Author interviews and farewell Fiction Focus

It has been a short week for those of us in Melbourne schools with a public holiday to celebrate the running of the Melbourne Cup. The work days this week have been: 1. spent deciding on how best to utilise the Kindles we have bought for the library and 2. looking at authors and writing for some of our literary students. 

I am sorry to say that one of my mainstays when it comes to keeping up with YA literature, the Fiction Focus blog, has written its last post. This was a terrific site and so useful to all who work in the YA or children’s literature area. Funding cuts seem to be so random and ill-advised at times but if you feel like you would like to register your disappointment please visit the blog to leave a comment.

It was from a post on the Fiction Focus blog that I found out about the newspaper in the US , the Albany Examiner, that has been publishing a series of profiles on contemporary YA authors. The latest is an article about Australian author Melina Marchetta. In the US Finnikin of the Rock is the most recent release. There have been  five previous writers in this ongoing series. They are: Andrew AuseonAlly Carter, Kristen Cashore, E. Lockhart and M.T. Anderson.

I, along with two students at my school, was fortunate to be able to met author Michael Grant last night. He came along to speak to students from some of the nearby schools. He is a very dynamic character and seemed totally at ease talking to the students present.  A good post can be found on the Booktopia blog (Michael Grant, Author of GONE, HUNGER and LIES, answere ten terrifying questions) He was funny, articulate and offered some interesting ideas about writing to those present.

I have also been reading some fascinating author interviews that range from the 50’s until today. These were done for the Paris Review.

The Review focused on original creative work and innovatively, at the time of its founding, letting the authors talk about their work themselves. The Review’s Writers at Work interview series offered authors a rare opportunity to discuss their life and art at length; they have responded with some of the most revealing self-portraits in literature. Among the interviewees are P.D. James, Elie Wiesel, Margaret Drabble, V. S. Naipaul, P.L.Travers,Seamus Heaney, Ian McEwan, Ray Bradbury, Les Murray  and Peter Carey.

Aside from “hearing” how the author liked to write and about the impetus for their works, I also became fascinated with the little examples of manuscript pages that you could view for each of them.

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