This is a ridiculously short post. I do apologise.
When we were discussing designs for the cover of ‘St Mallory’s Forever’, one of the main things we had to talk about was the uniform. Or, more specifically, the colours, since we’d specified in the book that they wore kilts.
Colours? I had no idea what we were going to choose. My own school has a boring grey pleated skirt – but I knew Charley had a kilt. I asked her for her colours, but she said she didn’t want it to be the same. Probably because she didn’t want teachers and students hounding her as they thought they were being portrayed unfavourably … (as Harper Lee found when inhabitants of Monroeville -sp? -, the real-life version of Maycomb, complained because they thought they were Miss Stephanie Crawford.)
So I was stumped. I looked at other schools in my area. Blue and green were pretty popular colours. I suggested this to the others.
No. We wanted something distinctive.
Red? I wasn’t keen. Helen, the character with whom I associate the most, would never stand for wearing a bright red kilt, even if it’s more traditional. Yellow? Ugh! The thought of a yellow skirt makes me want to run away to a country where they’re sensible enough to let girls wear trousers.
Red and yellow? And blue?
Okay, I said. On one condition. The blue is prominent and the colours are the highlights.
I was mainly thinking of poor Helen’s appearance, if I’m honest, but also just general aesthetics. They acquiesced and in fact, the cover ended up featuring a skirt that was blue, white and red – no yellow in sight.
Mark once joked that if Charley and I ever appeared on morning TV, doing interviews about St Mall’s, we’d have to wear the kilts. I said she could wear a kilt, I wasn’t going to – my school, as I’ve mentioned, has a boring and significantly cheaper uniform than that.
But strangely enough, I realised recently that one of the few skirts I own is coloured and patterned in the exact same way as the one on the cover of St Mall’s.