Helen Milroy presents: Paula Hayes on writing stories for kids that examine real issues
Paula Hayes says she hopes young people find comfort and escapism in her books. Reading as an adult took her out of her day to day and immersed her in a world she didn’t want to leave. ‘You just enter a different world for a while, but the themes of your own reality are still there and being picked and pulled at and gently examined,’ Paula says.
Paula and Helen discuss the importance of portraying these real-world problems in books for children to teach them how to deal with and express certain issues. Paula portrays these kinds of issues in her own book where Lily and her friends learn about bullying, a common problem children have to face growing up, to allow young readers to learn what they could do in a similar situation. She says she hopes that adults and parents will also learn from her book and that her book acts as a catalyst for these types of conversations between parents and children.
Writing for children and young adults
Dealing with feedback
How reading can shape young minds
Writing as a career
Books, shows, people and places mentioned
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
About the host:
Dr Helen Milroy is a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. She was born and educated in Perth and has a passionate interest in health and wellbeing, especially for children. She is currently a professor at the University of Western Australia, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, and Commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission. Her books have been shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards (2019, 2020), the Readings Children’s Book Prize (2020) and the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year (2020). And her book, Backyard Birds, won the Whitley Award for the Young Children’s Reader Category (2021).
About the guest:
Paula Hayes is an Australian writer who enjoys writing magical realism for young people. This means she is good at making strange stuff up and setting it in real life. Her first novel, Lily in the Mirror, was a CBCA Notable in 2017. She has four adult kids, two grandkids and has worked in education which gives her an endless spring of inspiration for stories for young people. In a parallel universe she studied at UWA but now writes from a desk in her pantry. This has its pros and cons. Paula is passionate about children’s literature and literacy and has a foot in each camp. Her latest book, The Vexatious Haunting of Lily Griffin will be published by Fremantle Press in 2022.
Find this author at https://paulahayesblog.wordpress.com/
Her book The Vexatious Haunting of Lily Griffin is available in all good bookstores and online.
Original music ‘Steel Cap Serenade’ by Aidan D’Adhemar, © 2021
Sound engineering Aidan D’Adhemar, Fremantle PA Hire
Produced by Claire Miller and the Fremantle Press Marketing and Communications team.
This podcast was produced in Walyalup in Wadjuk Boodja, on the lands of the Noongar people.