Monday, August 19, 2013

INTERVIEW Q & A WITH AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR - WILL KOSTAKIS - THE FIRST THIRD - PENGUIN AUST - YA CONTEMPORARY

I would like to welcome Australian author Will Kostakis to Novels On The Run and thank him for answering my Q's. 



I have met Will and he is a lovely lad, so if you get a chance to go to one of his book signings and hear him talk, I highly recommend you do. I love hearing him talk about his Yiayia. 

Here is my review for The First Third , which I adored and here is a giveaway that is ending on the 25th for some signed prints. So get in there and enter. 

INTERVIEW - WILL KOSTAKIS


Michelle:  What five words describe Will the AUTHOR?

Will: In way over his head.

Michelle:  I personally think your book is the next Aussie movie waiting to be made it just has everything in it. It has a wonderful recipe for the big screen. Would you ever consider banging out a screenplay and shopping it about instead of waiting for the suits to come to you? I’m a huge fan of The Perks of Being A Wallflower and I love that the author wrote the screenplay.

Will:  Obviously, I dream of one day seeing The First Third on the big screen, but if I do have a hand in writing it, I’d want there to be some separation between me writing the book and working on the film. My favourite adaptations are never completely faithful, and I think that if I return to the story fresh after a while, I’ll be more comfortable leaving things out and making changes that suit the filmic medium. So, I’ll give the suits a couple of years before having a crack at it myself.

Michelle:  I am in love with the last 2 pages of The First Third. So many books can end making me feel ok about the ending. Your last 2 pages had tears streaming down my face and then you got that last burst of a half sob laugh out of me with Yiayia’s ‘shits’. It would have to be one of the best endings I have read in any book. I am hard pressed to think of another ending that made me ‘feel’ like yours did. I can see it on the big screen with the audience wiping their eyes. It really squeezed my heart tight. 

Which part of your book made you the most emotional when writing it and why?

Will:  It’s so great to hear you say that – the ending was one of the first scenes I locked in, and the whole novel was simply me writing towards it. When I finally came to write it, it wasn’t an emotional experience, it just felt like I was ticking things off a checklist, honouring the little promises I’d planted throughout Bill’s journey. Reading it back though, I will admit to being affected by it, a lot.

In terms of a bit that made me the most emotional while I wrote it, it has to be Bill explaining his fear of losing his grandmother to Sticks. I paced my bedroom with a pen and pad and just monologued my own personal feelings about my grandmother. In an earlier draft, Bill actually delivered it is a speech, back when he was an aspiring orator rather than a stand-up comedian. When that subplot changed, I tweaked the monologue into a conversation, and kept the most affecting parts.

Michelle:  Do you have a favourite quote from your book you can share with us and why?

Will:  We’d been friends long enough to catch each other’s bad habits. When he started biting his nails, his mum blamed me, and when I started cocking my eyebrow in photos, my mum blamed him. We weren’t the exact same person, he was three times four and I was two times six. We both equalled twelve; we were just made of different parts.

Sticks is the best friend we all wish we had, and this quote really captures the feeling of being 17 and having an irreplaceable best friend who is simultaneously completely different and exactly the same.

That is one of the quotes I loved too.

Michelle:  The cover of The First Third is very interesting. Can you please explain it?

Will:  How amazing is it! It manages to say so much about the book while giving away so little. You have the hand of Yiayia coming down from the heavens like the hand of God – there’s a perfect ‘You must do this or else!’ vibe that perfectly encapsulates the book (Bill is given his grandmother’s bucket list to complete).

Michelle: If Sticks had a song that best described him what would it be and why?

Will:  One Man Guy by Rufus Wainwright. Sticks is one of the loneliest characters I’ve ever written, and I think this song captures just how defeated he feels romantically, at least for the first half of the novel, where he struggles to be seen by potential suitors as anything more than the ‘disabled kid’.



I'm a one man guy in the morning
Same in the afternoon
One man guy when the sun goes down
I whistle me a one man tune

One man guy a one man guy
Only kind of guy to be
I'm a one man guy


Michelle:  What ten words would Bill use to describe his Yiayia?

Will:  Embarrassing, loving, chef, nurturing, out-dated, wise, giving, ‘shits’, beautiful, irreplaceable.

Michelle:  What five to ten words would your own Yiayia use to describe Will her grandson?

Will:  She wouldn’t bother describing me, she’d jump straight to, ‘Why you no date him?’

Michelle:  What has been one of the more memorable book signing events you have attended for an author or an event that stuck in your mind and why?

Will:  It had to be the Sydney book launch for The First Third. It was hosted by my high school, so I could celebrate the release with all of the teachers who gave me the confidence, skills-set and guidance to achieve my dream, but it’s stuck in my mind because Yiayia was there. And she was signing books. As in, her line was longer than mine, at all times.

That is rather cool. Your Yiayia sounds a very endearing lady, I can see why she would have her own fans.

Michelle: You currently write in contemporary, have any other genres interested you to write in them or is this your niche?

Will:  I love writing contemporary, but I would love to dabble in a bit of fantasy. I read (and watch) widely, so it should be interesting to see their eventual influence on my output.

Michelle: What has been the best advice given to you by another author?

Will:  ‘You’re not as good as you think you are.’ Words to live by, author or not. Whenever I think I don’t need to edit, those words pop back into my head.

Michelle:  I have joked about a bucket list for quite a few years now, my friends tend to laugh at me. I often get, ‘that’s something for your bucket list.’ If you could write five things down that you would want to cross off in your writing career or personal achievements, think long term. What would they be?

Will:  To write a book series, to be published overseas, to see someone I don’t know reading my book on public transport, to write a video game, to have a crack at being a JJ Abrams-style TV showrunner.

Michelle:
 I know you visit schools and talk to students. What is an average week for you?

Will:  The average week varies – if I’m working as a freelance journalist, I usually spend days in the office, and nights writing. During my ‘free time’, I tend to tour, visiting two schools per week, and spending the rest of the time writing.

Michelle:  I have my hubs reading your book and my girlfriend is lined up waiting. They both know when I get excited about a book it rubs off onto them and they want to find out for themselves what all my hoopla is about. Both aren’t big readers by nature, but if I am excited, then they have to know why. My friend will then go buy the book for her girls to eventually read.

There are always the good reviews and the bad reviews with any book or movie. Have you learnt anything from readers from reviews you have received for The First Third?

Will:  The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive (touch wood), and I keep pinching myself every time I read a new one. In terms of what I’ve learnt from them, it’d have to be: I have to believe in myself. I’m plagued by self-doubt, and the response The First Third has received has really gone a long way towards vanquishing that (at least until I’m halfway through the next one and hit a wall and rue the day I decided to become an author).

Michelle:  My last question, if I gave you a plain T-shirt and asked you to write a quote on it that meant something to you ,what would it say?

Will:  Dude, suckin' at something is the first step to being  sorta good at something

From Adventure Time – wise words to live by.




2 comments:

  1. I love his favorite quote/line in the book. Its so simple yet profound. I wish I have someone I'm that close with.

    I want to read the first third now simply for the ending that had you bawling. I don't like heavy dramas, I'm more touched with melodramas. Its the subtlety.

    Awesome interview as always, Matey!

    Braine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Matey,

      I used part of that quote in my review. I really loved the whole math thing with their relationship.

      Yes, you want to read The First Third because I say it is awesome!!! Give Will some USA lurrrvveee :D

      Mich

      x

      Delete

We love hearing from you, your comments mean a lot to us.