Posted by: Vanessa Barneveld | May 27, 2010

Allison Rushby Interview

Allison Rushby

Allison Rushby has carved out a name for herself as one of Australia’s favourite chicklit writers. Her first book,, aka Friday Night Cocktails, really put her on the map. You know you’ve made it when someone turns your book title into a domain name and tries to turn a profit!

Since then she’s published several more witty and engaging novels, including the Living Blonde teen series. Allison recently picked up a hot new agent who engineered a deal for her latest book, Paparazzo Jo.

Congratulations on your latest YA sale, Paparazzo Jo! Tell us about the story and when can we buy it?
Thanks! Selling a YA ms into the US has been a long time coming, so I’m super-excited. Paparazzo Jo is about Jo, a 16-year-old paparazzo who hates what she does and is desperate to get out (she continues because she’s saving up for a course of study). She’s offered a job with such great pay that it will mean she’s able to stop papping forever, but it’s low and dirty and will mean betraying the only star she’s ever liked. So far, it’s looking like April 2012 for a pub. date. There’s a sneak peek of around 200 words on my website to keep my readers going until then!

I’ve read the excerpt and I can’t wait to cackle my way through the rest of the story. Your books have a great sense of comedy. Does writing “funny” come easy to you?
I don’t think I could ever write too seriously. For me, reading is for fun and so is writing. I often have a bit of a laugh at the books my husband and I read in bed. He’ll be reading some 500-page tome on Something Serious and I’ll be reading something very, very pink and meant for 13-year-olds! I find it easier to write funny than to not.

The life of a celeb snapper seems like a dog-eat-dog existence. What kind of research did you undertake for this book?
Oh, the research… it was unbelievably fun. I read Famous every week and also a couple of fantastic books written by paparazzos, like Darryn Lyons’s book Mr Paparazzi (so interesting! The gossip about Princess Di — you wouldn’t believe it!). Another book outlined which of the Hollywood stars were nice and which were meaner than mean. Research doesn’t get better than that.

Ooh, I must track down that expose on good vs. bad stars! If you were a paparazzo, who would you stalk and how far would you go to get a shot of them?
I’m actually terrible at remembering to take my camera anywhere, so am always relying on my phone camera. Papping probably isn’t a great career option for me!

For some reason, I now have Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” running through my head. Did you have a playlist on high rotation while you wrote the book?
Oddly, I’d just started to write the ms when Lady Gaga’s song came out. I thought it was a good sign! I don’t play any music while I write, though. I write when my kids are at school and kindy, so I revel in the peace and quiet!

You’ve persevered through some tough times in the business, what with agency changes and all. What kept you going?
There’s definitely been a few tough years, but I think that’s the same in any business. You either ride it out however you can, or give up and do something else. I think I’m lucky in that I’m very interested in the business side of things — in the market, who’s buying/selling and so on. If I hadn’t had that interest (and many writers don’t), things would have been much harder for me.

You’re busy with two kids, two cats and one hubby. How do you maintain your writing schedule?
School, two kindy days and a nanny two days per week! Four days per week sounds like a lot, but it’s amazing how little time you really get. When you factor in drop off and pick up, I get to write between 10am-2pm. Then, of course, there’s helping out with reading at school, morning teas and getting to the gym at least twice per year to justify my membership!

Thanks so much for joining us today, Allison!

Allison has kindly offered her first two Marilyn Monroe-inspired YAs, Diamonds Are a Teen’s Best Friend and The Seven-Month Itch to a lucky blog commenter. To win, tell us who your favourite blonde (or blond–True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard, perhaps?) is! The winner will be announced next Friday.

Speaking of winners, Anna Campbell is the lucky winner of our What Now, Tilda B? contest. Congrats!!! Keep watch over that letterbox of yours, Anna!


  1. Hi Allison, Hi Vanessa,
    Lovely to see you both here. I enjoyed the interview and ‘Paparazzo Jo’ sounds like lots of fun. I love a YA with a great light hearted feel. Actually, like you, V, I wouldn’t mind reading that research material either.
    Favourite blonde? Now, that stopped me in my tracks. My instant response was Dolly Parton, because of her response to whether she objected to dumb blonde jokes. Her answer: she doesn’t mind them a bit as she isn’t dumb or blonde, which I assume must have put the questioner in his/her place.

  2. Very fun interview, Allison and Vanessa, and, Allison, your books sound great! You do seem to have hit just the right cultural moment for a paparazzi book.

    Favorite blond? Does Sean Bean count as blond? Then definitely Sean Bean. (I prefer dark-haired gents, generally, but I can definitely make an exception in his case.)

  3. Allison, HUGE congratulations on selling your next YA. It sounds like a doozey! Vanessa, I really enjoyed the interview. Hmm, now I want to know more of the gossip too. The papparazzi subject is so rife for comedy and drama, I can’t wait to read this book. Actually I’m writing my first blond hero – so I think he’d count as my favourite blond right now! Snort! And hey, I saw I won a book. How cool is that? Thanks We Love YA!!!

  4. Hi, Annie! I LOVE that Dolly Parton quip! In fact, I love Dolly. I grew up on her music.

    Paparrazo Jo sounds like a fun book, doesn’t it? I get my fix of goss mags at the gym. Makes the treadmill less painful!

  5. Hey, Elisa, my Ruby sister! Thanks for making the trip down under.

    Sean Bean definitely counts as your choice of blond. I bet he’d be honoured. He’s done such a wide range of movies. I’ve heard he’s going to be in Oscar Wilde’s ‘A Woman of No Importance’.

  6. Thanks for popping around in the middle of your huge blog tour, Anna! Congrats your latest release–congrats!!!! I’m looking forward to reading your blond boy.

    I’m intrigued about the papp life too, Anna. Not sure it’s the life for me, but it sounds like an interesting one.

    And you’re welcome. I’m glad What Now, Tilda B? is going to a good home.

  7. Hey, Vanessa and Allison

    Great interview!
    The research for Papparazzo Jo sounds really interesting – the whole celebrity thing has become such a business, hasn’t it?! And a not entirely healthy one so no wonder Jo wants out.

    I whizzed over to read the “eyes only” excerpt – now I want to know more!

    I did giggle at the reading material you and your husband take to bed, Allison! Yours sounds like much more fun!

    As for favourite blondes – probably Goldie Hawn or Meg Ryan… I enjoy romantic comedy.

    I loved Annie’s quote about Dolly Parton! And I agree with Elisa about Sean Bean! And I’m looking forward to meeting Anna C’s new hero.

    Allison, I loved and I’m sure Papparazzo Jo will be just as popular!


  8. Hi Allison and Vanessa
    Congratulations, Allison, on your new sale. The book sounds like lots of fun, I popped over to your website to read the excerpt. Is Paparazzo Jo set in the US? I am a fan of your chicklit books and, although published in the US, were set in Australia or not really identified so much as any country.
    My favorite blond? Does it have to be human? If not, I am nominating my friend’s enormous golden retriever with the intimidating name of Kaiser who is one of the sookiest animals I have ever met!

  9. Thanks, Sharon!

    Have to admit I had a little giggle when Allison described the differences in reading material between herself and her hubby–that’s exactly how it is in our household. I reckon it’s much more fun reading YAs.

    Goldie Hawn is such a doll, isn’t she? So naturally funny.

  10. Oh, Kandy, I’d love to see Kaiser! He sounds like an adorable, sooky blond. (I’m presuming he’s a he!) Is he on your site’s Pet Gallery? Big congrats to you on your 4-star rating in Romantic Times mag for Home Is Where the Bark Is!

    Btw, Allison’s book will be published by Walker in the US. Exciting stuff!

  11. Hey Allison,

    Congrats on your Paparazzo Jo sale. I’m looking forward to reading it. but it also sounds like I should read Mr Paparazzi. The paparazzi feature in my story but they’re always the enemy as my characters are royalty.

    And I love that someone is trying to flog the domain Maybe they’d have better success if it had been published with that title in the US.

    Favourite blond? Well, Vanessa has already outed my favourite and with – I can’t go past Eric and with teasers from True Blood season 3 popping up on the net, I’m not going to replace him as a fave anytime soon.

  12. Diane, I can’t wait for season three of True Blood! While I still have a soft spot for Bill (who, of course, has brown hair), Eric is far more intriguing and magnetic. Thanks for popping in!

  13. with season 3, I’m only 2 degrees of separation from Eric. I used to work with one of the werewolves – Grant Bowler!

  14. Hey, cool, Diane!

  15. Congrats to Allison! Paparazzo Jo sounds like tons of fun!

  16. I agree, Llehn! You can always count on a fun read with Allison’s books.

  17. […] has a great interview up on We Love YA with the very talented Allison […]

  18. Oops … it occurs to me that I forgot to leave my fav blonde. I would go with Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer but I’m sure he doesn’t count. So I would go with Britney Spears. Despite the bad publicity, you can’t deny that there’s something very magnetic about her!

  19. Oh, Spike would definitely count, Llehn, even though he’s a bottle blond. And Britters, well, she wouldn’t have made it this far without charisma. She’s made mistakes, but haven’t we all, eh?

  20. […] The lucky winner of our Allison Rushby prize pack is Elisa Beatty! Yay! Thanks for commenting, Elisa. I’ll be in contact with you […]

  21. PQJ9NM IJWTS wow! Why can’t I think of things like that?

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