Welcome to #TheQuickSixInterview with Penny Tangey!
Introducing the talented, and funny, author, Penny Tangey to the blog, to discuss her new middle-grade novel, As Fast As I Can; an amusing tale of resilience, acceptance and dreaming big. Welcome, Penny! 🙂
About the Author
PENNY TANGEY writes humorous books for young people. Her most recent book, Stay Well Soon, was shortlisted for the New South Wales and Western Australian Premier’s awards and the Readings Children’s Book Prize. Penny studied Arts/Science at Melbourne University majoring in Chemistry and Indonesian. While at university Penny performed stand-up comedy, including in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Penny has worked as a researcher for television quiz shows Hard Quiz and The Chase, but she is still terrible at trivia. She is studying Information Management to become a librarian.
Her latest book, As Fast As I Can, is published by University of Queensland Publishing.
Follow Penny at these links:
Praise for ‘As Fast As I Can’
‘Penny Tangey has delivered a charm-filled tale of hopes and disappointment, of courage and loss, and ultimately acceptance of one’s limitations. Vivian stole my heart with her can-do attitude, and passion and drive to achieve her goals. As Fast As I Can will have you cheering from the sidelines from start to finish. It’s a gripping read that speaks to the competitor – and the dreamer – in all of us.’ Allayne L. Webster, author of Sensitive
Written by Penny Tangey.
Published by UQP.
WHAT is it called and what is it about?
As fast as I can is about a 10-year-old girl named Vivian who dreams of becoming an Olympian. When Vivian discovers she has a talent for middle-distance running it seems like that dream could become a reality. Then a family medical issue puts her plans and dreams into jeopardy.
WHEN is its release / launch date?
As fast as I can was released in April 2020.
WHERE did the inspiration for this book come from?
When I was in Grade 5 the 1992 Olympics were held in Barcelona. My friends and I were very inspired and vowed that we would all become Olympic athletes (we didn’t know what sport we’d excel in, but that seemed unimportant.) I wanted to write a story about girls enthusiastically playing competitive sport just like I did.
I never became an elite athlete but running is a big part of my life. It helps me relax and I don’t feel good physically or mentally if I don’t run three times each week. I run for fun but wish I was fast, so I enjoyed imagining this dream coming true through the character of Vivian.
The idea for the medical aspects of the book came from my family. Five years ago my cousin was diagnosed with long QT syndrome, which is a hereditary heart condition. It is treatable but requires medication and significant lifestyle changes. Genetic tests have fortunately excluded me from having long QT syndrome. While I waited for the results, I thought a lot about risks and rewards in life and I’ve explored these ideas in ‘As fast as I can’.
WHY is this book meaningful to you and why would its message resonate with readers?
As fast as I can was supposed to be released in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I thought that the book might be relevant to kids because of its Olympic themes. As fast as I can was released on schedule, however, due to coronavirus the Olympics and Paralympics have been postponed for the first time in the history of the modern games.
In As fast as I can Vivian develops resilience when she faces many obstacles to achieving her Olympic dream. Sometimes Vivian’s determination is enough for her to crash through and hold onto the dream. But sometimes she has to accept that circumstances have changed, and as a result she herself will change in ways she didn’t expect. The Olympics won’t be happening this year but I think these themes of resilience are more relevant than ever. I hope As fast as I can will resonate with readers navigating our current time of crisis, uncertainty and change.
HOW have you promoted this book and how can we find it?
My publisher and I are working to promote As fast as I can through bookseller engagement, reviews, interviews, social media and online events. Many bookshops are closed due to coronavirus, but you can still support independent booksellers by buying As fast as I can online.
Thank you, Penny!
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