MOUNT Eliza author Gaby Chase (above) has penned a coming-of-age story that places an unusual emphasis on cooking and ambition, helping it resonate with the target audience of young readers, as well as their parents.
Chase says the story, Joe Turns Pro, is about the importance of finding your true passion.
“I love the story of Billy Elliott and wanted to write an equally inspiring story about an average kid with no obvious talent and how he goes about finding something he’s good at and that he loves – discovering his passion,” she says.
“In my experience, it involves a lot of trial and error, mostly error, until something sticks.”
Chase says the narrative also quietly explores unhealthy relationships with food and generational obesity.
“Gradually, Joe takes his family on his food journey with him and through this they find a healthier relationship with each other,” she said.
First and foremost, Joe Turns Pro, is a feel-good story that kids can enjoy and relate to, with an underlying message that while you may not know what you want at first, if you try and mess around long enough, eventually you’ll find the things you like.
Chase says some children are born with clear talents, which are then nurtured by the supportive people around them.
But she wanted to write about young people who take a little longer to develop their strengths and demonstrate their talents?
“What about normal kids who don’t have all the right supports,” she said.
Joe Turns Pro is for kids trying to find their moment to shine.
Joe Turns Pro began as a screenplay that won the prestigious Final Break Family category in 2020. It was the contest’s biggest year ever with 13,000 entries, which made the win all the more special.
Chase writes screenplays and novels for adults and older children.
“Writing novels provides freedom to explore the inner workings of character. I’ve always loved writing, but when I decided to go all out, like Joe, I quickly found out it takes practice,” Chase said.
“Lots of practice. But after a few books, I really feel like I’m finding my bearings.
Joe Turns Pro follows Joe as he searches for ways to earn some quick cash so he can attend a tenpin bowling tournament.
The high school cooking contest has a cash prize of $5,000, and although he’s never cooked before, he gives it a shot.
With the help of a teacher, Joe discovers that he’s actually pretty good at cooking, and more importantly, he loves everything.
Gradually Joe takes his family on his food journey with him and through this they find a healthier relationship with each other. First and foremost, Joe Turns Pro, has the underlying message of “try it” and if you mess around long enough you will eventually find the things you love.
First published in the Mornington News – July 5, 2022