Sixth-former Anna Campbell is the go-to woman when anybody wants something. Lecturers, pals, random strangers… It by no means occurred to her that she may say no. In spite of everything, Anna Campbell’s all the time been too ‘good’ to say no. However Anna is sick of being that woman, the great woman, and she or he’s going to do one thing about it. Solely, is she ready to threat shedding every thing she cares about – even herself – alongside the best way…?
THE NICEST GIRL is Sophie Jo’s debut UKYA and it’s brilliantly put collectively, I felt each web page of it! I requested the creator a couple of questions:
How a lot of your self is within the ebook, had been you a “good woman”?
There’s positively a few of me within the ebook – I’m a little bit of a recovering people-pleaser and have felt the ache of being “the great woman” many a time over time, particularly in my teenagers and early twenties.
After I began writing the ebook, I used to be actually eager to listen to from pals and acquaintances about their very own experiences. It was unhappy however oddly releasing to be taught that folks I’d beforehand seen as very assertive and “sorted” had been struggling to show down work shifts or stand as much as pals or set boundaries of their relationship life. I feel numerous us – particularly ladies – are battling in opposition to this deep-rooted must be seen as likeable and easy-going.
Attempting to not embody spoilers…there are tensions that construct up & come to a head in completely plausible methods. Did earlier drafts have something extra over-the-top that you simply determined to tone down?
The strain explosion and determination has really stayed just about the identical all through the enhancing course of! I did marvel at one level if Anna would resolve to chop one explicit character out of her life (once more, no spoilers…), however I’m glad she doesn’t, and I hope I did a very good job at illustrating each factors of view when issues do erupt.
What would you most like readers to remove from the ebook?
I’d actually love for readers to contemplate the middle-ground-complexities of the entire subject. You don’t have to show into an unkind individual to set boundaries – it isn’t about forgetting to be respectful or that different factors of view exist. It’s about remembering that your emotions are as legitimate as anybody else’s and there for a motive.
I additionally hope it exhibits readers the worth of sincere, variety communication in friendships and different relationships. Typically you see stuff on-line that’s like, “you don’t owe anyone something! Set boundaries! Instantly ghost individuals who don’t deal with you proper!” and whereas I’m very a lot on board with something that teaches folks to face up for themselves, I additionally assume there’s house for many of us to raised categorical expectations/desires/wants so our nearest and dearest no less than have an opportunity to reply to these. Anna means very effectively and her struggles are relatable, however as a result of she’s fairly good at choosing up on the feelings of these round her, she typically expects them to mind-read in return – they usually can’t.
Have you ever had a lot alternative for suggestions from teen/YA readers?
I used to be capable of meet some superb teen and YA readers at this 12 months’s YALC – they’d picked up proofs from my writer UCLan’s stand and had been actually excited to learn. That was such a stunning expertise for me, particularly as somebody so new to all this. It’s additionally been cool seeing preliminary critiques on Goodreads and NetGalley from individuals who’ve associated to Anna and rooted for her all through.
What would your superb college go to to advertise the ebook contain?
I might LOVE to take a seat down with a gaggle of teenagers and discuss in regards to the idea of ‘niceness’ vs assertive communication. Possibly a lil quiz: Good or Too Good? A poetry-writing session? I’ve one million concepts; I’m going to begin writing them down.
What are you studying in the mean time and who would you suggest it to?
I’m having fun with THREE GIRLS by Katie Clapham, a fellow UCLan creator. The voices she’s created for these characters are so robust, and there are these sensible little drops of humour alongside the best way. It’s quirky and attention-grabbing however by no means try-hard. Would suggest to: anybody who desires a extremely strong ebook about teen woman friendship.
I’ve additionally simply completed a proof of GIRL FRIENDS by Holly Bourne, which is certainly certainly one of my new favourites. She simply will get ladies. Each time I learn a Holly ebook I really feel like she has crawled into the depths of my soul with out judging me. Would suggest to: anybody who grew up studying 90s/00s Sugar journal articles about How To Get Boys To Like You…
Have you ever any extra tales effervescent away?
I’m presently writing draft certainly one of ebook two. The principle character is sort of totally different to Anna – much more cynical and outspoken – so it’s been an actual change to put in writing, in a really enjoyable manner. I’m additionally attempting out a twin narrative for the primary time, which is an entire new problem in itself. Hopefully we’ll be again speaking in regards to the completed ebook earlier than too lengthy!
THE NICEST GIRL was revealed by UCLan in August 2022. Thanks to Antonia Wilkinson for organising a evaluate copy and the chance for a Q&A.
What do you think?