During the pandemic, like most people I spent a lot of time watching TV. I found myself immersed in the murder mysteries that I’ve loved since childhood: Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Midsomer Murders, Rosemary and Thyme (Barbara from The Good Life solving murders you say? Sign me right up!).
“I firmly believe that funny, female friendships are fierce and lifesaving.”Kate Weston
At the time, my first book about a 15-year-old girl who wants to fight the patriarchy and stop period shame, had just published. I had all this knowledge about menstruation from that, horrible period pains of my own, and a desire to do something a little bit silly and ridiculous. But obviously none of us could leave the house.
Finally, while watching the film Booksmart for the millionth time it struck me: What if a pair of incredible legends like the film’s main characters: hilarious teenage BFFs Molly and Amy became a crime fighting duo? Add in my menstrual misery and TA-DA Murder on a School Night was born!
It follows Annie and Kerry, two incredibly nerdy, funny, and extremely uncool (but actually very cool, thank you) teens in the small English Village of Barbourough (pronounced Barbara), caught up in a series of murders all committed with menstrual products. They have to battle the patriarchy, and the local detectives – who’ve no idea what a moon cup even is – to solve the crimes and stop more villagers meeting the fate of the menstrual murderer.
As a teenager with anxiety, OCD, and depression, books were really important to me. I hid inside funny books. The funnier the better. Louise Rennison was my saviour and like Georgia Nicholson in the Confessions of…series, I wrote my own diary about my love of Marc Owen from Take That and the injustice of my sister having a bigger room (then later despairing that no one EVER fancied me).
I never stopped writing after I started that diary, from the jokes I wrote when I performed as a stand-up comedian in my twenties and early thirties, to finally writing the fiction I do now. I loved creating Barbourough Village, and its resident sleuths: Annie and Kerry, and shaping their silly, flawed, and warm friendship. I firmly believe that funny, female friendships are fierce and lifesaving, and while they solve the menstrual murders, Annie and Kerry’s is both of these things.
And so, in the words of my wonderful Annie: “Good Vulva to you!”