Surprise! I’m releasing two books this year!
I’m so thrilled to be an Ambassador for Australia Reads, joining Beck Feiner, Anna Fienberg, Jacqueline Harvey, Peter Helliar and Dervla McTiernan. In November, we’re inviting all Australians to share and celebrate the joys of reading. Whether you’re picking up a book for the first time or your head is already stuck in one, there’s plenty of books, activities and events as part of the Australia Reads festivities. Thursday 12 November is the main event – Australian Reading Hour. You’re invited to stop what you’re doing for an hour, pick up a book and read to yourself or the children in your life.
To celebrate, I’ll be releasing a specially priced novella in November, The Greatest Hit:
Tessa is a teenage has-been.
While everyone else her age is taking their bold first steps into adulthood, she’s accepted she peaked at 14 (thank you, viral music video).
But now — an opportunity. A profile as one of the 5 Most Forgettable Internet Celebrities of the Decade So Far gives her the chance to right a wrong, and the courage to sing her greatest hit as it was originally written.
As I told Twitter between general isolation ramblings, the premise for the novella was one of the framing devices I considered for The First Third. A ‘washed up’ pop singer by 19, Billy tried to revive his career with a greatest hits compilation. Instead of completing his yiayia’s bucket list, Billy’s tasks were inspired by his old tracks.
I abandoned that framing device because it leaned too heavily on ‘the media’, which Loathing Lola had already explored, and the ‘washed up’ aspect hit too close to home after Loathing Lola underperformed, and I still felt like achieving my dream as a teenager was a grave error.
Ultimately, removing that framing device and zeroing in on family was the right call for The First Third. And now, a decade-plus into my career, I’m totally ready to explore the emotional uglies of underwhelming teenage success, in a heartwarming original story about singing your love from the rooftops.