Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Release Date: September 1st, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA, Drama
Source: Received in exchange for review
For Vân Uoc Phan, fantasies fall into two categories: nourishing, or pointless. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, for example? Pointless. It always left her feeling sick, as though she'd eaten too much sugar.
Vân Uoc doesn't believe in fairies, zombies, vampires, Father Christmas - or magic wishes. She believes in keeping a low profile: real life will start when school finishes.
But when she attracts the attention of Billy Gardiner, she finds herself in an unwelcome spotlight.
Not even Jane Eyre can help her now.
Wishes were not a thing.
They were not.
Wishes were a thing.
Wishes that came true were sometimes a thing.
Wishes that came true because of magic were not a thing!
Hey guys! I have a super duper special author on the blog today – she’s one of my favourite Aussie authors of ever, and her name is Fiona Wood. She has written Six Impossible Things and Wildlife, and coming out on September 1st (TOMORROW!!) is Cloudwish. She writes the best contemporary novels that are just so raw and honest and real – and if you haven’t picked up one of her books, YOU ARE INSANE. GET YOURSELF TOGETHER AND GO AND GRAB A COPY. NOW. NOWWWWWW. *clears throat*
An Interview with Fiona Wood
Can you tell us a little bit about the two main characters in Cloudwish? How would Van Uoc Phan describe Billy in 140 characters or less (Twitter style) and vice versa?
At the beginning of the book, Van Uoc knows a lot about Billy, but he knows nothing of her. So it might be something like:
Van Uoc: Billy’s got that look in his eyes. Bored and restless. He’s about to say something smartarsed and get into trouble. Again.
Billy: Who’s that and why is she standing up and wriggling around in class? Has she been bitten? Has she lost something? Inside her own dress?
The thing I love most about your books are how honest and realistic they are. Were your own high school experiences (and others) reflected in these books?
Thank you. Not in the exact story details. But certainly in the way characters feel and think about things. For some reason, my teenage memories are very clear, whereas my twenties, for instance, are a bit of a blur. To me it’s right up near the top of the list when it comes to writing YA. If you can remember those years, then you start from a position of empathy, engagement and respect.
Out of all the characters you’ve written about from Six Impossible Things, Wildlife and now Cloudwish, who was the most fun to write and why?
Each of the main characters has been my favourite during the writing of the books. I go into a total immersion with them. For me, fun in the writing is setting myself something difficult, and then working out how to do it. So, for example, with Sib I wanted to write a character who didn’t really know who she was, and one solution to that was to have a dual point of view with Lou as an observer. Or showing the rich inner life of a character like Van Uoc, who is shy and quiet. Or getting into the headspace of a fourteen year old boy. So the fun things are the ones that will challenge me over the course of writing each book, which is at least a couple of years.
Do you have a particular writing space where you like to write most, and can you show us a picture if you have one available?
I have a little studio space away from home and it’s a huge help to be out of the house and away from the fridge. I don’t have internet connected there either, so that’s another plus. Also, this is the view from the window, a brick wall and a water heater – so, minimal distractions.
I’m especially curious about your answer to this one: what got you into writing books in the first place? Did you intentionally start writing YA fiction?
There was a definite element of happenstance to it. I was writing a film script, and Dan Cereill, the protagonist of Six Impossible Things, just turned up in the margins. He had nothing to do with the film, but was a much more insistent, present character than the other characters I was working with, so I gave in and wrote him a story. He was a character who thought more than spoke and so he was definitely a novel, not a film. From that moment I was hooked into a new medium, and a teen readership.
If you were stranded on an island for the rest of your life and only had three books with you, which books would they be?
I’ll cheat a bit and say The Norton Anthology of Poetry, the complete works of Jane Austen, and the complete works of William Shakespeare. But I guess I’d also be hoping a few new releases might wash up on the shore.
So where to from here? Are there any writing projects you can tell us about? Will you be continuing to write from the Six Impossible Things universe? (Your secrets are safe with me *wink wink*)
There are definitely more stories and books that could be written with the Six Impossible Things universe characters (one reader calls it the Six Impossiverse) but I feel that perhaps I should move away, and the next book I have in mind is not about those characters. But the very next book I’ll be working on is the one that Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and I are writing, with the working title Friends Anonymous, that we have all been itching to get back for some time while we’ve been busy writing our stand alone manuscripts. So that will be fun.
THIS OR THAT
Coffee or tea?
Tea first thing, and coffee mid-morning.
TV shows or movies?
US TV is in a golden age. Shows I’ve adored in recent years include The West Wing, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Americans and Nashville.
Morning person or night person?
Night person. I’m an incoherent zombie in the mornings and don’t even speak; I can only make a noise like a pterodactyl until I’ve had my coffee.
So, I hope you guys enjoyed the interview! Be sure to keep an eye out for my review and giveaway of Cloudwish sometime this week as well!
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