We’re so thrilled to have this Q&A with Aussie reviewer, Annie McCann! Annie created Read3r’s Re-Vu to help bring readers together, and her determination and hard-work has been such an integral part of the Aussie bookish community. It was great to be able to ask her a few questions!
I’m Annie McCann, the founder and head co-ordinator of a network of readers called Read3r’z Re-Vu. I created this network (name and all) at the end of 2008 and launched in 2009 and still running! I host sessions once a month with a prescribed theme not book so we can have a wide range of reviews to endorse wide reading. To help drive the network I have a committee that work with me to keep it alive: NJ, Meredith and Sarah.
Over the years we have had Aussie YA authors join us as special guests and have also had the pleasure of hosting exclusive high teas with them too. It means so much to me to have Aussie YA authors part of Read3r’z Re-Vu as they play such an important role in the Australian book industry. I’m an advocate of supporting local talent so having them part of this network supports the fabulous work they do and enables our members to mingle with the brilliant minds behind our favourite reads!!
To capture recommended readings, I created the Read3r’z Re-Vu blog which was nominated in the Bupa Blog Awards 2017. It’s a space where the committee and I blog our reading recommendations.
Why did you feel it was important to create a network for readers?
Creating the network was a means of bringing people together from all walks of life over a common bond – our passion for reading. Whilst online forums and chats are fantastic, I felt setting a couple of hours aside per month for everyone to come together to talk about their reading recommendations and enjoy activities would be a lot of fun and a very positive thing to do. Through Read3r’z Re-Vu I have made such strong and lasting friendships with members and 8 years later, I am still very dedicated to running this network as I feel this is more than just a book club. It’s a network of readers and a community engagement initiative. A positive influence within the community in promoting wide reading, supporting the talent behind the books, opportunities to meet authors face to face and learn about their writing journey as well as do something for the community.
We couldn’t agree more! Getting to know other readers is always so wonderful, and the community you’ve created is such a fantastic part of the Australian bookish scene.
What do you love most about the #LoveOzYA community?
The fact that it is a community!!! Readers of all races, faiths and ages sharing a common passion for reading and our favourite genre being YA. With it, #LoveOzYA supports Australian authors which I strongly believe is very important. Australia has a lot of talent that needs to be recognised, supported and promoted.. Read Local!!!
What are your top three #LoveOzYA novels of all time?
I hate being asked this question as it is incredibly difficult to narrow it down to only 3 after reading a lot of fantastic #LoveOzYA books!! lol But to narrow it down, I will choose books that have resonated with me.
Hate is Such a Strong Word by Sarah Ayoub: this book demonstrates what it’s like for youths to be trapped between 2 cultures and how they deal with it to overcome obstacles. I related so much to the main character as I’ve felt the same in being trapped between 2 cultures and having to justify your every move to a cultural community. It was such a great story!!
Risk by Fleur Ferris: I strongly believe every teen and parent needs to read this book. Living in an age of technology, this book explores the dangers of chatting to strangers online. I love how the story is so raw and confronting, even police details are so accurate, the story felt so real and I did have an emotional reaction to it. Not for the faint hearted but an important story nonetheless!!
When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah: A story I call the next “Looking for Alibrandi”. An important story that explores current hot topics such as Islamaphobia and Refugees and drives a powerful message that a lot of the fear we see stems either from ignorance or is fuelled by media propaganda but it only takes one to listen openly, one to dig a little bit deeper and do their own research to reach mutual respect and understanding. It also demonstrates that not everyone is tainted with the same brush – a minority do not represent the majority.
Those are such excellent choices! I have Hate is Such a Strong Word on my TBR and I’m looking forward to reading it soon. It sounds phenomenal!
What upcoming #LoveOzYA releases are you most excited for?
Tin Heart by Shivaun Plozza and Graevale by Lynette Noni that I can think of at the moment but I’m sure I will be fangirling over more as I hear about more upcoming releases!!
GREAT CHOICES! We need both of those books ASAP. 2018 is going to be such a great year for #LoveOzYA releases, we can already feel it.
If you had the power to make two Aussie authors write a book together (who haven’t already done so), which two Aussie authors would you like to see collaborate?
That’s a very good question!!! I’m thinking Jay Kristoff and Fleur Ferris to combine fantasy fiction and crime thriller YA!!!
Thank you, Annie!