Jess avoids telling her parents about Fred, and Jess’s parents avoid telling her the truth about why they split up.But when everything comes out at the end, it works out surprisingly well. It seems as if they’re all waiting for a terrible reaction that never quite comes.Is it typical first-love stuff, or totally over the top?A: Jealousy is just one of those horrible emotions which we all suffer from, and we hate ourselves even as we’re feeling it. You see it in the animal world all the time, with creatures competing for mates.
Did you conceive of Jess’s story as a trilogy, or did you write one book and then find yourself eager to revisit the character?Q: Jess reacts to the news of her dad’s homosexuality quite well–she’s excited and enthusiastic, not at all upset.Do you think her reaction stems from her fairly cheerful personality, or is it typical of her generation?As if all this weren’t enough, Jess’s mum seems to expect her to weep at the grave of every departed literary hero in Britain’s long history. And little does Jess know, a huge surprise awaits her when she visits her dad at his home for the first time in years. Not only will this force Jess and Fred apart for two whole weeks, it will also leave the darling and handsome Fred in the clutches of Jess’s blindingly beautiful best friend, Flora—who, you might recall, expressed an interest in Fred not too long ago.As if all this weren’t enough, Jess’s mum seems to expect her to weep at the grave of every departed literary hero in Britain’s long history. And little does Jess know, a huge surprise awaits her when she visits her dad at his home for the first time in years. Sue Limb is a children’s book author whose works include Big and Little, China Lee, Me Jane, Big Trouble, Mr Loopy and Mrs Snoopy, and Come Back, Grandma, which was short-listed for the Smarties Prize.A: I hope this is the reaction most modern teenagers would produce, because homophobia is an ugly and negative phenomenon.