The best-selling children’s novelist, who has often been asked why she hadn’t written more about gay characters, tackles the subject in her 111th book, Love Frankie, in which tomboy Frankie falls in love with Sally, the prettiest girl in her class. Wilson told Guardian Review in an interview published on Saturday that she had put her “heart and soul” into the story, and said that she knew “perfectly well that it would shed some light on my own private life” .
While this is not news to those who know her, she has never spoken publicly about her partner Trish, whom Wilson met at a party after the breakdown of her marriage in her early fifties.
“I have never really been in any type of closet. It would be such old news for anyone who ever knew much about me. Even the most vague acquaintance knows perfectly well that we are a couple, ”she said. The only person to be “dismayed” by her relationship was her mother, she added. But: “It was not too devastating for me because my mother cordially hated my ex-husband; she really didn’t approve of any of my friends. “
The former 74-year-old children’s winner spoke to the Guardian from his home in Sussex. The author of some of the UK’s most popular children’s books, from Hetty Feather to Tracy Beaker, Wilson said that she had not previously focused a novel on a gay character because she told stories about children having problems, and she didn’t show “any problem with homosexuality”.
Love Frankie, to be released in August, also features a sick mother, separation, bullying and sibling rivalries. Wilson says she wanted to write, “a truthful and honest book about a girl who falls in love with another girl. It’s certainly not for young gay teens, it’s for all teens who have already worried because they have not fallen in love or have fallen in love. “
Wilson added that she did not consider herself a mentor for teens who found it difficult to accept their sexuality. “I don’t think girls would want a gray-haired, wrinkled writer as a model if they wanted to feel good about being gay,” she said. “I’m sure they could find much more glamorous examples. “
A novelist friend, she said, said to him one day, “I don’t think you are a lesbian, I think you are Trishian.” And Wilson replied, “I think it really sums it up.” “