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Youth Profile - Rachel De Kock

17-YEAR-OLD Alice Springs student Rachel De Kock took out the title at this year’s Young Territory Author Awards for her story Spring and His Flower. We asked the talented young writer to answer a few questions.

Congrats on your win. Tell us about Spring and His Flower!
The story is about a young Flower and the four seasons personified as people. Flower and Spring share a deep connection, but their life together is cut short when Spring has to leave. Flower interacts with the other seasons and begins to understand different emotions and grows wiser in the ways of life. As character is built and relationships are made, Flower must withstand the different conditions she is exposed to by each season, both physically and emotionally, to be able to see Spring again.

What was the inspiration behind it?
It came from a pensive moment I had as I sat listening to the wind and noticed it has many different voices – gentle in spring, sluggish in summer, howling in autumn and in winter, there’s a lull. And that made me think, if the wind had different voices, then what about the seasons? What would they sound like? Who would they be?

How did you feel when you found out you’d won?
I honestly thought the judges misread and that it was a mistake. I felt that at any moment the presenters would apologise and say that someone else actually won. I was stunned and it took me a few seconds to get up from my seat. I can only say the wonderful surprise took my breath away!

Is writing something you want to do when you ‘grow up’?
Yes, I most certainly want to become a writer and get my books published. When I come up with a new story and new characters, I begin to feel like I know the people I’m writing about. They are all a part of me and I feel that they must have their story told.

What is your favourite book or favourite author and why?
One of my favourites is Neil Gaiman. The first book of his that I read was Coraline and I finished it in two days. The way he relates to his characters is inspiring and his writing style is so poetic. He embeds messages conveying deeper meanings in his stories and that is an aspect I really love!


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