Ugenia Lavender

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Halliwell at a booksigning for Ugenia Lavender

Ugenia Lavender is the title character in a series of children's novels written by Geri Halliwell, who achieved fame as a member of the Spice Girls and as a solo singer-songwriter before deciding to pursue a career as an author. Halliwell began writing the books in 2004.[1] Macmillan Children's Books announced that Halliwell had signed a contract to write six books featuring the character on 12 April 2007.[2]

The first book, Ugenia Lavender, was published on 2 May 2008 in the UK.[3] Subsequent titles and planned release dates are Ugenia Lavender and the Terrible Tiger (6 June 2008), Ugenia Lavender and the Burning Pants (4 July 2008), Ugenia Lavender: Home Alone (1 August 2008), Ugenia Lavender and the Temple of Gloom (5 September 2008) and Ugenia Lavender: The One and Only (3 October 2008).[3]

Story[edit]

The books follow the adventures of nine-year-old Ugenia, a character based on Halliwell,[4] alongside her friends Bronte, Rudy and Trevor.[3] Other characters are said by Halliwell to be loosely based on Gordon Ramsay,[2] George Michael,[5] Marilyn Monroe,[6] Vincent van Gogh,[6] Wayne Rooney[1] and the character Justin Suarez from the TV series Ugly Betty.[1] The character Princess Posh Vattoria, a caricature of Halliwell's bandmate Victoria Beckham, was featured in early drafts but has not appeared in the book series.[7]

Each title will feature a newsletter from Ugenia highlighting lessons she has learned,[8] along with quizzes, riddles and crosswords,[3] and will be available in an audio book edition read by Halliwell.[1]

The books are illustrated by Rian Hughes.[3] Children's author Jonny Zucker is also given a special credit on the books, but Halliwell has maintained she wrote the books entirely on her own.[9]

Promotion[edit]

Promotional activities for the series included a launch reading by Halliwell at London Zoo on 27 April 2008[4] and a seven-city UK book tour planned for May 2008.[10] Halliwell has recorded a theme tune for use in advertisements for the books.[8]

Reception[edit]

A review in the Liverpool Echo described the first book as "eminently readable and exciting".[11] The children's book reviewer in The Observer said it was "good fun" but criticised the quality of the prose.[12]

Sales[edit]

According to the official site, the book sold more than 250,000 copies in its first 5 months making its author Geri Halliwell 2008’s most successful female celebrity children’s author.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Didcock, Barry (2008-05-05). "Geri Halliwell". Sunday Herald. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  2. ^ a b "Halliwell launches writing career". BBC News. 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "The first of six children’s books by Geri Halliwell" (DOC). Pan Macmillan press release. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  4. ^ a b "New chapter for author Geri as she presents her 'inner brat' Ugenia". Hello Magazine. 2008-04-28. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  5. ^ "Geri: Books first step to girl power". This Is Nottingham. 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  6. ^ a b Ellen, Barbara (2007-04-15). "Geri blossoms". The Observer. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  7. ^ "Geri Halliwell writes kids' books". BBC Radio 1. 3008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  8. ^ a b Dammann, Guy (2008-05-02). "Spice Girl renounces music for writing career". Guardian. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  9. ^ Guest, Katy (2008-05-04). "Publishing: They can sign an autograph, but can they actually write?". Independent. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  10. ^ "Geri announces book tour". Metro. 2008-04-21. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  11. ^ Tansley, Janet (2008-04-29). "Genia Lavender: She’s Totally Ingenious! by Geri Halliwell, £6.99hb (Macmillan)". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  12. ^ Merritt, Stephanie (2008-05-25). "Sir Nigel and the holy grail". The Observer. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  13. ^ http://www.ugenialavender.com/

External links[edit]