Your Friend Forever
By Zena Barrie
A novel in letters – from 12 year old Maud (and 42 year old Maud) to her favourite pop star
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We meet Maud, a lonely confused 12-year-old girl living on an estate in Preston with her dysfunctional parents and her elder brother.
As Maud’s family fall apart at the seams she reaches out to her favourite pop star Tom Harding of punk rock band Horsefly, the only person she thinks will understand everything she is going through and who might just have the answers to her many, many questions.
We find Tom Harding at the beginning of a campaign trail for his new solo single but his manager doesn’t have Tom’s best interests at heart and the stunts he’s asked to pull to get publicity become more and more bleak.
Meanwhile Maud is 20 years into a marriage that has become miserable.
She gets some good news though, her best friend’s husbands friend has just fitted Tom Harding’s new stair carpet and Tom’s email address is passed on to Maud.
So once again, after 30 years, Maud begins to write to Tom
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Zena Barrie lives in Manchester and runs The Greater Manchester Fringe and the Camden Fringe. She ran the Kings Arms pub and Theatre in Salford for a while and also The Etcetera Theatre in Camden as well as working in a wide variety of roles at The Edinburgh Fringe.
In the 90’s she did a degree in Drama and Theatre Arts specialising in playwriting.
Up until recently she has been co-hosting the award winning spoken word night Verbose.
This is her first novel. She writes lots of twisted short stories too.
My name is Maud Harrison, I’m 12 years old, 13 next week so I might as well say I’m 13 (a teenager) I live in Preston, not in the centre where all the shops are, but in a place called Hutton, it’s basically just lots of houses. I’m a really big fan of your band (Horsefly) and of you in particular (as you are the songwriter and I get a LOT from the songs) (life information and feelings). I read in Smash Hits that you collect thimbles since your Great Grandma left you some in her will. How did she die? (I hope it’s not hereditary).
I have enclosed the thimble from my mums sewing box, she doesn’t use it, (I’ve never seen her use it anyway) I hope it fits. Your hands are probably bigger than my Mums. Do you have big hands? I’ve wrapped it in toilet roll (it’s clean).
I’ve enclosed a stamped addressed envelope (an SAE). Please could you send me your autograph and post it to me in the SAE (stamped addressed envelope)?
I really like the trousers you were wearing in Sounds Magazine last month. I only have one pair of trousers and they are flared which is really embarrassing and they’re too short for me because I have grown (I am now the same height as a naturally short woman or a woman who has suffered stunted growth due to poor health). I can still get in them because I don’t have any hips yet.
- 7th September 2019 Your Friend Forever
Hi all, you absolute belters.
Thanks so much for supporting my book.
I'm at 54% now, I'm giving myself til the end of September to finish crowd funding and then after that I'll send my daughter up a few chimneys to raise the last few quid and then i'll have done it.
Once I'm at 100% i'll have to get my final draft finished, i'll probably go away for a few days to escape from the internet and…25th June 2019 Wet Cotton Shirt
Thanks so much for pledging. There's 137 of you so far which is EXCELLENT.
Here is another little extract. It's one of Mauds letters from the first half of the book.
Letter to Friends of Horsefly
PO BOX 113,
4th August 1981
(Or do you prefer being called Thomas? Or did your Mum Christen you just ‘Tom’ I like both names, I would love to know…21st June 2019 A Midsummer Night's insomnia
Happy Midsummer's day. It's 4.58 am. I have been awake for HOURS.
No fairies or donkeys though (so far, though maybe that's suppsed to happen tonight).
I just can't sleep because it's too light and my head switched on, and once it's on, it's very difficut to turn it off again.
My crowd funding is going well so far, 33% with 129 backers THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU.
These people are helping to fund Your Friend Forever.