Claire Christian - author of Beautiful Mess

Author Q&As

Tell us about your book – what inspired you to write it?


Beautiful Mess is the story of two teenagers, Ava and Gideon, who meet and form a friendship amidst having to deal with some of life’s biggest and messiest stuff.


I’ve had the great privilege of working with teenagers for more than ten years now and I knew I wanted to write something that discussed mental health, and adolescence, realistically and honestly. I felt a great duty to make the book as real as possible - otherwise the young people in my life would have been really disappointed in me. 


If you could live as one of your characters for a day – which one would you choose and why?


Oh, maybe Gideon. He’s a desperately insecure young man whose just trying his best to navigate Grade Twelve. I think I could influence his chemistry in a way that let him knew he was okay, get him to take a few risks, plus, I’d love to hang out with his parents who are pretty awesome! 


Which book would you want to read again for the first time?


The Jungle Book - it was the first picture book I was obsessed with as a kid. I LOVED it. 


What was your favourite book as a child?


I loved the Babysitters Club series. And I had a box of romance novels that Dolly magazine created that I absolutely adored. 


We know you are a talented writer, do you have any hidden talents?


I once shot a gun in an old war bunker in Eastern Europe. I have zero athletic ability so I shocked myself, and the huge Eastern European man who worked at the bunker, when I hit the paper man expertly. He looked at me stunned and said, “You shot gun before.” I just shook my head. I’m also very talented at tripping over my own feet. 


Can you tell us what you are working on now?


I’m working on an experimental non-fiction story sharing memoir’esque extravaganza for young people about growing up, a romance novel about a woman learning about pleasure and a new play that will open in Brisbane in July this year called Lysa and the Freeborn Dames which is a contemporary riff on Aristophanes comedy Lysistrata.