Born and raised in Sydney’s West to Lebanese immigrant parents, Alex Sarkis started writing stories of her own in her early twenties. For the past ten years, it’s been her enduring dream to be a writer and to produce good work that her readers will love. Today, she released her FIRST book “Something Blue.”
“Something Blue” surrounds Nicole Najim, a twenty-six-year-old struggling to find herself after a painful breakup. Working a dead-end job in the family car dealership, she picks up her camera and returns to the melting pot of Sydney’s West to rediscover her roots. Now, Nicole must weigh her feelings against her deepest fears, all while chasing her own dreams and capturing hidden truths. All in all, this is a story about loving home and leaving home, but never escaping your roots (or your footy colours).
Exclusively for QBD Blog readers, we talked to Alex about her writing process, story inspiration, and more! Let’s dive in:
Congratulations on your debut! How did you find the process of creating your first book?
Thank you! I first started writing Something Blue as a hobby, so I really took my time with it and enjoyed the entire process. I just wanted to write something from the heart, and I hope that readers are able to feel that on the page.
What was your inspiration behind “Something Blue”?
My main inspiration has always been the wild and wonderful landscape of my hometown, Sydney. I’ve always felt that Sydney has so much untapped potential in terms of story-telling – so many interesting characters and places that deserve to be written about. But I also wanted to write a story that was universal; that deals with themes of love and loss and that almost anyone can relate to.
This novel has a wonderful rich setting in Western Sydney. Why was it important to shine a spotlight on your community?
Western Sydney, to me, is one of the most vibrant, interesting places on earth. The Lebanese community in particular are a massive part of that – and while we already get quite a lot of spotlight, it was important to me to write a story that was authentic and heartfelt, and that shows what it’s really like being young and Lebanese in Sydney.
Your protagonist Nicole discovers a passion for photography – do you have any similar hobbies?
Writing used to be my main hobby – thankfully it’s now my job! Other hobbies include drinking tea and staring at my phone
If this novel had a theme song/soundtrack, which song would that be and why?
Great question! There are so many song mentions in Something Blue, I think it’d need a whole playlist, but if I had to choose just one, it’d probably be Bachelor Girl’s Buses and Trains.
What is your favourite book / What are you currently reading?
My favourite book at the moment is Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe. I also really love Sarah Winman’s Still Life, and for a bit of a throwback… Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals – a classic!