Monthly Archives: August 2010

William Kostakis and live TV

Firstly, a big shout out to the students of Thornbury High School in Melbourne, I kicked off my Get Reading tour at their school yesterday, had a blast

This morning, I descended on Hyde Park for a day of shameless self-promotion which included a brief appearance on The Circle with lovely ladies, Gabrielle Williams (YA author, made of awesome), Judy Nunn (author, formerly the father-killing Ailsa of Home And Away fame, awesome) and Malla Nunn (crime writer, also awesome). I’ve embedded the footage a little later in the post. 

But before that: Awkward Author Encounter #36,521 

William: [approaching, wrapping earphone cord around iPod] Hi. I’m William 

Judy Nunn: Hello, William. Are you here to wire me up for sound? 

Producer: No, Judy, this is William Kostakis, an author. 

Judy Nunn: Oh, I’m so sorry, William, I really loved The Slap… 

Producer: No… that’s Christos Tsiolkas… 

[insert five minutes of laughter here

Momentary mistaken identity aside, we all had a great time. I picked up Gabrielle’s Beatle Meets Destiny – halfway through telling me what it was about, she had me won over, and having started it, I love it. 

Imagine your name is John Lennon, only everyone calls you Beatle. And then you meet your Dream girl and her name is Destiny McCartney. But what if you’re already with the perfect girl? 

I look forward to reading both Malla and Judy’s novels as well over the course of the Get Reading month… and at this rate, if I keep meeting selected authors, I’m going to have to read all fifty… 


I mean, it always arches like crazy whenever it’s in front of a camera, but I’ve never seen it up that high before. It must’ve sensed the hi-def/live-ness of the broadcast and seriously upped its game. Meanwhile, my left leg was trembling like crazy, so poor Malla had me kicking her under the table. 

And lol @ my friend Bocca, sitting in frame for most of the intro, reading Loathing Lola. What else are friends for?


Loathing Lola has been selected as one of Get Reading!’s 50 Books You Can’t Put Down. What does this mean? Well, one, it means I’m touring Australia until the end of September, and two, when you buy one of the 50 books listed in the guide before September 30, you’ll receive a FREE book exclusive to Get Reading!: either 10 Short Stories You Must Read in 2010 by ten of Australia’s best writers or Tickled Onions by the award-winning children’s author Morris Gleitzmen.

I’ll put up details soon. I’m hopping between Melbourne and Sydney this week. You can catch me all day at Hyde Park in Sydney, at the Get Reading! outdoor reading room. I’ll be the writer in residence, and, more importantly, there’ll be free WiFi and a barrista. On the weekend, I’ll be visiting a few Melbourne book stores :-).

The first 50 pages of Loathing Lola are now available for FREE online. Click here.

You can buy Loathing Lola with the free Get Reading book by clicking here.

(One of my personal faves, Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell is also on the list – click here to check it out)

Now I’ve been hit by a car [Part Two]

Okay, first thing I have to do en route to the medical centre: text Mum. She works a few buildings away and is generally good in these kinds of situations. I tried to play down the whole getting-hit-by-a-car thing, which is a lot harder than it sounds. I reckon I do pretty well:

Hey Mum, it’s William. I was wondering if you could come down to the medical centre. I kind of got hit by a car. Nothing serious.

Mum obviously takes this to mean: “Holy shitballz, my son is dying”. While she’s in the process of freaking everyone out at her work, I’m beginning to realise that the Blonde is a terrible driver. Like, horrible. You’d think, her hitting me with her car would’ve alerted me to this fact, but no. I had to step inside her car and agree to let her drive me somewhere to realise it.

I should’ve cut my losses and just rolled down the hill to the medical centre, or better yet, taken up one of the witnesses who had cars’ offers to drive me to the medical centre, you know, the people who HADN’T JUST WHACKED ME WITH THEIR CARS.

But I was still in shock, so my judgement was a tad bit off…

Anyway, Mum calls. I look down at my phone.

Blonde: Who zat? Ze police?

I ignore her and answer.

Mum: What happened?

I tell her, in Greek obviously. I don’t want the driver hearing all the horribly colourful things I have to say about her.

Mum: What’s her name? Find out her name.

I clear my throat and opt for English. “Excuse me, sorry, what’s your name?”

Blonde: Olympia.


I tell Mum.

Mum: What? You couldn’t tell she was Greek?

By this point, Olympia’s driven to Bondi Junction via Bangkok, but a series of no right turns delay our arrival. Mum’s there first. She preps the front desk for the arrival of “her son, who was just motored down by a wreckless driver”. So obviously, it’s a bit anti-climatic when I limp in with a scrape down one calf. I still get to skip the queue, so, win.

There’s a lot of lying down, some ice, some reflex tests, more lying down, more ice, and a thinly-veiled attempt to get out of an essay:

William: I have an essay due on Friday. Can you write me a note?

Doctor: I’m prescribing you to do nothing but sit down for a few days. Will that prohibit you from writing your essay?

William: If I say, “Yes,” would you believe me?

The doctor tells me I’ll need to keep off my leg for a few hours and Mum, fresh from making Olympia feel like absolute shit in the waiting room, comes in to offer to have me crash in her staffroom at work. I give the doctor a look that asks for mercy.

He doesn’t give it, and agrees this’d probably be wise. Mum works at a skin and vein clinic, so, naturally, she has an army of exceptionally qualified doctors checking my blood pressure and performing a whole range of tests. After a few hours of prodding and twisting, they reach the conclusion that I’m not dying.

If Mum’s overreaction, resulting in my sitting in my gym clothes being prodded and poked for the better part of three hours wasn’t embarrassing enough, the staffroom I was being prodded and poked in was also somebody’s office. Somebody I had asked out a few months prior. Somebody who, when I asked her if she’d like to go grab a movie some time, replied with, “I don’t think my boyfriend would like that very much,” and never texted again.

Awkward to the power of a bajillion.

Why I love getting hit by a car [Part One]

I drink because of all the bad stuff in my life, but it’s not some horrible coping mechanism.

See, I’ve always said, good stuff happens to me so that I have something to toast (so long as you have something to toast every time you drink, you’re not an alcoholic, so sayeth the self-help books I read for lulz). I also say that bad stuff happens to me so that I have something to write about. Eventually those written somethings become stories, which eventually become published, and eventually need to be toasted on Saturday nights out with friends.

That’s a roundabout way of saying I live for the bad stuff, I celebrate it because, as much as I dislike it, my livelihood depends on it. I’m always inspired by the bad stuff, far more than the happy, life-is-wonderful stuff.

You know you’re a writer when you get hit by a car and the first thing you think of is: this’d make a great short story.

So I’m there, standing in the middle of the road, looking back at the idiot woman who’s just hit me (I’m not sexist or smartist, I just make astute observations based on fact, and this person was both an idiot and a woman), and I’m already considering which novel it’d best fit in to.

Instinct says Courtney – I’ve trained my creative mind to assign a life experience to Courtney, I’ve been writing her for most of my life – but I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like a Courtney moment. I mentally browse my character rollerdex… Katie could work, I could probably run a joke about her giving the bonnet STIs into the ground… Danny Rooke, maybe, but this new book’s overstuffed with experience as it is… A new character is forming in my head now, a kid that got hit by the car, and from that incident, a whole chain of events is piling up, one on top of the other, as two seconds of car impact lead to an entire novel and… and…

And I remember I’m William Kostakis, and I’ve just been hit by a car. For real.

Now, it’s not as dramatic as it sounds. I always say “hit by a car” because people immediately imagine the full Hollywood roll-over-the-top thing and start doting over me, but no, it was the most epically anti-climactic car-hit ever.

To set the scene, I’m going to get all Agatha Christie diagramatic (is that a word?) on y’all and call upon my mad Paint illustrative skills:

I was just minding my own business, crossing (legally, mind you, the little man was green), when a woman performing a right-hand turn, performs that turn before I’ve finished to cross. Now, as is usually the case at this intersection, I thought she’d turn and stop and wait for me to finish crossing, but as Illustration #2 will demonstrate, she did not.

So, she’s half a metre away and I’m close enough to realise: A). She’s on her mobile; and B). She’s not stopping. I’m halfway through the lane she’s turning into, so, either I jump forward, or back, but either way, I’mma gunna get hit. So, I run forward, I figure, I can get more of me forward than I can back. She clips one of my legs and drags me a metre or so, nice and slowly, so I can look right through the windshield and ask, “What the fuck?”

As she continued up the street for a bit before pulling over, I continued to ask, “What the fuck?” to no-one in particular, standing in the middle of the road, looking at my reddening calf muscle, before limping to where she pulled over. At this point, people in other cars are asking if I’m okay, and calling out their numbers so that I have witnesses (insurance claim FTW).

Eventually, the woman (read: my ruthless attacker) steps out of the car.

‘Oh, mister, are you okay? What can I do? What can I do? I will do anything to help, mister.’

She’s six foot, bronzed, blonde, foreign, and asking if I need assistance. It seems I’ve not only been hit by a car, but I’ve also accidentally stumbled into the first scene of a porno.

‘Why you jump in front of my car?’ she asks.

‘I’m sorry, what?’ I’ve stopped imagining the porno .MIDI backing track.

‘He was crossing, you were on your phone, I saw you.’ Someone calls out from a neighbouring car.

‘No, I was not,’ she protests.

I muster, ‘Yeah, you were. I saw you.’

Her (amazing) reply, ‘No, was not. I was just holding it up, not speaking.’

It gets even better.

‘The sun… it was in my eyes,’ she says.

‘You’re wearing sunglasses,’ I say.

A woman who parked opposite us asks if I need a lift to the hospital.

Ruthless Amazonian driver, ‘No! I take him.’

I thank the random woman across the road for her offer, and tell the daft Amazonian to take me to the medical centre down the road. She opens the passenger door for me and makes room. I slip inside and