Scottish teenager Estelle Maskame started writing books at the age of 12. Her trilogy dubbed DIMILY - an acronym of the first book in the series Did I Mention I Love You? - went viral after she began posting chapters on a publishing website.


Millions of people around the world logged on to read her words, seeing the 17-year-old from Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, garner a loyal group of fans. Her success has been likened to the cult-like following of vlogger and author Zoella, a comparison which Maskame describes as "crazy" (in a good way).







Maskame landed a book deal with Edinburgh-based Black and White Publishing last December. The first of her novels was released as an ebook last month and shot straight to No1 in the iBooks Young Adult charts. The paperback version is released on July 1.


A clever modern twist on the age-old tale of star-crossed lovers, the second and third books - titled Did I Mention I Need You? and Did I Mention I Miss You? - are due to be published in September and January respectively.


Maskame left school last year and is concentrating on writing full time. The younger of two daughters, she lives with her parents Stuart, a funeral director, and Fenella, a shop assistant.


Here the self-described bookworm and hopeless romantic, talks DIMILY, fashion, newfound fame, teenage life and her spectacular rise through the publishing world.


You're the focus of this week's fashion shoot. How would you describe your typical style?


I like dresses and heels, but equally enjoy being laidback in what I wear with jeans and Converse [trainers]. I write in my pyjamas.


What did you think of the clothes on the fashion shoot?


There were some great pastel colours, exactly what I would wear for the summer. I quite liked the white jeans.


Vintage or brand spanking new?


I tend to go with the fashion trends and like to wear whatever is in at that moment.






When did you discover a passion for writing?


I was always writing stories growing up but it wasn't until I was 12 that I started to take it a bit more seriously and wrote my first novel. That was just for practice. I then wrote this trilogy when I was 13.

At primary school we had story writing afternoons. The best writers would get rewarded with a star writer badge - I got the star writer badges a lot and it was a highlight of my childhood.

By seven or eight, I was writing so many stories that my teacher would put them in a folder called Estelle's Stories and lay them out for people to read.


How did your DIMILY books first find fame?


I posted them on a website called Wattpad and started to promote it through Twitter. Whenever I finished a chapter I would post it online. In the end, my books got four million hits from all over the world - some from countries I hadn't even heard of.


How did it feel when the novels went viral last year?


It was insane and still feels a bit surreal. When I started posting them online I never imagined they would get so many readers. Every time I wrote a chapter, there would be people waiting for me to post it. Sharing it that way made the writing experience enjoyable.

I never thought I would get published at such a young age. I had dreams of getting published one day, so the fact it has happened is quite hard to get my head around. I feel lucky and grateful.


Where did the idea for the storyline come from?


I started to think about a plotline where people can't be together. Typically it is because they are from different social classes or something like that, but I wanted it to be more serious.

That's when I came up the idea for step siblings because it's not technically illegal but still seems wrong. It was only ever meant to be one book but ended up growing into a trilogy.


You have built a huge global following. Is that something which has taken some getting used to?


I like the fact I'm close with my readers. I think it makes them more interested in the books because they are able talk to me. I don't think it would feel the same if I didn't know my readers so well. I almost feel like I'm friends with them.

I always knew where I was going with the plotline but it was nice to hear their thoughts too. If someone guessed what was coming next I would think: "Oh, that's too obvious. I better tweak it."

There are a few people who have made Twitter accounts dedicated to the books. I can't keep up with them all, but they usually tweet quotes and talk about the plot.


What has been the reaction of family and friends?


My mum and dad are so proud of me. I think everyone is a bit overwhelmed with it as well.

The first book is set in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California - how does that compare to Peterhead?

They are completely different. Peterhead is dull and boring while Santa Monica is so lively. The second book is set in New York and the third mainly in Portland, Oregon. I haven't been to any of the locations. I write about them through research and speaking to people who are from there.


Are there any similarities between you and the main character Eden Munro?


We both wear Converse, are persistent and stubborn. It's hard not to have some of your own personality traits shine through when you are writing.






Your fans are already talking about how they would love to see the books made into a movie. If that did happen, who would you cast in the lead roles?


It is wishful thinking at the moment but I would love to see Drew Roy and Selena Gomez. They look most like how I imagine the two main characters to be.


The internet and social media is a huge part of teenage life today. Can it be both friend and foe?


Definitely. The internet is good for so many things but at the same time there is the bad side. When I was posting my books online, most of the time it was positive feedback but a few people were nasty. Thankfully I haven't had that for ages now.

It is hard to ignore negative comments. There was a couple of people who were relentless, tweeting all day, every day. It can get to you, but you just have to think about all of the people who do love your work.

Ultimately, you are the one gaining readers online and it is the people saying those negative things who are wasting their time. It does give you extra motivation to work harder and prove them wrong.


Away from writing, what are your big passions?


Everything is centred around writing. Even when I'm not writing, it is all I can think about. I'm always jotting down ideas for the next scene or chapter. I have lots of notes on my mobile phone, usually random sentences and quotes.


What's next: do you plan to expand the trilogy or write a new series?


This will remain as a trilogy but I definitely have more novels planned. I'm going to stick with the young adult romance/contemporary genre because as a teenager it's easy to write about that. I hope to start writing new books some time next year.


Did I Mention I Love You? by Estelle Maskame is available now in ebook format and published in paperback by Black and White Publishing on July 1. The DIMILY Book Tour will be at Waterstones in Aberdeen at 1pm on July 11; WH Smith in Peterhead at 12.30pm on July 16; Waterstones Edinburgh West End at 1pm on July 18; and Waterstones Glasgow Argyle Street at 1pm on July 19. Visit


Words: Susan Swarbrick

Styling: Eva Arrighi

Photographs: Julie Howden


Read our top ten list of young Scottish stars.