Love and Other Drama-Ramas!

Hello and welcome to
Love and Other Drama-Ramas!

This book features a very special boy — Bailey Otis. Readers often ask me whether any of the “Ask Amy Green” characters are based on real people, and in Bailey’s case the answer is yes. When I was thirteen, a dark-haired boy used to follow me home from school. He never said a word, just walked a few steps behind me — which was a little unnerving.

One day I’d had enough of this creepy behavior, so I spun around and asked him what he was playing at. He shrugged and said that I looked nice and he just wanted to talk to me. Then he gave me this lovely shy smile from under his floppy fringe.

So we talked.

It turned out we had a lot in common — we were both big readers and loved old movies — and we quickly became friends. He told me his mum had died recently, and he was having a tough time dealing with it. A few months after we first spoke, he and his dad moved away and we lost contact, but I’ve always wondered what happened to him. I hope he’s happy.

Bailey Otis was inspired by my lost friend. I hope you enjoy Amy, Clover, and Bailey’s story.

Best,

Sarah XXX

“Adults are crazy,” I moan to my best friend, Mills, as we trudge through mounds of soggy autumn leaves, sending a musty smell into the air, on our way to school. “Dave’s convinced Mum’s going to elope with the Irish Surfing Chef. He’s completely delusional.” (Dave is Mum’s much-put-upon fiancé.)

Mills’s eyes widen, and she gives a little shiver. “You mean Finn Hunter? Holy moly, Amy, I’d elope with him! He’s gorgeous. Those smoldering green eyes. Those abs.” She pauses and looks at me. “Did Dave catch your mum kissing the telly while Finn was on?”

I smile. “Nope, she’s only ghostwriting Finn’s book for him — which means they’ll be working up close and
personal.
That’s why Dave is so worried.”

“Ghostwriting?” She frowns. “Your mum and Finn Hunter are writing a horror story together? Haunted houses, vampires, that sort of thing?”

I laugh. “Nothing to do with spooks or werewolves or ax-wielding maniacs. Mum’s going to help him write
his
book. Finn will tell her what he’d like in the book — characters, plot, that kind of stuff — she’ll make notes and then write it for him. All the stars have ghostwriters, apparently — Katie Price, Madonna. Sounds pretty lazy, if you ask me, but if it pulls Mum out of the Mama Doldrums, then hallelujah.”

“Is she still in one of her funny moods?” (Mills knows Mum only too well.)

“Yep. Gothic glum for days now. Anyone would think she’d morphed into Bella Swan. But working with Finn is bound to cheer her up. She’ll be spending hours and hours with him, and some of the meetings will be in our house.” I wiggle my eyebrows at Mills. “Imagine — just the two of them, huddled over Mum’s laptop.”

Mills squeals. She jumps up and down on the spot and clutches my arm. “Can I meet him, Ames?” she begs. “Please, please,
pleeeease
?”

“Of course. But keep it to yourself. No one’s supposed to know that Finn has a ghostwriter. I wish we could tell the D4s, though. They’d be so envious.” (The D4s are the mean girls at our school, Saint John’s.)

“It’s a shame, all right. But forget the D4s — I want details, girl, details. What’s Finn like in real life? And if the book’s not a gory bloodfest, is it one of those swoony romance novels my mum reads? The ones with gorgeous millionaires and champagne and, you know, kissing and stuff?” Mills’s face goes a little pink.

I laugh. “Not exactly.”

And I tell her the whole story. . . .

It all started yesterday late afternoon, when Mum made a rather startling announcement in the kitchen. “Remember the book I was hired to ghostwrite?” she said, looking at me and Dave smugly. (Mum’s a television scriptwriter, but she hasn’t worked since my baby sister, Evie, was born eight months ago.) “Well, I have news,” she continued, ignoring Evie, who was squirming in her high chair and throwing mushed-up food around as usual. “I’m starting work on it next week. Would you like to know the title?”

“The suspense is killing me,” I said with a bored sigh.

“Less of the Miss Snark, Amy Green,” Mum said. “The book — my very first proper published novel — is called
Hot Love.
” Her eyes were glistening. She was clearly very excited about the whole thing.

Dave grinned at her. “
Hot Love
? Bring it on, Sylvie.” He gave a saucy wink.

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