Summer Reading Club
space craft special edition 2017

Nova Weetman

My first writing job was as a storyliner on the children’s television series, H20. There were three of us in a room with a bowl of lollies, lots of coffee and a big whiteboard. For three weeks we invented stories about mermaids. Since then, I’ve written for children’s television shows like Pixel Pinkie, Fanshaw and Crudnut, Buzz Bumble and Wild But True.

My first young adult novel was published in 2014, and since then I’ve published six more books. I spend most of my days either visiting schools to talk about writing, or working on a new book, or sneaking off to the op-shop to look for secondhand books. When I’m not reading or writing, I really love to bake. I live in Melbourne with my partner, who is a playwright, our two children and a house full of books.


Getting to Know Nova Weetman

Game On: How did you get into writing?

I wrote my first story when I was 12, on an old black typewriter. It was called The Jelly People and it was this super gruesome tale about a green cloud passing over earth and turning everyone into jelly. From then on, I was hooked on writing. I realised it was the perfect way to control my real world and to lose myself in an invented one. After leaving university, I started working in television, writing screenplays. Writing for television is great fun because it’s collaborative, but you usually work on someone else’s story, and I really like telling my own stories, so after a few years I left television and returned to writing prose.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

When I was a kid, my dad worked in advertising and I used to hang out on film sets. Whenever he needed to cast young actors, he’d use my brother and me because he didn’t need to pay us much! I loved being part of it all, and hanging out while the commercial was being made. At first I wanted to be an actor, but I wasn’t very good at it. Then when I was about fourteen, I worked out if I wrote the scripts I would still be involved, but I wouldn’t have to be in front of the camera. Along the way, I did have a few other jobs too. I was a professional cheese taster, a publicist at a cinema with the same name as me, and a bookseller, but I think I knew I’d always end up being a writer.

What are some of your favourite games to play?

We play lots of boardgames in our house and our favourites are Articulate, Trivial Pursuit and Yahtzee. Once we had an UNO tournament that went for an entire weekend. We have another game that we play called The Shape Game, which is inspired by an Anthony Browne picture book. Basically you scribble a shape and the other person has to turn it into a drawing. It’s fun and silly and all you need is a pen and a scrap of paper. I’m not very good at illustrating, but I do like trying to make a scribble into something.

Do you have a favourite sport, sporting event or sporting hero?

I grew up in the country where sport was everything. I played netball, tennis and softball, and rode horses. Netball is definitely my first love. I even coached my daughter’s team for the last four years. I was still playing competitively until earlier this year when I hurt my knee and had to retire. Now I like watching netball games and I don’t mind whether it’s my daughter playing or my son who is just starting out, or a professional team like the Vixens.

One of my favourite sporting moments was going to the first women’s AFL football game this year. The match was played down the road from our house so we rode our bikes and sat with lots of other families we knew. The game was close and exciting, the atmosphere was electric and it was historic watching women’s football finally hitting the big league.

What kinds of activities do you like to do to supercharge your summers?

In summer we go camping with four other families. Most of the food we eat is cooked in a fire. Baked potatoes roast in the coals, marshmallows get burned on sticks, and baked bean toasties cook in a jaffle iron. Summer is all about water. The local swimming pool, a day spent catching waves on boogey boards at the beach, or floating down a river on a lilo. At night if it’s too hot to sleep, we go laneway walking down the bluestone laneways around our house, collecting lemons, pomegranates and figs from the trees that hang over fences. On these nights we usually end up at the gelati shop down the road, queuing with the rest of the neighbourhood for a triple scoop.

Can you recommend some good GAME ON reads for our SRC Members?

The Other Side of Summer by Emily Gale is a beautiful book about grief, family and one very special guitar. Perfect for readers aged 11 plus.

I love Cath Crowley’s series about a feisty soccer star called Gracie Faltrain. There are three books in the series, and the first is called The Life and Times of Grace Faltrain. Perfect for reading about girls and sport.

 

To learn more about Nova, visit her website.


A Creative Tip

 Find your own voice.

The more you write, the better you get. It’s all about finding your own voice, not being scared to try new things, and understanding that you’ll have to rewrite over and over again. I wrote thirteen drafts of my book Everything is Changed before it was ready to be published, and even then editor had to work super hard to fix all the little mistakes I’d made.


Hot Off the Press

Nova Weetman newest books are now available. Have you had a chance to read them yet?

Book Title: Everything is Changed

Publisher: UQP

Recommended Reading Age: 14+

Book Description:

Jake and Alex. Best mates. One terrible mistake. Two lives that will never be the same.

Told in reverse, this powerful and gritty novel moves through the wreckage of a broken friendship, back to the moment when everything changed.

Sneak Peak

Read a few preview chapters now!

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