This month we’re celebrating the arrival of two new bloggers with round-robin interviews so Aussie Owned and Read readers can get to know us, both old and new, better. Today we have YA author Beck Nicholas providing answers to some burning questions. Welcome Beck! Make yourself comfortable and we’ll get started.
- You’re the author of four YA novels, two sci-fi and two contemporary, and have a fifth due for release at the end of this year titled LAST DAYS OF US. What is this story about and what sparked you to write it?
Last Days is the story of grieving Zoey who drove her life off the rails when her big brother was killed. She’s determined to pull herself back together and sets out on a road trip to see Gray, the singer/songwriter whose music got her through the worst times. On the trip are her ex, her best friend and her ex’s cousins. It’s the road trip of a lifetime!
2. What’s a song or piece of music that in some way relates to LAST DAYS OF US?
Last Days revolves heavily around music and music is very important to Zoey, my main character. The most important song (apart from some Little Mermaid references – Ariel is Zoey’s fave princess by far) is Forever Young by Youth Group but if I tell you too much about why it will spoil the story *evil grin*.
3. Out of all the characters you’ve written, which would you most like to have over for dinner? Why?
Ooh, great question. I have such strong feelings for all of my characters (some of those being complicated) but for a dinner invite it’s probably Jolie. She’s the little cousin of her ex on the road trip with Zoey and was the most fun to write ever with such a sparkly way of looking at the world.
4. Does writing energize or exhaust you or both? How? Why?
Probably both. Being in the world of a story gives me drive and purpose but if I have a great day I do feel drained at the end of it. Like my brain has turned to mush and stringing a sentence together becomes difficult.
5. What are you working on now? Would you share a couple of lines?
Right now I’m working on a story about a girl with hearing loss who makes a big mistake in an attempt to fit in, called ‘Smart Girls Don’t’.
This is the opening:
‘Smart girls don’t let a picture of their breasts end up all over the internet.’
One hundred and sixty kilometres, give or take, into her journey to exile and Paige Miller-Jones’ ears still rang with her dad’s statement. In fact, the words filled every available space in the packed car, leaving room for nothing else to be said.
When she was seven and first fitted with hearing aids, she would have turned them off before he’d finished the sentence. But ten years and an improvement in her ‘good’ ear had both matured her and diluted her ability to block out what she didn’t want to hear.
6. You’re published in both Australia and the US. Do you feel Oz authors have to work harder to carve a name for themselves in the book world than US based authors?
I think the US is a huge place and discoverability can be a problem. However thanks to the internet it’s more open than ever before. It does make me super appreciative of our Aussie publishers and market though where Aussie voices can perhaps be heard more easily.
Now for some Fast 5:
- Plotter or pantser? A poor amalgamation of the two
- Daytime or nighttime writing? Better in the day time – first thing but that rarely works out
- Short story or full length fiction? Short is HARD (much credit to you on your recent success), I’ll stick with longer
- Pen or keyboard? Both!
- One project at a time or multi tasking? One at a time in stretches but timelines mean I have to be flexible
Kat Colmer is a Young and New Adult author and high-school teacher librarian who writes coming-of-age stories with humour and heart. She lives with her husband and two children in Sydney, Australia. She also sings (occasionally) and speaks German (almost fluently). Her hope is to one day read one of her novels in Deutsch.