Caitlin Moran has told The Bookseller that she was moved to write about teenage sexuality in her new novel How to Build a Girl (Ebury), in response to the Fifty Shades of Grey (Arrow) phenomenon, which she said had made her "angry and despairing".
Interviewed for this week's issue ahead of the release of her book in July, Moran, who said she would always write about “fat, gobby teenage girls”, argued that writing about sexual adventures was important for that age group. “I grew up reading Jilly Cooper at the age of 13; I think it’s really important which sexy books you read - particularly when you’re a girl," she said. "These form your sexual imagination and I wanted to get in there before anyone else and talk about sex.”
She is keen to redress an imbalance in books about teenagers, she added. “It’s always about teenage boys going off and having amazing adventures. You don’t see teenage girls anywhere unless they’re being bitten by vampires so I wanted to write about a funny, weird teenage girl having adventures, particularly sex adventures."
The Bookseller's books editor Alice O'Keeffe voted How to Build a Girl "very funny, honest and deliciously rude."