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Kirsty Eagar is the award-winning author of the Young Adult novels: Summer Skin, Raw Blue, Night Beach and Saltwater Vampires. She believes storytelling is a life skill, and her author talks and workshops are structured using tenets of performance psychology to ensure they are distilled, sequenced and practical.
I was born in Mackay, Queensland, and spent most of my childhood in regional Capricornia, raised by my mother and grandmother. I left home at seventeen to attend uni in Brisbane, and have also lived in Sydney, Canberra, Perth, and London, among other places.
I graduated with a Masters in Economics and worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of England trading bonds. After that I worked in kitchens while completing a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at TAFE. I also gained qualifications and worked as a personal trainer for a period.
Female sexuality, Australian masculinity, the call of the natural environment, the distortive impact of social media, and family situations that aren’t perfect – I have tremendous respect for teens who are navigating complicated home arrangements; they should be congratulated, but so rarely get positive feedback.
My debut novel, Raw Blue, winning the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Young Adult fiction. Even better, the emails I have received from readers about that book.
The response to Summer Skin! I took risks with the story that wouldn’t have been possible before, but I feel are necessary now. It’s generating discussion, and that is a good thing when there is so much sexual content available online and people’s lives are increasingly becoming a performance thanks to social media.
Australia and the UK.
Access to education and opportunity – I am state-schooled and relied on Austudy and part-time work to get through university.
Feminism. I strongly believe in the work that White Ribbon are doing to address violence against women. I want women’s stories and roles, in all their diversity, to be given greater respect and representation in our culture. Likewise, I feel that neither men nor boys benefit from rigid definitions of masculinity.
I am passionate about more recognition and understanding being given to the issues facing regional Australia.
Probably the defining thing about my life is that I’m a surfer. It’s the reason I left my career as an economist, and it’s because of that I started writing. When Raw Blue was published I was on radio and in the major papers a lot because the media loved the idea of someone throwing in their career job to go surfing.
My husband is a professional soccer coach. His expertise is in elite player development and sports psychology, and I am constantly picking his brains because a lot of it applies to the creative process.