The Art of Being Emily - Katie MacAlister


The Year My Life Went Down the Loo was my first foray into young adult literature, and launched Dorchester Publishing’s Smooch line. I was thrilled to bits to be asked to kick off the line, since my inner sixteen-year-old was only too ready to write books.

Four other Emily books followed Loo, as well as two vampire books, and one stand-alone novel, all originally written under the name of Katie Maxwell. Recently, I revisited the books to update them a bit, and have re-released under the Katie MacAlister name. I hope you enjoy Emily as much as I do!


Subject: I'm here safely in hell, thank you

From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Date: 2 September 6:13pm

GAH! My room is haunted! And not just haunted by any old run-of-the-mill ghost—oh, no, my ghost is an underwear pervert!

Dru, Dru, dear, sweet Dru, I can't begin to tell you just how awful my life is. Well, OK, I can, and since I'm having to suffer, you, as my numero uno best friend, are going to have to suffer with me. Even though you're halfway around the world from me, you'll still suffer with me, won't you? 'Cause I'd do it for you. You know I would. I always get sympathy cramps for you, don't I?

Where should I start in the catalog of horror that is now my life? Well, first of all, no, I didn’t talk Brother into getting us international cell phones. How I’m supposed to exist without the ability to text, or send you pictures of dishy guys via Snapchat, or Instagram, or any of that is beyond me, but you know how my father is—if there’s a buck to be saved, he’s dibsed it. I’m horrified to be stuck with only e-mail, but until I can talk some reason into the Ancient One, I guess we’ll just have to do this the old fashioned way. Ugh.

Don't be surprised if you get a letter from Brother or my mom saying I died (my obituary will read: Emily Williams, sixteen but looks eighteen, died Tuesday night of a broken heart after being torn from her friends and home in a mondo cool area of Seattle—conveniently located to both malls and water parks—and dragged all the way to England, a country that STILL HAS DISCOS!). This place is...well, I don’t want to say it’s awful, because there’re castles and cool stuff like that, and the guys sound really sexy with their English accents, but gah! Everything is so friggin' old! It's “Oh, look at that, Emily, that building is five hundred years old” this, and, “That piece of Stonehenge has been standing in that spot for fifty gazillion years” that.

Well, duh! It's a rock! It's not like it's going to sprout legs, buy a thong, and go to Tahiti for a windsurfing vacation, now, is it?

That was Brother who said the bit about the rock, BTW (the first bit, not the thong part). You know him—the man lives for old stuff like that. Needless to say he's in seventh heaven here in Ye Olde Englande. So, anyway, I survived the move. Little tip from me to you: if your parents suggest moving you away from your rightful home to live in another country for a year, making you give up everything that’s important, do not, under any circumstances, agree to go sightseeing with them. Especially if your dad is a medieval scholar like Brother, 'cause I'm here to tell you that you'll end up looking at nothing but stupid old rocks and buildings that should be plowed under to make room for more malls. You wouldn’t believe this, but I’ve been here two whole days, and all we’ve seen are libraries!

“Can’t we go see Windsor Castle?” I asked, thinking that Prince Harry guy might be hanging around there.

“Maybe another day. Brother wants to see a very old illuminated manuscript,” Mom said. “It’s very important to his research to see it in person.”

“How about the dungeon museum? I heard there’s one in London. That’s not only very cool, it’s historical, too. Bet there’s medieval stuff there.”

“Another time, Em,” Brother said, and went off about how wonderful the library was that we were going to. I tell you, Dru, I was going crazy being trapped in the car with them, travelling from library to library having to look at a bunch of moldy old books.

Anyhoodles, I survived the sightseeing (if I ever see another illuminated manuscript, I may just ralph), and Brother's driving on the wrong side of everything, and