Never was there a funnier #LoveOzYA author to follow on Twitter than Will Kostakis!
He’s one of the biggest champions of Australian stories literature and he’s not shy about the books that he’s loved (and by ‘not shy’ we mean he will harass you on the internet until you give in to him).
He regularly visits schools to talk to and inspire the next generation of readers and writers, and if schools happen to believe that the content in his books isn’t appropriate for their students, he stands strong and defends the need for young adults to read diverse books and hear alternative viewpoints. (He’s a bit of a legend, really.)
He’s also one of the fittest men in the country. (#respectourclub)
He has not one but two books in our #LoveOzYA promotion this month, and he’s kindly answered our Q&A for us.
1. What was your favourite book growing up and why?
The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull by Barry Jonsberg. It was my first Australian YA, and the voice was so arresting – I couldn’t put it down, or shake it for days after I’d finished.
2. If you could invite three fictional characters to dinner, who would you pick?
Terry Pratchett’s Granny Weatherwax, J.K. Rowling’s Hermione, and Craig Silvey’s Jasper Jones.
3. What is your favourite part of the #LoveOzYA community?
I love that our stories are so different. We reflect parts of Australia and what it means to be Australian – their books feel like home.
4. What would you like to tell your 18 year-old self?
You know that book you’re writing that comes out next year? Edit it again. There are heaps of typos.
5. If you could pick the next big ‘trend’ in YA fiction, what would you choose?
Humour. I would love laugh-out-loud to be the next YA trend.
6. Who inspires you? (Doesn’t have to be limited to other writers.)
My family – I know it’s saccharine, but my grandmother came to Australia with virtually nothing and built something, and my single mother worked hard to provide for us. Now, I get a shot at living my dream and writing for a living – that motivates and inspires me.
7. What YA book absolutely needs to be adapted into a film?
I would love to see Barry Jonsberg’s Dreamrider adapted – the real world VS dreams would make for such an interesting dynamic in a film.
8. What’s the best #LoveOzYA book you’ve read in the past 12 months?
Frankie by Shivaun Plozza. A page-turner with a strong Melbourne vibe.
9. What is your number one tip for would-be writers?
Take your time, there’s no rush to get published. Refine your work, and make sure it’s something that you’re proud of that says something.
10. How would you summarise your latest book in 25 words or less?
There are four guys, but they’re not four best friends. They’re three guys with the same best friend. He dies and … what next?