AWW Feature: Rose Foster, author of The Industry

Welcome Rose Foster

Rose Foster grew up in Melbourne, Australia. Once finished high school she began her tertiary studies at Swinburne University, where she reconsidered pursuing her ambition of writing for young adults. She soon dropped out of her course, travelled briefly overseas and then set to work on The Industry. She now studies creative writing at RMIT University. The Industry is the first in a planned trilogy, it combines action, adventure, espionage and excitement centered around a shadowy international organisation, Kirra Hayward is an ordinary sixteen year old – smarter than most, but otherwise completely anonymous. When she solves an unusual decrypting puzzle on the internet to fill in a moment of boredom at school, she has no idea of what she’s letting herself in for. Kidnapped by a shadowy organisation of mercenaries known only as The Industry, Kirra soon discovers how valuable her code-breaking skills are. And when she stubbornly refuses to help them, they decide to break her … by any means at their disposal. Kirra knows that to protect herself, she must trust no one, not even her fellow prisoner, Milo. But as time goes by she wonders if he is the only person she can rely on.

My review of The Industry was posted earlier and I found it an exciting and engaging story with wide appeal.

I am pleased to welcome Rose Foster to Book’d Out today…

On Writing

Like most writers, I’ve never wanted to do anything else. I kind of considered getting into theatre (and studied it for a year after school) to see if I could like it. My time pretending to learn to do audio checks, ruining shows with costumes sourced from an op-shop and painting god-awful sets in primary colours like the decor genius I am yielded no positive results. I ended up writing a lot of our performance material (bad though it was) and embarrassed myself hugely at some guy’s house (he looked like Tin-Tin) at the end of year after-party. Alcohol was largely to blame. Also, I didn’t like many of my classmates. Not a winner of a combination. I couldn’t go back and, thankfully, one of my teachers told me to leave not long after that. He seemed to know I wanted to write. That or he realised there was no theatrical talent to be found in me at all and couldn’t justify having me wreck his plays for another year with my shitty acting.

I was grateful to him, because it’s what I really wanted to do. I didn’t hurry into it though. I worked for while (as I had for longer than I like to think about) at a fruit shop, went overseas and came back with no money and no job. The idea for The Industry had not gone away during any of it, and I hadn’t wanted it to. There have been a fair few writing ideas over the years, but I knew, for whatever reason, that if I ever had any hope of being published, it would be with The Industry.

It was the only complete idea I’d ever had. It started only with a girl’s kidnapping somewhere between her house and her bus stop, but I felt inundated with detail after that. I knew I was keeping it within the confines of reality, with a bent toward action, and a criminal underworld slid into place before I knew it. A lot of the book is a mystery to me, though. Kirra’s name is a decent example of this. Kirra is not a name I’ve heard at some point and thought ‘Hell. That’s the prettiest name I’ve ever come across in my LIFE.’ I wouldn’t name my future kid Kirra. So why, then, Kirra? Like most of the book, it’s been in place so long that I’ve legitimately forgotten the reason and to change it now would do my head in. Reading a chapter back with “Mirabelle”, “Tania” or “Veronica” dotted here and there around the dialogue would feel more foreign to me than a capsule hotel. Some things just stick, for no apparent reason.

I harbour a cracked sense of responsibility to young adult fiction. Children’s too. When I was at school, there were few things more important to me than stories. Things go wrong when you’re young, and often seem like the end of the world, and that’s mostly because you don’t know better. This doesn’t make your low points less jarring though. There’s so much opportunity to feel powerless, to be at the mercy of every other kid at school, every teacher, your own parents. So much uncertainty, self-doubt and anxiety over the things expected of you, and the things you expect of yourself. I hid in stories every day I was at primary school. I tended to slip through the cracks in terms of aptitude, but my best education, my only education, really, came from the two or three books I read a week. There was so much to learn, things they couldn’t teach at school – or wouldn’t. Things I felt were worth learning, far more than long division and whatever it is you gain by making dioramas. The supremacy of friendship, the value in being brave, the importance of learning to accept yourself, to be proud of yourself, to do what’s right. Triumph over adversity. Belonging and identity. These things weren’t paramount in the stories alone. They translated to real life and they meant a lot to me. I felt bolstered by them, protected by them. They armed me, and made me happy in a way nothing else previously had. I knew, way back when, that I wanted to write not just because I loved it, but because so many writers had given me so much for so little. My life had felt exciting, perfect even, though it wasn’t (how can it be in Grade Five, or Year Eight?). At some point, midway through high school, I stopped reading so feverishly. Not because it was boring, but because I had the strange sense my education was, in some ways, complete. I felt sturdy, confident, sure of myself and what I believed. I’d become someone I could be proud of. Fiction had helped me achieve things I’m not sure I would have achieved on my own. Honestly, I’d be happy forever if The Industry did for only one person what all my favourite books did for me.

Learn more about The Industry on Facebook

The Industry is Available To Purchase

Australia: @via HarperCollins I @Booktopia I @Readings

International: @Amazon (Kindle)

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