Scarlett Russell: “My first piece of advice is to cut down social media use – Instagram in particular.”

5 Questions With...

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[Note from Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Scarlett Russell and ask her 5(ish) questions. Scarlett’s novel Be Bad, Be Bold, Be Billie is out now!]

Aurora: What inspired you to write about Billie Eilish?

Scarlett: I’d love to say that I came up with this idea myself – but in fact I was approached with the idea by an editor at the publishers, Harper Collins. I work as a journalist at the Sunday Times Style magazine and expressed to HC my interest in writing books (I’ve previously written two novels) and that’s how it came about! Naturally, I said yes straight away and the concept, to me, felt so cool and required me to do a deep-dive into Billie Eilish, which I was excited about.

The book features a lot of empowering themes. If you had a piece of advice for a young person today like Billie, what would it be?

Great question. My first piece of advice is to cut down social media use – Instagram in particular. I have a Twitter and an Instagram account, but I know that the less time I spend there, the happier I am. Spending hours scrolling through other people’s filtered pictures, feeling bad about yourself and comparing your life to someone else’s is so dangerous for your self-esteem and mental health. Read a book instead, phone a friend, work on a project or do some exercise. My second piece of advice: Don’t over-pluck your eyebrows. A teenage mistake I will regret for the rest of my life. 

Who’s your favorite author and book and why? 

Oh, it’s so hard to land on one! Can I be greedy and have three? Wild by Cheryl Strayed, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – both beautiful and powerful books by superb writers that I turn to again and again. I’ve just finished Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo and cannot. stop. thinking about it. She writes so beautifully about London (my hometown) and her incredible characters. 

Which Billie Eilish song to do you most relate to and why?

My favourite Billie Eilish is Everything I Wanted. It is a gorgeous song. To me, it’s about love, loneliness, compassion and the realisation that if you imagine something to be the perfect end goal and that everything will be okay once you get there – then you will just be disappointed. 

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