Listen: Sam Robinson talks to former triple j host Alex Dyson
Alex Dyson has been entertaining audiences for years —from the national Breakfast show on triple j, to leading self-isolation ZOOMba classes. But now he’s just conquered a new feat, a novel for young adults, When It Drops.
After finishing up hosting triple j Breakfast alongside fellow author Matt Okine, Alex took a ‘gap year’ at the ripe old age of 28 to travel the world and start writing his first book, which has just hit bookstores, three years on. As he told Sam Robinson on Hope Breakfast, Alex wrote the chapter outline in Mongolia and, some time later, hit somewhat of a literal speed bump when it came to submitting his final draft, while on safari in the Okavango Delta in Botswana.
‘I had no wi-fi and the draft wasn’t finished…My little iPad keyboard that I was using, when we were driving back from a day of taking photos of animals, we went over a bump in the Jeep — it flew out the window unbeknown to me, because it was charging on the shelf. Got back to the camp that night and I had no keyboard to finish my book. I asked the guide if we could go back and find it and he told me the hyenas had probably eaten it! We tried driving back the next day, and suddenly like the sword in the stone, this keyboard in the sand of the tyre tracks was there and I got it and I could finish the book!’
Got back to the camp that night and I had no keyboard to finish my book. I asked the guide if we could go back and find it and he told me the hyenas had probably eaten it!
Though an internationally-written book, When It Drops focuses on a 16-year-old Australian kid named Caleb who loves making music in his bedroom. Inspired by his time hosting triple j Breakfast, Alex would often meet and interview young musicians who would then race off to school. He realised that while many artists dream of becoming rich and famous, there’s always downsides and hardships along the way too. Alex hopes that teenage boys especially will be able to relate to his both funny and touching novel.
“I found teenagers need the most help — at least that was my experience. When you’re a teenager you think you know what’s going on, but you don’t. And you’re worried about what people think of you…It is a time when you’re trying to think things out.”
Listen to more of the story behind When It Drops in the player above.
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When It Drops by Alex Dyson is out now.