Today I am delighted to welcome Melissa Kiel on to the blog. She’s written a great guest post for you all as part of her UK blog tour! I’ve started this book and I’m really enjoying it thus far! Hope to finish it soon!
Top Five Bookish Inspirations
By Melissa Kiel
All writers probably begin their writing lives as avid book nerds – and I think all writers start, either consciously or unconsciously, by trying to emulate the people that they love. So here, in no particular order, are five of the books that have had the biggest impact on me:
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This one always ends up on the top of any of my favourite lists, and has been revisited so many times that I can probably recite the first couple of chapters by heart. I first read it when I was nine or ten, and understood only about half of it – but even though so much of the humour went over my head, it was still the first thing I read with a really strong, funny, witty authorial voice (you can’t mistake Douglas Adams’ writing style for anyone else’s).
Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody
An English text in year seven or eight, and probably the first school book that didn’t feel like a chore to read. An amazing premise, a rich and well-drawn fantasy world, and fabulous lead female character. I remember talking it about it excitedly with friends, and rushing out to buy the second and third volumes – and then waiting years for the rest of the series (the final volume has just been published!)
The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
Oh, Enid Blyton. I devoured these books when I was little, closing the final page and then flipping right back to the start to begin reading again. Probably the first books I read where the world created was so wonderful I didn’t want to leave (i.e., my first experience of a proper book hangover…)
Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
I didn’t pick up this classic Australian YA novel till a few years after it was published, after I began working in publishing and started becoming really addicted to the YA world. It’s a classic for a reason – warm, heartbreaking, funny, and with a lead character who is flawed and complex. It was also one of the first YA books I read that had a culturally diverse lead character, a second generation immigrant – someone like me! – which was something of a revelation.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Okay, possibly a contentious choice, but – I first read this book as a teenager and, while going through a short-lived gothic phase, thought it was one of the most romantic things I had ever read. With the benefit of a few years and some serious hindsight, Cathy and Heathcliff’s relationship is, of course, far from romantic – beautiful and evocative, yes, and passionate, and obsessive, but destructive and ultimately doomed. As someone who loves to write warm romances, with characters who have a shot at a happy future together, it’s a pretty good
yardstick of what to avoid in a relationship!
From award-winning author Melissa Keil comes an addictive, off beat young adult contemporary novel. The story follows Alba, a modern sassy heroine that channels individuality, promotes body confidence and reflects the hopes and anxieties of readers about to take their next adventurous steps into the unknown.
For some people making decisions in life comes easy, for Alba things aren’t that straightforward. Alba loves her life just as it is. She loves living behind the bakery, and waking up in a cloud of sugar and cinnamon. She loves drawing comics and watching bad TV with her friends. The only problem is she’s overlooked a few teeny details: Like, the guy she thought long gone has unexpectedly reappeared. And her best friend since forever has suddenly gone off the rails. And even her latest comic-book creation is misbehaving. Oh and it’s apparently the end of the world – which is proving to be quite awkward.
As Doomsday enthusiasts flock to idyllic Eden Valley, Alba’s life is thrown into chaos.
Can she figure things out in time?
Award-winning author Melissa Keil is one of Australia’s most exciting new YA novelists and is celebrated as one of the most accessible voices in the YA genre. Melissa was born in Melbourne, Australia and worked as an editor, high school teacher and a Middle Eastern tour guide before becoming an author. Her debut YA novel, Life in Outer Space, was the winner of the 2013 Ampersand Project and won IBBY Australia’s Ena Noel award and was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers. Melissa lives in Melbourne with her cheeky spoodle, Hugo.