Frances Lynn

Frances Lynn

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
February 27, 2007

Q.    Who is Frances Lynn?

A.    Frances Lynn was born in London and grew up in Notting Hill Gate. She was educated at Malvern Girls' College. She became Britain's bitchiest gossip columnist on David Bailey's defunct "Ritz Newspaper", and was a prolific freelance film critic and journalist for Fleet Street papers and the London glossies. Frances Lynn now lives in central London, and is writing her third novel. For futher details about Frances Lynn, look at her biography on

Q.    How did you come about the idea to write the novel CRUSHED?

A.    I was great friends with an ex-movie actress who had two daughters in their early teens. I knew the girls since they were babies, so I saw them grow up. When they were teenagers, I knew all their friends, and witnessed close-up what they were all interested in - boys, fashion and pop wise. My girlfriend was very artistic and didn't allow the girls to watch TV, so the girls were always creating constantly painting and drawing. The family were rather eccentric and didn't have much money, so the girls used to make original jewellry from material like metal hangers and sell them on a stall outside their London flat on the street, in order to supplement their pocket money. This family inspired me to write a book about a dysfunctional family called CRUSHED, although the book wasn't biographical in any sense of the word.

Q.    How did you come about Door's character?

A.    I had a naughty schoolfriend who was a true rebel. She genuinely felt like a real outsider and was always convinced she didn't belong. She felt misunderstood by her friends and family. I got the idea for Door's character from the way my schoolfriend thought and behaved. My friend's oldest daughter was tall and thin, so in the book, I made Door look like a beanpole. A friend's sister was called Dora, so I got the name Door by abbreviating Dora.

Q.    How did you come about the ideal for Dee to be a ballerina and Door to be a drummer?

A.    A friend's daughter was crazy about ballet. This friend seemed to spend her whole life driving her daughter round to ballet classes, rehersals and auditions. Her daughter lived for ballet. She wasn't interested in anything else. I made Door a drummer because I always wanted to play the drums when I was young - I used to love watching Keith Moon of The Who - but my parents refused to get me a drumkit they knew their life would be over if they did.

Q.    How did you come about the idea to have Mr. Brevington be an author?

A.    Writers are always supposed to write about what they know, so I made the father an author in the book. At least I didn't have to do any research! I'm very sensitive to noise when I'm writing so I knew that Mr Brevington really would hole himself up in his office in order to concentrate on writing, locked away from his noisy family.

Q.    Will there be a sequel to this book?

A.    Yes, because I've had such a positive response to CRUSHED. I've received loads of fan letters from adults as well as children, including one from a 27 year old girl in Hawaii! In the sequel, the girls will be at least a year older and will be serious about boys unlike the girls in CRUSHED who are just beginning to be interested in them. I'm giving a couple of talks to schoolchildren about CRUSHED soon. One will be at my local library and the other one will be at a private school. I intend to ask all the pupils to come up with a new name for the sequel !

Q.    How long have you been writing?

A.    I've always written - as long as I can remember. (I was reading fluently at three). I know this sounds corny, but writing chose me. At school, I loved writing English essays. Sometimes, my teacher used to say they were too oriignal! I also used to write for the school magazine. I've always kept a diary. I used to write mad and original stories for fun, but didn't attempt a novel until I was twenty. That was my first draft of FRANTIC which I got published centuries later after writing numerous drafts of the book. If I don't write, I feel peculiar.

Q.    Are you currently working on another novel?

A.    Yes I'm working on a novel for grownups, which I've been thinking about for years. I'm also working on a sequel to Crushed, and a book for younger children. Writing children's books gives me a good excuse to illustrate them. I love painting and drawing.

Q.    What type of atmosphere do you require to write?

A.    Quiet and solitude. I never play music when I'm writing but listen to sounds when I'm copy typing only. My desk is opposite a blank white wall. Paintings would get on my nerves. I have Heroes earplugs on my desk in case the neighbours get noisy.

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading CRUSHED?

A.    I would like readers to appreciate that families don't have to be rich to have a lot of fun, especially if they are creative.