When what’s-her-name met Damien

I’m not really here today. But you’re in good hands, so don’t panic. Nicola Morgan will look after you, seeing as she’s stopped off on her etour (Which is not the same as detour. I think.) to tell you, and me, about her new-old ebook, Mondays are Red.

‘It shouldn’t happen to an author but if you write for young people, it will. Usually during a school event. There was the librarian who, escorting me towards the hall where 120 pupils were waiting, said shakily, “Don’t worry if they behave really badly. Even the toughest teachers find this year-group impossible.” And the time a boy was carried kicking and struggling from the class by two burly teachers. The times when people have fainted. (I blame Fleshmarket for that.) The time when, during Q&A, after I’d talked for 45 minutes and was now waiting for questions of inspired percipience, a boy asked, “What’s your name?”

There was the time when a girl said, “I love your books.” “Oh, lovely – which is your favourite?” I asked, to be met by a blank stare, so I tried to help her out: “Maybe Wasted? Or Mondays are Red?” With a look of extreme witheringness, something I really should perfect myself, she said, “No, not your books. Your boots!” Of course. Mind you, I’m with her on the boots.

But my peak low happened in a library near Edinburgh, where I was launching a reading club for upper primary pupils. It was several years after Mondays are Red had come out and that was not the book I was talking about. In fact, it’s not really “for” that age group, a point I hope you will remember in a moment. Many biscuits with toxic levels of sugar and much brightly-coloured juice with many additives had been consumed by this time. I’d like you to consider that as another mitigating circumstance, for I do believe that Damien – which was not his name, oddly – was merely the victim of a nutritionally-induced personality change when I was chatting to some other pupils and was delighted to overhear him saying to the librarian, “Did she write Mondays are Red?”

“Yes, Damien.”

“I’ve read that, Miss.”

“Really? What did you think?”

“Pure shite.”

Luckily, most readers are not Damien and I still get more positive emails about Mondays are Red than any other book, which is kind of lucky because it’s BACK! Damien, RUN – it’s coming after you!

Yes, Mondays are Red is now in glorious ebook form for all ebook readers, smartphones and computers, enhanced by extra material, such as information about synaesthesia and creative writing examples by pupils. But probably not Damien.’

Nicola Morgan, Mondays Are Red

‘Mondays are Red was Nicola Morgan’s debut novel, published in 2002, a month before Tim Bowler’s Starseeker. Both books feature a 14-year-old boy called Luke with synaesthesia. In Mondays are Red, Luke wakes from a coma to discover that his world has changed. His dramatic form of synaesthesia brings absolute power – power which brings temptation and corruption. There’s always a price and someone will have to pay.’

And that girl was so wise. Nicola has great taste in boots. Damien, hmm, not so sure… But someone has to meet the Damiens of this world, and who better than our Ms Morgan?

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18 responses to “When what’s-her-name met Damien

  1. Thanks, Bookwitch! One of those stories which is funny now but not so much at the time.

  2. Yikes! I haven’t met a Damien yet, thank god. And who knows, maybe the girl went on to read the book on the strength of the boots? Anyway ‘Mondays Are Red’ sounds like classic Nicola Morgan – thrilling and chilling.

  3. Hehe… I think those of us who visit schools as writers can sympathise. I’ll need to check out the book, I haven’t read any ‘vintage’ Morgan so far… X

  4. Funny and brilliant, Nicola – good luck with the e-book…

  5. I always used to think he was called Darren. But as someone who seriously contemplated fainting on one occasion, I have very little sympathy with Nicola…
    OK, maybe I do sympathise. But only as long as she doesn’t get too bloody.
    If you lot are very very good today, I might just review Mondays are Red tomorrow. Except, you know, Mondays have always been blue as far as I know.

  6. Yikes. Yikes. Yikes. *runs*

  7. In those boots? I think not.

  8. Trust me, Bookwitch, she can run VERY fast in those boots. Especially if they’re her pointy ones. Be afraid. Be very afraid. And thanks for making me laugh, Crabbit One.

    PS: Damien is quite wrong. Mondays are Red is not *shite*. It’s brilliant.

  9. Damien was too young. I disliked a Graham Greene at a very green age.

  10. No one’s mentioned The Omen yet…
    Love the boots anecdote :)

  11. I can’t believe I forgot to tell you the funniest school event moment of all. The teachers have just settled a very very rowdy double class of inner-city boys and are about to introduce me, when a teacher remembers the all important question: “Who’s got Anger Management after this?”

  12. Lucky for you that you only got it once!

  13. Dan – The Omen? Is that in there somewhere?

  14. A preternaturally naughty child called Damien?

  15. I’m so glad Mondays are Red is available again because I’m reading it now and loving it.

    It’s hard not to feel isolated down here in Oz. Thank goodness for ebooks with no geograhic restrictions!

  16. Or should it be geographical?
    See, this is why I need an editor.

  17. Depends. Did you study geograhy at school?
    Don’t be daft! I can barely switch on the Kindle.

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