Geri Halliwell-Horner has been a household name for decades, since the Spice Girls first debuted with their hit single Wannabe in 1996. Geri was then known as Ginger Spice, the supergroup’s leader. Along with bandmates Victoria Beckham, Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton and Melanie Brown, the group became the best-selling girl group in history, selling more than 105 million records worldwide.
Since the group disbanded, Geri has lead a less public but no less busy life, marrying Formula 1 star Christian Horner in 2015. She also became a mom; her daughter Bluebell is 17 and her son Monty is 6 (she’s also stepmom to Horner’s 8-year-old daughter Olivia).
Professionally, she published her best-selling autobiography as well as a popular children’s book series, Ugenia Lavender. And just a few weeks ago, she released her first young adult novel, Rosie Frost & the Falcon Queen. The book follows the orphaned title character as she is sent to Bloodstone Island, a school for exceptional children. The fantastical tale includes a QR code for new music from the acclaimed author and singer which will be loved by old fans as well as younger ones.
For this week’s Meet a Mom interview, The Local Moms Network asked Geri about her new book, family life and more.
Congratulations on your new book! How did you make time to write?
I did a lot of the time when they were at school. I’d run to the desk as I knew that I had that window of time. Then after, when the kids were in bed or when my husband was asleep, I’d creep out of bed and go back to my computer.
Rosie has to overcome doubters and criticism. What’s the message of resilience you want readers to take from your book?
We can’t control what others do or say and outside circumstances, but I think our greatest armor is good self-worth. That builds slowly and surely through positive actions. But sometimes that confidence needs to grow with the help of others and showing up regardless even when we need just a bit of courage.
Anne Boleyn is an iconic literary figure. Why did you choose that character and name to tell Rosie’s story?
If we look back at her history, I feel she’s misjudged and marginalized in a way for being smart and she had a horrible time, so this is someone that lost her power. I used her because it was time to rewrite history and humanize her and she also had a child that became an orphan because of her execution. She left a child that was three years old. So, it’s really emphasizing that we’re not just dealing with people in history, we’re dealing with human beings. I can only imagine the pain she went through having to leave her daughter behind. I thought that was quite a poignant way to display that. And she was smart as well, and then watching her own daughter become the greatest monarch of her own time, I thought was quite poignant too.
Why was it important to you to share Rosie’s thinking process and inner conversation?
The new kind of hero is a vulnerable one. That’s a modern-day hero. You’re not airbrushing your feelings and trying to be strong all the time. A really great way to show that is through diary form. I thought it was really sort of straight to the point, the heart of the matter, to get into her heart and her head. It’s a device I’ve seen in other books.
Why is the idea of believing in yourself something you made central in your book?
Self-belief comes and goes. I think we can have it and then sometimes we get weathered by the storm. Sometimes we have to bury each other in our inner mirrors to give us that self-confidence, because we are not bulletproof and we’re not roadblocks. It’s really wonderful to have great entrusted friendships around you that give you that support.
Who from your real life influenced the character of Rosie?
I always have the character first because if you don’t care about the character then who cares whether they survive the mountain climb or not, so to speak. I’m using that metaphorically, but character 100% first. I can’t help but put a little bit of myself in there, but I always like baking a cake with different ingredients. Sometimes there’s a little bit of my daughter but some other people as well. I’ll borrow tiny bits and little pieces from other people in my life and then mix it with somebody else.
You have a 17-year-old daughter, 6-year-old son and a 9-year-old stepdaughter. What does your family think about your book?
My husband read it first and he was actually quite supportive. First of all, he said it’s much better than he thought it would be, and then he said that he couldn’t stop turning the pages. So, I felt very pleased with myself. And then my daughter really enjoyed it. My son is too young, but it’s perfect for Olivia. She’s a really good reader.
Are you still all in touch with your Spice Girls bandmates – and how do you reflect on that time in your life?
I’m incredibly grateful. It’s like having old school friends that shared a very special time together. Your lives might grow in different directions, but as soon as you see each other it’s just the same. So, it’s lovely.
So exciting that you’re releasing new music – what inspired you to record again, and can you tell your fans what to expect?
I wanted to make it an immersive world, so you really understand Rosie and the whole world she lives in. It helps the narrative. One is very fast paced. It’s got rap in it and it’s very up, and the other one is full of hearts, reflection, and gratitude that help you get through the hard times, you come out the other side and actually feel good about yourself.