Geri the children's writer feels inspired by Highgate

PUBLISHED: 15:25 24 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:32 07 September 2010

By Katie Davies MOVING to Highgate with a new baby is what has settled former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell into a career of penning novels rather than pop music, she told the Ham&High this week. In an exclusive interview the mother of one, formerly known a

By Katie Davies

MOVING to Highgate with a new baby is what has settled former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell into a career of penning novels rather than pop music, she told the Ham&High this week. She will be signing copies of her new book at Borders bookshop, Islington, on Saturday October 25 from 11.30am to 12.30pm.

In an exclusive interview the mother of one, formerly known as Ginger Spice, revealed how life by the Heath had caused her to turn her back on fame.

Writing children's books from home, Ms Halliwell, 36, says she is just as happy colouring in books with her two-year-old daughter Bluebell as she is attending exclusive parties with the rich and famous.

"Having a child made me move to Highgate," she said. Her daughter is audible in the background - and prompts giggles when she decides to stick a crayon in her mum's tea.

"I am a country girl at heart but I want to see my friends in London - so it's a nice balance. It's such an exclusive place to live in London. It's got amazing schools as well and I had to think about that [before I moved].

"One of the reasons I took up writing is that I can do it at home and be with my child at the same time.

"She's too young to enjoy the stories at the moment. It's really an age range from five to seven, and really some nine-year-olds can read them. Hopefully she will like them when she grows up.

"I love Kenwood and Hampstead Heath. It's so beautiful and I read the Ham&High - I was looking for a car boot sale in this week's edition.

"I did the party scene when I was younger and I got it out of my system so it doesn't do it for me anymore."

Unlike her Spice Girl colleagues Victoria Beckham and Mel B, Ms Halliwell, pictured below at her last book launch, wasn't attracted to a life in the States.

"I want my daughter to have an English accent because it's really elegant - also my friends and family are nearby," she said. "I was ill this week and my mum could come down on the train and look after Bluebell. That is really important to me as a single-parent mum.

"I have got some friends in LA but they are more dependable here. It's like Carrie in Sex And The City - what she feels about New York as her playground, I feel like that about London. My house is a sanctuary."

The move to Highgate and change in career seems to have prompted success - Ms Halliwell has just been named the top-selling children's author of 2008 by WHSmith. Her books, which chart the adventures of Ugenia Lavender, have sold 250,000 copies this year.

"I have always written - just before the Spice Girls I was studying English Literature," she added.

"My dad loved books and I think I inherited that from him.

"In between my second and third album I just wasn't feeling as passionate about music as I was before, but I still wanted to be creative. I took three to the publishers and they said they wanted 18 of them."

Geri Halliwell will be signing copies of her new book at Borders bookshop, Islington, on Saturday October 25 from 11.30am to 12.30pm.

katie.davies@hamhigh.co.uk

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