Congratulations on making the shortlist. Tell us a bit
about your book.
Thank you so much, I'm really chuffed! Becoming Nancy is the story
of fifteen year old David Starr, who gets the part of Nancy in his
school production of Oliver! and promptly falls in love with the
captain of the school football team, who just happens to be playing
Bill Sykes in the play. It's about what happens to them because of
their relationship, as well as David's best friend, Frances, who
finds herself the victim of racism. David's family are fairly
colourful characters so there's a lot of laughs, but I think people
find it very touching too. It's a coming of age tale set in South
East London the late 1970's, so it's very nostalgic and also
reflects a lot of the things that were going on back then: the
music, the TV shows, Rock Against Racism - it's all in there!
How similar are you to your main character, David
Well I made David a lot smarter and verbose than I was at
fifteen because the book is written in his voice and I wanted to
have fun with the language. However, David and his family and the
events and emotions surrounding the story are pretty
semi-autobiographical. It's a story I always wanted to tell.
What or who was your first music obsession?
Just like David in the story, I was obsessed with Blondie and
Debbie Harry as a teenager - also Abba, Donna Summer and Kate Bush.
Yes quite gay, I know!! I loved pop music, I was obsessed. It was
so much more exciting back then I think: saving up for a
record and getting so excited about watching your favourite pop
stars on Top Of The Pops every Thursday.
How about now?
There's still great music out there, but it's harder to find.
I'm not usually that keen on what's playing on the more commercial
radio stations on most days. The Cocknbullkid album was my recent
favourite, and I adore Sia and Ren Harvieu. My real musical idols
are the Italian movie composer Ennio Morricone and Burt Bacharach.
I''m a big Rufus Wainwright fan and I also have a huge collection
of Disco. I've got some very cool and very rare tracks- I love
If you were cast in Oliver! which part would you play (and
I think I'd still want to play Nancy -she's got the best
songs! And I'm a bit long in the tooth for the Artful Dodger
lets face it!
You got a review from Kylie Minogue (I see from your
website)! How did you manage that?
I've been friends with both Kylie and Dannii for 20 years and
i've worked with them on various musical projects over the years,
particularly Dannii. As soon as Kylie heard that I'd written the
book she asked me to send her the manuscript and she was kind
enough to give me a great quote for the cover. They've both been so
supportive about the book - Dannii is always Tweeting and blogging
about her friends' various projects. Those girls are like 'old
school' stars. Proper!
What are you working on now?
The reaction to Becoming Nancy has been so wonderful, and I've now
had some really exciting offers to option the rights to the book
-but that's all I'm saying for now. Apart from that, I've written a
one woman play for, and with, Denise Van Outen. I guess It's a bit
like a Shirley Valentine type story for a new generation. The two
of us had a lot of laughs writing it, and it'll kick off in the new
year. In the meantime I'm cracking on with a new novel, but I
really need to dedicate more time to it.
I'm also working with the Kylie/ Hurly Burly show team again-
William Baker and Steve Anderson- on a new show called Orchid,
which opens in Miami in November. It's a glamorous, musical,
burlesque, circus spectacular, and we're all buzzing about it. Oh!
And I mustn't forget to mention the two fabulous cabaret shows I'm
lucky enough to work on regularly too - Little Belter, which is on
monthly at Madame JoJo, and the amazing drag-girl-group The Supreme
Fabulettes! They're not camp at all, honest!
What would you do with the £1000 if you win the
I'd take my husband Mark on a lovely holiday.
Becoming Nancy by Terry Ronald (Transworld) has been
shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. The winner is
announced 26th November.
Becoming Nancy is available to buy on Amazon Amazon
Visit Terry's website: www.terryronald.com
For more information on the Polari First Book Prize, visit Facebook
Photo credit: Krystna Fitzgerald-Morris