A HUGE thank you to Frances Whiting for honoring us with an interview! This book was truly a gift and we look forward to many more from her.
You’ve been a columnist for so long. What made you decide to write a novel?
I guess because I’m a writer, in that I mean that at the heart of the columns I write, and the news features I do as a journalist, it’s all writing, but in different styles and for different audiences.
But it’s all writing, and that’s what I am drawn to do, whether its answering your questions (and thank you for your interest), or attempting to wrestle down a 200 000 word book!
There’s a saying that all journalists think they have a book in them _I hope I have more than one!
I think Walking on Trampolines was percolating in my mind for years before I finally thought I have to get these characters down!
Creatively, I really enjoyed the writing of it (when I wasn’t tearing my hair out or thumping my head against the desk) because in journalism there’s a lot of rules, and to be able to write freely was
very liberating for me.
Do you have a childhood best friend?
No, I wish I did! I still have close friends from high school, but in terms of primary school I had lots of friends rather than one best one.
But there was a girl across the street from me when I grew up and we were inseparable for years.
She and I came from very different families (a bit like Annabelle and Tallulah) and it was probably inevitable that we would grow apart in later years.
She’s moved another State and we rarely see each other, but the funny thing is when we do we are both just so happy!
The last time I saw her was for her mother’s 80th birthday party and all the old neighbourhood friends came together for it.
When we saw each other, we both started to cry!
Did you draw on any of your real life friendships for Annabelle and Tallulah’s relationship?
I guess the girl across the street, as above, and then I think I drew them from a potpourri of lots of girls I met over the years.
I think Tallulah is a little bit like I was growing up, and Annabelle is the girl I sometimes wanted to be (minus the nicking someone’s boyfriend part). She’s a lot cooler than I ever was, and I admire
her way of being without _ and I heard this quote the other day and loved it _ wearing the straightjacket of what other people think of you.
Friendship wise, I feel quite fiercely about my friends, I love them deeply and I guess I drew from that in trying to describe the way Annabelle and Tallulah feel about each other.
Duncan was such a great character. What was your inspiration for him?
Ha! Thank you, I really like him too. He is absolutely a conglomeration of all the blokes I’ve worked for and with in the media.
A lot of them are very brash, rough and ready types, but with hearts of gold underneath all their bluster.
It’s funny, but quite a few men I’ve worked with over the years have asked “Is Duncan me?” _ and I think they secretly want him to be!
Do you have any wins?
Not sure how to answer this! Do you mean do I have any wines? Yes I do, usually after I have put the children to bed, I have a glass of red!
But if you mean do I have any wins, I think being published in the States is the biggest, professional win of my life!
Do you enjoy writing your columns more or writing a novel?
Mmmmm, well the column is certainly a lot shorter! I have to say both, depending on the mood I’m in, and how easily the words come for either. The column is a beast unto itself. It has been going for nearly 20 years here in Australia, and its brought me a lot of wonderful moments with readers and a weekly chance to share my thoughts and hopefully give readers a smile at the end of a tough week, or simply something to share in. But the novel gave me freedom, and a chance to relearn my craft, and to hopefully get better at it.
Thank you for your questions, I truly appreciate your interest in my book.
Buy Frances Whiting Books
Walking on Trampolines – Our Review
Praised as “a tender exploration of friendship, families, and first love” (Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret), this coming-of-age novel from bestselling author Frances Whiting is equal parts heartwarming, accessible, and thought provoking.
“Tallulah de Longland,” she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgment. “That,” she announced, “is a serious glamorgeous name.”
From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland is bewitched: by Annabelle, by her family, and by their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river.
Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small coastal town of Juniper Bay. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood.
Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgivable…
It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.