A British Tea Party with Kirsty Eagar.

2012 is THE year for Great Britain.
A lot of people have said it. I mean, let’s just think about this. The Diamond Jubilee. The Euros… wait.. ok scratch that. The first British man to win the Tour de France. THE OLYMPICS (I mean, come on, who’s watching it? Is anyone as excited as I am that the athletics has started?!)
And, of course, perhaps the most exciting part of 2012…. Kirsty Eagar’s mind-blowingly brilliant in every way ever, Raw Blue is finally being published in the UK by Catnip Publishing. Raw Blue was one of my favourite books that I read last year. Here’s my review if you fancy it but seriously… there is so much love for this book BUT seeing as it was only published in Australia, it’s so difficult to get hold of. Hopefully now, so many more people can get hold of it and Carly’s story can reach the audience it deserves.

I love Kirsty Eagar, not only is she a gorgeous writer she’s also one of the nicest ladies ever. So of course she is one of the authors that I just had to invite to spend some time on Wear the Old Coat.

Seeing as I’m feeling incredibly patriotic right now, I wanted to give this interview a quintessential British feel to it.

I’ve hung up some bunting, I’ve cut the crusts of some sandwiches and OF COURSE, I cracked open the Pimms because, baby, we’re having a tea party.


First up, let’s set the scene. I know you lived in London for two years, so where are we? Where is your favourite place in London?

Let’s go to the Steele, this pub near where I lived in Belsize Park (actually I think the pub itself is in Chalk Farm).

I LOVED this pub. It had heaps of books and chandeliers and wine bottles oozing the crust of ten thousand dead candles … We can walk down to Camden later and go clubbing … Did I tell you I’m having a good time already?

What are we snaffling?

Cucumber sandwiches, cheddar crisps and, oddly enough, Carrot and Coriander soup (from the New Covent Garden Soup Company) – I lived on that stuff.

How do you take your tea? Or are we just skipping straight to the Pimms? ;)

Yeah, let’s go straight to Pimms! And let’s have some Pol Roger, too (someone else is paying for all this (added by Jo: I’ll try and wrangle a YA book blogger discount. They exist, right?) – I know PR is French, but I first had it in London – and some Old Speckled Hen. Possibly not in that order, though.

Of course, as I am completely professional and I like to have the BEST for my guests on WtOC, I have booked three British bands for us to listen to… who are we listening to?

Not only professional, but SO thoughtful. The Beautiful South (never mind the fact that they’ve broken up), The Stone Roses (ditto) and Kasabian.

(added by Jo: OMG. I love this woman so much that I’m adding an official Kirsty and Jo soundtrack to this post.
A Song for Whoever by The Beautiful South. I love THIS band from the bottom of my pencil case.
She Bangs the Drums by The Stone Roses…. OK, actually.. I can’t choose my favourite so you’re getting two : I am the Resurrection.
Club Foot by Kasabian. An oldie but still one of my favourites. I just love this band though. YES.)

Also, I’ve invited five of your favourite British people. Who are they and why?
Rupert Brooke (he’s dead, but hey, this is a tea party without limits) because he’s one of my favourite poets, and was a wild boy.
Danny Boyle, because he’s the man of the moment and we could ask him why The Spice Girls weren’t included in the musical selection for the opening ceremony, and because his films have been so varied, which I find inspirational.
Banksy, because he’s got a great sense of humour.
Sarah Waters, because she’s such a sensational writer.
Cat Deeley because I am a SYTYCD tragic, and I’ve always wanted to ask her whether all the lip licking she used to do back when she was presenting for MTV was deliberate.

OK, now we’re settled, fed and watered, let’s talk about the real reason we’re here. Raw Blue has now been let loose in the UK and obviously this is going to mean a lot more people are going to be reading it. Does it feel strange to think that a whole new audience is going to be reading Carly’s story? Does it feel like the first time, all over again?

You know what? It doesn’t feel real at all. In theory, I know it’s being released over there, but it’s not tangible to me in any way. When it first got published in Australia, which was also my first experience of being published, I had to do a lot of media and radio interviews, so it felt like A Big Thing was happening. But I’ve since learned that a book being born is actually a very quiet event. I think it will only become real when I get my first email from someone over there who’s read this version.

How did it come about? A lot of people, though I may be talking about me here, probably don’t know much about the process behind an already published book being published overseas!

As I understand it (and I’ll admit my eyes glazed over the first time someone tried to explain all of this to me) the publishing world is divided into territories. So in my case, Raw Blue had been published in Australia, but wasn’t available in the UK or any of the other territories. A UK publisher heard about the book and then approached my agent about obtaining the rights to publish it in the UK.
Sorry! That’s probably not clear at all!

There aren’t many good surfing beaches in the UK (though they may be alright in New Quay and Abersoch!), what do you think Carly and Ryan would get up to over here?

They’d be planning surf trips to Hossegor, Spain, Portugal and Morocco, which is what we did while we were there. Although, that said, we also got down to Cornwall regularly. I liked it, but I have to admit that I cried one day because I had a shitty wetsuit and I was SO cold. My boyfriend was disgusted.

I read a lot of Australian YA and I love it, obviously. One of my favourite things about Australian books is that the humour are extremely similar. Why do you think that it translates so well over here? Are you a fan of British humour/TV/film?

Oh God, yes. A huge fan. I agree with you about the similarity, but I think you guys leave us for dead in that department. British humour is sharp, sarcastic, intelligent, dark, and there’s often that delicious sense of the ridiculous. Also, I love how the Brits laugh at themselves with such good grace.

And I guess leading on from that Raw Blue is a wonderfully ‘Australian’ book full of surfing and Australian dialogue and culture. But what are your favourite British sayings/cultures/quirks that you miss now you’ve swapped tea for surfers?

O’right? People at work used to ask me that every morning, and it took me ages to work out it was more of a greeting than a question, as in, Are you all right? Also, the wit of football crowds – I was a season ticket holder for Fulham while I was there. Cold Christmases – I stored my turkey on my window ledge before cooking it; which was probably terribly unhygienic but it wouldn’t fit in my refrigerator. Those loooong summer days, especially the ones with a sky full of jet trails.

What I don’t miss is the Northern Line and what it did to my nasal passages.

And finally, the question that EVERYONE has wanted to ask: When will your book about a HOT Australian surfer coming over to the UK for… some reason… and ends up falling in love with a kooky Mancunian YA blogger going to be released?

Apparently the kooky Mancunian YA blogger is coming to Australia, so I’ve had to change the setting for that one …

Seriously though, would you ever write a YA book set in Britain? And if so, what would it be? (Please say yes!)
Hmm … I got nothing. Let’s just run with the kooky Mancunian YA blogger idea. That baby’s got legs.

Thanks for having me Jo!!!


A huge, huge thank you for Kirsty for helping me out with this one and coming up with such brilliant answers. Are you as excited as I am that Raw Blue is being published in the UK?

Not read it? I can’t recommend it enough! Get a copy yourself and don’t forget to stalk her… she’ll love it.


12 thoughts on “A British Tea Party with Kirsty Eagar.

  1. This was wonderful i loved the British feel to it! And you’re right. I think we do share a similar Sense Of humour . It’s One Of the things that always stands out to me When i read Aussie Books :)

  2. This is such a fab post Jo! I absolutely adored Eagar’s Raw Blue and so am super excited about it being released over here! Btw Kirsty has the best taste ever! Kasabian totally rock! Thanks for sharing such an awesome post with us! And just to get into the spirit of the olympics ATHLETICS!!!!! that is all ;)

  3. This was abso adorable, ladies. Sounds like the both of you had a fun time on your fake British day o’ fun! :) I especially liked how much alcohol is theoretically involved and perhaps a SYTYCD marathon could be tacked onto the end? That’d make it damn near perfect. I am so happy that Raw Blue is being published in the UK. Now if only an American publisher would pull their head out of their ass…

  4. Pingback: Wear the old coat

  5. Pingback: Review: Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar « weartheoldcoat

  6. Well, of course she’s going to write swell…. she lives in freaking London! How can you NOT be inspired when you live in such an awesome city? lol :)

    p.s. THANK YOU so much for the sweet note you sent me and for checking out my blog!! I really appreciate the kind words and compliment. Totally made my day! And I’m glad my comments made you happy too. hehe :)) Tootles!

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