-Dazzlingly different … a novel about transformation that has the power to transform every reader. Tiffiny Hall is the new voice in children's fiction.' – John Marsden
As legendary children's author John Marsden suggests, Tiffiny Hall is far from just another TV star-turned author.
Her remarkable first fiction novel in a new trilogy for young readers, White Ninja, is the realisation of a life-long dream for Tiffiny, who was a writer and journalist long before she hit our screens on The Biggest Loser, Gladiators and The Circle. White Ninja is a mystery and adventure story about thirteen-year-old Roxy Ran, who thinks she's just another ordinary girl until a confrontation with the school bully unleashes her secret ninja powers.
Says Tiffiny, -While I have a profile in health and fitness, exercising my creativity has always been my passion. Working on The Biggest Loser, I'd spend all my down time writing and reading in the Green Room instead of exercising with the other trainers. During filming of the long weigh-ins, I would imagine what Roxy would do next, what new ninja powers I could give her and choreograph her fight scenes. I realised on the show that people don't need to lose weight as much as they need to gain confidence and self-belief. Many of my contestants were starved of self-belief as kids and I was determined to write a story that would empower children to feel invincible; to be warriors in pursuit of their dreams.'
Fifth Dan Taekwondo black belt, athlete, Logie-nominated television personality, trainer on Channel Ten's The Biggest Loser - there is no doubt Tiffiny Hall has many titles tucked under her black belt. Tiffiny has a Bachelor of Arts/Media and Communications and a Diploma of Modern Languages in French from the University of Melbourne. She worked as a print journalist before writing her first health books, Weightloss Warrior, Fatloss for Good and The Lighten Up Cookbook. Tiffiny is a popular speaker at schools and White Ninja is the first book in the Roxy Ran series for younger readers.
Harper Collins Australia
Author: Tiffiny Hall
Interview with Tiffiny Hall
Question: What inspired you to put pen to paper and write a children's fiction book?
Tiffiny Hall: Me and writing fiction go way back to junior school and I've always wanted to be a writer. Being an author takes a long time because you need to have an agent and get published. Obviously I had to make a living so I tabbled in television and teaching martial arts to support my writing. I had written 12 novels by the time I was 19 and two years ago I began approaching publishers about my idea of a little girl who had Ninja powers. I grew up in a family of martial artists and my parents run a Martial Arts School which is why I was always inspired by martial arts philosophy and legends; I also teach children so I combined my passions to write a series for children.
Question: How does it feel to have John Marsden state that you're the new voice in children's fiction?
Tiffiny Hall: John Marsden was my English teacher in year 5 and he was first person to teach me about books, language and ignite my passion for words. In 1996 I won a John Marsden Creative Writing Award and that's when I knew I wanted to be an author. John Marsden and I stayed in contact and he was the first person to read White Ninja, before Mum and Dad and my boyfriend! I wanted John Marsden's opinion and my publisher sent him the book and when he sent back the quote 'Dazzlingly different … a novel about transformation that has the power to transform every reader. Tiffiny Hall is the new voice in children's fiction" I screamed so loud!
It's a full circle of being so proud of it and loving that the man who inspired me is endorsing my debut novel, it's awesome.
Question: Why was it important for you to include bullying in the book?
Tiffiny Hall: Bullying is something that I come across every single day and as a martial arts instructor many children come to learn skills to stand up for themselves because they're being bullied. Being a Ninja is all about being confident and I teach kids to stick up for themselves and be confident because once you're confident you don't attract those problems. The message is very important for me and I believe if you give kids confidence they can do whatever they want, in life.
Question: Was it difficult writing the fight scenes?
Tiffiny Hall: No, that was the fun part (laughing). I have done a lot of performance martial arts, even back in the day on Gladiators it was all about combat and that's so much fun. I am blessed that I could go to Taekwondo classes at night and try out some moves with my friends and if it worked well, I'd put it in the book! Although it's an unusual situation, it was very fun!
Question: What do you hope the young audience take from White Ninja?
Tiffiny Hall: For young girls my female characters have interests and skills which is important because with the pressures of social media it's a lot about what other people think about you and I want young audiences to take away from White Ninja that as long as you accept yourself for being different then it doesn't matter what other people think about you. All of my characters embark on a journey to find themselves, embrace being different and to be confident. Celebrating our differences is very important.
My parents always said to me 'the difference is in the difference and not the same" which now really makes sense; it is okay to be different.
Question: Have you begun writing the next book in the trilogy?
Tiffiny Hall: Yes, I have completed Red Samurai and we are editing at the moment. The editing process is the most important but it is also a gruelling process that is exciting as it's great to be at that process in publication. I will begin writing Black Warrior very shortly.