Monday, 2 July 2012

Love Notes from Vinegar House Blog Tour

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Today I’m thrilled to welcome my friend and talented author, Karen Tayleur to my blog.And to make up for my slack blogging of late, it's going to be a long visit!
Karen’s new young adult novel, Love Notes From Vinegar House, published by Black Dog Books, an imprint of Walker Books Australia, is a compelling, touching, funny and chilling story. You’ll love it!
Karen, welcome! I have so many weird and wonderful questions for you. First up, what was your favourite thing to do with your best friend in primary school?
There was a group of us in grade 3 who used to play The Amazing Three at lunchtime.
The Amazing Three was a Manga cartoon of aliens who had come to Earth and assumed the form of Earth animals.My friend Patricia was always the horse. She had a ponytail so this worked well.
It was years later, looking back at school photos, that I realised Patricia had Polynesian heritage.
We had a real mix of kids at our school but nationality wasn't an issue.
It wasn't until we grew older and learned to put labels on people that it became an issue.

Complete this sentence. My first day at secondary school was ...
The same as my first day in Grade 6. We were the first year level in a new school in the western suburbs. We didn't even have a uniform yet.The school building wasn't even finished. We didn't have many facilities. I remember the music teacher dictating the words to American Pie.
He strung this out for a couple of lessons. Of course, I knew all the words, so that really annoyed him.
I didn't stay there long - by second term my family moved to the eastern suburbs. On my first day at that school they were having a Slave for the Day auction
which meant the whole school gathered near the canteen and the Form 6 kids auctioned off teachers to raise funds. I was terrified. I wasn't sure what I had got myself into. I didn't have the right uniform yet and I had to wear a scratchy itchy woollen dress with a nice tartan pattern. Mum wanted to make sure I was warm enough. I didn't attract the right kind of attention until the following week when I wore my favourite brown corduroy pinafore with yellow skinny top and boots.

Surf beach or bay side beaches?
Surf beach, especially during winter.

In Love Notes From Vinegar House, you write about the beach and ocean so evocatively, yet with such a light hand. How important has the ocean/beach been in your life?
Holidays with the family meant beach time. We didn't have a lot of money but Dad and Mum always made sure we had a family holiday every year. The splash of sea-spray and the crunch of sand under my feet always bring back fond memories.

Do you have a favourite beach memory?
The day we took our cat down to the beach one Easter. He'd been toilet trained with kitty litter and he spent a lot of time looking for the corner of the kitty litter tray in the sand.

Did you send notes in class? Were you ever caught?
Definitely - to both questions. We started the idea of multi-tasking. You can learn and pass notes at the same time...

Another complete this sentence; 'When I was Freya's age, I had a crush on ...
a boy who didn't love me back until it was too late because I'd already moved on. I guess life's all about the timing.
We did kiss but it was a huge disappointment.

'Freya has done some stupid things.' What is the silliest thing you have ever done?
Gee, there have been so many...

What is the daggiest song secreted away in your iPod? (Remember I have heard most of the stuff in there!)
Gee, there are so many...
(Indeed there were! Lucky I was there with my Sherbet, Hoodoo Gurus and Midnight Oil!)
Sherbet daggy??? Never!
Which leads me to a very important question for someone our age - Skyhooks or Sherbet?
Sherbet. I know, not very cool, but there it is.
When I was 15 I took the country train to Swan Hill to stay with some relatives. I had a whole beauty case just dedicated to nail polish and copped a lot of flack for that from the family I stayed with. Sherbet came to the Town Hall and I got to see them, which was amazing. Years later I would have to say that Horses by Daryl Braithwaite is one of my favourite songs. It was in my Vinegar House playlist that I played when I was writing.

While we’re down this track - the Bus Stop or Nutbush City Limits?
Nutbush, of course.
I remember dancing the Nutbush in the school gym for some special event.
I was wearing Staggers Jeans and a Miller's shirt with pearlised snap press-studs.
It was a green and cream shirt with a gold thread. I couldn't have a blue one because my best friend
had already snaffled the blue one and you didn't want to look the same as everyone else!
I also had red leather platform shoes with a cork heel which were incredibly comfortable.
The boys wore tight jeans and lumber jackets. You knew when people were 'going' with each other because the girl would always wear some guy's lumber jacket - even in the height of summer.
We thought we were cool. The teachers didn't tell us how silly we looked.
I still think I'm cool every time I dance the Nutbush, but my kids like to tell me I'm not.

What scares you?
Change rooms with mirrors on all sides
My sister when she used to hide under my bed before bed time and she'd grab my ankles as I got into bed.
My husband's cooking when he goes random and uses anything from the fridge.
Anyone with a camera.
Blog tours.

Do you believe in ghosts?
Like Freya, I'm sitting on the fence.
I don't believe... but I don't disbelieve either.

What is your favourite use for vinegar?
Balsamic Vinegar + strawberries + brown sugar and cream

Karen, thanks so much for dropping by, as always, it’s a pleasure to catch up. Tomorrow the Love Notes from Vinegar House Blog Tour continues with Celine at
Visit my blog again tomorrow for a chance to win a copy of Love Notes from Vinegar House. You’ll LOVE it!


Corinne Fenton said...

I felt I was sitting next to you both when I read this. Full of tears and laughter. What a wonderful author and very special book.

Kaye Baillie said...

Most of my school memories are laced with embarassment and feeling very uncool. Not sure if I've got over it yet!
I love the title and look forward to reading Karen's tales.

Sheryl Gwyther said...

It was very interesting - and made me laugh too. Congratulations, Karen, I'm sure it will be a fascinating book.
And it was lovely to finally meet you at the SCBWI Conference. :)

Brian said...

Hi Sue,

I like your site, you have some interesting posts. My site My Perfect Pitch compliments yours, consisting of interesting articles from a published author, plus a free resource of over 1000 traditional book publishers currently accepting submissions - the largest on the web. Keep up the good work.

Regards, Brian

Life's a poem said...

Karen and Sue- great blog post and I love the title of your novel- titles are so important and immediately set the atmosphere- can't wait to read it. All the best from Guernsey, full of atmosphere but grey skies even in this month of summer.
Lorraine M

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