Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Guest Post - Short Skirts, Chunky Shoes and Nerd Glasses: What Secondary School Meant for Me by A.L. Michael - Blog Tour

Half of my new novel, Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, is told in flashbacks to my character’s school days. They were the so-called ‘Bad Girls’ - the ones who got in fights, argued back, got detention, were written off by the counsellor and were labelled a lost cause. 

My time at secondary school wasn’t really like that. At the time, I considered myself one of the ‘good girls’, at least from 8.30am - 4pm. I wanted to get good grades, I hated getting in trouble. But when I think back now, I realised I wasn’t quite the golden child I thought I was.

Firstly, my school shoes had a higher, chunkier heel than I’d manage to wear now, they were excellent for walking with authority and kicking in my locker when I’d forgotten my books yet again. I still desperately search shoe shops for look alikes. I have no idea how I got away with this, maybe because I was so short they didn’t notice. Unlike the time I wore a silver pentacle to school and refused to take it off on the grounds of the right to religious freedom trumping the ‘no jewellery’ rule. Yeah, that person.

I was on every committee to organise every party and event, including the pathetically limp Valentines Day Dance. At all all girls school. We invited the neighbouring boys school and so, a bunch of awkward thirteen year old stood on opposite sides of a sports hall for a couple of hours whilst Ronan Keating sang in the background about how life was a rollercoaster. Years later, it was the prom and we didn’t bother inviting boys, and kept the sambuca shots and chocolate fountain for ourselves.

I love these memories, I love thinking back to when the guidance counsellor told me writing was not a career choice, or the dinner lady told me these were the best days of my life, or my French teacher asked how I’d manager to go through two whole years of French without learning the word for ‘and’ (spoiler alert: copied other people’s homework the whole time and made sure to butcher the language so badly in class that she never called on me again).

Now, the careers counsellor was wrong, because I am a writer, and the dinner lady was wrong because these, right here, are the best days of my life. I kind of wish I could speak French though.

But most of all, those times at school were about my friends, some I made in the first few weeks, one I met on induction day, the ones I met pony trekking. These people are still my friends and now stuff we used to laugh about in the common room corridors, we now laugh about on hen nights and at weddings, on lazy sundays on nights out.

This book is really a love letter to my friends from school, the ones who have grown and changed, just as I have, but have remained kind, loveable and funny, in all forms.

Thank you so much A.L. Michael for this amusing look at your school days, and I think its safe to say you have proved your guidance counsellor very wrong.

Amazon UK
Four friends have become three. But that’s only the beginning.
Ruby, Evie, Mollie and Chelsea were the bad girls at school. But Ruby was the baddest. Evie fought her anger, Mollie fought her mother and Chelsea…well, Chelsea just fought. But Ruby set her sights on a bigger stage. And together, they dreamed of a future where Ruby could sing, Evie could make art, Mollie could bake, Chelsea could dance – and all of them could finally feel at home.

A decade later, the girls are reunited for the funeral of Ruby, who took the world – and the charts – by storm, before fading too soon. And Evie doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry when she learns that Ruby has left them a house on Camden Square – the perfect place for them to fulfil their dreams. But does she dare take the plunge, and risk it all for one last shot at the stars?

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday is Book 1 in A.L. Michael’s new series, ‘The House on Camden Square’

1 comment:

  1. Brings back some memories of my school days. Although for me at the time sea cadets was a big part. Unfortunately my later years in school were not happy ones.


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