YouTube star Zoella, real name Zoe Sugg, has revealed she is writing the sequel to her debut novel Girl Online (Penguin) without the help of an “editorial consultant”.
Girl Online was written with the assistance of Siobhan Curham, although Curham’s involvement with the book was not initially made explicit. Penguin confirmed Curham’s role after rumours began circulating on social media.
Speaking on her YouTube channel this weekend, Sugg said she was writing the new book with her editor Amy Alward’s help instead. Alward is editorial director at Penguin Children’s Books.
"Amy’s been coming to my house every week for the past four months...we essentially spend the day bashing heads and writing the book together,” said Sugg. “With Girl Online I also had an editorial consultant who helped me get everything down on the page and as it was my first novel it was all very daunting and very scary but I feel as though I’m learning as I go along so now it’s just me and Amy for book two.”
“I really enjoy my time with Amy because she obviously knows what she’s doing, she’s a pro at this and I’m learning as I go along,” continued Sugg. “It is definitely the most fun thing I am doing right now. It’s so exciting, every week I am super excited.” The video also features Alward. However Sugg said she didn’t usually film “book days"… "because it’s just us sat typing and that’s not very fun”.
Girl Online is about Penny, who blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, the panic attacks that have begun to take over her life and more. Sugg said she had decided “on all the themes and storyline for the second book” and had added new characters.
“We’ve got some old characters back, we have some new characters and the book has a very obvious general theme which I could give away by telling you the title which I might do at some point,” she said.
She continued: “I am currently typing up chapter 11 so that’s how far along we are. We do have quite a tight deadline though. I’m writing this up and then I’ll send it to Amy. I was just saying to Amy I say 'and' way too much. That’s the blog post writer in me. And I keep putting exclamation marks like everything is so exciting. So I’m having to go through and remove those but it’s all a learning curve, it’s all very exciting.”
Sugg said the novel was “shaping up nicely”.
Girl Online has recorded sales of 343,562 copies in the UK via Nielsen BookScan.