If Amy Schumer and Rebel Wilson had a love child, you’d get Tanya Hennessy; comedian, radio announcer and social media sensation. Hailing from Newcastle and now living in Sydney, she’s high-energy, warm, loveable, and a hugely successful stand-up comedian, with well over a million followers on social media. It’s safe to say, the spotlight follows Tanya Hennessy wherever she goes.
Along the way, Tanya has found herself – much to her surprise – being seen as an inspiration to young girls. She’s known as the ‘fun auntie’ to her friends’ kids and is passionate about building self-confidence in girls.
Last year Tanya released Drum Roll Please, It’s Stevie Louise – her breakout junior fiction starring twelve-year-old Stevie, a young female entrepreneur. Stevie is confident on the outside, but inside, she’s a little bit shy. Drum Roll Please debuted at #8 in Australia and rocketed to bestseller status over the course of 2021, with kids and parents all over the country writing to Tanya and taking selfies with the book. Over three hundred kids even dressed up as Stevie for Book Week!
This year, loveable Stevie is back in Spotlight Please, It’s Stevie Louise! But this time around, Tanya was keen to have Stevie’s friend Alex, a young queer kid, be the star of the show. This hilarious new adventure is gloriously warm, funny and relatable, characteristics you could similarly attribute to the author herself.
“I love writing for kids,” says Tanya. “I found my voice. Kids will tell you if they hate something: they are super honest. But they read Stevie multiple times, and they each saw themselves in the different characters.
“You never know what people are looking for, when it comes to being creative. You can’t evaluate creativity, and you can’t control the outcome – so you just have to keep doing what you’re doing. Be you, and make things that are authentic to you – that’s what I hope kids take away from this book.”
Spotlight Please… It’s Stevie Louise published by Allen & Unwin