#AusChat Christine Bell and Anna Whateley

The idea of being filmed and recorded has always held a minor terror for me. But as I’m fast discovering, when you’ve got a book that you love and believe in, and it’s about to be published, the conversation flows easily – particularly with an excellent host for company. (AKA Anna Whateley!)

The lovely Anna, about to be acclaimed YA debut author of Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal, has been offering #Auschat spots to authors who’ve had their launches and/or events cancelled during the COVID-19 crisis. When the opportunity arose to chat with Anna, I jumped at the chance. I originally thought it was only for the 1.40 seconds I’d seen on Twitter. I’m pretty glad now that I didn’t realise that the entire convo would be uploaded to YouTube. But Anna is a natural and relaxed me from the get-go and we chatted easily for 15 mins plus. It was more like a Skype date with a friend rather than a Zoom interview. Loved it!

Anna and I discussed our respective physical launches being cancelled, comparisons of wartime to the current COVID-19 crisis, and the benefit of walking the ground of your setting.

I feel for Anna too, her book is due out in May. Look out for it! She had a gig with the Sydney Writers’ Festival, a huge achievement for a debut author. May all her positive karma and the joy she shares in hosting so many other authors to give them some online exposure radiate back to her in mega sales for her book, fabulous reviews, prizes and readers.


Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal published by Allen and Unwin ISBN: 9781760525309

Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal is a contemporary YA novel set in suburban Brisbane bayside, and follows sixteen-year-old Peta through a difficult year of change, and questions of self, gender, sexuality, and friendship. Peta has ADHD and is autistic. With sensory issues and a gift for words and puzzles her mind is a busy place.

Following her therapist’s rules for ‘normal’ behaviour, Peta lives in a state of dissonance. Can she decide which rules to follow, and which to break? Can she survive falling in love, and still keep rating normal?

#supportaussiewriters #AusChat

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