It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Love Punked by Nia Lucas today! My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me along. Nia joins me on the blog today to share what she would tell her teenage self if she could. But first, here is what Love Punked is all about!
Author : Nia Lucas
Title : Love Punked
Pages : 438
Publisher : n/a
Publication date : July 21, 2018
When her life is irrevocably altered by a post-Rave tryst on her mother’s floral patio recliner, Erin Roberts’ long-standing relationship with Humiliation takes her down a path that’s not so much ‘less well trodden’, more ‘perilous descent down sheer cliffs’.
Armed with a fierce devotion to her best friend and the unrequited love for the boy she might have accidentally married at age seven, when Erin falls pregnant at sixteen, life veers off at a most unexpected tangent.
Her journey to adulthood is far from ordinary as Erin learns that protecting the hearts of those most precious to you isn’t balm enough when your Love Punked heart is as sore as your freshly tattooed arse.
Whilst raising football prodigies and trying not to get stuck in lifts with Social Work clients who hate her, Erin discovers that sometimes you have to circumnavigate the globe to find the very thing that was there all along.
One of the greatest things about writing, one of my absolute favourite parts of the luxurious creation of worlds and people who have only lived in your head until fingertip prods key, is the fact that parts of your own world can be woven secretly and seamlessly into the fabric of the thing you create. I love the ‘Secret Squirrel’ part of writing, dropping flakes of truth into the casserole of fiction, changing the flavour without anyone being able to put their finger on what exactly the ingredient was. I like to chuckle like a moron when the people who know me best raise an eyebrow and murmur, “Isn’t that bit about that time when you……?”. Simple pleasures.
Yet this truth sprinkling brings with it reflection and on occasion, pain and sorrow for things gone by. It also brings smirks, snorts and eye-rolling embarrassment and on that note, I have some advice to share.
Lessons from a misspent 90’s youth: Things I wish I’d tell my teenage self.
- If you are in Clair’s Accessories, back away. Find the exit. Now. Coating yourself in pink, sparkly tat will not transform you into an ironic, Courtney Love-esque sophisticate. Nope. You will look like a tit. A tit in a cheap plastic tiara but a tit nonetheless.
- That undercut and those baggy black jeans with the massive red pockets on your bum will not make you look cool. You will look like a follically-challenged baboon.
- Instead of allocating two hours a day to experimenting with ‘Berry Spice’ lipstick on the off-chance that you will bump into the lads from the band ‘Jesus Jones’ in Swindon town centre, spend those hours on revising your German vocab. You will never meet ‘Jesus Jones’, they will disappear into obscurity but you will get stuck in a Prague Police station with some passive-aggressive officers a few years down the line and decent German might prevent that trip to the British Consulate at 2am.
- Your figure is incredible. Genuinely incredible. Wear as many crop tops, bikinis and hotpants as you can. Stop worrying about your legs or your belly because in twenty years time, as you stare down the barrel of an ankle-to-neck Spanx bodysuit (into which you will become wedged and have to be wrestled out of by your inebriated best mate in truly tiny toilets), you will weep tears of bitter regret for the immaculate teenage figure that you never appreciated. Wear anything. You have the figure for it. Bloody babies will destroy it soon enough.
- Be so, so careful girl. In an ill advised escapade, you meet two lads, two incredibly funny, damaged and dangerous boys, who lure you into a world you inhabit oh-so-briefly but one which you never forget. These boys disappear into the cogs of the Criminal Justice System, evaporating from your life like ghosts but it’s their haunting that leads you to write your first book twenty years later. Be careful. Be safe. Listen to the voice in your head because she’s pretty sound (although ignore all of her tips on clothing choices).
- You were entirely right all along, your suspicions spot on. You really do never need to use vectors outside of Mrs. Spinks’ Maths classroom. Absolute waste of your time. Spend your time learning how to jump start a car instead. You will need those skills.
- You will never regret being voluntarily teetotal. Not once. You’ll be tested on this decision, innumerable times in the coming years but stay strong. You will be the girl who has the best nights out, whose sobriety inhibits her craziness not a jot and she remembers every bloody minute of it. Thanks to that lucidity, you will also be the girl with the most incredible blackmail material against your mates. Carry on.
- Don’t bother with the driving lessons. Spend the cash on that AMAZING lace dress with the coordinating UV bra and hotpants that you will eternally regret not buying. Driving lessons are a waste of your time until you are 21. Why? Because you are a complete and absolute liability on the road, you fail innumerable tests (one of which is failed because you crash into the Test Centre wall with the examiner screaming beside you) and you only get a clue a few years down the line. GET THE DRESS INSTEAD.
- That rave in Milton Keynes is a truly terrible idea. You end up in Leicester at 2am aged sixteen, you have no money, you get so close to being found out by your parents that even now, the memory makes you sweaty and you are lucky not to have ended up as a Crimewatch Special. DO NOT GO. You still owe that Policeman a box of chocolates by the way.
- Love every bloody minute of being a teenager in the 90’s. There are these things now called Mobile Phones which are surgically attached to people’s hands. They have cameras built into them. Which people take on every night out. Can. You. Imagine. You will forever feel gratitude that you are an Xennial, whose misspent youth is undocumented. You’re safe. Well, you were……..in about 2016 you decide to start writing books…….you’d better watch yourself madam, nothing stays secret for long……..
[Some truly wonderful lessons to be learned there. I can definitely relate to the last one. I often think those of us who grew up before all the gadgets and social media were very, very lucky indeed. Thanks so much for this fab post, Nia, and good luck with Love Punked!]
I am a UK based author of Contemporary women’s fiction who is passionate about telling the stories of strong, sympathetic, entertaining and engaging female characters and the lives that they lead. My Welsh heritage and my life as a practising Social Worker with teenagers and their families heavily influences my work as does my love of all things 90’s and an adolescence spent immersed in clubbing culture.