Read Jane's Interview for Highlights Magazine
Author of THE TEENAGE GIRLS SURVIVAL BIBLE
Tell us about your book – The Teenage Girls Survival Bible
The TGSB is the must have modern guide book for every teenage girl, it really is! It’s pages are packed with tips, life hacks and advice on just about every subject a young girl needs to know (but are often too afraid or embarrassed to ask!) They’ll learn about boys and break-ups, friendships and love, bullying and panic attacks, depression and self-esteem. There’s tonnes of advice about their bodies too; from bad breath to B.O., periods and contraception, and what to do if they think they might be pregnant. I teach them to be ‘Streetwise’ and challenge their ideas of tattoos, body piercings and experimenting with drugs. They need to know what they’re getting into... and as for online dating... my advice will get them thinking!
As a successful make-up artist to the stars, I’m also in a unique position to share my many years of insider knowledge on make-up, skincare, hair care and style, and reveal the behind the scenes secrets of celebrity photo shoots as well as shedding light on the harsh realities of fame. I aim to dispel the myths and impossible goals which are set by the all-consuming and often toxic social media sites they’ve become addicted to these days. My book is written to inspire, protect and educate without preaching or patronising my audience. It’s a private place where they can find answers to all the questions they’d never admit to not knowing!
What three things do you think your readers should know about you?
I’m very down to earth and a realist but with a keen sense of humour which resonates throughout the book. I’m also a very visual person which is why the TGSB is filled with amazing hand drawn illustrations in just black, white and pink. I’m also a bit of a control freak (ask my graphic designer and illustrator!) and personally oversaw every single bit of the book…including proof reading it.
When did you decide to write a book? Did anything influence your decision?
I decided to write The TGSB when I inherited two wonderful but slightly clueless teenage girls, curtesy of my wonderful boyfriend and absolute ‘Superdad’. I was astounded by their lack of knowledge of the most basic things, and after a period of doling out advice on just about every subject imaginable, the youngest, Tilly, quite literally pleaded with me to write a book!
What books or authors have had the most influence on your own writing, and why?
Actually I just write as I think. I wanted my book to feel like a personal conversation rather than a souless manual. I love descriptive writing and all the better if it makes me laugh out loud, since humour lies at the heart of just about everything I say and do in life. I wanted The
TGSB to be educational but entertaining, like all the best
children’s novels. I adore everything by Roald Dahl, and Mr Palomar by Italo Calvino is quirky, funny and clever which I find intriguing and inspiring.
What books are you reading at the moment? How did you choose them?
I’m reading The Ministry of Happiness by Arundhati Roy based on my love of her prize-winning novel The God of Small Things. If I find an author I like I’ll read their other titles. Whenever I hear of a great book I add them to my ‘Notes’ on my iPhone.
Which book do you wish you had written?
My favorite book, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. To have that sort of talent and mastery over words and language just blows me away. I also wish I’d written Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Even though I wrote this book for teenage girls, I’ve been getting great feedback from parents too who say they have also learned a lot. One mother told me how it had opened a door to better communication with her daughter, and a widowed father of three girls said it has been a godsend. It’s just so great know my book is having a positive effect already. I had terribly low self-esteem as a child and had it not been for my mother’s incredible guidance and support I can’t imagine how I’d have turned out. So, for all those girls like me, this is book is for you!