I’m not going to lie – I probably wanted to read Summer Skin because my name is in the title. Thank goodness for my narcissistic tendencies because this book RULES. Author Kirsty Eager, wrote the perfect YA Novel about navigating love, sex and relationships on campus. It’s witty, engaging and seriously funny. As someone who really loves specific references to pop culture + analyzing relationships, I was in HEAVEN reading this book. If you’re looking for your next entertaining/ totally empowering beach read – GET SUMMER SKIN.
Here’s my interview with Kirsty! (She’s a total legend and we are going to be best friends in real life one day.)
1. Did you always know that you wanted to be an author? Tell us a little bit about your road to writing!
No, is the short answer. I was always a big reader, and I wrote all the time – kept a journal, wrote angsty, embarrassing poetry – but didn’t realise being an author was an option until later in life. I did economics at uni, worked professionally for long enough to pay off all the debt I’d accumulated at uni, and then quit. My boyfriend and I were travelling around Australia, living out of a car (just like you!) when I started writing surf and travel articles for a bit of extra coin. At the time I was working as a dish pig, so it was a way of reassuring myself I had other skills. Eventually I wrote a novel, got a big-deal agent in the UK, she put it up for auction, and … nobody bid. (Kind of disheartening.) So, I wrote another novel, and that agent dumped me on the strength of it (even more disheartening). I came to grips with the fact that I might never get published and wrote something just for me, and it got there. Yay!
2. Summer Skin is your fourth book and is already being RAVED about. How do you deal with nerves/ anxiety once you have a book released? Are you worried about its reception or is it rather cathartic to let it go live on bookshelves?
Well, for me, the whole writing thing often feels like a Festival of Fails, so that helps (and, yes, I’m talking about AFTER all the fails involved in actually getting published in the first place). I know that sounds defeatist, but I really don’t mean it that way – if anything it’s kind of funny. It’s just that you can’t control much of it, particularly the bit after the book has gone out. And even if you’re winning one day, you’ll probably piss someone off and get bad feedback the next day.
That said, I’m a bit of a precious snow daisy in that I don’t go looking at reactions either. I don’t spend time on Good Reads, for instance – that place scares the hell out of me.
The thing that helps, too, is that I completely lose touch with a story after it’s published. It becomes like a foreign country that I visited once, and had a great time in, but now I can’t remember how to speak the language. It’s not really mine anymore. It’s just somebody that I USED to know (thank you Gotye).
3. Summer Skin is quite empowering and thought provoking for a YA/NA novel. Did you set out to write such a feisty & feminist tale or did it just happen because you’r such a bad ass in real life?
I think I’ve been the beneficiary of some really great female role models. For instance, my mum – who always talked about sex openly and honestly – and some of the ladies I went through college with, who were decidedly shameless in the absolute best sense of the word. They didn’t feel shame about their own sexuality and desire. And I wanted to write about how things REALLY are, in that I get sick of the way women and girls are portrayed in films – as submissive conquests with absolutely no urges of their own. It’s just utter bullshit. Once you acknowledge female desire, everything changes. We’ve got appetites and we’ve got teeth.
4. What’s next in the pipeline? Will we see Jess again?
I’m working on a Young Adult story called Molassses. It’s totally different to Summer Skin, which, when I think about it, is therefore probably a really dumb career move! I would like to catch up with Jess and Mitch again – I just need to make more time to get back to them quickly.
5. What book are you currently reading? Any favs for us to check out?
I’ve just finished this kickarse memoir called Summerlandish, and I loved it. The author is so honest. She just lays herself open, and in that vulnerability there’s also a really beautiful strength and a lot of humour. In doing so, I think she’s helping a lot of people. Wait. You look familiar … 🙂
I’ve also read My Sister Rosa, by Justine Larbalestier. It’s a Young Adult novel about a ten-year-old psychopath and it’s a brilliant thriller. It also works as a handy identifier, because I know now that a few people I’ve always suspected were absolute psychopaths are in fact absolute psychopaths.
And I’m about to open My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante – I’m curious to see what all the fuss is about. Thank you so much for having me Summer Land! xox
Also check out her website HERE.