One of the reasons I love my publisher @allenandunwin is that the people there give you great career advice. So, like, this is my new author head shot, because according to Lisa Watkins (super rep) using your book for ears and downlighting is the way to go. Thanks to Lisa for the solid. #summerskin #melbourne #dymocksmelbourne #writinglife #ontourfortoolong #dontgetoutmuch #bookstagram #loveozya
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Love this pic! The irrepressible Ellie Marney launching me and the bloody awesomeness that is @justinelarbalestier in Melbourne last night. Thanks heaps to all who attended (and thanks to those who couldn't but sent lovely messages of support) including Amie who I have regrammed this from (didn't have any pics taken so am "borrowing" evidence today! regram @amiekaufmanauthor Mountains of thanks also to @allenandunwin and @readingsbooks who have signed copies available if you didn't make it. @elliemarney #loveozya #bookstagram #melbourne #summerskin #aussieromance #mysisterrosa
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#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
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It’ll give you nearly 3 hours of auditory pleazzzure. But – plot twist! – it’s not 100% correct. The real playlist is the chapter list. Every chapter is a song title (and the artist is mentioned somewhere in the corresponding chapter – except Ch.23, Everything is Embarrassing, because Sky Ferreira, the artist, is mentioned at the end of Ch.22 instead).
So what’s different? Spotify wouldn’t let me add ‘Alpha’ by LOLO BX.
Nor could I include ‘Pictures’ by Wish.
So I stuck ‘How Do You Do It’ by Empress of in there instead because I’ve been listening to it a lot lately.
Also I substituted ‘This is what makes us girls’ by Lana Del Rey, for ‘You can be the boss’ – also by Lana Del Rey. If you do a search around you’ll probably find it. It’s one of her demo songs from when she was early into her ingenue phase. (On this – when will she release those demo songs? Is that planned? Has it happened?) Anyway, my original choice goes a lot better with that chapter (which is one of the controversial ones, apparently).
And everything else is the same.
The chapter list is included below, just in case you are the obsessive type (like me, obviously ;).
- I go over
- Known better
- Boys like you
- You can be the boss
- Fever for the flava
- I don’t wanna hear it
- Shut up and let me go
- Get free
- Warm water
- Hey ladies
- Catch me
- Left hand free
- So what?
- Lovers in the parking lot
- Everything is embarrassing
- My number
- Cause I’m a man
- How to fly
- Little secrets
- Busy earnin’
- My car
- My delirium
- Love is to die
- Wish I was
- Fire meet gasoline
- What kind of man
- Tough love
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).
Hey! You! Rock steady crew. Show us what you do, make a break, make a … Oh, sorry. That’s called “Lyrics Tourette’s”. I have it. Probably not even a rare condition.
So, anyway, because you are a super important person to me – that is, MY READER – I’m inviting you to three things – all of them connected to the launch of SUMMER SKIN. I’ve never had a proper book launch before, even though this is my fourth book. But thanks to Justine Larbalestier and Ellie Marney (with regard to the first two events) and Libby Armstrong (with regard to the third) there is indeed a bit of launching going on this time around.
1. SEX AND PSYCHOPATHS – AN ‘IN CONVERSATION’ WITH JUSTINE LARBALESTIER Thursday 4 Feb, 6.30pm, Kinokuniya Books, Sydney City (click here for more details)
2. ELLIE MARNEY LAUNCHING JUSTINE LARBALESTIER’S MY SISTER ROSA AND SUMMER SKIN (THAT’S ME) IN MELBOURNE: Wednesday 10 Feb, 6.30pm, Readings Carlton, Melbourne (click here for more details)
3. THE LAUNCH OF BEACHSIDE BOOKSHOP – A NEW BOOKSTORE IN AVALON, SYDNEY, THAT SPECIALISES IN CHILDREN’S AND YA LITERATURE (PLUS A BIT OF A TALK ABOUT SUMMER SKIN): Thursday 18 Feb, 6.30pm, The Sneaky Grind, Avalon, Sydney (click here for more details)
P.S. If you are in Sydney feel encouraged to come to both events. You won’t want to miss Justine talking about My Sister Rosa – this book thrilled me in the same way that her earlier novel Liar thrilled me and then some – it’s even more ambitious and she has worked so very hard that she’s pulled it off. You’ll come away from the evening with your brain stimulated – and a book that you will not be able to put down.
The event for the opening of Beachside Bookshop will be a different animal entirely and also a night you’ll enjoy. Libby Armstrong, the proprietoress, has taken big risks to pull off her dream of backing YA. I can’t wait to get her talking about why she believes in it so much. Added bonus – some of my surfing friends are coming, so you are assured of a badly behaved crowd. That always makes things interesting.
P.P.S. If you’re in Melbourne, I really hope to see you, because I don’t get down there very often and I know you’ve been really good to me (remember, I’m from Queensland, so I am completely not involved in the Sydney/Melbourne stand off). I love Melbourne. I love Melbourne’s YA crew – and several of them will be there, so if you’re an uber fan you can stalk them all night long. The cherry on top is we’ve got Ellie Marney launching us. I read the Every series recently, and it BLEW. ME. AWAY. Now, I totally flame in wind or rain – or at least I did when I was reading about Mycroft and Watts. Hot. Hot. Hot.
P.P.P.S. Why dominoes? If you come along to one of the above, you can ask me then and I’ll tell you.
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.