Sunday, 7 October 2012

Happy birthday, Kerry!

Kerry Davison (standing) played by Claire Handley in the 2012 theatre version of Popular. She's with Gareth Russell as Cameron Matthews, Emma Taylor as Imogen Dawson and Lucy Williams as Catherine O'Rourke.
Today is the birthday of the fabulous Kerry Rogan, who was one of the real-life inspirations for Popular's princess of pink, Kerry Davison. In honour of this glorious day, I've decided to post a special sneak-peak preview of Popular's sequel. This is also in prep for some good news and an announcement about the book's title, which will be announced on Facebook very soon!

This scene is from chapter 2 of the sequel and it takes place on the group's holiday to Mexico! It's one of my favourite scenes of Kerry!


In a luxurious Mexican resort twenty miles south of San JosĂ© del Cabo, the great love of Blake Hartman’s life stepped out into the balmy evening air arm-in-arm with Blake’s number one enemy. Standing at exactly six feet in height, trim and tall, with dark hair and blue eyes, Cameron Matthews was dressed in a blue Hugo Boss shirt and white linen trousers. Next to him, with her arm looped through his, Meredith Harper cut a dramatically elegant figure in a Missoni cocktail dress with Mont Blanc diamond studs glistening in her ears and a silver bracelet jangling lightly on her wrist. Her long, gorgeous brunette tresses were swept up for the evening into a cross between a messy bun and a faux bob, with its trail ends bouncing along in perfect synchronicity to the click-clack of her Louboutins as they walked across the marble. She looked like a movie star and an 18th-century aristocrat rolled into one. Trailing miserably behind them, in a pretty Therapy dress, was Blake’s ex-girlfriend, Catherine O’Rourke, looking like she would rather be anywhere on Earth than attending this dinner on the restaurant veranda in one of the most expensive and exclusive resorts in Mexico.

Weaving their way through the other diners, Cameron, Meredith and Catherine approached a circular table set for five at the far end of the veranda. Already sitting down were two striking blondes – Imogen Dawson and Kerry Davison. Kerry’s perpetually perfect curls dangled around her head and she tossed them back as she picked up her second margarita of the evening. Opposite her, Imogen was busy stubbing out a cigarette and hooting with laughter at whatever point Kerry was making. From the table next to them, Cameron could see two young men out for dinner with their parents, trying to steal covert glances at Imogen when they thought no-one was looking.     

‘Oh,’ she said, as the other three sat down. ‘I didn’t think you’d be able to make it, Catherine.’

‘I’m feeling a bit better,’ Catherine said, with a watery smile.

‘That’s good,’ Imogen replied, without much conviction. ‘Has anyone else had the chicken?’

‘Yes, I had it last night,’ Meredith answered. ‘It was quite nice. Too much cheese though.’

‘I love cheese,’ whispered Kerry, tenderly. ‘Love it.’

‘Cameron, you need to order a drink. It’s catch-up time,’ Imogen ordered.

‘How many have you had?’ Cameron asked.

‘Three,’ said Imogen, raising her margarita glass to him and winking.

‘I’ll go order us some from the bar then,’ he said with a smile.

‘Just order a round of five,’ suggested Imogen, eliciting a panicked grimace from Kerry, who now practically stuck her face into her enormous cocktail glass to try and finish it off before Cameron returned with another.

‘This place is so beau, Meredith. Isn’t it, Kerry?’

Kerry nodded at Imogen’s prompt, but didn’t remove her mouth from the rim of her glass. 

‘Isn’t it?’ sighed Meredith. ‘… Such a good idea.'

‘Our holidays are the best,’ agreed Imogen. ‘Everyone in school was so jealous. Hilarious. We’ll need to go somewhere equally fabulous next year, though. Once you start this kind of thing, you can’t stop.’

‘Paris!’ squealed Kerry, hiccupping slightly at removing herself from the margarita and trying to speak at the same time. ‘J’adore.’

‘Well, we can do Paris for a weekend in Christmas,’ Meredith reasoned. ‘Who on earth would want to go there in the summer?’

‘I would,’ said Kerry. ‘I said, j’adore.’

‘Paris is hideous in the heat, Kerry,’ Meredith replied, condescendingly. ‘That’s why all the actual Parisians leave it in August.’

Kerry regarded Meredith with sizzling dislike for a moment, before catching sight of Cameron picking-up a tray of five cocktails from the bar and hastily returning to her margarita mission. ‘What about Dubai?’ Imogen suggested. ‘Sexy times.’

‘Imogen, you will not be able to shimmy around dressed like Cleopatra,’ groaned Meredith. ‘We’ve been over this. No matter how hard you try to ignore it, the UAE has a dress code these days and you’re the kind of girl who’ll end up in prison because of it.’

‘Jihad would not be fun, would it?’

‘No, Imogen. It wouldn’t.’

‘What’s going on?’ asked Cameron, passing the drinks to his friends, including an especially pleased-looking Kerry, who triumphantly placed her empty glass in the centre of the table.

‘We’re thinking about where to go next year,’ Meredith informed him. ‘Maybe Paris during the Christmas holidays ...’

‘That was my idea,’ smiled Kerry.

‘... but, we’ve no idea about next summer.’

‘What about a cruise?’ asked Cameron.

‘Oh, fun!’ gasped Imogen. ‘I’ve heard they’re literally the most wonderfully tacky things in the history of humanity. We have to do it!’

‘Well, not all of them are,’ said Meredith. ‘It depends where you go and who you go with.’

A pale and panicked Kerry’s fist slammed down on the table. ‘No!’

‘No, what?’ asked Cameron.

‘No cruise,’ she answered. ‘Me no likey boats.’

‘They’re not boats, they’re ships,’ he said pedantically.

‘I don’t care!’ Kerry snapped. ‘If you take me on one of those, I will go into our cabin, curl up in the bed and cry until we see land again.’

‘Why do you hate boats so much?’ Imogen asked, between sips.

‘Have you forgotten what happened to the Titanic?’

‘I don’t really think we’ll be going anywhere near icebergs for our summer holiday,’ Meredith said. ‘And that was a long time ago. Didn’t someone tell me that the Titanic was the last boat to sink because of an iceberg?’

‘Well, it wasn’t!’ hissed Kerry. ‘Whoever told you that was lying. Weren’t they, Cameron?’

‘Maybe they just made a mistake.’

‘They were liars,’ Kerry muttered darkly ‘One sank very recently.’

'Did it actually?’ Meredith asked.

‘Yes,’ Cameron reluctantly admitted. ‘But it was in the Arctic on an iceberg-viewing expedition, so it was basically asking for it, and it took something like seven hours to sink and there were two other boats nearby, so everybody got off in time and everybody lived.’

‘See? You’ve got nothing to worry about,’ breezed Imogen. ‘I vote for cruise.’

‘Nothing to worry about?’ screeched a scandalised Kerry. ‘OK. Fine! These other boats who rescued the people, did they just happen to be in the area?’

‘I think so,’ said Cameron.

‘And why did they pick these people up off the other boat? Out of the goodness of their hearts or because they legally had to? What if our boat hits an iceberg and we’re stuck next to some bastarding heartless captain who doesn’t want any more passengers?’

‘Then I’m pretty sure he’d be tried for homicide or contributory negligence or something,’ shrugged Cameron.

‘They’d send him to Davey Jones’s locker!’ Imogen interjected loudly, having now polished off her fourth margarita.

Ignoring her, Kerry pressed on relentlessly: ‘Right, I understand that this is the first one to hit an iceberg and actually sink since, like, 1912, and I also understand that it took seven hours to sink, but that’s just luck! How long did it take the Titanic to sink?’

‘About two and a half hours, I think,’ said Cameron.

‘Oh my God,’ groaned Imogen. ‘The movie was longer than the actual thing.’

‘I hate that movie,’ interjected Meredith. ‘Stupid, ungrateful heifer.’

‘I know!’ Imogen nodded. ‘You could definitely have fitted two people onto that big bit of wood at the end.’

‘Oh, yeah, that. Plus leaving the fiancĂ© was super unbelievable,’ sighed Meredith.  

‘And how cold was the water where this boat sank in only seven hours, Cameron? As cold as a thousand knives stabbing you all over your body?’

‘Kerry, I don’t know. It was in the Arctic. I assume it was very cold, yes.’

‘And what if there are big bad-assed fishes?’ she said dangerously, digging her nails into his arms.

‘Well, you’d either be in a lifeboat or in a rescue ship,’ Cameron said, trying to pull his flesh away from her talons. ‘I doubt you’d know what fish were near you.’

‘But what if, in my panic, I’m running around on the deck crying so hard that I accidentally run off the side of the ship and there’s a big m’a-fucka’a of an octopus waiting down there for me? Or! What if someone pushes me?’ she said, shooting daggers across the table accusingly at Meredith and Imogen.

‘Why would an octopus be waiting for you?’ asked a baffled Cameron.

‘Because they are the snakes of the sea,’ Kerry whined, ‘and you know how I feel about snakes. If I even see a snake on TV, I can’t breathe and I feel sick. So what happens if I plummet into the Atlantic, land next to an octopus and have a panic attack? I will definitely drown.’

‘OK!’ said Meredith, loudly. ‘Let’s just forget the idea of a cruise.’

A teary-eyed Kerry nodded and returned to her drink, breaking the silence ten seconds later by muttering: ‘Scary, eight-legged m’a-fucka’as.’


  1. that was AMAZING.

  2. Gareth Russell PLEASE RELEASE THE SECOND BOOK OF POPULAR. I am dying to read it. Like, DYING. Please please please please please..
    -one of your biggest fans (cliched phrase, but I actually mean it)

  3. I bought your second book last week and ended up not having enough sleep from reading it. It's totally fabulous.

  4. Thank you so much! That's fantastic to hear and I'm so glad you enjoyed it!


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