Today, I’m flying to Melbourne, via a three hour stopover in Alice Springs, arriving just in time for the authors’ meet and greet for Reading Matters. I’m excited and honoured to be talking at what I’m told is one of the biggest, best and most enjoyable conferences for YA authors and readers.
I’ve been getting ready for this for the last couple of months; the Reading Matters Team sends out copies of books by your co-panellists so you can read them before the conference (I know – great idea, huh?). Which means I’ve read…
The Flywheel by Erin Gough
Jump by Sean Williams
Technology is everywhere now. You can’t avoid it. Walk down the street and you will probably (literally!) bump into someone who is staring at their smart phone rather than watching where they’re going. Go out for dinner with friends and you can almost guarantee somebody will take a call, text someone or Google trivia during the course of the meal.
Confession time. As a young teenager, I enjoyed reading teen romance novels like Dolly Fiction, Sweet Valley High and the Girlfriend series (amongst other books of course!). Depending on your own tastes, you’re now either cheering or vomiting in the nearest bin! I know. An admission like that is polarising, but in the context of discussing sex in YA fiction it’s interesting to look at how much things have changed…
Do you like parents in YA books to have their own stories? Or do you find those bits of the novel boring, and find yourself skimming until you get back to the protagonist’s story?
As Nona & Me is read by more people, there is one question that keeps appearing. The book is called Nona & Me: why isn’t there anything written from Nona’s perspective?
There are so many answers to this that I find it difficult to pin down one. So here they are, three reasons tangled together, numbered, but no one more important than the other:
1) I didn’t feel comfortable writing from an Indigenous perspective
I want to tell you a story. When I was growing up, I was allowed to watch half an hour of TV a day. I used this time to watch Australian soaps and dramas. I got pulled into those worlds. I was taken along by the stories. I cared about the moral and human dilemmas, albeit heightened, the characters faced.
I get asked a lot of questions about writing for television.
Are there lots of writers or just one? (Lots)
How do they make the story lines match? (They are ‘storylined’ by a team who work in the office)
Which characters do you write for? (All of them)
But to start from the beginning: how is television drama written?
Hello from tropical Darwin!
I'm thrilled to be your author in residence for May. To tell you a bit about myself...
My name is Clare Atkins.
I've spent most of my working life as a television scriptwriter. Think Home & Away, Wonderland, Winners & Losers, All Saints. I've written car accidents, stalkers, love triangles, people having their best friend's boyfriend's baby and more. In other words, lots of drama! Is it fun? Absolutely.
Thank you, Elspeth LaMorte, Lauren Rosenberg and Diem Nguyen - you've each won a book-pack from Text Publishing including a signed copy of either All I Ever Wanted or Friday Brown, plus two other Text titles from authors Bernard Beckett and Rebecca Stead. Inky will be in touch to arrange delivery of your prize.
Congratulations and happy reading!
Over and out.