Don’t get between Nicole Hayes and her Freddo Frogs!

 

 

 

 If you would like to win a copy of Nicole Hayes’ novel, The Whole of My World, leave a comment on this post to go in the draw to win! 

I was pleased to have met Nicole Hayes at The Bendigo Writers Festival on the Girl You’ll be A Woman Soon Panel. Along with Kirsten Krauth and Jenny Valentish we had a lot of fun chatting about coming of age novels and now she’s on my little blog to dissect the Lychees or Peaches questions.

Thank you for taking part in Lychees or Peaches, Nicole!

 

 

  • Okay! Hard questions first: Lychees or Peaches?

 

Peaches. No question.

 

 

  • If you were written about in a newspaper, what would the headline say?

 

Local author wins multi-million dollar movie deal! (Because that’s what would have to happen for any newspaper to write about me. And a girl can dream.)

 

 

  • What is your favourite line from a book or movie?

 

We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

 

 

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

Young Adult. Because I really believe no one gets adolescence right the first time. This way I get a second shot. And an editor.

 

 

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

 

I used to tell a story about how, as a kid, I’d felt so guilty about stealing a Freddo Frog from the local milk bar – my one and only time – that I snuck back the next day to pay for it. I’m pretty sure it never happened. As I remember, I stole the chocolate (once) but was too scared and embarrassed to go back to pay for it. I knew a girl who did do that, though, and I think that I so wished I had done the right thing that, at some point, I began to tell her version of the story.

 

6                     What is your latest book about?

The Whole of My World is about a teenage girl who, harbouring her own terrible secret surrounding a family tragedy, disappears into the intoxicating world of Australian football where she befriends a star player at the end of his career.

 

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

 

 Not quite. Actually, my publisher came up with this title because the original title was a bit too footy-focussed, when football is only the background to the story. The title comes from a part in the novel when Shelley, the main character, articulates a big theme in the story, and uses these words — “the whole of my world” — to describe the things that matter to her. Her obsession is all encompassing, and all pervasive. That’s her problem: she’s lost perspective. So the revised title is a much more appropriate one. My publisher saw that right away.

 

 

8                     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?

Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry”. And the judge would have to be Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder because, well, I have a tiny crush.

 

 

9                     What do you really, really, really, love?

My daughters, my family, my friends. Stories in any form — writing, reading and watching them. Music, food, and football… I’ll stop there because, truly, there are too many things.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

The Whole of My World is available in most bookshops, but here are some quick links to make it easy: Readings, Dymocks, Booktopia

 

 

Thank you Nicole! Where can we find out more about your book and your writing?

 

The Whole of My World is on Facebook – Like away! Or you can visit my website: nicolehayesauthor.com and follow me on Twitter: @nichmelbourne.

 

Nicole Hayes is the author of The Whole of My World (Random House Australia), her debut Young Adult novel about family, friendship and football: ‘A touching and funny novel that captures all the awkwardness and joy of growing up.’ – The Hoopla. The Whole of My World has been long listed for the 2014 Gold Inky Award, shortlisted for the 2014 Young Australians’ Best Book Award, and was selected as a Dolly Magazine “Rad Read”. Nicole has an MA in Creative Writing, and is the Creative Writing Facilitator at Phoenix Park Neighbourhood House. She takes writing workshops at various locations around Melbourne, including for Australian Writers Centre and Writers Victoria. Her second novel is scheduled for publication by Random House in May 2015.

 

 If you would like to win a copy of Nicole Hayes’ novel, The Whole of My World, leave a comment on this post to go in the draw to win! 

 

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?

NOT AGAIN! VALENTISH PLEADS INNOCENCE

 

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.

 

JV

 

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.

just-a-girl

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.

download

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.

 

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