After critical and commercial success invisible boy (Fremantle Press), our favourite WA author is back, exploring dangerous youth in time for his new novel, edge.
Holden Sheppard, author, mentor and avid football fan just released his second novel edge. Sheppard dives right into the world of youth freedom in an exciting, tense, and straightforward way.
edge (The Text Publishing Company) is an exciting story about a group of friends who just graduated from high school and are obsessed with understanding who they are and what they are made of.
Teens heading to the coast after finishing school find themselves stranded in a remote town, with locals warning them not to get in trouble. But when tragedy strikes, teens face a heightened sense of responsibility they never could have foreseen.
Sheppard’s work isn’t afraid to ask tough questions euphoric, part sex educationpart beach, and part Lord of the Flies Stories of dangerous freedom can only be found on the cusp of adulthood.
We caught up with Holden to chat about some of his favorite things, including WWE Smackdown and cozy nights watching movies with her husband.
Happy: Hey Holden, what are you doing today?
Holden: Today I’ve been unpacking the boxes of my new book THE BRINK, which have been couriered to my home for me to sign and then shipped back to the bookstore. There are hundreds of books on the patio table I pull into the living room (we usually don’t have a dining table inside), and the whole table is filled with bookshelves, so I’ll be busy most of the time. Then I’ll write some emails, go for a walk, and maybe sit down with a cup of tea and read a manuscript by an emerging writer I’m currently mentoring. The life of a rock star, eh?
Happy: Tell us about your community, what do you like/dislike about where you live?
Holden: I live in a newly built working class (pronounced: bogan) suburb on Perth’s far north coast, about 42km from the city. I walk around the neighborhood a lot, especially when the sun is shining, and I like that everything is new, even if some edges are a little rough (like me). Some areas are still under construction so I can see new buildings and roads being built, which I love as I’ve always been an urban planning/construction geek. I don’t like that I live so far from the CBD, so it often prohibits me from going to events too south on weekends because it’s not worth the commute. My friends laugh at me because if I’m going to the southern suburbs of Perth, like Fremantle or Rockingham, I sometimes bring a backpack. It’s a day trip, man!
Happy: Describe your average working day.
Holden: Although my writing job is mostly full-time these days, I also do casual labor for a few hours a week at the lumberyard. So, on my labor days, it’s a lumberyard from pre-dawn to around noon, then smashing fodder at home because I’m starving from lifting heavy loads all day, and then I spend my arvo office at home dealing with electronics Email and manage or attend meetings, phone calls or do media. On the days when I don’t have a day job, I go to the gym first thing in the morning for a few hours, have a takeaway coffee, write or edit my novel or whatever, and then arvo is admin and electronic mail time. I get off work by 6pm almost every day to spend the evenings with my husband and then deal with social media notifications for the day, but when I’m busy I end up having to work late into the night. Of course, when I’m promoting a new book, almost all of the authoring activities are in the evenings, so it can create chaos for months.
Happy: what about your last day?
Holden: Saturday is my favorite day of the week during football season, it’s almost my last. I got up and went to football practice (I played AFL 9s social at Perth Hornets FC), got into a fight with some of the football lads, then grabbed a glass of Gatorade and went home to relax with my husband, Watch WWE Smackdown together. In arvo, I’ll have a few bourbons before any AFL game on TV, then my husband and I have a cheat meal, tea, and a movie. It’s super low key, but I’m a bit of a hermit and more introverted than most people realize, so that’s how I see heaven.
Happy: If we paid you $500,000 for this interview, what would you do with that money?
Holden: Whore and blow, baby! No, I’ll splurge on all the big boy toys I’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford, because life as a writer means you’re always living a very frugal life. I would do some mods for my ute, buy a dirt bike or quad, then a jet ski. I will definitely get some ink. Maybe a trip to Europe with my husband, maybe to places like Japan and Canada. The rest I might do boring stuff like making deposits. I like a house with a few hectares somewhere.
Happy: What did you read or watch growing up that sparked your passion for storytelling?
Holden: When I was young, it was Enid Brighton’s book ( Mallorita Boarding School Series), Emily Rhoda ( Youth Power Company series), the Cairo Jim Collection by Geoffrey McSkimming, and Usborne Puzzle Adventure series Tintin Hergé’s comics and Pokémon – I love the Pokémon anime and continue to write a lot of Pokémon fanfiction.As a teenager, I was hooked Harry Potter JK Rowling’s series, tomorrow John Marsden’s series and JJ Abrams’ spy thriller TV series alias.
Happy: Which book are you currently reading?
Holden: i just started the great gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald, because I’ve never read it, even if it’s a classic.
Happy: What was the last book you read that gave you a new perspective on your eyes and mind?
Holden: I recently finished boo Sara Foster, a dystopian thriller, and a timely social commentary on a world where women’s control over their own bodies and pregnancy is taken away by the government. Given that it was published last year, it’s eye-opening and prescient.I also read Chaos boy Written a while ago by Gary Lonesborough, it’s a real insight into gay and Aboriginal upbringing.
Happy: If you had your first dating book list, what would it be?
Holden: if he is read and liked Alchemist Paulo Coelho, I think we’ll get along like a house on fire.