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Kirsty Eagar

Author

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.

Where were you born?

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.

What other jobs have you had?

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.

What themes are recurring in your work?

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.

What have been the highlights of your career?

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.

Where have your works been published?

Australia and the UK.

What are you passionate about?

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.

Haven’t I seen you before?

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.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

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.

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