#loveOzYA peeps – if you haven't already seen it, @frantatkinson has done a great round up of the year ahead in this weekend's Spectrum and Age. It says Oz YA has a 'first class reputation' so that made me proud. Then I got scared because @willkostakis looks so bad ass. Then I got happy because they used a photo of me that was taken when I was up the duff with my second child and it was her birthday yesterday, so I could say, 'There's a picture of you in the paper today (kind of)'. Then I felt proud again because our lily pad in the book pool has GOT IT GOING ON! Big congratulations to all the other authors, there are some seriously good books coming and I can't wait to read them. Thanks to @gabfromsoudan and @lisaheidke for telling me it was there – I actually had Spectrum, but hadn't found it because my attention span is ….squirrel! @allenandunwin #summerskin
A photo posted by Kirsty Eagar (@kirstyeagar) on
news & interviews
As promised, here’s the podcast that Justine Larbalestier and I did with the fantastic Sarah McDuling of Booktopia. I really enjoyed doing this – it was my first-time-ever podcast! Loved listening to Justine talk about her research and influences. Didn’t even mind talking about my own book – that’s a win! Hope you enjoy it.
Afterwards we went and toured the Booktopia warehouse because we all secretly have a thing for sexy High Vis vests. It was freaking huge. HUGE. Here are some snaps:
Yes, I know, I feel like it’s been around for ages too. But it came out yesterday, on the 27th of January, and of course I have to say the date because 27 is my lucky number. My best friend, as best friends do, went straight down to her local bookshop and harassed them (which they didn’t mind because she also buys lots of books from them) and asked why it wasn’t in the YA section, and they said:
Oh, no, it’s too sexy for that. We’re putting it in Adult
I also want to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to Justine Larbalestier, whose book My Sister Rosa went out into the world on the same day. When you read it – and you have to because it’s one of the most suspenseful novels I have ever read – you will agree that the idea of Rosa being out in the world is actually quietly terrifying. But as long as she’s contained within pages it’s a very good thing. I am wildly excited about doing Sydney and Melbourne launches with Justine, because we bounce off each other really well, and also because she’s a top chick. (We also did a podcast together at Booktopia, and I’m putting it in a following post).
And another big CONGRATULATIONS to Megan Jacobson who debuted yesterday with her novel, Yellow. My comments after reading a review copy were quoted on the jacket: ‘This story has such a generous heart. I loved it. Utterly unique and beautifully written, Yellow pulls you into the rhythms of life in a small coastal town; its beauty and its harsh realities. But it’s the supernatural element that illuminates the story, weaving through the loves and hopes of characters you care for deeply. I was there every inch of the way with Kirra, as she fought for a future she could believe in, and I cheered for her too.’
I’ll leave you with one more thing. I did an interview with Libby Armstrong, owner of a new bookstore opening in Sydney: Beachside Bookshop (above). I have mentioned this new bookstore a lot on social media, but can’t remember if I have mentioned it here. The important thing is that it specialises in Children’s and Young Adult literature. Whoot! Whoot! The other important thing is that Libby is heaps of fun and second generation YA bookseller – Ruth Park was her pen pal – yes, I’m serious. So if you’re in Sydney, go and say hello (or come to the launch of the bookshop in Avalon on the 18th – details here). And in the meantime, watch the video above. It was filmed, directed and edited by Tom Sanderson, an incredibly talented young filmmaker. Plus Tradies.
PS If you do happen to read Summer Skin, I hope you like it, and thank you for all the support you have shown me in general (not just if you read it).
This is what White Horses has to say about this issue:
We’re stoked to present this very special issue of White Horses, completely dedicated to, and created by, female surfers.
We believe this is the best publication about women’s surfing ever put together.
I agree. And not just because I’m in it. What I love is that it features women and girls from all walks of life talking about the ocean and surfing. Some of them I even know (shout out to Amy Kotch :). And it’s presented in White Horses‘ usual visually stunning, non-wanky style. Don’t forget too that White Horses was the first magazine to feature Steph Gilmore on the cover, even though by the time that came around she’d already been World Champ multiple times. While most of the surf media is so cutting edge they’re out in space sans oxygen, I love White Horses because it moves at a different pace and is so inclusive.
Anyway, thanks to my good friend Gary from Mug of Sunshine, I am in the issue talking about surfing and writing and where the two crossover.
But like I said, just get it because it’s beautiful. You don’t have to be a surfer either. Anyone who loves the sea will enjoy it.
Jo Stapley runs the UK blog Once Upon A Bookcase and is holding a month dedicated to examining the topic of sex in teen literature. There’s some fabulous reading here, people – reviews, interviews and opinions. Space has also been given to the topic of sex crimes, and I was interviewed by Jo because she has read and reviewed RAW BLUE, which not only deals with the aftermath of sexual assault, but has a story line that involves the main character reclaiming her own sexuality through eventually having a healthy sexual relationship. A couple of quotes:
… it occurred to me while writing it that the most powerful thing Carly was going to do was reclaim her own sexuality. And she does that. But she can’t until it’s with the right person. Ryan does earn her trust to an extent, but I also had the feeling that there was a strong sense of urgency for her. I didn’t want her to exhibit perfect, socially approved, ‘good girl’ behaviour. I wanted her to be real. Real is helpful to the reader. Perfect just makes people feel like they fall short. I’m not interested in perfect at all. It doesn’t exist.
With regard to sex in teen fiction: my view is that in a world full of porn, there is a definite place and need for stories that deal with sex as openly and honestly as possible. I’m not sure what the stats are in the UK, but here, in Australia, the estimate is that by the time boys reach fifteen, 100 per cent of them have viewed violent pornography (Courier Mail, 20 September, 2015). I think we need stories that illustrate what ‘real’ sex might be like, and also stories that make a case for intimacy.
To read the interview in full, please click here.
I had to shout the RADIO bit, because I really like RADIO. Remains to be seen whether RADIO really likes me – in fact, you can be the judge.
I’m talking THE Alex Tighe at 7AM, this Wednesday morning (that’s the 14th of October) on SURG FM as part of their marathon charity broadcast. We will probably discuss eyebrows – chiefly his, soon to be dearly departed, because as part of the deal when they reach a certain sum he’s getting rid of one.
Anyway! Listen in, or even better, donate to headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation, or both!!!!
1. We just finished the proofread of SUMMER SKIN. I say ‘we’ because, of course, it’s not just me doing it – that would be dreadful; so many msistakes would slip through unnoticed. I should feel a bit emotional about it being done, because it’s one step closer to waving bye-bye to the characters, and saying, ‘Hello, world, list for me the ways in which I’ve failed.’ But for the first time ever, it doesn’t really feel like that – possibly because this book has had such a looooong gestation. I really, really want to post a pic of the cover, but I’m going to desist. Every time I do that in other places (like Facebook, where it’s socially acceptable to skite) nice people say things like, ‘I must buy a copy’. And I have to say, ‘Okay, but can you just hold that thought for five months?’ So, instead, here’s a glimpse of the advanced reading version looking coy:
2. I’ve also finished an article for an upcoming edition of WHITE HORSES magazine talking about my surfing life and my writing life and the crossovers between the two. For those of you who haven’t encountered it before, WHITE HORSES is devoted to ‘stories about the sea’. It prides itself on being very different to your typical surf mag. I’ve followed it with interest because my good friend Gary at Mug of Sunshine writes for the mag. Also because they were the first surf mag to feature Steph Gilmore on the cover – which just amazed me – the fact it was her first, I mean, in view of the fact she’s won 6 world championships and has a style that is universally admired. It seemed fitting, though, that it was WHITE HORSES who did it, as they tend toward an inclusiveness you don’t always pick up on in other surf media.
Anyway, the reason I’m so excited is that the issue I’ll be in is focused solely on women and girls in the waves. I would have supported it no matter what. The fact I’ll be in it is icing on the cake. (I’ll post more on this when it’s out).
3. I attended the launch of the Stella Schools Program in Sydney. Click on the link for more info. It was a great night. Room full of cool people who care about the same thing. Woman are half the world. Aside from everywhere else in life, we want to see women in all their diversity represented in books and on screens.
Okay. Whatever you’re up to, I hope it’s giving back to you.
That’s how it felt for me, anyway. 2014 twas a year for tending crops. And, not withstanding the tragic events in Australia over the last few weeks, most people I know seem to feel the same way about it. It was one of those years where you’re not really treading water, but you’re not riding a speed boat either. How about for you? Spectacular? Meh?
I wrote my butt off this year, although you’ll have to wait to see evidence of it, dear Reader. The good news is that there were a lot of words. The bad news is that some of them were wrong.
… and apparently it means I must talk like Yoda. Coona is short for Coonabarabran. This is my third straight year at their Feast of Words festival. No doubt someone else deserves a turn next year. I love the Coona community (including, of course, all the students and professional nodders and other repeat presenters) and they have been very kind and generous to me. If you’ll remember, there were bush fires out there earlier this year, so I hope things have started to regenerate. I know, thanks to reports from Kellie Nash, uber festival organiser, that Blaze Aid have been involved with the rebuild. What a great organisation.
I was going to complete this post with a picture of stars, as one should when one’s about to visit the Astronomy capital of Australia, but instead I leave you with the song that is in my head non-stop today. I will be listening to it on the drive.
Night Beach has been shortlisted for the Young Adult category! Congrats to all the other shortlisted authors.
Hard to come back online after a three month absence – I feel like a student slinking into class late. And arriving on a self hyping post, too – bad form, really. More to come (posts, not self hyping).