When I was a teenager, my sister had a party while the rest of the family was away and she was supposed to be staying at a friend’s house. When I got home, I couldn’t find my diary. It wasn’t missing for long and I found it under my mattress (with a very unpleasant message scrawled across one of the pages), but while it was lost I was a nervous wreck, wondering who might be reading it. If, back then, someone had taken my diary the worst they could probably have done was read it out at school or, at a push, photocopy the odd bit. But now with mobile phones and social networking? Potential for huge embarrassment.
And so I came up with Della, whose diary is stolen on the same night she finally kisses the boy she’s had a crush on since they were four years old. Not only is Della dealing with her first relationship, she’s also dealing with the fact that someone is using her most personal and embarrassing bits of her diary to try and humiliate her. I wanted the book to talk about how you shouldn’t be ashamed of who you are, just because other people might try to use it against you. And I wanted to get something useful out of my own embarrassing diary incident. Oh and also to write about kissing cute boys – something I unfortunately never did when I was a teenager, since I was so busy worrying about what everyone else thought of me.