Zena Barrie: Your Friend Forever

Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Your Friend Forever. My post is shared with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour and to Unbound for providing the extract.


Preston, 1981. Maud, who is twelve and lives with her dysfunctional parents and her elder brother, spends a lot of her time in her bedroom writing letters to her favourite popstar, Tom Harding, the lead singer of a punk band called Horsefly.

No one really understands her or tries to – and she thinks Tom just might have some answers to her many, many questions…


Letter to Friends of Horsefly

PO BOX 113,

London, W2

8th January 1981

Maud Harrison

22 Slater Street



Dear Tom,

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.

I have tried tucking the flared bit in my socks but one of them always pops out when I am walking along and the tucking in creates ankle lumps which don’t look very good either. My ankles are lumpy enough already. Well not lumpy but boney. My Dad told me that one of the bones in my ankle that sticks out is a boiled sweet I swallowed when I was young. I did believe it for a while and wondered why it didn’t dissolve and worried that my blood was too cold. Thankfully I am older and wiser now and am sure I have never swallowed an entire boiled sweet (I have a very detailed memory of my life so far). My ankle bone is quite big, if it was a boiled sweet I’d have choked to death on it. I just have to walk straight and look people in the eye when I pass them in the street and that way they won’t look down and see the bell bottoms flapping round my shins. It’s a technique that magicians use when they are doing their tricks. Do you like magicians? I think magicians are a bit creepy really. Hopefully people don’t think I’m creepy. I don’t mean to be. If I had a pair of trousers that fitted me properly I wouldn’t look at people at all.

Yours in anticipation of a favourable reply.

Maud Harrison.

P.S How tall are you?

P.P.S Are you married?

P.P.P.S I hope you don’t mind receiving unsolicited correspondence (letters) I suppose it comes with the territory of being a very successful pop star.

P.P.P.P.S I’m so pleased I have your address.

P.P.P.P.P.S I have SO many questions to ask you. It’s difficult to know where to start.

P.P.P.P.P.P.S What do you think of Mrs Thatcher? My Dad hates her, My Mum doesn’t seem interested either way. I don’t like the way she talks. I did briefly think about trying to talk like her at school, I thought it might make people listen to me, but then I realised there was no point.

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S If you’re wondering why I’m called Maud (An old woman’s / witches name) it’s because I’m named after My Dads Auntie that he fancied. She died before I was born though and I’ve never seen a picture of her. It’s probably a good job she’s dead because if my Dad carried on with her instead of my Mum I wouldn’t exist, or I could have been an inbred (a human ass) and incapable of bearing children (If I ever wanted to).

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S It’s not that I don’t have any actual hip bones. I do, I can feel them. They’re just still lined up with my rib cage. I’ve been led to believe this will change after I have metamorphosed (changed) into a functional woman. How old were you when you changed into a man?


Your Friend Forever is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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