'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 13 November 2017

Cover Reveal: The Harper Effect

We are thrilled to feature the first of two cover reveals for The Harper Effect today: 

The Harper Effect Australian Cover (December 2017, Pan MacMillan)

The Harper Effect USA Cover (May 2018)

Perfect summer reading, The Harper Effect is the debut novel from Australian author, Taryn Bashford. It’s a fast-paced rollercoaster of a read, set in the world of International Tennis and filled with emotional highs and lows, an unexpected love triangle, friendship and family. Centred around an inspiring protagonist who dreams big and is forced to dig deep, Taryn shines a spotlight on the world of professional sports and the dedication, passion and resilience demanded of elite athletes.

Here's a sneak peak of this exciting new YA novel from the author herself .

I wrote the very first draft of The Harper Effect over thirty years ago when my 15-year-old brother was playing at Wimbledon and won a scholarship to the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida. At the time, I was training for the Olympics in the 400m track event. Sport was and still is an important part of my life, and even as a teen, I could see how it helped me through the usual teen angsts that we must all survive.

I hope that my novel, The Harper Effect, will do two things for my readers: firstly, be that helping hand, that metaphorical hug that any coming of age story provides, and secondly, represent sporty women as normal, cool, admirable and successful so that teen girls can aspire to a new type of role model. If girls can see themselves represented as strong, powerful and athletic, they will be more likely to participate in sport.

Instead of bombarding girls with images of external beauty that they should live up to, let’s bombard them with confident, healthy female role models. To prove the point, those girls who haven’t dropped sport in high school have more positive body images than non-athletes (Sabo & Veliz’s study, Go Out and Play; Youth sport in America).

I know that when I’m training – I’m now doing triathlons – I feel strong and fit and confident and this in turn, makes me feel powerful and full of positivity, yet when I’m ill or not training, being physically weaker and less fit affects my self-esteem and my ability to cope with the challenges in life.

The Harper Effect shows that through dreaming big, working hard, and believing in yourself, you can achieve anything. Let our teens, both boys and girls, see that women can play sport—they can be confident, they can be winners, they can be star athletes. Let them see their sister or best friend or cousin can be involved in professional women’s sport.

Let’s present girls with alternate choices for their future. Let’s empower them and help them find self-realisation. Sport can help girls to BE SOMEBODY.

Here's a snippet of The Harper Effect.

The dining room is where the ghosts and monsters play. That’s what Jacob said when I was five and he was six, necks curling around the half-open door, our eyes blurting fright. On a dare, we’d tiptoe into the room, dash around the table then jump through the French windows into the garden, screaming with delighted terror. Nearly twelve years later, it’s still my least favourite room in the house. Maybe that’s because it’s where the recent pep talks have taken place and the grandfather clock seems to count down the seconds to the end of life as I know it.

Taryn lives the typical writer’s life, with characters from her books insisting they help make dinner. This can be disconcerting as many of them can’t cook. The first draft of The Harper Effect was written when Taryn was 14 years old, and evolved over many drafts to include details from the real life of a professional tennis player and coach, her brother.

Get in touch with Taryn, here: www.tarynbashford.com