The right way to rock Dee Why
By RITA BRATOVICH
From circus trapeze artist to children’s author: Nat Amoore talks to Neighbourhood Media about her eventful life, a love of books, and what she loves about Dee Why.
Nat Amoore only officially became a children’s author around three years ago but she already has a huge fan base and is garnering accolades locally and internationally. She has published three books: Secrets of A Schoolyard Millionaire, The Power of Positive Pranking, and The Right Way To Rock, and has a fourth in the works.
You might also recognise her voice as one of the three presenters of the wildly popular kid’s literature podcast, One More Page.
Nat and her partner moved to Dee Why around 18 months ago - just before COVID hit. It was lucky timing; they narrowly missed having to spend lockdown in a cramped apartment. Instead, they’re in a roomy house in an ideal location.
“Here, I’ve got my own office, we’ve got a huge 12 metre balcony, the beach is like a two minute walk away,” she said. Nat also loves being within walking distance of several shopping centres, the beach, parks, a swimming pool, great food outlets, and good coffee.
“Mary’s Cafe makes the best burgers in Dee Why, and when you buy a coffee you get a free mini muffin!” she declared. “And I also really like Charcoal Charlie’s - especially the soy honey wings.”
She loves how secluded Dee Why feels while still being accessible to the city.
“That B1 is just a breeze, like, it gets there, gets you back, runs all night, runs regularly. Like, it’s just really great! Honestly, I could not be more happy since I moved to Dee Why. I love everything about it.”
It would be fair to describe Nat’s life so far as amazing and unique. Her effervescent personality and imagination have been evident right from childhood.
“I think I’ve always been an entertainer and a storyteller and that has just kind of taken different forms. As a kid I wanted to be an actor, so I did a lot of acting as a kid. I had an agent when I was about 6 or something like that.”
After a few early screen credits Nat turned to the stage, performing in high school musicals and theatre productions.
At 18 she got a job with Club Med resorts. She left Australia and became a trapeze artist, then Entertainment Manager, then Sports and Entertainment Manager at several overseas locations.
After that, Nat studied film and TV which led to work on film sets, backstage at rock concerts, and as part of the broadcast crew at three Olympic Games.
In 2005, Nat was a contestant on the fifth season of the reality show, The Mole, filmed in New Zealand.
“As well as all these really interesting jobs I’ve then also had all these chunky, interesting experiences in between,” she said. That includes having spent three months living on a boat and sailing through the Caribbean. “I feel very settled now, comparatively.”
Nat has always been a keen reader and knew she’d eventually write.
Her original pitch to publishers was for a fantasy novel; while none were interested in that genre, most were impressed with her writing style and she was asked to submit another pitch.
“And so that’s what I did and it became Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire,” she explained. Several publishers were interested, but she got the best vibe from Penguin.
“When I met with Penguin it just was… it just felt right… I feel like I belong there as an author. They’re really fun and they’re a bit outrageous, and it just sort of felt like a good fit.”
Nat’s writing is chatty and cheeky. Her larrikin personality is in every word. Her unique ideas are a hybrid of many different sources: things she might hear or read that eventually coagulate into a narrative.
“Like with Millionaire, I read an article in the newspaper - like, a really small article about a girl in the US who’d been busted with twenty grand in her locker. Like, a kid in primary school! But it didn’t say anything about where the money had come from, just that they’re investigating further. And that sort of stuck in my head,” she explained. An article about gender expectations and some general observations got thrown into the mix and, voilà!
“And then I steal my characters from people that I know. Like almost everybody in my books is based at least a little bit on someone I know.”
A born entertainer, Nat choreographed and performed a dance routine with a troupe of young dancers for the launch of her most recent title, The Right Way To Rock. She has also released a promotional video with a song co-written with Josh Pike.
If you live in Dee Why there’s a good chance you’ll bump into her.
“When we’re not in lockdown, I spend a lot of time writing in cafes and the Dee Why library, you know, I like to get out and write in different places around Dee Why.”
Book titles Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire, The Power of Positive Pranking, The Right Way To Rock and Total Quack Up Again (anthology) are all published by Penguin and available from major booksellers.