Monday, 15 June 2009

Reader's Snapshot - Michelle Cooper

I am so excited to bring the fabulous Michelle Cooper to your attention. She is the subject of this week's Author's Spotlight, starting off today with the patented Persnickety Snark reader's snapshot questions.

Her novel, A Brief History of Montmaray is amazing and has won a number of awards here in Australia. It will be released later this year in the States and it's a definite must read. Check out my review if you'd like to know more!

Which book is memorable from your teen years?
I found Jeanette Winterson's Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit really inspirational, even though I knew I could never be as brave and strong-minded as the main character. The novel's about a teenage girl who gives up her religion, her family and her whole community when she falls in love with another girl. I know this sounds rather depressing, but it's actually very funny and warm and touching. It also cleverly weaves original fairy tales into the main narrative.

Your book of the moment?
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You by Peter Cameron is one of the most awesome YA books I've ever read. I love everything about it, from its title to the final line. It's about an eighteen-year-old boy in Manhattan anxiously contemplating adult life, feeling like a misfit, messing up his relationships with other people. I wanted to shake James and give him a big hug, all at the same time. He feels so real to me. In fact, all the characters, even the family dog, are clever, amusing and touchingly authentic. And the prose is so beautiful! For instance, here's James, having a rare moment of inner peace:

"I just kind of zoned out, forgot who and where and what I was. Just let everything go, turned the net of myself inside out and let all the worried desperate fish swim away."

What do you use to mark your page when reading?
A bookmark! I have them stashed all around my apartment, in my bag, in my office, everywhere I might possibly need one. I never turn over the corner of pages. I feel like it's being cruel to the book.

Favourite place to read?
Lying on my sofa, propped up by cushions, but I actually do most of my reading on the train to and from work.

Favourite word?
I'm really liking the word 'snark' at the moment, even though it's not in my dictionary. . .

Favourite book store?
Better Read Than Dead, in Newtown, Sydney. Not only do they have a good selection of books, they're happy to order in unusual books. Even better, the last time I went in, I found a whole pile of MY books with 'Staff Pick' stickers on them! I did a little happy dance in the aisle. Now the staff probably think I'm a crazy woman.

Character you wish you had created?
Maybe Harry Potter? Then I wouldn't have had to wait anxiously for each new book in the series to come out, because I'd already know what was going to happen! Mind you, if I'd written the last book, I would have given poor Severus Snape a different ending. He would have lived happily ever after. Possibly as a vampire . . .

Bonus Question - Which character are you more like - Sophia, Veronica or Henry?
I'd like to say Veronica, because she's incredibly smart, devastatingly beautiful and knows how to fix a leaky toilet. However, I'm probably more like Sophia - quiet, awkward and prone to daydreaming.

Check back Wednesday for an interview with Michelle about all things Montmaray and a chance to win a personally signed copy of her book (not yet available outside of Australia) tomorrow.


Penni Russon said...

Ask her when the next one is coming out! I am desperate to read it.

Zoe said...

Michelle, the line you quoted about the 'worried desperate fish' was my favourite line in the whole book. Snap!

Penni, all things going well, the second Montmaray book is due out in June 2010. I can't wait!