Friday, March 25, 2011

Guest Post with Danielle Weiler

After reading Friendship on Fire, I was curious to know what life in a private school was like, having gone to public school myself! Danielle was kind enough to write up a post for us!!

Life in a private school – per Friendship on Fire

Thanks Nicole for having me on Books Complete Me to tell some secrets about my debut novel, Friendship on Fire. Life in private schools in Australia might be vastly different from private schools internationally, so I thought I’d share some of the background behind my storyline. The story timeline covers the entire last year of school and every main event. Protagonist Daisy is the female school captain with her best friend Roman as the male school captain. They are in charge of the running of year 12 programs and, to a certain extent, keeping students in line. They are also under immense pressure to get along with the principal, Mr Richard Head.

Conservative principal/rules – Daisy is busted at the very start of the novel for having such bright red hair that the kids are calling her ‘ranga’. The principal thinks it’s a slight on him and that she’s not taking her school captain duties seriously enough. There is a rule at school saying that ‘No Radically Dyed Hair’ is allowed, and, well, Daisy does just that. But you’ll have to read it to see why she’s done this…

Weird uniforms – Mysterious hotty Nate from Addison Grammar School has the most interesting and expensive uniform in the book. It’s like a soldier’s uniform with the crazy hat in winter and pressed jacket that reminds Daisy of the 1700s (think French Revolution era). Believe it or not there are all-boys schools like that still around in Australia, and they’re VERY expensive. In saying that, Daisy mentions that the girls were allowed to wear pants in winter at her school, St. Dominics College, which is a privilege compared to some private schools where you can only wear the knit/wool skirts even in freezing months with only stockings to keep you warm.

Rivalry with other private schools – like Addison Grammar. Daisy remarks at the beginning of the novel: ‘I smiled. They’d be pretty lucky to officially meet anyone from Addison Grammar, let alone a wayward new boy outside the
golden gates of the most expensive school in Twin Rocks’ (p. 24). Addison Grammar has its cliques, and the kind of stuff that happens in these cliques is dropped throughout the story.

Common Room – I had a common room at my state school in year 12. It was massive and we had drinks and chocolates and tables and a kitchen and a courtyard and we had our year 12 punk band (a few boys who thought they were in a band just cos they made it up) perform improv for us once which was pretty cool. Kind of like karaoke. It was a privilege and we were way too noisy and often got kicked out of there but that’s part of being a kid, right?

I hope you can find some similarities with your school or schools you know and that you enjoy reading about the life of Daisy as much as I enjoyed writing about her!

Thanks so much Danielle!!! Everyone, check back tomorrow for something really neat!!! Also, my review of Friendship on Fire will be posted too!

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