Serena in Blind-Date Marriage is a bit of a contradiction. This picture from a fashion spread was as close as I could come to pinning her down.
She’s got a slightly unusual, boho style and Jake thinks she looks like a “bean sprouts and tofu kind of girl”. But if he thought that meant she wasn’t looking for a traditional relationship, he was sorely mistaken. Her unusual background has led her to crave the soap-commercial family life more than other girls.
That was my starting idea for Serena – a girl who might look unconventional on the outside, but inside wanted the fairytale so badly she could taste it. Just the right kind of girl to attract a commitment-phobic accountant with a gift for jumping to conclusions.
I like creating heroines who don’t fit the mould, whether that’s because of the way they dress or the way they look or think. Maybe it’s because I used to like being a little different myself.
As a teenager, I didn’t rebel much, only in what I wore by becoming what was labelled a ‘goth’. Most of my gothic friends were intelligent and sensible and it was okay visit art galleries together to look at pre-Raphaelite paintings and show each other our depressing poems. I look back now and wonder how I didn’t realise how pretentious we were sometimes, but I suppose that is the joy of being young: knowing everything except yourself.
Here’s a picture of me trying to look moody at the tail end of my gothic phase. I do have one where I have a six-inch Mohican and blue lipstick (I was going to a Siouxsie and the Banshees concert, I think), but thankfully, I couldn’t find it.
While I am nothing like Serena – she’s much braver emotionally than I will ever be – her personal style owes a little to my teenage love of dangly jewellery and long, swishy skirts.