miss Summons, Mr Brooks and Kate are all names that belong to people I know. The only person who hasn’t been told that I put her in a book is Rue. I hope she doesn’t mind. Bill was at the top of my list of boy names when I was pregnant, but I never got to use it…until now, that is!
By Jenny McLachlan
Publication Date: 12th March 2015
Paperback and EBook Price: £6.99
Love Bomb is the sequel to Flirty Dancing, the debut book by Jenny McLachlan. This laugh-out-loud series is about a group of four (ex-) best friends (Bea, Betty, Kat and Pearl) known as the Ladybirds. Each of the four books will focus on a different Ladybird. Love Bomb tells Betty’s story.
Betty Plum has never been in love. She’s never even kissed a boy. But when H.O.T. Toby starts school it’s like Betty has been hit with a thousand of Cupid’s arrows. It’s like a bomb has exploded – a love bomb!
More than ever Betty wishes her mum hadn’t died when Betty was a baby. She really needs her mum here to ask her advice. And that’s when she finds hidden letters for just these moments.
Letters about what your first kiss should feel like and what real love is all about
Is Betty ready to fall in love? Will she finally have her first kiss?
This irresistible, hilarious story about friendship, fortitude and following your heart is impossible not to fall in love with. Perfect for fans of Holly Smale and Louise Rennison.
About the Author
JENNY MCLACHLAN spent thirteen years of her life teaching English: a job that combined her passion for the written word with her passion for showing off. It also provided her with the inspiration for her books. In the summer of 2014 she became a fulltime writer.
Jenny lives by the seaside with her husband and two small but fierce girls. In addition to writing, she enjoys exploring the South Downs, running and, if it will embarrass her husband enough, jiving in any vaguely suitable situation.
Website: www.jennymclachlan.com Twitter: @JennyMcLachlan1 Facebook: Jenny McLachlan