WEbook's Newest Release! In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter by Sarah Szabo


In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter

Webook's latest release is the brilliantly hilarious Teen/YA diary-style novel 

by Sarah Szabo 

One of our editorial staff discovered Sarah when she posted a link to Jet Hunter on the WEbook forums. We were all immediately hooked and couldn't wait to get Sarah on board with us - luckily she was just as excited as we were and the next thing you know, In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter had become our newest WEbook! 

We had a chat with Sarah about her writing background, how she came to create, Jet Hunter, and her involvement with WEbook over the years...  

"I have been a professional lifestyle journalist in Australia for over 12 years. If I have a speciality genre it is film and TV, but over the years I have written on everything from sustainable architecture to Steampunk. I am always happy to tackle a serious subject but if I can inject a little humour into whatever I am writing, sneak a little something in past the editor, then I am truly happy. 

"Writing fiction was a true joy because I had no other agenda other than to create something funny. Call me shallow, but for me humour is the highest art form and not easy to do well  (I was brought up in England so I blame that - you need maximum comedy in a cold weather climate). 

"As a journalist - I’m more influenced by Hunter S. Thompson and Clive James than Woodward and Bernstein and as for fiction, well I hope to be buried with Evelyn Waugh’s, Decline and Fall. Read a little something from, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, for a eulogy and I am done. I like to laugh - is that wrong?"


 How Sarah came to write Jet Hunter...

"I learned all I needed to know about life from Nigel Molesworth (Geoffrey Willans); Adrian Mole (Sue Townsend) and perhaps a little from Bridget Jones (Helen Fielding). Nigel Molesworth and Adrian Mole, in particular are standouts for me because the humour works whether you are 12 or 49. I read these books as a teen and I still reread them now. The humour is timeless and ageless - it is just great comedy. The fact that they all happen to be in diary form is a coincidence, and the fact that my fiction is in diary form - no coincidence at all. I wanted to write a teen humour book with crossover appeal to adults using great comedy writing technique. 

"In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter, is a product of all my comedy influences stewed and steamed over the course of my reading life and concentrated in the form of one, beautifully self obsessed, casually cruel and philosophically blunt contemporary female teen. In other words - your average teen. I was one myself once and I have a couple of younger Gen Y siblings who provided much inspiration in the self obsession department. (They are delightful - really). 

"No teen’s life is complete without a major pop-culture crush and I wrapped a narrative around that to give the format some momentum and to inject a little satire about contemporary culture. If at any time you laugh out loud while reading it or even titter - I have done the job I set out to do."

On Sarah's involvement with WEbook...

"The WEbook site came to my attention some years ago (under previous owners). At the time WEbook was running a peer voted competition to find a publishable work, I entered this manuscript and received overwhelming support from other WEbookers, which was a prize in itself. I went on to win the competition and got some great feedback from WEbook management who loved the work, but felt I needed to develop the manuscript further before publication. 

"To cut a long story short - it took me a while to do so but it was necessary. Along the way WEbook died, and I went on my way reworking the manuscript in my own time (my own sweet time). After a few ups and downs, false starts and reworkings, I shoved it in a draw. Later I took it out, reread it - laughed - and thought: ‘Bugger it, I’ll publish it myself.’ 

"Somehow I found myself back on the new WEbook site and remembered all those past WEbookers who told me they loved it too. I left a message in the forums about self-publishing it, wondering if anyone remembered it. 

"I’ve come full circle back to this forum of supportive fellow writers and I couldn’t be happier."

Sarah's, In Case of Emergency Please Notify: Jet Hunter is available now from the WEbook Store in hardback, paperback and and digital ebook format. 

Read on for an exclusive preview:

Day 25

1.05 p.m.

Shelly rang this morning. I told Mum to tell her I wasn’t home. When we were at the movies she hinted that she wanted to come to the all ages gig tonight but I’ve my reputation to think of. Rang Nicole. No one home. Texted her. No reply. Her phone battery must be dead. Went to skate park. Not there. Went to library. Not there. The Phat Fonies are playing so I know she’ll want to go. I bet Danny will be there. There is something I wanted to ask him about the value of X when Y is something or other (I’ll look it up before I go).

2.10 p.m.
Just rang Shelly’s number. She isn’t home. Texted her. No reply. Her phone battery must be dead. I’m extremely annoyed.

4.15 p.m.
The phone rang while I was doing some pacing exercises in the hall. I like to pick it up by the third ring because Dad told me once that it’s a good business principle. As I was rounding the kitchen entrance, Mr Paws appeared in the doorway and I jumped over him, skidded on the kitchen floor, connected with a hand dumbbell that had been left lying on the floor and kicked it through the glass door cabinet with the fine china in it. It was Gran on the phone. Something about forgetting where she had put her keys. I couldn’t hear her over Mum carrying on about her Royal Doulton and how much it cost. I reminded her that it was her hand weight, and as she spun around, she dropped the matching saucer to the cup that had just been broken. I won’t record for posterity what she said – just file it away to tell the school counsellor next time I need to get out of school.

4.30 p.m.
Mum is sending me round to Gran’s in a taxi so that I can help her find her keys. She’s in one of her ‘pre-menopausal moods’, as Dad calls them. She says she’ll pick me up in an hour. I’ve asked her to man the phones while I’m away.

Day 28

10.50 a.m. 
Had a breakfast revelation after reading the ‘phun philosophy’ on the back of the cereal packet. What I need to do is forget the hideous shortcomings of everyone around me and focus on developing my own talents in order to maximize my personal potential
(also, according to the packet, should eat more cereal).
Have decided that I would like to become a competitive surfer, earning mega prize and sponsorship dollars and gaining the admiration of the wider community in general and the surfing community in particular. I know it won’t be easy but I love a challenge. The hard
part is deciding whether to go custom made (e.g. retro flames, lifesize portrait of Jet) or off the rack (classic stripe). The easy part I’ll hand over to Dad – cash or credit card. Can’t wait for Dad to get home. Told Mum all about the new me (said imagine world champ surfer Layne Beachley, except with my head and Beyoncé’s body). She said she can’t wait for Dad to get home either.

5.45 p.m.
Think I hear Dad’s footsteps coming up the front steps. I’ll meet him at the door to ask him about his day, make him a cup of tea just the way he likes it (made by someone else) and ease into a discussion about maximizing one’s potential and the millions of dollars in sponsorship money being thrown at women who can shoot the curl, rip through the tube and chill out in the green room. Kowabunga! (Note to self: must find out exact location of the green room.)

5.50 p.m.
Life sucks

7.00 p.m.
Decided to get a wider perspective on the issue. Nicole thinks Dad is like really a gnarly lameass (skate slang meaning crap parent); Shelly thinks Dad is way off (ballroom dancing slang meaning little or no parenting skill); Alexandra-Rhiannon thinks that Dad is preoccupied by capitalist accumulation at the expense of lifestyle; Gran has offered to knit me a surfboard cover and someone called IAMHot4U on the surfinchiks internet chatroom thinks that Dad should chill out and support his spunky daughter in her sporting endeavours, particularly when she probably has a hot body and wears a bikini.

7.45 p.m.
Found out that the surfinchiks have a chapter who meet at my local beach at 6 every morning during the school holidays. There is an open invitation to females of any age to turn up and be taught the basics of surfing (surfboard not required). You go girls. Who needs to be under Dad’s grimy masculine thumb, begging for crumbs from his overstuffed wallet while he grows grotesquely fat on the domestic slavery of his miserable female chattels (Germaine Greer, The Female Unicorn).

8.05 p.m.
Dad says he’s happy to get up at 5.30 a.m. to run me down to the
beach. Sexist swine.

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