'Fans of Geek Girl will love this!' - Top of the Pops
The brilliant sequel to The It Girl. Hilariously funny and deliciously romantic – perfect for fans of Geek Girl and Louise Rennison.
If everything Anna does is going to be seen by more than 10 million people, then she’s determined to find something that she’s really good at. Everyone else seems to have a ‘thing’ – especially the new girl at school, who’s been distracting Connor with their shared love of art. Luckily the school sports day is looming, and Anna is limbering up!
What could go wrong?
Katy Birchall is the author of the side-splittingly funny The It Girl: Superstar Geek, The It Girl: Team Awkward and its eagerly-awaited sequel The It Girl: Don't Tell the Bridesmaid. Katy won the 24/7 Theatre Festival Award for Most Promising new Comedy Writer with her very serious play about a ninja monkey at a dinner party. Her pet Labradors are the loves of her life, she is mildly obsessed with Jane Austen and one day she hopes to wake up as an elf in The Lord of the Rings. Katy lives in Brixton, London.
Was there anyone who inspired Anna?
I wanted to write a character that everyone could relate to, not just teenagers. I still have a lot of the worries and concerns that Anna is dealing with, like fitting in and embarrassing yourself. I don’t think that ever goes away! You just learn to laugh about it a lot more.
I drew on myself quite a lot to write Anna—I’ve always been a worrier and…ahem…slightly odd. (Whatever, being weird is cool.) So I think the way her thinking spirals is similar to mine, and I also drew a lot of inspiration from my friends, who are absolutely hilarious and can get themselves into some corker situations, so I capitalised on that too.
What literary characters inspired her character?
When I was a teenager, I really loved comedy writing, especially the characters Adrian Mole from Sue Townsend’s genius books, and Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries, and I think both of these characters impacted on how I went about forming Anna, whether I decided that consciously or not.
Like Adrian Mole, Anna is funny without realising a lot of the time—she says ridiculous things, but she’s totally sincere about it, which makes them a lot more comic. Her relationship with her father is also quite similar to Adrian’s viewpoint on adults: that they’re all absurd.
Meg Cabot created the most incredible person in Mia Thermopolis and I adore her. I think Anna can reflect Mia in that she’s always trying to do the right thing but sometimes goes about it in the wrong way. Both Anna and Mia would rather be invisible than anything to do with the limelight, which makes their situation much more fun to play with as a writer.
Are there any fictional characters you think Anna would get along with?
Weirdly, I hadn’t read any Louise Rennison books until last year but having read them now, not only can I understand why the books are insanely popular, but I think Georgia and Anna probably would get on rather well! They’d yabber away, swapping embarrassing stories, and I think Anna would also find Georgia’s confidence and matter-of-fact viewpoints quite inspiring, in the same way that Anna looks up to Jess.
I also think Anna would LOVE Mary from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. They would sit there and talk about books and nerd stuff while everyone else would be busy dancing or whatever. Mary is hilarious.
I would love to put Anna in a room with Bertie Wooster from P.G.Wodehouse’s wonderful books. Can you imagine the chaos those two would cause and the sort of ridiculous situations they’d get themselves into? It would be pure entertainment.