Melina Marchetta Interview

pipers_son.jpg    Melina Marchetta is the author of 4 major YA novels so far: Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca, On the Jellicoe Road, and Finnikin of the Rock, All of these novels have won the author major awards: she won the Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award, Book of the Year: Older Readers for Alibrandi in 1993, and for Francesca in 2003; Finnikin won the Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA), Australian Book of the Year for Older Children in 2009, and Jellicoe Road was the winner of the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature in 2009. So any new work by the author is greatly anticipated.

Marchetta's next work is titled The Piper's Son and will hit Australian bookstores in March 2010. In the lead-up to that book launch, the author is interviewed by Kirsten Hubbard on the "YA Highway" weblog.
Why YA?

When I write, I don't think of audience except for myself. I'm my audience. But in saying that I love that young people read my books. I didn't realize how important it was to me until adults went around saying that Jellicoe was too complex for young people. It's not complex at all. You just can't skim read it.

I've said before that there is such a lack of pretension in novels written about young people and I love the community of writers and publishers. I'm not sure where The Piper's Son will fit in, because it's a sequel to Francesca, but they're older and it's about the next generation as well. But I think my YA readership is aged between 13 and 80 something so I have the generations well covered.

Do you believe your publishing journey has been more challenging as an Australian author?

I think all publishing journeys are challenging. Of course it takes long to have recognition overseas. I received a bit of notice with Francesca in the US and have a bit more with Jellicoe, and there is a small fan base in Germany, Italy and Indonesia, but my readership is very different here in Australia. My first novel, published seventeen years ago (Looking for Aibrandi) was studied by senior school students as part of the school curriculum and became an award winning film so I've always had a profile in Australia.

You can read more about the author and her works on her website.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 28, 2009 9:32 AM.

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