#LoveOZYA Author Interview: Will Kostakis
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.
First week I interview Sarah Ayoub, then Fleur Ferris, and this week it’s the ever so amazigng Will Kostakis. Will Kostakis is the author of YA novels Loathing Lola (Pan MacMillian, 2008), The First Third (Penguin Australia, 2013) and Sidekicks (Penguin Australia, 2016)
Hi Will, and welcome to Angel Reads. First can you introduce yourself to everyone? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Will Kostakis, a 26-year-old author from Sydney. I’ve written four books – three are young adult novels. I’m also a freelance journalist.
What has your writing journey been like? Where did you start? Why?
It started in primary school. I just always enjoyed creative writing, and was encouraged by teachers to keep at it. One urged me to try writing a novel. I did, in Year Seven. It was mostly terrible, and when a publisher got back to me, they confirmed it. But I kept at it, writing and rewriting, and rejigging the book as I accumulated more life experiences. Then, in Year Twelve, I pitched it to a few publishers, and one loved the idea. It was released two years later.
What was the process of getting your first book published?
There was a lot of rejection, but the more I wrote, the more my confidence improved, and the better the story became. While at the beginning of the process, all I wanted was to get published first-go, by the end of the process, I was thankful it took a while. I wasn’t ready as an 11-year-old. And who is? I don’t even think I was ready at 17 when it happened.
Was it different when getting your proceeding books published?
Loathing Lola was a modest seller, but not a runaway hit, so I took some time off, finished uni, and came back with a story I really believed in. And it was tough – figuring out what my second book would be and making sure it was good. I changed publishers, and they made me work for that book deal. While I earnt the Loathing Lola deal off a synopsis, for The First Third, half of it had to be written, and it had to be good. Again, I wish it happened instantly, but I’m glad they took their time and pushed me. It was a similar process with The Sidekicks. I’m not at that stage where my work will be accepted sight unseen, but that’s a good thing. It forces me to consistently up my game.
You are an OZYA author, what are some of your favourite Aussie YA books?
Oh there are too many to say. I am a huge Barry Jonsberg fan (his whole body of work is stellar). I love Ellie Marney’s Every series, and Amie Kaufman is on a roll at the moment, if Sci-Fi is more your thing. Gabrielle Tozer and Melissa Keil are also definite-reads.
The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis
The Swimmer. The Rebel. The Nerd.
All Ryan, Harley and Miles had in common was Isaac. They lived different lives, had different interests and kept different secrets. But they shared the same best friend. They were sidekicks. And now that Isaac’s gone, what does that make them?
Will Kostakis, award-winning author of The First Third, perfectly depicts the pain and pleasure of this teenage world, piecing together three points of view with intricate splendour.
Thank you Will for joining me at Angel Reads. That is it for this week’s #LoveOZYA Interview. What did you think of Will and his 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.