Monday, April 28, 2008

Geri's Got The Write Stuff

Look out Madonna ... Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is lookin' to conquer your territory. No, no ... not in music (heh, as if that were even possible) but in the children's book arena. Geri's first kid's book, Ugenina Lavender, will hit bookshelves in the UK later on this week and The Sun has our first look at what's in store. Here are pics of Geri posing with her book and her characters Ugenia Lavender ("She is like my inner kid, although she is not completely me. She has catchphrases like 'Ingenius' or 'Inspirational'."), Bronte ("Ugenia's friend and a cross between Hermione from Harry Potter -- that kind of real swot -- and a friend of mine called Anna Kate, who likes everything to be just so. But she's also very kind.") and Trevor ("He is a little bit thick and chunky but has a heart of gold and probably lives on a housing estate. There is a little bit in him of a boy up the street when I was a kid -- we used to climb trees together."):

"YES, I think that's it now," says Geri Halliwell. The singer is clutching a mug of tea and standing in the kitchen of her London home as she talks frankly about the Spice Girls and their recent reunion tour. "We've done it and I wouldn't want to go back, although I wouldn’t say it was definitely the last one ...." So there. Exactly ten years after she quit the band that made her name, Ginger Spice looks set to finally hang up her platform boots and Union Jack dress. Here, in her large open-plan house with its wooden floorboards and view of a leafy garden the size of a small park, Geri is well advanced with other, very different plans. She has become a children's author and today reveals how she has based her quirky new characters on her own days as a schoolgirl. She also explains why she has become a National Reading Ambassador for The Sun as part of the National Year Of Reading. "I'd love it if the average person who doesn't necessarily buy books could discover the delights of discovering a good story," she says proudly of her new role. Geri's infectious enthusiasm is currently focused on the project she has been working on in her upstairs office for the past four years. On Friday she publishes her first children's book, Ugenia Lavender -- one of a planned series of six titles aimed at the over-sevens. She is, it is fair to say, very excited about the project. "I know there is prejudice against celebrity authors but if you read my stories you'll know they're not ghost written -- only I could be that bonkers!" she says, self-mockingly. Her cartoon heroine, Ugenia, is clearly a mini Geri, with a swinging bob of clipped ginger hair, a smattering of freckles and a confident, mischievous smile. She is the child of a dinosaur expert and a breakfast telly presenter. The first story paints her as a classic misfit, struggling to find friends at a new school and suffering at the hands of a bully. "Ugenia is definitely a part of me. She's like my inner brat," Geri confesses, adding that the story is loosely based on her own experiences growing up in Watford, Herts ... Geri describes each plot twist in her new book with gleeful detail. "I try and put heart into it," she says. "I think people can feel it when it's real." We are interrupted as Bluebell, Geri's 23-month-old daughter by former boyfriend Sacha Gervasi, toddles into the room carrying a piece of burst pink balloon. Geri is quickly on her knees on the floor playing with her. "I'm a single-parent mother," she says matter-of-factly. "I'm a statistic. I'm like half of Britain. I'm more privileged than most so it would be an insult and hideous to compare myself to those who are really struggling, but I guess I’m like most working mothers in that I have to juggle everything."

Geri really talks at length about the inspiration for this new book series in the Sun article ... which even offers a chance to read the first chapter HERE. I dunno if there is a market for stuff like this but I'm sure she'll sell a few books. I guess it's nice that Geri is able to turn a passion of hers into a real project like this ... and if Madonna can sell kids books then why can't Geri ... tho, I suspect that someone like JK Rowling doesn't have much to worry about. [Source, Source]