#LoveOZYA Author Interview: Fleur Ferris
I love Aussie YA. I love reading books from authors that live in the same country as me, that know things that people out of Australia might be so confused about. I love how sometimes they can incorporate this into their book and it is fabulous.
So in saying that, I have decided to start a new feature on Angel Reads spotlighting Australian YA Authors. Each Friday for the next couple of months, I am going to interview an OZYA Author. I thought it would be a fun way to share my love for Australian Young Adult authors with not only fellow Aussies, but everyone around the world. I want more Australian YA books to be read, because they are amazing.
Hi Fleur, welcome to Angel Reads. First can you introduce yourself to everyone? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hello! I write fiction. My debut book, Risk, was published last year by Penguin Random House. It was a contemporary thriller/drama for young adults. My next book, Black, is another stand alone, and is also a contemporary thriller for young adults and will be out July this year.
What has your writing journey been like? When did you start? Why?
I’ve kept journals since primary school, however I started toying with getting my work published when I was 25. One of my short stories was published in Woman’s Day Five Minute Fiction. After that I started writing longer works, teaching myself to write novels. While I worked and studied in various fields, I wrote a number of full length novel manuscripts before seeking publication.
What was the process of getting your first book published?
Getting published is tough! After attending many festivals and listening to publishers, editors and authors, doing workshops, and reading everything I could about the industry I formulated the idea that if I wanted to be published three things must happen (this is my opinion only):
- The right manuscript
- Must land on the right desk
- At the right time
I had no contacts in the industry and therefore didn’t know how I was going to line up these three magical components. To give myself the best chance I felt I needed a good agent.
I can’t remember who said it now, but at a festival a publisher gave some great advice. She said, “Research who you want to send your work to and shoot like an arrow to that person.”
This is what I did. I researched agents and found that the agent I wanted (and representing authors with books similar to mine) was running half hour pitch sessions at the Write Around the Murray Festival in Albury, NSW. My application for one of these pitch sessions was successful. The agent requested to read my full manuscript and a number of weeks later offered representation.
I edited my manuscript with my agent before it was sent out to publishers. While publishers were considering my work I began writing my next book, Risk. The book that was on submission was rejected, but one publisher liked my work enough to read and consider Risk. This publisher was at Penguin Random House and they offered me a contract. I immediately began the editorial process with my editor and it was released July 2015. The whole process took about eighteen months.
Was it different when getting your subsequent books published?
Yes and no. Yes it was different because I had developed a good working relationship with my editor and publisher. My publisher was able to look at my other work and choose the strongest book to follow on from Risk. The title of this book is Black. But from there on it was the same. Black was taken to an acquisition meeting and went thought the same assessment process that Risk went through before a contract was offered.
What was the difference between getting your books published here in Australia and internationally?
Risk was published in France (March 2016) and Germany (release date not yet disclosed). When the contracts were signed all of the work was already done, so I didn’t go through an editorial process with my international publishers. They were sent straight off to be translated.
You are an OZYA author, what are some of your favourite Aussie YA books?
Cooper Bartholomew is dead by Rebecca James, Ellie Marney’s Every Series, I’m loving Rachael Craw’s trilogy (I’m claiming NZ books!) – Stray, Shield and I’m waiting impatiently for her third book!
I loved The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer, The Whole of My World by Nicole Hayes, The Pause by John Larkin and Pieces of sky by Trinity Doyle. I know Two wolves by Tristan Bancks is for slightly younger readers, but it is brilliant and suitable for any age.
I’m also a big fan of Skye Melki-Wegner’s Chasing the Valley trilogy and Vikki Wakefield’s All I ever wanted. I have so many favourites!
Risk by Fleur Ferris
Taylor and Sierra have been best friends for their whole lives. But Taylor’s fed up. Why does Sierra always get what – and who – she wants? From kissing Taylor’s crush to stealing the guy they both met online for herself, Sierra doesn’t seem to notice when she hurts her friends.
So when Sierra says Jacob Jones is the one and asks her friends to cover for her while she goes to meet him for the first time, Taylor rolls her eyes.
But Sierra doesn’t come back when she said she would.
One day. Two days. Three . . .
What if Taylor’s worrying for nothing? What if Sierra’s just being Sierra, forgetting about everyone else to spend time with her new guy?
When Taylor finally tells Sierra’s mum that her daughter is missing, Taylor and her friends are thrown into a dark world they never even knew existed.
Can Taylor find Sierra’s abductor in time? Or should she be looking for a killer?
Black by Fleur Ferris
Ebony Marshall is in her final year of high school. Five months, two weeks and four days . . . She can’t wait to leave the town where she’s known only as ‘Black’. Because of her name, of course. But for another reason, too.
Everyone says Black Marshall is cursed.
Three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents. After Oscar, the whispers started. Now she’s used to being on her own. It’s easier that way.
But when her date for the formal ends up in intensive care, something in quiet little Dainsfield starts to stir. Old secrets are revealed and terrifying new dangers emerge.
If only Black could put all the pieces together, she could work out who her real enemies are. Should she run for her life, or stay and fight.
Thank you Fleur for joining me at Angel Reads. That is it for this week’s #LoveOZYA Interview. What did you think of Fleur and her books? I hope you enjoyed it. Let’s Chat!
Come back next week for some more Aussie fun. If you want to know more about the #LoveOZYA movement check out the website for all the details.