Posted by Heidi Blakey on 19th September 2017
Writing Sex, Spoons & Salsa brought back many memories from my teenage years. Some were good, some funny and some not so funny, in fact some I must confess were downright sad. It was then I knew the message I wanted to relay, which in this case involved a warts and all look at peer groups, bad decisions, growing up as an adult and leaving behind toxic relationships. Sounds rather heavy yes? Well, rather than going down the touchy feely, let’s all have a hug and a cry route, I decide that brutal honesty laced with a liberal dose of comedy and more than a little “taking the p**s” was going to be the voice of my story.
One of my inspirations for the book was undoubtedly the savagely bitchy atmosphere that prevailed throughout my own high school years. Yes, it really was survival of the fittest. Each day was an ordeal, starting from where to “hang out”. Grade seven kids were definitely the bottom of the high school food chain and any reckless habitation decision could see you unceremoniously evicted by the terrifying grade ten girls, otherwise known as the high school death squad! I swear that was where I developed my legendary bladder control, as running the gauntlet of the A block girls toilets was tantamount to a suicide mission, so as a survival mechanism, seven hours between toilet breaks became the norm. I now recognise it was most likely thanks to my camel size bladder that I survived high school at all. Pity those girls with a less than robust control, I suspect, like Fiona, they are still in therapy to this day!
Fortunately most girls grow up and leave the hormonal venom that is adolescence behind them as they move onto to university, working life or motherhood. Other’s like Fiona’s friends spend their twenties (and sadly their thirties) reliving the glory of their youth, together with the nastiness that ties them to their former days of power over the less fortunate. Looking back now, I wonder where those girls are now, the ones who terrorized anyone who didn’t have an inner bitch to call on in times of need. Not surprisingly, some of those anonymous bullies play a big part in Sex, Spoons & Salsa.
Unfortunately for Fiona, her friends won’t let her move on from her traumatic teenage years, as they continue to drag her down until she finally reaches rock bottom. This is where our story begins…
I hope if my readers take away any message, it is nice girls do win in the end.
Happy reading, Isla Dennes