Now I’m not sure if I’ve conveyed this enough on Lit Life – and I have a funny feeling that I haven’t – but, let me try and give you a brief idea of how much I LOVE THREE WISHES.
In a post last year, I listed ten reasons why I loved it.
I also listed that I somehow had misplaced my copy of it, which is CRAZY if you know me. Because I am SO protective of my books. I don’t lend them out, if I take them with me during the day they are protected via their own special bags. They all sit nicely and perfectly in my bookshelves and are regularly lovingly stroked.
So for reasons that I can’t explain, I couldn’t find Three Wishes. So I bought it again.
TOTALLY WORTH IT.
So, to follow on from my previous ten list, here are a few more things that I loved about it:
- It is fresh, new and exciting. Everything was so brilliantly described – I could feel the heat of Christmas Day, and I could feel the cool of Gemma diving into Lyn’s pool
- I like how people can have plans but they can get disrupted too – ie Lyn and her plans about marriage
- I liked how Kara found that one person to open up to – Cat. I feel this is very true of teenagers, that you only need one person that isn’t a parental figure that you can talk to
- I like how you get everyone’s stories and how there are a heap of sub-plots. I liked the twists and turns!
Okay, I’m trying to figure out what to write and all I can think of is this:
THIS BOOK IS DAMN AWESOME SO JUST BUY IT, OKAY?!
There, I said it Just get it, okay? If you want a fast-paced novel about three triplets in Sydney complete with milkshakes, seafood, champagne, red hair, chicken pox, Vegemite, chocolate, France wishes, cars, brown hair, broken glass and sisterhood, pick it up.
Even if you don’t want a book about those things, pick it up anyway because it has way more too!
I first read this book years and years ago. So long ago, in fact, that I can’t quite remember when I did first read it.
But I do remember Googling Liane and the novel and being extremely disappointed that all that came up was an article from an Australian Woman’s magazine.
Which is a pretty good article, but when you fall in love with a book and that’s the only thing that comes up, that doesn’t satisfy!
When I first contacted Liane for an interview I felt somewhat like a star-struck teenager.
I couldn’t figure out what to write in the email – all I wanted to do was say something along the lines of OHMIGOSHILOVEDYOURBOOKSOSOSOSOSOMUCH but fearing that would come across slightly unprofessional, I, instead, attempted to sound sane and normal.
I’m not too sure if I came across that way or not, haha, but Liane very kindly offered to answer my questions about Three Wishes.
Australian triplets Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle are about to turn thirty-three and one is pregnant, one has just had her life turned upside down, and one is only just keeping hers from skidding off the fast lane. Meanwhile, their divorced parents have been behaving very oddly indeed.
In this family comedy by Liane Moriarty, we follow the three Kettle sisters through their tumultuous thirty-third year — as they deal with sibling rivalry and secrets, revelations and relationships, unfaithful husbands and unthinkable decisions, and the fabulous, frustrating life of forever being part of a trio.
1. What came first in Three Wishes: plots or characters?
I guess it was the plot. I started out with the idea of three women in a restaurant having a dramatic argument. I didn’t know who the women were, or why they were arguing. After I decided that the three women were sisters, their characters really helped drive the novel. I didn’t plan ahead at all. Each day when I sat down at the computer I didn’t know what was going to happen next, which was exciting but also frightening because what if nothing happened next? Fortunately something always did.
2. You started to write this as part of your thesis – what made you preserve and publish it?
It had always been my intention to try and get it published. My supervisor had covers of books written by previous students pinned to her door. Every time I had an appointment to see her I would look enviously and dreamily at those covers.
3. Do you get frustrated when – if – people compare you to your sister, YA author Jaclyn Moriarty? Or about having an ‘advantage’ in the publishing world since she was already published?
I was nervous that people might compare us because I think she is such a brilliant writer. However it hasn’t really happened, I guess because we write for different markets. As for the advantage in the publishing world, before I wrote Three Wishes I wrote a children’s book that was rejected by every agent and publisher in Australia – so she was no help at all to me then!
4. Three Wishes is rich with various subplots, twists and turns. Did you ever mix them up in the first few drafts?
Yes, I did, especially because I wasn’t writing to a plan, so the plot was always evolving. I now have such great respect for writers of crime novels with really intricate plots, and the time they must spend working out their time lines, planting clues, red herrings and so on.
5. Were there any plots that didn’t make it into the final novel?
Yes, I had a whole sub-plot where Gemma runs into an ex-girlfriend of her fiancé. However, my editor said it depended too much on a coincidence and asked me to rewrite it. I resisted at first but then it worked out so much better. (This is always the case with editing for me: initial resistance and then gratitude in the end!)
6. How did the idea come to you to include the little pre-chapter stories about random characters seeing the triplets in various points in their lives?
I first wrote the prologue from the perspective of multiple bystanders based on a (unpublished) short story I’d written many years before. Once I’d written the whole novel I decided to go back and include more stories from strangers who had observed the sisters at various points throughout their lives. I liked the idea of how you can play a role in a stranger’s life without ever being aware of it.
7. Despite the fact that the book is generally known as ‘women’s fiction’ or ‘chick lit’, it deals with some pretty serious issues – abusive relationships, panic attacks, pregnancy and miscarriages to name a few – do you think people are surprised to find those dealt with in Three Wishes?
I guess some readers might have been surprised if the cover had given them the impression that the book was purely a comedy. However, I don’t think it’s actually that unusual for this genre. Women are interested in and affected by more serious issues than just fashion and romance. Not that there is anything wrong with fashion or romance.
8. Who is your favourite character and why? What is your favourite subplot/plot and why?
My favourite character is Gemma. I liked the fact that she appears the most whimsical of the sisters, but she actually has a horrible secret. Whenever I was writing from her perspective the writing seemed to flow so easily. My favourite subplot involved their divorced parents – I had fun with that.
9. Any plans for sequel?
I do sometimes think about it: idly, half-seriously. I wonder what all those characters are doing now. It would be a pleasure to write about them again. So maybe I will, but then again, when I pick up a novel myself in the bookstore and I see that it’s a sequel, I’m always annoyed unless I happen to have read the first one.
10. What’s next for you – another novel?
I’ve written two other novels since Three Wishes: The Last Anniversary and What Alice Forgot, as well as a series of children’s books under the name L.M. Moriarty. I’m about halfway through my next novel and I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of this year. Actually, I should make that sound more definite in case my editor reads this. I WILL have it finished by the end of the year. I’ve just had a new baby girl, so she is my excuse if I don’t make my deadline.
11. Finally, were there any questions that you’ve never been asked on Three Wishes that you wished you had been? What was the question, and your answer.
When the book first came out I was nervous about being interviewed and I remember I had lots of answers prepared to questions I was never asked, the idea being to appear effortlessly intellectual. I’ve calmed down since then, and I can’t remember the questions or the answers! (Sometimes people ask, “What are three words to describe yourself?” That always sends me into a panic. Thank you for not asking that, Megan.)
Liane, you are a legend, thank you!
PS: Thanks again to Amy, who put the photos in for me. You rock chick!
PPS: Would it be unprofessional for me to tell you all about my reaction after reading this interview?
Well, too bad, I’m going to tell you.
It was something along the lines of this:
OHMIGOSHLIANEANSWEREDMYQUESTIONSARGHHHHHSHEMIGHTWRITEA SEQUELOHMIGOSHICANTWAITTOSEEWHATTHATISABOUTARGHHHHHISNT SHEAWESOMELOOKATTHOSEGREATANSWERSSOFUNNYANDTRUEARGHHHH