Meet the Author: P.L. Harris

Peta’s top tip for aspiring authors: Seek knowledge from those that have been in your shoes. Ask those in your genre what works. Do courses and attend conferences if you know the content is going to help you as a writer. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can and know that everyone on this journey makes mistakes. The questions you have to ask yourself are – What did I learn from my mistake and how can I apply it in the future?

P.L. Harris writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense and young adult with a twist of mystery and intrigue. Her books are rich in storyline and location with characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of Australia and America, Peter Cowan Writers Centre, Making Magic Happen Academy and has a Certificate in Romance Writing. P.L has published stories with Serenity Press, Blue Swan Publishing, Evernight Publishing and now publishes the majority of her books with Gumnut Press.

 

P.L. Harris is an award winning author. Hidden Secrets was a finalist in the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America’s 2017 IDA International Digital Awards, young adult category. Callie’s Dilemma, also a finalist in the Virginia Romance Writers of America’s 2017 Fools of Love Contest, short contemporary romance short category. Her upcoming romantic suspense new release, In His Protection was a finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Pro Award. (Due to receiving a publishing contract from Gumnut Press it had to be withdrawn from the contest).

She lives in the northern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, with her Bichon Frise, Bella. You can visit P.L. Harris at her website: www.plharris.com.au or follow her writing journey on Facebook:

P.L. Harris author Page: https://www.facebook.com/plharrisauthor

P.L. Harris Readers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/217817788798223

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? I loved to make up stories in my younger days. My imagination would always be racing ahead of me. I loved being in a world of make-believe, maybe that’s why I went into the theatre and became a director and drama teacher. A few years ago, I took some time out for me and I started reading again and I realised I could forget the worries of the world for that moment while I was immersed in the story. I found Maya Banks and I was hooked on her books.

I realised I wanted to write stories and this was something I could do for me, something that made me happy. Over the past few years writing became an outlet where I could escape reality, and because I write fiction, it allowed me to put a little of myself, my life experience into my stories. I can create a world away from reality where I can go and lose myself in my storyline, my characters and my locations. A world where I have no worries except where to put a comma and if I have used the correct tense.

What inspires you? Oh my, that is a loaded question. I guess it depends what genre I am writing. My contemporary romance are inspired by my life and events that I have experienced and my passions, like the theatre. Whereas my cozy mysteries are inspired by the amazing covers by Mariah Sinclair. I fell in love with the covers, but had never heard of the cozy mystery genre. However, I was an avid Murder, She Wrote fan and my passion for writing cozies took off from there. My romantic suspense comes from my interest in the danger and high stakes. Watching characters fall in love on the page is wonderful, but when the stakes are raised and life is in danger the lengths they will go to for their soul mate always gives me a thrill to write.

How do you spend your non-writing time? I work full-time teaching Drama and also the Head of Dance and Drama at an Anglican Community School which, although I love it, can often be very time consuming. I also like to spend time with my family and friends.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? My self-doubt. It has been a long journey to a place now where I feel comfortable calling myself a published author. Fear of rejection is still something that will always be in the back of my mind, but I learnt a saying a while back which I try and keep in mind – If it is to be, it’s up to me.

How involved are you in the development of your books? I see the development of my books as a process from the inception of the idea to the final product. I am what the publishing world calls a ‘plotter’. If I can, I love to plan every detail out so I know where the plot and characters are heading. It doesn’t always work, but I find it gets me to the end destination, eventually. Being hybrid published means when I’m self-publishing it falls to me to do every aspect of the book from writing to editing to cover design and it’s a thrill to see it all come together in the end.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? Apart from holding the physical book in my hot hands at the end of the process it’s hearing responses from my readers and what they have to say about my books. When you can transport someone into another world for a moment, it’s a wonderful feeling. When I get a review that says that they struggled to read the words through their tears because the storyline pulled at their heartstrings, it makes my day.

—the worst? Self-doubt. The self-doubt monster always likes to keep me on my toes. Lack of time to write and promote.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I would definitely have learnt more about the self-promotion, social media side of the industry right from the start and started that much, much earlier. Follow the experts. If they have tried something and it didn’t work, think carefully if you are going to follow in their footsteps. I would have created another pen name for my different genres, which I have now done, but a year after the first cozy publication. Look out for Polly Holmes in the cozy mystery genre.

 What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? A heads up into the world of social media and self-promotion and how to go about it. Creating an author platform and how you go about this would really have helped me a little more in the beginning.

What do you hope readers will take away from your stories? I would like my readers to follow and immerse themselves in my characters’ lives and feel that they are a part of their world. Love them, cry for them, and dislike them where necessary. But also feel as if they have experienced something wonderful through the characters’ journey.

Is there any area of writing that you find especially challenging? For me, while I love writing I still find it challenging to grasp the editorial nuances needed for great editing. I can get my words down on paper, but are they correct….In the right order….Abiding by the rules of the genre….Maybe. That’s when you have to outsource and surround yourself with the best editorial team possible.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Never give up no matter how much you feel like it. The bad time will pass and if you persist, when the time is right, all the pieces will fall into place.

How important is social media to you as an author? Extremely. It’s the way of the future, but also you need to know the right social media outlets to use that will bring the best rewards. Having an author page or twitter account is the minimum I would say in order to promote your brand. Publishers want to know what you, as the author are doing or going to do to promote yourself.

Do you experience ‘writer’s block’ and if so, how do you overcome it? Yes, especially when I am working on my cozy mysteries and I have to work on the murder, red-herrings and plot line. I try and step back for a while and maybe move on to something else. I often have a few select people who I can bounce ideas off and toss around plot lines. Usually this works for me and then I can get a rough outline down on paper. I do sometimes talk out loud to myself hoping I may be able to answer my own questions.

How do you deal with rejection? Not very well I’m afraid and I have been known to shed a tear or two. But I also remember someone once saying at one of the conventions I attended, “It’s only one person’s opinion at that specific time.” It’s a part of the industry and there is no way to avoid it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not emotionally crushing at the same time. I guess I try and learn from it so that I can make my stories better in the long run.

In three words, how would you describe your writing? Engaging….thought-provoking….emotional

You’ve recently set up a small independent press. How did this come about and what is your dream for Gumnut Press? The main instigator of Gumnut Press was having my publisher, Karen McDermott believe in me and tell me that if she could do it, then so can I. While I had no idea that my writing path would lead me down the publishing track, I am excited to now be heading that way. You can never get tired of the feeling you get when you see your words in print and I want this for other people, so Gumnut Press was born. There is a lack of independent publishers in the northern suburbs of Perth and I want to fill that void with Gumnut Press. My dream is to make it an international company that houses many different authors of various genres, but all with a unique voice that must be heard.

How does your experience as an author influence you as a publisher? It certainly tells me what genres I like to read and therefore will publish. Being a writer also helps me identify a good piece of work or writer’s voice. Having a great editor has taught me so much since I started and therefore able to help me spot that writer’s voice which stands out from the crowd.

If you had the chance to spend an hour with any writer of your choice, living or dead, who would it be and what would you most like them to tell you about living a writing life? USA Best-selling author, Maya Banks.  It was her books that ignited my passion for romance and writing. She writes so many different genres and heat levels that it blows my mind that she can hit each one with precision. I would love her to tell me what her secret ingredients are for my genres. Does she have a checklist of what she includes in each book? What are her writing techniques and how can I better write for my target market?

BOOK BYTE

In His Protection

P.L Harris

Every picture tells a story, but this family secret could be deadly. 

For Melody Maddison, life hasn’t been the same since her mother’s passing. When she discovers a photo of her mother and a mysterious child, she’ll stop at nothing to find the truth, even if the search makes her question everything she’s ever known about the beloved woman.

Noah St. Reeve has a soft spot for women in trouble. When he rescues Melody from an attempt on her life, he can’t turn his back on the fierce and beautiful woman in front of him. Torn between duty and passion, it will be up to Noah to keep his charge safe from harm, no matter the cost.

Melody’s quest for answers leads her from one dangerous path to the next. When the first shot is fired, the handsome and steady Noah is there to keep her safe. She knows she should back down, but Melody owes it to her mother to get to the bottom of a history that will rock her family forever. Except, the photo isn’t only a link to her mother’s past. It’s proof of a dangerous secret—a secret that someone is willing to kill to keep.

Buy links

https://www.gumnutpress.com/product-page/in-his-protection

https://www.amazon.com.au/His-Protection-Burrum-Ridge-Book-ebook/dp/B07MTQRPN7

https://www.amazon.com/His-Protection-Burrum-Ridge-Book-ebook/dp/B07MTQRPN7

Meet the Author: Nadia King

Today’s author in the spotlight describes her writing as ‘raw, real and thought-provoking’ and is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects. It’s my pleasure to introduce Nadia King.

Photo: Louise Allen

Nadia was born in Dublin, Ireland and now calls Australia home. She is an author, blogger, and presenter. Her debut book, Jenna’s Truth, is published by boutique small press, Serenity Press based in Western Australia.
Nadia is passionate about using stories to reflect a diversity of realities in order to positively impact teen lives.
Her short fiction has been published by Write Out Publishing, and has appeared in The Draft Collective, The Regal Fox, The Sunlight Press, Tulpa Magazine, and Other Terrain Journal.
Nadia runs a teen book club for the Centre for Stories. She enjoys writing contemporary young adult fiction and short fiction, and lives in Western Australia with her family.

Find out more about Nadia on her website and social media links:

https://www.nadialking.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNadiaLKing

https://twitter.com/nlkingauthor

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nadialking

https://www.instagram.com/nadialking

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write?  I write because I enjoy writing. The writing process is a way to connect with my creativity. I’m one of those people who feels too much and writing gives me a safe space to expel some emotion.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I’ve always managed to work with words. My first job after school was in journalism and I worked for a number of years in corporate communications. Currently, I’m studying to build my editing skills with a view to freelance editing in the not so distant future.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? I hate to admit this but my toughest obstacle to becoming published was tied up with myself. I held myself back from creative writing for a very long time so it was almost a relief to get out there and try my luck with publication.

How involved have you been in the development of your books? Do you have input into the cover/illustrations? For my debut book, Jenna’s Truth I was very involved in the book’s development. For my short stories, I have little to do with choosing graphics etc although the magazines and journals I’ve been published by have been very open with me during editing. I don’t know if it’s because I’m an ex-journo but I really enjoy the editing process and collaborating with other creatives.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? I never know what will turn into a story and I find such possibilities exciting. Using stories to connect with others fills me with happiness. Stories are a way to share your perspective with the world in a profoundly human way. For me, stories are a constant source of joy.

—the worst? The worst is tied up with the best aspect of writing—wondering if what I’ve written will resonate with readers. I mainly try to ignore my wonderings and concentrate on being truthful with my writing. I believe if you are authentic and honest in writing, readers will connect with what you have to say.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I would write more short stories to gain experience in the craft. I would read more (although I’m not sure that’s humanly possible). I would be kinder by reassuring myself there is no one way of writing and I would take time to find out what works best for me.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? A tweet from author, Dea Poirier (@deapoirierbooks) lists five things she wished someone had told her five years ago. These points would definitely have been helpful to know before I embarked upon my writing journey:

  • You’ll never stop questioning yourself, no matter what you write
  • Don’t disregard praise and only focus on criticism
  • Impostor syndrome never gets better
  • Done is better than perfect
  • Perfect doesn’t exist

You are tackling some confronting issues in your fiction. What do you hope readers will take away from your stories? I’m very attracted to social justice issues and tend to tackle such issues in my writing. Even though I play with dark material, I strive to convey a sliver of hope and humanity. It’s that sense of faith and humanity I hope resonates with and engages readers.

Is there any area of writing that you still find challenging? All of it! Ha ha! Writing doesn’t get easier and I seem to be drawn to writing projects which I am ill-qualified to tackle. But that’s also what makes the work exciting. I jump in the deep end, swim bloody hard, and pray I’ll make it to the other side.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? ‘Just bloody write!’ While I was toying with the idea of writing fiction, there was a part of me which was paralysed with fear. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to meet with a playwright from New York who patiently listened to my rumination before giving me a shove in the right direction. His shove was exactly what I needed and before I knew it, I was writing every day.

What’s your top tip for aspiring authors? Ignore everyone else. I don’t mean to sound facetious but it’s so important to listen to your own voice. What are your dreams? Chase after your dreams not someone else’s. Not everyone will aspire to be on the New York Times Bestsellers’ list, and that’s okay. Pursue your own goals and define your own reality rather than following someone else’s idea of success.

How important is social media to you as an author? When I first started writing, social media was important because it gave me access to many other writers. Now though, it can often be a distraction. Social media can be valuable but it shouldn’t keep you from your work and if it takes away from your happiness, it may not be the right tool for you.

Do you experience ‘writer’s block’ and if so, how do you overcome it? I was writing a manuscript a while back and it took me a while to ‘hear’ the voice of my protagonist. Writing can be a slow process. Respecting the process and nor coercing the words helps me find my voice for each project and overcome writer’s block.

How do you deal with rejection? Surprisingly well considering I’m quite a sensitive person. I’ve learnt not to take rejection personally and to realise the market can be fickle. There is a huge amount of competition out there and if you’re submitting to a traditional publisher, your manuscript needs to be commercially attractive. Coming to that realisation has freed me from my own personal pressures to seek publication.

In three words, how would you describe your writing? Raw, real, and thought-provoking.

If you had the chance to spend an hour with any writer of your choice, living or dead, who would it be and what would you most like them to tell you about living a writing life?

This is probably the hardest question of this interview. There are so many writers I would love to spend time with but I’ve narrowed it down to five:

  • Jane Austen (1775-1817, England) because she awakened in me a love of classic literature. I’m curious to know more about what made her tick and what were her motivations for writing.
  • Haruki Murakami (1949, Japan) because his stories make my heart pound in my chest. I would love to fangirl him one day and tell him how much his work means to me. If he could give me any tips on writing magical realism I would really appreciate it.
  • Favel Parrett (1974, Victoria, Australia) because her writing makes me weep. I would like to know why Favel writes and how she edits – I find her prose quite lyrical and she is generous, genuine and amazing.
  • Margaret Atwood (1939, Canada) because Alias Grace is one of my favourite books of all time. The structure of the book fascinates me and I would love to know how she went about planning the structure and tying it together with her research.
  • Germaine Greer (1939, Melbourne, Australia) because she’s fearless with her words and I admire her bravery and we both love drinking tea.

BOOK BYTE

Jenna’s Truth
N L King

New and revised edition (previously published by Aulexic).

Jenna’s just a teenager who wants to fit in. The popularity that she wanted though, quickly turns into infamy when two “well-meaning” friends spark a controversy that alters her life forever. What happens when the popular kids are responsible for one of the most painful and humiliating events in your life? Inspired by Amanda Todd’s tragic story of bullying, Jenna’s Truth is more than just teen short story – it’s a lesson in empathy, self-awareness, and speaking out about what matters. Jenna’s Truth is a gripping story, which explores the themes of cyber bullying, teen drinking, sex, and suicide.

Life is not black and white, and sometimes teens can be the most insensitive people.

‘Inspired by the real-life story of the late Canadian teenager Amanda Todd, this story puts a human face on cyberbullying…[and is] a deeply affecting, valuable story and educational tool.’ — Kirkus Reviews

Jenna’s Truth is available from the following outlets:

https://www.booktopia.com.au/jenna-s-truth-n-l-king/prod9780648212768.html

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jennas-truth-nadia-l-king/1124839417

https://www.boffinsbooks.com.au/books/9780648212768/jennas-truth

https://www.serenitypress.org/product-page/jenna-s-truth

 

Meet the Author: Eliza Henry-Jones

Which author past or present would celebrated Australian writer Eliza Henry-Jones choose to spend an hour with and what questions would she ask? Find out this week when I chat with Eliza about her writing life…

Eliza Henry-Jones is the author of In the Quiet and Ache. Her latest novel, P is for Pearl, is her first novel for young adults. Eliza has qualifications in English, psychology and grief, loss and trauma counselling. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Age, Daily Life and The Big Issue, among other places. She lives on a small farm in the Yarra Valley.

Find out more about Eliza at her website: www.elizahenryjones.com

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? I write because I love it – I get terribly despondent if I don’t have a story churning away. Writing fiction is A way for me to process and understand my world and even if I never had another book published, I’d never stop writing.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I would be running equine therapy groups for children who’ve experienced significant trauma. That was my job before I decided to focus on my writing and it’s something I’d love to come back to.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Self doubt. In a way, it worked in my favour. I never really thought I was “good enough” to be a writer (whatever that means) and instead pursued a career in community services, working with high-risk children and families. The work changed me utterly and I doubt I’d be writing how I do without those years of experience.

How involved have you been in the development of your books? Do you have input into the cover/illustrations?  I’ve not had any input into my covers – but love them all. I know some authors are really involved in the design process and I’d love to be a bit more hands on down the track.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? The community and the flexibility. The people I’ve met in the industry are some of my very favourite in the world. While I work longer hours than I ever did in my other jobs, I can set up my days to suit myself. For instance, I can do an extra long writing day when the weather’s bad and then work out on the farm and ride my horses when the weather’s pleasant. I also tend to work longer days during winter and shorter days in summer.

—the worst?  The pressure to sell well, get reviewed by the papers and be listed for awards.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Put less pressure on myself – I’ve pushed myself extremely hard over the last few years and I’m definitely starting to feel it. I’d take things more steadily, if I had my time again.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author?That the anxiety and self-doubt doesn’t disappear when you sign a book contract – for me, it intensified (which I was not expecting!)

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Read everything you can get your hands on.

What’s your top tip for aspiring authors? Experiment – write short stories, poems and novels. Write plays and articles and essays. There’s so much value in the writing you do, regardless of whether it gets published.

How important is social media to you as an author? Some days I adore social media. I live on a little farm that’s quite a long way out from the city – 6kms from the nearest shops and 20mins from the nearest train station. Mostly, social media helps me feel connected and engaged with the writing community. Other times, it feels overwhelming. I’m getting better at recognising when I need to step back from it.

Do you experience ‘writer’s block’ and if so, how do you overcome it? I don’t entirely believe in writer’s block. I think on some days writing is much easier than on others, but you can push on, regardless. Sometimes I’ll be gentle and let myself step away from the project for a while, but other times I’ll push through. I may write 20,000 words that are all wrong, but I know I’ll eventually hit my stride again.

How do you deal with rejection? Oh, there’s so much rejection! I always have another project on the go that I can focus on.

In three words, how would you describe your writing?  Grief, love, joy.

If you had the chance to spend an hour with any writer of your choice, living or dead, who would it be and what would you most like them to tell you about living a writing life? Oh, goodness! There are so many. JK Rowling is definitely one – I grew up reading Harry Potter and find her utterly fascinating. I’d love to find out more about how she plots her books – they’re so intricate and carefully layered.

BOOK BYTE

P is for Pearl

Eliza Henry-Jones

From the talented author of the celebrated novels In the Quiet and Ache comes a poignant and moving book that explores the stories we tell ourselves about our families, and what it means to belong.

Seventeen-year-old Gwendolyn P. Pearson has become very good at not thinking about the awful things that have happened to her family.

She has also become used to people talking about her dead mum. Or not talking about her and just looking at Gwen sympathetically.

And it’s easy not to think about awful things when there are wild beaches to run along, best friends Loretta and Gordon to hang out with – and a stepbrother to take revenge on.

But following a strange disturbance at the cafe where she works, Gwen is forced to confront what happened to her family all those years ago. And she slowly comes to realise that people aren’t as they first appear and that like her, everyone has a story to tell.

Book sales site: https://www.booktopia.com.au/p-is-for-pearl-eliza-henry-jones/prod9781460754931.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author: Susanna Rogers

Susanna’s top tip: Write, write, write and then write some more. If you’re serious, finish your first novel and then write the next one because your second book will be much better than your first. And read. A lot. Most of all, enjoy it!

I met Susanna Rogers when we both joined a critique group organised by best-selling novelist Anna Jacobs, so it’s a particular pleasure to introduce her to you today. In January we’ll celebrate the 14th anniversary of our close-knit critique group and in that time I’ve seen Susy’s writing at all stages from initial concept and first draft to final polished manuscript. She’s one of the hardest working, most committed writers I know and I’m thrilled to see Infiltration out in the marketplace and available for an audience of teen readers, who I’m sure will want to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next in this gripping novel about an elite soldier from the future on a mission to change the past.

 

Susanna Rogers is the author of kick butt books for young adults. She also writes romance and at one point moved to a life of crime – you might be seeing more of that. She loves writing young adult, partly because she’s an overgrown teenager and partly because she can write the kick butt heroines she adores. She’s also a kickboxer and dreams of empowering girls and guys around the globe to believe in themselves, to take care and follow their own dreams. Susanna believes in love and kicking ass and a little bit of murder here and there.

She would love to hear from you – susannarogers.com.

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? I write young adult books because they’re fun and exciting to write. It was liberating writing my first YA book because I felt I could let rip with the ideas and also with the way I write. Travel to another dimension? No problem. Save the world from a virus that’s going to wipe out the population? Sure, I can do that. See what I mean about it being fun… For me, it’s a wonderful way to explore different characters and ideas.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? A vampire slayer, for sure. Or a kickboxing instructor. No, hang on, I am actually a kickboxing instructor. The strange thing is that in some ways, I’d be happier if I wasn’t a writer because there’d be much less pain and frustration – but, then, I wouldn’t have the highs I get from writing. And I wouldn’t give them up for the world.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? I couldn’t possibly name one ‘best’ aspect. There are too many things that I love about it. I like setting my own hours which often means going to the gym in the morning, then coming home, choosing some CDs for my background music and getting completely lost in my characters and story. My writing is at its best when I have no clue what CD is playing and no idea of anything else going on around me.

—the worst? Like a lot of people, I don’t handle uncertainty well and the writing world is full of uncertainty. Unless you’re JK Rowling or John Green, which I am not. I would like to have their problems of having thousands of fans and too much money.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I’d rather not think about that because it’s easy to be wise in retrospect. Besides, writing is a journey and you have to try different things, experiment and make mistakes or you’re never going to learn. Having said that, the one thing I would have done differently is that I would love to have written The Hunger Games before Suzanne Collins did. I was so jealous when I first heard the idea behind the book!

BOOK BYTE

Infiltration

Susanna Rogers

2120: A world ravaged by a devastating virus. Those healthy enough to live in New Nation lead a sanitized, orderly life where everything is tightly guarded by a brutal government. Lives, thoughts, information and emotions are all strictly controlled.

Now: Seventeen-year-old elite soldier Nicola Gray is sent back in time for an important assignment. She alone will stop the virus before it takes over the world – her mission, to gather intelligence, find the cause and stop the threat, whatever it takes. She is trained to kill.

But the past is not what Nicola is expecting. Overwhelmed by an alien world, she discovers feelings she can’t handle and a world with immense personal freedom and people who care for each other. She wants to stay. She wants to live. She wants a lot of things she can’t have…

LINKS

Author website https://www.susannarogers.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Susanna-Rogers-Author-1142712475829701/

Amazon https://www.amazon.com.au/Infiltration-Book-1-Susanna-Rogers-ebook/dp/B077C2B4SM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510803044&sr=8-1&keywords=infiltration+susanna

Kobo/Nook/other https://www.books2read.com/u/3L9dN5

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author: Elizabeth Foster

It’s my pleasure today to introduce Elizabeth Foster as part of the blog tour for her debut novel Esme’s Wish.

Elizabeth’s top tip for authors: Be bloody-minded about setting aside time to write. Shut off social media during your writing time – I have an app on my computer that blocks Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all the usual culprits! Also read, read, read.

Elizabeth Foster hails from Queensland originally, but now lives in Sydney. She loves swimming in the ocean, walking, and playing the piano (badly). As a child, she was called Dizzy Lizzy-which she regarded as an insult all her life, until she started writing. Now, daydreaming is a central part of what she does. Reading to her own kids reminded her of how much she missed getting lost in other worlds, and once she started writing stories, she couldn’t stop. She’s at her happiest when immersed in stories, plotting new conflicts and adventures for her characters. Esme’s Wish is her first novel.

Website: http://www.elizabethfoster.com.au

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethFosterAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/e_foster3

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elizabethfoster_/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/efoster346/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36498756-esme-s-wish

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? I write to explore new worlds and to experience new things. I am also intrigued with the alchemy of writing – the way a story can take on its own identity and sometimes feel like it is writing itself. It is a mysterious but fascinating process.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? Anything which would enable me to express myself creatively. I dabbled in painting before I began writing so I would probably go back to that.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? My book fell between the cracks when it came to finding a publisher. It crossed between the age categories of middle grade and young adult, a no-no for children’s literature. Esme’s Wish eventually found a home at Odyssey Books, a small press who like stories a little out of the ordinary, like mine!

How involved have you been in the development of your books? Do you have input into the cover/illustrations? I worked closely with Odyssey Books to bring the book to publication and also with Furea, a talented fantasy illustrator from Melbourne, who designed the cover.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? I can set my own hours. I can write anywhere, although I prefer to write either at home or in familiar cafés. One of the other great aspects is the reading side of it. I always considered reading a luxury and put other things first, but now I make it a priority. I love that reading informs my writing – finally I’ve got permission to have my nose in a book!

—the worst? It can be hard to make time for the practicalities in life. Now that my book is published I have even more on my plate. But I wouldn’t trade my job for any other.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Be kinder to myself during those first baby steps of learning how to write, when self doubt can be crippling. Be more patient when obstacles come my way.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? That learning to trust the writing process would be the antidote to a lot of my fear. That establishing a routine and sticking to it, no matter what, would get my book written. That reading is crucial to writing.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? I like any words that inspire a can-do attitude or help build grit. Writers need plenty of that! One of my favourites is by Lao Tzu.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

BOOK BYTE

Esme’s Wish

Elizabeth Foster

 

\

This was her last chance.

Her hand twisted high in the air.

When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the actions of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?

But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.

After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about Ariane, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.

https://www.amazon.com/Esmes-Wish-Elizabeth-Foster-ebook/dp/B076N9WNTS

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/esmes-wish/id1299418557?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/esme-s-wish

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Elizabeth_Foster_Esme_s_Wish?id=Yso6DwAAQBAJ

Book depository (free postage)

https://www.bookdepository.com/Esmes-Wish-Elizabeth-Foster/9781925652246

Printed copies are also available from:

JWFK website- www.justkidslit.com/shop/young-adult-books/esmes-wish

Odyssey Books   – http://odysseybooks.com.au/titles/9781925652246/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘GIFT’ YOURSELF WITH ESME’S WISH! #BOOKGIVEAWAY!

Simply like or comment on any website or social media post on the Books On Tour Blog Blitz for Esme’s Wish for your chance to WIN a signed copy of this remarkable book.

For more details please click here.

For more information on blog tours at Books On Tour please visit www.justkidslit.com/books-on-tour.

 

 

 

Meet the Author: Goldie Alexander

 

Goldie’s top tip for aspiring authors: One word: PERSEVERANCE. And try and write every day, if only a sentence. Practice makes perfect.

Goldie Alexander’s 90 books and prize-winning short stories appear both in Australia and internationally. Her ability to bring both the past and other worlds to light touches the hearts of adults and children. She writes in almost every genre and has won many awards for her novels and short stories. Her My Australian Story: Surviving Sydney Cove is used in almost every primary school as well as being published in New Zealand and re-titled in the UK as Transported.

Recent books for older children include The Youngest Cameleer – how Muslim Cameleers helped find Uluru, My Holocaust Story: Hanna, now published in Canada, and the sci fi Cybertricks, which won a 2016 Notable. Other recent novels for young adults include That Stranger Next Door, and In Hades: a verse novel, short-listed in 2015 for an Aurealis Award.

Just published is the SHAKESPEARE NOW! TRILOGY, three novels that use contemporary plots and young protagonists based on well-known plays.

Goldie speaks in schools, tertiary and community centres, festivals and also runs classes in creative and memoir writing for adults as ‘Mentoring Your Memoir’. Her website is www.goldiealexander.com

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? Can’t think of anything I’d rather do. In fact, if I ever contemplate the idea, I’m totally horrified and rush back to my keyboard.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I wouldn’t mind being a film critic, as I am also passionate about good cinema. I would happily take over from Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton now they have retired. Any offers?

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Finding publishers who liked what I wrote. I was lucky in that my first four YA novels were commissioned, but after that life became tougher and I had to take all those knockbacks with gritted teeth. My saddest story is that I had something like 30 middle grade novels that I had to cannibalise into 30 longish short stories. These were finally published as three short story collections. Another example … Cybertricks was fifteen years old before it was finally published and declared a Notable in 2016. Then I was accused of plagiarising Hunger Games’ for my ideas.

How involved have you been in the development of your books? Do you have input into the cover/illustrations? Far more than I have ever been. I used the illustrator Aaron Pockock for the Cybertricks cover. Coming in October is my trilogy SHAKESPEARE NOW!  re-tellings of well-known plays using young protagonists and contemporary settings, with covers illustrated by the extraordinarily gifted Paul Taplin. When a friend hinted that these covers were ‘too different from the usual YA covers’, I replied, ‘Exactly!’

These longish novels include The Trytth Chronicles (as a sci fi version of The Tempest) Gap Year Nanny (as Macbeth set in present-day Melbourne) and Changing History? (as a time-warp Romeo and Juliet set in Berlin in 1928, and Melbourne now)

Otherwise I am dependent on my publishers for editing, layout and design. I wouldn’t be much good at those, anyway.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? The process of creation and finally ending up with something that might work after a million re-edits. Though the process can be unbelievably frustrating, I wouldn’t spend my life any other way (except as a film critic?).

—the worst? That blank screen. And rejection letters. Even the most experienced writers get those, though they usually remain very quiet about receiving them. But I always mention this to ‘newbies’ as I think it motivates them to keep writing. I also run Writing Memoir workshops for seniors. Watching their delight at something they have written is enormously pleasurable.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I would be more aware of the upcoming importance of social media and possibly spend more time circulating amongst other writers and publishers. But I am rather shy and at the time I started off as a writer, I wasn’t well enough to do all that running around.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? I was told this at the time but didn’t really believe it. That writing can be heartbreaking and I soon found that it certainly can. I discovered that I needed an alligator’s skin to take the knocks and rebounds and a soft heart to empathise with other people and characters enough to write about them.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Edit, edit, edit and re-edit. LIVE a little and READ! I read about 100 books a year and still that’s not enough. Lots of young writers write thinly disguised semi-autobiography, and then get stuck. It’s never the first book that counts, rather the second!

 BOOK BYTE

SHAKESPEARE NOW! Three novels that take on the challenge of rewriting some of our best loved plays using young protagonists in contemporary settings:

Gap Year Nanny (Macbeth set in the present)

 

 

The Trytth Chronicles (The Tempest as science fantasy)

 

 

 

Changing History (Romeo and Juliet set 1928 Berlin)

  

 

 

Sales sites: www.fivesenseseducation.com.au

www.goldiealexander.com

and all good book stores.

Meet the Author: Shona Husk

Shona’s top tip for aspiring authors: Read your genre to see what is currently selling, but also read widely. Be a magpie and learn from other genres.

Shona Husk is the author of more than 40 books that range from sensual to scorching, and cover the contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance genres. Her most recent series are Face the Music, Blood and Silver and Annwyn. As well as writing romance she also writes sci-fi for the Takamo Universe game and urban fantasy under anther pen name.

She lives in Western Australia and when she isn’t writing or reading she loves to cook, cross stitch and research places she’d one day like to travel.

You can find out more at www.shonahusk.com

www.twitter.com/ShonaHusk

www.facebook.com/shonahusk

Newsletter: http://mad.ly/signups/119074/join

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write?

I’ve always made up stories. They used to be just to entertain myself, but while I was on maternity leave I started writing them down. It was about three years before I got serious about wanting to be published. Even now I write the stories I’m interested in and that I want to read—I have to because I spend so long working on them.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?

I’d probably still be a civil designer (designing roads, drainage and sewerage infill etc), and I’d probably have more free time for my other hobbies like cross stitch. However, I’d still be a reader and I’d still be making up stories to entertain myself.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published?

When I started writing it was time (I had babies) and a lack of knowledge. It was taking me 12-18 months to write a novel and I couldn’t learn about story arc and character development when it was taking so long. I switched to writing novellas (I was already reading novellas because I didn’t have the time for novels) and it all came together. The next novel I wrote then sold (the other two live in a cupboard).

How involved have you been in the development of your books? Do you have input into the cover/illustrations?

I fill out a cover art form then the publishers take over. Edits are always a negotiation, but most of the time I agree, or I look to see what they are trying to achieve and find a way to do it if I don’t agree with their suggestion. Everyone is trying to make the best book they can. For my self-published books I generally get a premade cover. I have a few sites that I search and I find something suitable that conveys the mood and genre of the book.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life?

I love plotting and researching. Creating the characters and their world is so much fun.

—the worst?

The final page proofs. By the time I get them I’m sick of the book, yet at the same time it is the last chance to catch mistakes so there is pressure involved.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer?

I would pick a sub-genre and stick with it. While I write romance I write in several sub-genres (contemporary, paranormal, sci fi and fantasy). For branding I think sticking with one sub-genre would’ve been more effective.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author?

Getting published isn’t the hardest part nor is it the end. Staying published and marketing are hard work.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

Stories are all about conflict and the conflict has to keep escalating.

BOOK BYTE

 

Servant of the Forest

Shona Husk

“Remember to be wild,” Orabella’s mother would say.
But her mother is dead and Orabella’s days are taken up with chores for the small estate that barely keeps her stepmother and stepsisters fed.
Then an invitation arrives. The King is throwing a three-day party for the Prince, a last attempt to find a cure for the curse that will claim him on his twentieth birthday. The witch who saves Gauthier will get his hand in marriage and will eventually become queen.
Orabella is forbidden from going to the party even though everyone is invited. She wants to see the castle and the Cursed Prince. This time she refuses to obey her stepmother.
As Orabella discovers the secrets of her past and the truth about her mother and the prince’s curse, she learns that no one is to be trusted and not everyone wants the prince to survive.

Buy Links: Amazon Kobo iBooks Barnes and Noble

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author: Adele Jones

Adele’s top writing tip: Ask trusted and knowledgeable people to read your work (not just your family or a friend who ‘has good grammar’) and work hard. If you keep receiving the same feedback, positive or negative, listen. And be prepared to pay for professional editing. I do, even now.

adele_author_hdshQueensland author Adele Jones writes young adult and historical novels, poetry, inspirational non-fiction and short fiction works. Her first YA novel Integrate was awarded the 2013 CALEB Prize for an unpublished manuscript. Her writing explores issues of social justice, humanity, faith, natural beauty and meaning in life’s journey, and as a speaker she seeks to present a practical and encouraging message by drawing on these themes. For more about Adele and her work visit here website: www.adelejonesauthor.com or contact@adelejonesauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AdeleJonesAuthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/AdeleJonesAuth

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/8532379.Adele_Jones

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? I believe words are powerful and what we read, over time, becomes a part of who we are. In fact, I’m a member of a national writers’ organisation with a motto ending in: ‘We want our words to change the world.’ I guess that’s what I’m hoping, that the stories and poems I write will not only entertain, but also inspire deeper reflection, understanding and, ultimately, invest something positive into the lives of those who read them.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? Is that before or after my mummy and wifely ‘to dos’? LOL. Seriously, I studied science at university and continue to work in that field. If I wasn’t writing, I’d probably focus more on my science career, or maybe even take the opportunity to invest more time in my musical interests.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? I would say myself: my impatience; my lack of insight into how much development my writing needed; my fear of sharing my writing with others who might not respect it. It was only when I did a Master of Letters majoring in creative writing that I began to realise just how much I needed to learn and engage with more experienced writers. And I’m still learning.

How involved have you been in the development of your book? Did you have input into the cover/illustrations? I’ve had a good deal of involvement in the development of my young adult techno-thriller novels. I realise this isn’t always the case. I’m grateful to my publisher for allowing me input, but I also recognise they know the market and have been in the publishing business much longer than I have. It would be unwise not to listen to their advice or respect their decisions throughout the publication process.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? Having readers falling in love with my characters and enjoying the stories as much as I enjoy writing them.

—the worst? Feeling like I never have enough time to get everything done, including writing. Life gets busy and families have this weird thing where they want to see mummy every now and then. LOL. Sometimes it’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul, only Peter’s broke.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Invest more in my craft from the start and get connected with other, more experienced writers. Hopefully that way I’d realise how much I needed to learn sooner. (Though, knowing me, I’d probably still make many of the same mistakes …)

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? It’s a funny thing. I started writing because I had this recurring dream which I wrote down, but I didn’t really correlate that with the idea of becoming an author until many years later, when it seemed a reasonable idea to try and get my first manuscript published. (It was rather dreadful, so that didn’t fly for a long time.) I wish someone had invited me to a local writing group sooner.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? ‘Hey, since we both like writing, why don’t we meet up regularly and talk about that?’ This was how a friend and I started our writers’ group, and that was the thing that really catalysed my writing from ‘something I did on the side’ to purposefully building an author platform and pursuing further opportunities to develop my craft.

BOOK BYTE

integratecoverimage Integrate (Book 1 in the series)

Blaine Colton had been handed a genetic death sentence until revolutionary gene therapy changed his life. Living a relatively normal existence, he is called to an unscheduled post-treatment appointment just weeks before his eighteenth birthday. Informed that his life saving procedure was never approved, he is held against his will for his status as an apparent illegal GMO. Subjected to constant testing, refused contact with his parents and deprived of life- sustaining medication, Blaine begins to suspect that something is wrong. Wanting answers, he escapes the Institute and ambitious Chief Scientist, Dr Melissa Hartfield. Now a fugitive with a failing body, Blaine must find Professor Ramer, the developer of his therapy. But the Professor has vanished and time is running out. Fast.

The book is available here.

 

replicatehigh Replicate (Book 2 in the series)

Blaine Colton is pulled into a chilling
conspiracy when he discovers embryonic
clones with his name on them.

 

Suspecting the research has breached ethics agreements,
he brings close friends, Sophie and Jett Faraday, in on a
scheme to find answers. Immediate threats reveal not
everyone is happy about his discovery. The reappearance
of an identity from Blaine’s past unsettles him further, and
then a crisis fractures his world. Convinced his research
objections and the tragic events are linked, Blaine pursues justice. But
someone is watching him. Someone wants him dead.

The book is available here.

activate_largeActivate (Book 3 in the series)

Josh Hammond’s not who he says he is.

If he’s to stay alive, he must guard his identity, existing isolated from his former life and those he loves. The one enemy he can’t outrun is his failing health—and time is short. Desperate for a solution, Josh leaves the protection of his safe house unapproved. Instead of a cure, he’s left powerless against a cunning adversary. Determined to reclaim his life, he grasps an opportunity for escape, but things go drastically wrong. Can he find a way to expose the lies of a criminal mastermind, or will he be silenced? Forever.

The book is available here.

Meet the Author: Desmond O’Connor

D. O'ConnorDESMOND’S TOP TIP FOR ASPIRING WRITERS: Become at home with words, decide on what areas interest you,  read widely (not only in your chosen field),  and attune yourself to the business aspects of the trade.  You might not be able to retire in the south of France!

Professor Desmond O’Connor has had a varied career as a surveyor, civil engineer, senior civil servant and academic in Australia and the United States. He came to these positions from Douglas Park, just outside Sydney, in the Depression,  attending Marist Brothers High School at Darlinghurst in Sydney and making his way to the Pentagon in Washington by study and hard work. Between 1973 and 1988 he was Foundation Professor of Environmental Studies at Murdoch University in Perth. Prior to this he was Chief of the Environmental Sciences Office in the Pentagon. His work in Perth has been characterised by service on government boards and various community organisations.  He has always had a predisposition for the caring professions.  He has been president of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Ryder-Cheshire Foundation for the Relief of Suffering,  and is a member of Amnesty International,  and various government boards connected with the environment.  He is well known in civic affairs and  as  a consultant to the mining industry.  He also holds a commercial pilot’s licence.

AUTHOR INSIGHT

Why do you write? I have lived an exciting life, and, with a background of collecting boys’ adventure books from an earlier era, I sensed that a gap was not being filled. I felt that I might contribute to filling it. In my earlier academic and professional life I became accustomed to writing technical and scientific papers, so adventure stories were a fairly simple lateral step.  Besides, I like writing.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? When I am not writing I am reading history,  I listen to a lot of music and read the occasional novel.  I do mathematical manipulations to keep my mind in trim.

What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Finding a suitable publisher from among the bewildering array of offerings on the internet and in journals.

What’s the best aspect of your writing life? The creativity and the thought that you might be giving pleasure to someone through sharing your experiences.

—the worst? The worst aspects as far as I am concerned would be the confinement indoors and difficulties getting about to obtain material.

What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? I would start earlier in life when my experiences were fresh in my mind, and my mobility was better.

What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? I would have appreciated being given a bit of a push to start earlier.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? At the beginning of my academic career (1954) I was advised to develop persistence and perseverance when my contributions to knowledge did not seem to be universally welcomed.

BOOK BYTE

Phantom Wings Over the NorthPhantom Wings Over the North

by Desmond O’Connor

This small book, initiating the Australian Adventure Series, will appeal to early teens who like adventure with an Australian flavour.  It is set in the harsh Pilbara region of Western Australia, and seen through the eyes of 17-year old twins hoping to enjoy a placid outback holiday with their veteran prospector uncle. Their plans go awry when they unwittingly stumble upon a highly organised  smuggling activity involving drugs coming in and native fauna going out.  Their attention is drawn to a mysterious mobile laboratory traversing the area, ostensibly looking for gold, but seemingly more intent on trapping small native animals. This seems somehow connected to mysterious midnight flights of an aircraft in and out of the Pilbara. Native fauna are extremely popular on the international market, and the twins play a key role in bringing down what appears to be the first major incursion of organised crime into this field. It exposes the reader to the valiant efforts of modern-day pioneers to overcome the formidable problems involved in accessing the enormous resources of the Pilbara.

The twins emerge from their experience with a greater understanding of the outback ethos which has played such an great role in moulding the Australian character.

The book is available here.

 

 

Meet the Author: Sarah Ayoub

 

SARAH’S TOP WRITING TIP: Read! Reading is how you learn how to write. You’ll pick up where others get it right and wrong, you’ll feel inspired to create your own work, and you just feel like your path to work isn’t very ‘worky’.

Ayoub_Sarah_Low Res_credit_Simona Janek_GM Photographics
Photo: Simona Janek GM Photographics

Sarah Ayoub is an author and freelance journalist based in Sydney, Australia. Following the debut of her first YA novel, Hate Is Such a Strong Word, she has taught journalism at the University of Notre Dame and spoken at numerous industry events with the Emerging Writers’ Festival, NSW Writers’ Centre, The Walkley Foundation, Vibewire and more.

To learn more about Sarah, visit her website: www.sarahayoub.com

AUTHOR INSIGHT

  • Why do you write?

I write because I can’t help it. Writing is a compulsion – it’s my way of making sense of my thoughts, my feelings and my opinion. Writing is how I make sense of the world. It was never something I set out to do. I’d always wanted to be a journalist (since I was 10 – inspired by Lois Lane) but at school I hated creative writing. These days I think it’s because there were so many rules. Becoming an author was a whole other matter: a character waltzed into my head one day – all whiney and emotional – and I felt like I had to share her story. After that, I was hooked. Writing fiction is a free-flow of ideas that indulge my sense of wonder and wanderlust.

  • What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?

I love talking about travelling and holidays, so maybe a travel agent! Or a historian. Or I would love a job where I can indulge my love of all things French or the icons of style – like PR for a French brand. Chanel definitely comes to mind – I know so much about her.

  • What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published?

Thankfully, I didn’t have any real obstacles. I know I’m incredibly lucky for this so I really do try to take the time to answer the questions of emerging writers, to make their journey easier too. I picked up an agent straight away and that made getting a publisher fairly easy. In fact, I probably jeopardised my writing career (as I still do) by my lack of discipline and constant procrastination.

  • What’s the best aspect of your writing life?

Creating new people to love, and new stories to get engrossed in. Passing time doing something creative that indulges your imagination. Working your brain into over drive, and those light bulb moments that make you stop what you’re doing to write something down. Even as an author I sometimes get excited writing a particular scene. I suppose it’s that but also the excitement of seeing others appreciate what you have poured your heart and soul into.

  • —the worst?

For me, it’s my complete lack of discipline. I have so many ideas I can’t wait to turn into novels, but I just self-sabotage by wasting time online, or cleaning my closet (over and over again) or picking at my bad skin. And the bad reviews of course – from people that don’t offer any constructive criticism but just say things like ‘bad writing’.

  • What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer?

Join a writer’s group. I’ve noticed that authors who join them have a support network I don’t really have. No one reads my books before they go to print – unless they’re my agent or publisher. I’ve noticed writer’s groups talk through plot points, getting stuck, stale ideas etc and I think that’s lovely. A long time ago, I joined Gabrielle Tozer’s writing group, and it was so fun. But that was because we never really spoke about writing or did any work. We just went to the pub and needless to say, Gabby disbanded the group after a while and voila – after that, we all got some work done!

  • What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author?

I wish I learnt more about foreign rights and selling books overseas. I’m so scared of putting myself out there sometimes that I didn’t pursue this part of writing with my first book. I am going to try it out with The Yearbook Committee and see how I go, but I still plan on asking my author friends who have been published overseas to share their insights.

  • What’s the best advice you were ever given?

I have a tendency to stress about things, and things that are out of my control. Being told not to sweat, or that it’ll be ok, is always a good thing to hear. Things usually work themselves out.

BOOK BYTE

Yearbook CommitteeThe Yearbook Committee

by Sarah Ayoub

Ages 14+

 

Five teenagers. Five lives. One final year.

The school captain: Ryan has it all … or at least he did, until an accident snatched his dreams away. How will he rebuild his life and what does the future hold for him now?

The newcomer: Charlie’s just moved interstate and she’s determined not to fit in. She’s just biding her time until Year 12 is over and she can head back to her real life and her real friends …

The loner: At school, nobody really notices Matty. But at home, Matty is everything. He’s been singlehandedly holding things together since his mum’s breakdown, and he’s never felt so alone.

The popular girl: Well, the popular girl’s best friend … cool by association. Tammi’s always bowed to peer pressure, but when the expectations become too much to handle, will she finally stand up for herself?

The politician’s daughter: Gillian’s dad is one of the most recognisable people in the state and she’s learning the hard way that life in the spotlight comes at a very heavy price.

Five unlikely teammates thrust together against their will. Can they find a way to make their final year a memorable one or will their differences tear their world apart?

Sales link: http://www.harpercollins.com.au/9780732296858/the-yearbook-committee