Lisa Walker writes novels for adults and young adults. She has also written an ABC Radio National play and been published in the Age, Griffith Review, Big Issue and the Review of Australian Fiction. Her recent novels include a young adult coming-of-age story, Paris Syndrome (HarperCollins, 2018), and a climate change comedy, Melt (Lacuna, 2018). She has worked in environmental communication and as a wilderness guide, and recently spent six months in a Kmart tent in outback Australia. Lisa lives, surfs and writes on the north coast of New South Wales. The Girl with the Gold Bikini is her sixth novel.
The Girl with the Gold Bikini was published by February 2020 but we think it’s never too late to say, ‘Happy Book Day’!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Eighteen-year-old Olivia Grace has deferred her law degree and ducked out of her friends’ gap-year tour of Asia. Instead, she’s fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a private investigator, following in the footsteps of Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars – who taught her everything she knows, including a solid line in quick-quipping repartee, the importance of a handbag full of disguises, and a way of mixing business with inconvenient chemistry.
Playing Watson to the Sherlock of her childhood friend, detective agency owner Rosco (once the Han Solo to her Princess Leia), Olivia pursues a routine cheating husband case from the glitzy Gold Coast to Insta-perfect Byron Bay, where she faces yoga wars, dirty whale activism, and a guru who’s kind of a creep.
WHERE THE INSPIRATION FOR THE GIRL WITH THE GOLD BIKINI CAME FROM
I have always liked a gutsy, fast-talking Private Investigator heroine who gets herself into and out of messes with panache. ‘The Girl with the Gold Bikini’ was particularly inspired by the teen PIs Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars. Nancy Drew has been an institution since 1930. She has style and chutzpah, not to mention a snazzy sports car. My protagonist, Olivia, only has one of these – hint, it’s not style or sportscar – but there’s nothing to stop her trying. Veronica Mars, who first aired on TV in 2004, is a sassy smart-mouthed teen, who was also an inspiration
LISA’S FABULOUS WRITING TIPS
- Tip One – put your book away for a while, then come back to it. I started writing this book in 2005, then put it away for about 13 years, which is probably a bit extreme! But, I can vouch for the fact that a fresh perspective works wonders.
- Tip Two – when writing young adult, I don’t try to copy the latest teen-speak words. Words go out of fashion, so I think it’s more important to capture the emotional intensity of being a teenager.
- Tip Three – for YA fiction, I always try to keep the chapters short and end each with a cliff-hanger if possible.
- Tip Four – I read as much YA fiction as possible. It’s important to be aware of what else is out there so that you can avoid over-used or cliched storylines.
- Tip Five – for me, finding the right protagonist for the story I want to tell is central. Once I have a three-dimensional protagonist who I love, writing the story becomes so much easier.
WHERE TO FIND LISA ONLINE
WIN A COPY OF THIS FABULOUS BOOK
Only open to Australia residents.
All you have to do is:
- In the comments section on this post, tell us why you’d like to win the book.
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