Meet My Book: The Other Christy, by Oliver Phommavanh

We love visitors here at Aussiereviews, but it’s been a while since we’ve had an author drop by to chat about their latest book – so it’s especially wonderful to welcome Oliver Phommavanh today, here to tell us about his new children’s novel, The Other Christy. Welcome Oliver.

1. Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.
My book’s called The Other Christy, published by Penguin Random House and it came out on 13th June.

OtherCHristy2. Why did you write the book?
It’s a story about two girls who share the same name in a class and they don’t like each other. But then they discover they have something more in common than just their name. I love writing about weird or awkward characters and I have this fascination as a teacher and author of seeing unlikely friendships form. I also had this voice of a shy girl with loud ideas in my head for awhile, just waiting to be unleashed.
3. How long from idea to publication?
Almost two years.
4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?
I wasn’t sure about how deep to delve into Christy’s family and her Cambodian background. Christy’s grandpa lived through war with the Khmer Rogue and he carries a lot of emotional scars. It was tricky at first but I found the right balance with sharing some insightful moments with some light-hearted humour.
5. Coolest thing about your book?
Christy’s passion is baking so she creates a lot of sweet treats. I tried to bake with my wife, and made brownies, cupcakes and cookies. Research never tasted so good.
6. Something you learnt through writing the book?
I went to Cambodia last year to visit the war memorial and genocide museum in Phnom Penh. I was absorbed with all of the personal recounts and stories, and was determined to shed a little light on that in my book.
7. What did you do celebrate the release?
My wife and I baked a whole lot of desserts for my book launch. Everybody walked away with a book and some delicious treats

8. And how will you promote the book?
I’ve just finished a whirlwind promotion tour with my publicist across three states and doing a blog tour now. I’ll continue to talk about The Other Christy at various festivals for the rest of the year.

9. What are you working on next?
I’m working on the sequel to Con-nerd, called Super Con-nerd. Hopefully it’ll come out in March 2017.

10. Where we can find out more about you and your book?
You can check out my website, and like my facebook page at Plus you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @oliverwinfree

Thanks for visiting Oliver. If you want to find out more about The Other Christy, you can visit the other stops on Oliver’s blog tour. And you can see my review of The Other Christy here.