Author Katy Birchall writes a special blog post for Egmont on the research behind Secrets of a Teenage Heiress.
The word “research” is such a YAWN word.
I mean, to be honest, a lot of the times I tell people I’m busy “researching” my next book, I’m actually busy watching YouTube videos of llamas or otters or something.
Which is exactly why, when research is 100% necessary, I always try to make sure the book I’m writing requires research into at least one of the following: (a) meeting dogs (b) eating food (c) looking at pictures of dogs (d) snacks
Book research doesn’t sound too bad now, right? I know. I’m a genius.
So, here are the most important bits of research I did for the first book in my new series, Secrets of a Teenage Heiress:
Look, sometimes you have to suffer for your art.
It was highly important to research dogs of Instagram when writing about a famous Instagram dog myself. Fritz, the sausage dog in the book, is a big Instagram star, renowned for his extensive designer knitwear collection and his ability to pull off a variety of hats.
I spent hours scrolling through Instagram, searching for inspiration. It was tough.
Grand Dame Hotels
Don’t worry, I ignored all the boring bits about the architecture and what date some old guy decided to put gold leafing in or whatever (although Cal, one of my characters, LOVES that kind of stuff #geekchic)
I was more interested in reading some of the cool stories about these amazing hotels.
For example, did you know that the American film star Tallulah Bankhead took off her slipper at The Ritz London in front of a bunch of photographers, poured Champagne into it and then drank from it?
Yeah. She drank Champagne from her shoe. Her SHOE.
And seriously, no one asked her to do that. She just whipped that shoe right off and drank Champagne from it. For NO REASON.
Also, The Langham starred in the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie, Winning London.
If that’s not the most awesome claim to fame a hotel can have, I don’t know what is.
Grand hotels, like the one in the book, Hotel Royale, serve very posh food in their restaurants.
They have amazing teams of chefs who work tirelessly… think about it, they have to get up super early to make sure breakfast is ready for the early risers AND work super late for all the late diners.
Anyway, I decided I should sample some delicacies, you know, to make sure I could write about the menus that would actually be served in these kind of hotels.
Here’s what went through my brain when I ate in a posh hotel restaurant in the name of research:
- Wow. Posh food is served in tiny portions
- Seriously?! This is IT?
- Well I suppose I should go ahead and eat it because it’s right here
- Even though this will be gone in one mouthful
- I’ll be starving for the rest of the evening
- But hey ho, it would be rude to send it back and ask for a bigger portion
- Wow. This is incredibly flavoursome
- I mean, there is so much going on in this tiny portion
- How can something so SMALL taste so delicious?!
- WHERE ARE ALL THESE FLAVOURS COMING FROM?
- It is also weirdly filling
- No, seriously. I’m full.
- After two bites.
- WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?
- I can’t have another bite!
- And I only had TWO MOUTHFULS
- Am I dying?
- I am WAY too full for pudding
- From all those two bites
- Hang on though, I’ll just look at the menu
And thus concludes the most important research I did for Secrets of a Teenage Heiress.
Hope you enjoy the book! xxx
About Secrets of a Teenage Heiress
Flick’s family have owned The Royale – one of London’s most prestigious hotels – for generations. But Flick isn’t that interested.
She is interested in the newest guest – superstar celebrity Skylar Chase, and Sky’s mega-famous group of friends, including dreamy YouTube star, Ethan Duke.
But just as Flick gets the chance to join their glittering squad, she gets grounded following an unfortunate incident involving a prince, a wardrobe and a selfie stick (it could have happened to anyone!).
With only her Instagram star pet dachshund, Fritz, for company, will Flick find a way to escape The Royale and join the fame game?
Secrets of a Teenage Heiress is a hilariously funny and fabulously glamorous series from the author of It Girl. Perfect for fans of Geek Girl, Super Awkward and Girl Online.
Katy Birchall is the author of the side-splittingly funny The It Girl: Superstar Geek and its eagerly-awaited sequels The It Girl: Team Awkward and The It Girl: Don’t Tell the Bridesmaid. She is also a freelance features editor. 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 three 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.