Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Psnarkiversary: Simmone Howell (Everything Beautiful)

The first Australian author to contribute to the celebration of Persnickety Snark's first birthday is the Gold Inky (2008) recipient, Simmone Howell. Author of Notes from the Teenage Underground and Everything Beautiful she has created complex, intriguing, smart mouthed protagonists that make your feel many different emotions, not all of them entirely pleasant :) It's my great pleasure to have Simmone guest blog!

"It's Annie Hall meets Avatar": YA and the Hollywood Pitch

I write this guest blog on the first anniversary of Persnickity Snark.

Adele, you are gift to YA writers and readers! You’re a wit and a card and I’ve found many a fine book from reading your blog. I often moan about the loneliness of the long-distance novelist but the rise of the book blog makes me feel less stinky. Blogs like El Snarko’s make me think that anytime anywhere in the world someone is opening a book, and that makes me supremely happy.

Now. Anyone who knows me knows I like movies. Books and films consume me. I can write draft after draft but it’s not until I see it like a movie that I know it’s working. My first novel Notes from The Teenage Underground was my attempt at an OZYA version of a three-girls-plot film. I referenced Three Coins in the Fountain, but it could just as easily have been How to Marry a Millionaire or Valley of the Dolls.

My second novel Everything Beautiful isn’t overtly movie-ish. Main character Riley Rose doesn’t like movies because of the rampant misrepresentation of overweight girls … but I got to squeeze in a nod to John Hughes and to Times Square, the film that I loved most when I was 14.

Publishing marketing departments, reviewers, the world, generally, tend towards the 'Hollywood pitch' descriptor ( X meets Y). It's kind of lazy, kind of arse, but also kind of fun. Notes from the Teenage Underground was supposed to be Heathers meets I Shot Andy Warhol. Everything Beautiful was Juno meets Saved. My third and forthcoming book Girl Defective will be Veronica Mars meets High Fidelity with a bit of David Lynch thrown in for the those who get bored easily. (At least, it will be in my mind.)

So I’ve thinking about other books and movies that match each other’s moods:

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers & Heathers *

Broken Glass by Adrian Stirling & Wake in Fright**

Punkzilla by Adam Rapp & My Own Private Idaho

The Push by Julia Lawrinson & Georgy Girl

Hollywood Ending by Kathy Charles & Sunset Boulevard

Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman & Séance on a Wet Afternoon

Split by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja & Sliding Doors***

Dear Swoosie by Kate Constable & Penni Russon & Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion****

I could go on and on, but I'm going to open the floor. Throw some back at me please …

*ok, I stole that one, but it sooo fits
** it should be noted that Wake in Fright is a book in it’s own right. Kenneth Cook wrote it and Text recently republished it.
*** I stole that one too
**** Disclaimer: I haven’t read Swoosie yet, but I’m dying to.

A big thank you to the delightfully whimsical Simmone Howell for her guest blog. Her most recent title, Everything Beautiful, is available in Australia/NZ (PanMacmillan) and the USA (Bloomsbury). You can check out her blog by following this link.

Tomorrow...Canadian author and recently announced CYBIL award finalist, Courtney Summers drops by.


Luisa Plaja said...

Oh, this is fabulous! And wow, I never expected my book to be mentioned - I was reading along, merrily going, "Yup, good one," and "Ooh, must add that to my TBR list," and then - there it was! Thanks, Simmone! :)
Thank you to Simmone and Adele for a really fascinating post.

Kathy Charles said...

I can't wait to see Wake in Fright. They've just released it on Blu Ray.