Culture Street

 

Jessica Shirvington lives in Sydney with her husband, former Olympic sprinter Matt Shirvington, and their two daughters. A successful businesswoman, she has previously founded and run a coffee distribution company, Stella Imports, in London, and been involved in managing the restaurants Fuel Bistro, Tow Bar and MG Garage in Sydney. Her debut novel Embrace, the first book in the Violet Eden Chapters series, was published in 2010, followed in 2011 by Enticed and in 2012 by Emblaze. Jessica's latest book, Between the Lives, has just been released.

Jessica combines her writing career with juggling the demands of motherhood and her responsibilities as a co-director in the company MPS Investments Pty Ltd. She joins us today to discuss Writing YA Fiction.

Did you read much YA fiction before penning your first novel?

Yes. Heaps! I love YA and more often than not it is the genre I choose to read so when it came to writing I didn’t even stop to ponder what genre I would be writing, I just knew.

What was it that drew you to the YA genre?

I love that it is focused on coming of age plots and moments – that it often deals with first loves and all the drama that goes with big emotions. For me, YA has it all without the burdens of having to give characters sensible careers and mortgages to pay.

When writing for your YA audience do you also consider the gatekeepers – the librarians and parents who often purchase the books?

Yes and no. I see myself as a storyteller – that is my job and I do not stray from that. I don’t so much stop to consider librarians and parents but I do stop to consider the responsibility I have to the reader to give them a fulfilling story full of imagination and escapism and also, to be sensitive to some of the darker and more confronting issues. As a writer I believe we all have a responsibility to write with a certain duty of care.

Is it challenging to create ‘teen dialogue’ in your novels?

Nah. I don’t think I ever particularly grew up so it just tends to flow! ;-)

What are three essential components of your YA fiction?

A strong voice.Heavy and heartfelt emotion.And a solid action-driven plot.

What is next for you?

The final book in my series, Empower, is coming out later this year. Following that I have the first of a two book series due out early 2014 and the sequel later the same year. Plus, I also have my first children’s picture book coming out in 2014, which is very exciting.

 

You Might Also Like

Books

The Dynamite Room by Jason Hewitt

By Sophia Whitfield

On April 29, 2014

Books

Take a first look at Everything, Everything

Watch the trailer for Everything, Everything, the first leading role for The Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg. Based on the book of the same name by Nicola Yoon, Stenberg plays...

On February 17, 2017

Books

Top Five Writing Tips - Creating a Great Screenplay

Guest Post by Gabiann Marin

On March 19, 2012
 

Books

Anna Romer on writing her debut novel Thornwood House

Anna Romer grew up in a family of book-lovers and yarn-tellers, which inspired her lifelong love affair with stories. A graphic artist by trade, she also spent many years travelling...

On September 18, 2013

Books

Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth will be released next week!

There has been much speculation surrounding the delay of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Vulture managed to catch up with Luhrmann for the inside scoop on the reason behind the...

On August 17, 2012

Books

The Most Exciting Reads This June

Lots to encourage you to put your feet up this month and chill out with a book.

On June 2, 2017
 
Copyright © 2012 - 2018 Culture Street
Contact: info@culturestreet.com.au