Allison Rushby has carved out a name for herself as one of Australia’s favourite chicklit writers. Her first book, AllMenAreBastards.com, 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!