Castlemaine author Jenny Valentish gives Peaches the musical tang!




Photo by Susie Cavill
Photo by Susie Cavill

 Today on Lychees or Peaches Castlemaine author Jenny Valentish gives peaches the musical flavour!. Jenny will be appearing at this years Bendigo Writers Festival on the panel Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon  ( or if you like Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon )with Nicole Hayes and Kirsten Krauth.



Okay Jenny, hard questions first: Lychees or Peaches?
Lychees, or I’ll have Hugh Cornwell in my head.


I must admit I had to YouTube Hugh Cornwell and Peaches, but now that live guitar intro is stuck in my head. If you were written about in a newspaper, what would the headline say?



What is your favourite line from a book or movie?
I’ve always liked the first line of Stephen King’s The Shining. “Jack Torrance thought: Officious little prick.” BLAM!


Which genre do you usually write in? And why do you think this is so?

I would say edgy commercial fic along the lines of Chuck Palahniuk and Brett Easton Ellis. I can’t help but write fast and furious; you’re not going to catch any of my characters meandering. I admire the likes of Romy Ash and Carrie Tiffany for their considered prose, but I have no desire to do it.


Tell me a secret about yourself that nobody in the whole world knows? Go on tell me, nobody but me is listening.

My nose itches a lot. It may be gluten.


Or dairy, my nose itches with dairy, just sayin’. What is your latest book about?

It’s inspired by all the bands I’ve interviewed who have grown to despise each other but are stuck. Two cousins, Nina and Rose, form The Dolls. They want to be L7 but they’re being marketed as pop (see also my answer to question seven) – and are struggling with this. They only got signed in the first place because of the nepotism of their aunt, who was a megalomaniac pop star in the 1980s, but as her career starts to make a comeback, she turns on them.


How did you come up with the title? Did it come to fistycuffs with your editor?

My original title was My Life in Reviews – so not nearly as commercial and chick-lit as Cherry Bomb. However, this book is being marketed by Allen and Unwin as commercial fiction with the aim of selling maximum copies, so when I was told (straight off the bat, before I’d even been signed) that the name would have to change, I accepted it. As a journalist I’ve worked at quite a few behemoth media companies at which some employees would accept all the benefits of that while trying to stick it to the man and cling onto their indie cred by undermining the company. That strikes me as hypocritical. If you sign up to something, you take that ride. Or just don’t sign up.


When you daydream about singing on The Voice (I know you do) what song do you sing and if you could have any celebrity judge in the world turn for you who would it be?

I sing along to Adalita and Lana Del Rey a lot as that best suits my range, darling. Maybe LDR’s ‘Ride’. Judge: Matt Preston, just to mess with the heads of reality TV fans. Plus he used to write for the NME and I’d like to hear that kind of critique from him once more. I imagine it would be amusing.



What do you really, really, really, love?

Twilight. Actual twilight, not Twilight.


Can you show us a quick snap of your work desk? No tidy spic and span ones please. I don’t believe you.




Serious stuff now: where can we purchase your latest book?

Cherry Bomb can be found in many bookstores including Booktopia


Thanks for taking part in Lychees or Peaches, Jenny!

If you’d like to hear more from Jenny you can find her at her website  or on Twitter

Girl, you’ll be a woman soon: female authors, teenage girls, and a lot of chat.


The countdown to the Bendigo Writer’s Festival 2014 has begun. In just under four weeks the three day event kicks off the showcase of more than 50 sessions and 100 writers.

I’m so very excited to be hosting THE BEST event of the weekend, GIRL YOU’LL BE A WOMAN SOON. Little bit biased? Perhaps, but I am genuinely pleased to be involved in an event that focuses on three female writers speaking about female teenage characters in the context of coming of age. How often does this happen?

The three books are a whole lot more than this theme, and the three characters that we’ll be focusing on are so very different to one another, but at the same time all fit with the theme of girls exploring their world and coming up against it.

Nicole Hayes’ character Shelley, from her book The Whole of My World quietly seeps into your consciousness.  A Melbourne suburbs scenario, AFL footballers with egos, the mud and innocence of the early eighties, and life changing circumstances that happen to teenage girls going about normal life. Hayes has held off from throwing Shelley completely under the bus, and I think that’s what makes The Whole of My World relatable. It’s a sweet and real story that lives with you long after you leave it.

Kirsten Krauth’s Layla of her novel just_a_girl is a layered, unpredictable character. The sense you get as a reader that you just don’t know how far Layla will go, and how heart wrenching the situations she gets in will be, strikes to the hearts of mothers of teenage girls; the reader is kept in fright mode.  Krauth’s description of JAG as edgy is spot on in both her style and the subjects. I’ve written a long form review of JAG’s complex qualities which will be out soon-will post details here on the blog.


Jenny Valentish’s character Nina from her novel Cherry Bomb lives in a book that is lush and witty and delicious. The writing is fun and laugh out loud, and sometimes gasping, so much so that you have to stop and think about the subject matter that runs the whole range of emotions from hilarious to so achingly sad. Nina, an in-your-face rock chick, is everything teenage girls want to be, and everything mothers of teenage girls fear the most.


These characters, Shelley, Layla, and Nina have become real people to me in my close reading of them, and I’m genuinely excited to chat with their creators at the Bendigo Writers Festival. Saturday 10.00 AM sharp. Be there, it’s going to be so so good.


Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: