the next big thing meme

January 4th, 2013 | Category: books, new releases, writing

Simmone Howell tagged me, and I’m tagging Melina Marchetta, Vikki Wakefield, Emily Gale and Penni Russon..but ONLY if you have time, feel like it, the time is right to talk, etc, etc.


1. What is the working title of your next book?

Wildlife. This post talks about the working titles it has had along the way.

2. Where did the idea for the book come from?

Romanticism – love/death/nature/primacy of emotion/intuition/feelings, Iago, my lack of affinity with the great outdoors, jealousy, betrayal, mean-girl-friends, the specious charm of celebrity…

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary YA.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie?

I’d rather let readers create their own pictures of the characters. But I do have some actors I’d cast in a dream world.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A story about first love and friendship at sixteen, fitting in, and staying true to yourself.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Wildlife will be published by Pan Macmillan in Australia, June 2013, and is represented by Cheryl Pientka at Jill Grinberg Literary in the US.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Not quite sure. About a year, I guess. But there was a lot of faffing around to decide on the right form.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

It links to my own book, Six Impossible Things, in the character of Lou, now 16, who is a minor character in SIT and one of two point-of-view characters in Wildlife. But it’s not a sequel.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

This is answered in part in Q.2, but the setting, which is a wilderness boarding school, was inspired by stories people (including my husband) told me about their experiences in these sorts of schools.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Sibylla is trying to understand her first romantic/sexual attachment; Lou is dealing with grief. They have a mutual friend, Michael, who is Sibylla’s oldest friend and Lou’s newest friend.

And if you want to read about the next big thing from Lili Wilkinson, Kate Constable and Will Kostakis they have responded to Simmone’s tag. (Sorry I’m late.)

2 responses to “the next big thing meme”

  1. Sally says:

    I’m a quarter of the way through Wildlife and I’m seriously in love with it… plus it’s made me go OMG about a dozen times so far because I recognise that country campus SO MUCH. Did you go to howqua yourself by any chance?!

    • fiona says:

      Hi Sally, Apologies for late reply! No, I didn’t go to Howqua, though I did speak to some former H students as part of my research. My husband went to Timbertop, and that was an early inspiration, but, setting aside, it’s very much a fictional account of that type of country campus. I spoke to former students from other schools who offer similar experiences and you can imagine, there was quite a bit of overlap in the reactions to all sorts of things from proximity of living with other students, who might or might not be friends, to coping without family, to the rigours of the specific programs… Thanks for reading Wildlife and getting in touch!

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