Hi Tara! Thanks for stopping by For the Love of KidLit to chat! I also write YA, so I know how fun (and nail-biting!) it can be to immerse oneself back into the teen world.
1. What do you love about YA?
My love of YA books started when I was a teenager – back in the early 2000’s (yup, I’m an ‘oldie’ now). I always wanted to write my own one day. After writing the Aurora series, I’ve continued to write YA novels, because I genuinely love them. I love the firsts – first love, first heartbreak, first discoveries – and all the emotions that run alongside – the highs and lows, the triumphs and disappointments, the awkwardness and the optimism, and the process of discovering yourself.
2. Is your writing more influenced by other novels, movies, television, music, real life, or a combination of all things?
I would say my writing is most influenced by real life. The Aurora series was part-inspired from some of my old diaries from when I was a teenager (I kept diaries from the age of 12 to age 22). Like Aurora, I thought I knew everything about dating and matchmaking, and would give out advise to my besties, but I had actually never dated anyone myself (I met my first boyfriend at age 22). I also went to a creative arts high school, so we were often putting on school productions – so I loved setting the first Aurora book around the production of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado about Nothing.’
3. Do you have any more Aurora Skye adventures in the works?
At this stage, I don’t have any more Aurora Skye adventures planned, but never say never! My third book, ‘My Best Friend is a Goddess’ (published by Harper Collins Australia in 2016) was a sort of ‘spin-off’ – new characters, but also set at Jefferson High, Aurora’s school. My fourth book ‘The Long Distance Playlist’ (to be published in Australia in 2019) isn’t set at Jefferson, but it’s also YA, and is along the same lines as the series – romantic, funny, and feel-good. I love writing YA books! J
4. Do you think teens in Australia and the United States are alike in most ways? Any major differences in your opinion?
I think teens in Australia and the US are very similar – I see so many intelligent, brave and spirited teens in both countries standing up for what they believe in, and dreaming big dreams. I love that and am so inspired seeing them in action!
5. What advice would you give to writers looking to get published?
The most important thing I would say is: believe in yourself, and your abilities! I wrote my first book (‘How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You’ Aurora Skye #1) at age 21. I was so excited to sit down every day at the computer and write about Aurora, and Hayden and Jefferson High. I had so many adults telling me at the time, that the chances of being published were almost-impossible. But fast forward six years, and I had a two-book deal – and now I’ve been lucky enough to share the story of Aurora and co with readers in Australia, New Zealand and the US. Dream big – you never know what might happen!
Thank you so much, Tara! Looking forward to reading Kissing Games 🙂
TARA EGLINGTON grew up in Byron Bay, Australia. Her hobbies when she’s not writing include watching endless cat videos on YouTube, planning pretend holidays to the Maldives, and day-dreaming about who would play Hayden Paris in a film adaptation of How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You, her first novel. She lives in Australia.