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Spice Girl Geri read Jackie Collins novels as a teenager

Geri Halliwell-Horner was speaking at the Hay Festival (Ian West/PA)
Geri Halliwell-Horner was speaking at the Hay Festival (Ian West/PA)

Spice Girl Geri Halliwell-Horner has revealed she read the racy novels of Jackie Collins as a teenager.

The singer and children’s author said she hid the fact she was reading one of Collins’ novels from her mother – describing it as being full of “rude words”.

Halliwell-Horner, 51, said as child she read books by Enid Blyton and CS Lewis but her choices got more spicy in her teens.

“I remember when I was a little bit older, I was probably in my mid-teens, reading something, I think it might have been something by Jackie Collins – something like that which is a little more risque.

“My mum said, ‘What are you reading?’ and I was like, ‘Nothing’ because there was lots of rude words in it.

“I’ve always loved books and I’ve always got books in my bag.”

The former pop star, who is married to F1 boss Christian Horner, was speaking at the Hay Festival to promote her children’s adventure series Rosie Frost And The Falcon Queen.

The book follows orphan Rosie Frost who is sent to a mystery island, home to extraordinary teenagers and also a sanctuary for endangered species.

Halliwell-Horner signed a two-book deal and said she hopes it will become a trilogy in the future.

The series comes after the success of her Ugenia Lavender series, which was first published in 2008.

“I’ve always loved the power of word and enjoyed that storytelling,” she told the audience.

“You can tell it in three minutes in a song – it’s like an espresso shot of coffee – or you can tell a story in a novel.

“There are different ways to connect but the power of word, I have always loved it.”

Asked why she wrote children’s books, Halliwell-Horner said: “I’ve always loved books and I’ve always loved what they do.

“They can keep you company. When I was child, we didn’t have a lot of money to go on fancy holidays but when you get a book it’s like your best friend.

“A book can take you on an adventure. Those characters can fill you up and you can learn so much.

“I just loved reading. Prior to music I was studying English literature and I always felt so fulfilled from it.

“I’d always written poems and books when I was little, and I think in my thirties I wrote some children’s books.

“For me, if you are creative, it is such at itch within you that you have to scratch. I feel frustrated if I am not creative.

“For me it about character and if you don’t like the character why bother turning the page?

“I just felt that the character of Rosie Frost is at a difficult age and at turning points. I also felt the world needs a new hero and someone that is not perfect.

“I had this urge inside me to do it, I didn’t know if I could, I didn’t know if I should but I just kept on trying.

“With a bit of perseverance and falling down a lot of times, I got there.”

Halliwell-Horner said she loved being a mother and writer and was able to bring up her children while also finding time to write.

“I’ve always loved the power of words. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone has a story, everybody has got something interesting to say,” she said.

“When I had my first child, I had already started writing my first book. The good thing is about being a writer is you can do it anywhere.

“I remember with my first child, Bluebell, sticking her in the play pen, her little play jail, and I would start writing.

“I thought this was really useful and gives me the autonomy and I still get to be creative and still get to be a mother.

“I want to be around my children – they are most important thing to me in the world. But I also want to honour myself as creative human being.”