Join Phoebe Nash on a heart-warming journey of first love, friendship, international intrigue and mystery in Phoebe Nash, Girl Warrior- a new tween novel from leading Australian author, Justin D'Ath.
The adventure-romance tale, Phoebe Nash, Girl Warrior follows the adventure of a thirteen-year-old Australian girl who, while on holiday in Africa, witnesses the kidnapping of a politician. Phoebe joins the politician's (very cute) fifteen-year-old son Sospeter in a desperate attempt to save his father's life. During their often dangerous motorbike ride across the African plains and a night in a Masai village, Phoebe often wishes she were safely at home.
But, ultimately, it is her own brave actions that save both Sospeter and his father. She returns to Australia a hero - and, much to the delight of her girlfriends, wearing Sospeter's T-shirt. And she knows he thinks she is more pretty than Hannah Montana.
The second installment of the Phoebe Nash series, Phoebe Nash Detective is expected to be released late 2010.
Phoebe Nash is a 13 year old girl from Nullambine, a regional city in Australia's South East coast. Blonde and blue-eyed (to Sospeter, she resembles Hannah Montana), Phoebe is in Year 7 at Nullambine High School and is the school's cross-country champion. A loyal and brave teenager, Phoebe actively seeks justice. Occasionally Phoebe can be quite stubborn especially when she is clashing with her very strong willed mother. Phoebe enjoys reading books especially Twilight, shopping, listening to the Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato and watching Nickelodeon and ABC3.
Phoebe's father is Craig 'Flash' Nash - a former Olympic cyclist. Phoebe's mother is Michelle Nash who works at the Nullambine Museum. Phoebe has a younger brother, Connor.
Phoebe's best friends are Caitlin Lambert and Sarah Barton, both 13 years old. They also attend Nullambine High School.
Sospeter Kipruto is a 15 year old boy who lives in Zulawi, a country in the African Rift Valley adjacent to Kenya. He is of Shoni background and speaks Swahili and English. Sospeter spends his time following and playing soccer as well as borrowing his cousin's motorbike to go riding. Sospeter is skilled at tracking - a talent he learned from his father who worked in National Parks before turning to politics. Courageous, Sospeter is strong and extremely loyal to his family and friends. Culturally shy with girls, Sospeter has a crush on Hannah Montana.
Sospeter's father is Thomas Kipruto, the President of Zulawi and his mother is Winifred.
Justin D'Ath is the author of 30 books for children and young adults, including the hugely popular Extreme Adventures series. Other books include Astrid Spark, Fixologist, The Skyflower, Robbie and the Dolphins, Infamous, and Why did the Chykkan cross the Galaxy?
Justin's contemporary fantasy novel, Pool, was shortlisted in the 2008 Victorian Premier's Awards and was a CBC Notable Book in 2008. His hardhitting YA novel, Hunters and Warriors was a CBC Notable Book in 2002 and was Commended in the 2002 Victorian Premier's Awards. Justin's intriguing fantasy novel, Shaedow Master was a CBC Notable Book for Older Readers in 2004, and Crocodile Attack and Scorpion Sting were CBC Notable Books forYounger Readers in 2006 and 2007.
One of twelve children, Justin grew up on a farm in Otaki, New Zealand. He wrote his first book, a ten page cartoon about his pet turtle, Bubble, when he was nine years old. His next cartoon was about Moriarty, his guinea pig, and filled a complete exercise book. When he was eleven, Justin began writing his first novel, but conked out after 35 pages.
Justin has always been a story teller. When he was a boy, he and his brothers Billy and Philip made up stories to tell each other after they went to bed at night. Justin continued this tradition when he had children of his own, reading them stories at bedtime, or making up tales featuring his daughter and son, Fiona and Tim, as the heroes.
Justin's first publication was a monthly cartoon strip in a magazine, which he used to draw in his tent while he travelled around Australia on a motorbike. His first book, a novel for adults called The Initiate, was published in 1989 and won three awards. His adult short stories have been published in 18 countries and have won 54 literary prizes.
For twenty years Justin wrote only for adults - in addition to his other jobs: driving forklifts, building cars, picking fruit, mustering cattle, mining for iron, working in a laboratory, being a club manager in an Aboriginal settlement, working in a sugar mill and teaching Professional Writing at TAFE.
It was his daughter, Fiona, who introduced him to contemporary children's books. Despite his writing background, it took Justin another ten years to try his hand at it. Of his 30 books for children, Justin says "I laugh aloud at the unexpected things my characters say and do. I don't plan. I simply invent a character, usually between ten and fourteen years old, put her or him in an unusual (or scary!) situation, and start speaking in her, or his, voice. For me it's a natural process. Part of me doesn't seem to have grown up!"
And of his audience, Justin says: "My main message is, Enjoy reading. I want children to become lost in my books; to experience the magic of the written word; to see that reading is not a chore, it's one of the most exciting, imaginative and enjoyable things they can do."
Phoebe Nash Girl Warrior
Laguna Bay Publishing
Author: Justin D'Ath
Where did you get the idea for the Phoebe Nash Detective series?
Justin D'Ath: Phoebe Nash Girl Warrior is set in Africa. I got the idea from two places; firstly Laguna Bay Publishers contacted me and invited me to write a first chapter of a book for a series that they wanted to do that was set all over the world and had young characters. I had just been on safari in Africa, so I wanted to write a chapter about a book set in Africa, with a girl as the main character. It had been a while since I had written with a girl as the main character. I wrote the first chapter and sent it to Laguna Bay Publishers; a year later they got back to me and said 'they liked my first chapter so much, would I finish the book as my own series?' I enjoyed the first chapter but I had no idea what was going to happen, I had an exciting climax, but I didn't even know what was going to happen next! I sat down and wrote the rest of the book and once I had finished one, I thought I should write more!
When will we be able to read the second book, Phoebe Nash Detective?
Justin D'Ath: I think it is coming out in September, 2010.
Are the characters based on anyone you know?
Justin D'Ath: They're not. I usually borrow aspects of personalities from people I have met. In the case of Phoebe Nash, the thirteen-year-old girl, I borrowed personalities from one of my nieces and a couple of girls I have met at schools, when I do school visits.
What is the best thing about creating a character like Phoebe?
Justin D'Ath: Well, I am older now, I am 56 years old. Part of me has never grown up and it is nice to be young, it is nice to get into the mind of a young person and have fun! The world for kids is a lot different to when I was young. Kids today have much more freedom and so many opportunities and experiences that I didn't have. It is fun to create a character and through that character imagine myself in these situations.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers or artists?
Justin D'Ath: Lots! Two things; one is read, read, read! All writers have got to be readers. I used to teach creative writing classes to adults and I'd get young men who would come in, guys about 19 or 20 who wanted to be authors, and they had only read one book in there life, which is ridiculous. All the authors I know read lots of books, I am reading books all the time! Number two is; write, write, write, you have to be writing all the time. I started writing books when I was nine years old, of course they were never published, but I always wanted to write, I've been writing all my life. You have to write about stuff you know so it is enjoyable for you. If it's not enjoyable for you, what you write will be dead and not interesting for anyone else.