Q&A with Cally Black

As a part of our #LoveOzYA Month, we have the spectacular Cally Black here to talk all about the books she’s looking forward to reading, why she loves the #LoveOzYA community, and what sci-fi books she recommends! In the Dark Spaces was one of our favourite #LoveOzYA sci-fi books of the year, so we’re super excited to have Cally answer a few of our questions!

The YA Room Logo 2500x2500

What do you love most about the #LoveOzYA community?

I love that the #LoveOzYA community is so inclusive. I just dabbled a little toe in the water by going to Reading Matters and Vicki Wakefield said, ‘Come meet everyone.’ And just like that… I’m part of this group of people who love Aus YA. And I love that we’e all totally obsessed with books.

We couldn’t agree more! Everyone in the #LoveOzYA community is so welcoming and supportive.

Speaking of lovely authors such as Vikki Wakefield, if you could write a book with any other Aussie author, who would you choose and in which genre would you like to write?

Oh no! What a question. I’d like to spy on Margo Lanagan writing, but I think I’d get in her way, so perhaps Amie Kaufman? She has so much knowledge about YA fiction and what works and how to make writing a priority and get it done professionally. She’s a powerhouse of knowledge, that woman, and so lovely and generous.

Amie definitely is! We’d both gladly write a book with her. Or… maybe just let her write it? She’s incredible.

What were some of the most influential Aussie books you read as a teen?

At the risk of sounding unAustralian, I’m from NZ. I’ve applied though… so one day soon. I spent my early teenage years on long bus commutes to high school, which allowed me to read a lot, and my later teens working and not reading at all. The only downunder writer I can remember is Margaret Mahy, I just remember the sense of menace always lingering in her YA being quietly terrifying.

No way! Cally, you’re officially stripped of your #LoveOzYA membership… just kidding! We love you. Please stay. You’re definitely Aussie now.

As In the Dark Spaces is a science fiction, what are some of your other favourite #LoveOzYA sci-fi books?

I loved Gemina. I was excited by Illuminae, that something so different could get out there, and I love that patchwork style where the reader becomes active in putting together the clues, but I think with Gemina, it was as if everyone understood, and Amie and Jay were allowed more creative freedom, and the result is outstanding. Orphancorp also was so good. I love anything that explores the future. Black Out by Michael Pryor about life after an EMP event. John Marsden’s Tomorrow series. Brian Faulkner’s That Stubborn Seed of Hope. It’s very hard to stick with just science fiction. I read really widely.

Excellent choices! We’re eagerly awaiting the third book in the Illuminae series – Obsideo. And Brian Faulkner’s new book is on our TBRs too!

Speaking of new releases, which upcoming #LoveOzYA novels are you most excited to read?

Obsidio (of course!) and anything by Vicki Wakefield, Cath Crowley, Glenda Millard, Brian Falkner, Margo Lanagan… and there’s a few debuts I’m interested in. Sarah Epstein’s Small Spaces (we’re all about the spaces), Rhiannon Williams’ Little Ott Colter, and Dee White’s Beyond Belief about Jewish youngsters hiding with Muslims in Paris during the war. You can see I can’t pick one. Why pick one when you can read them ALL!

Agreed! Just give us ALLLL THE BOOKS.

Thank you so much, Cally!


CallyCally Black is a writer, a reader, a teacher and a traveller, currently residing in Melbourne. Cally won the Ampersand Prize for her YA Novel, In the Dark Spaces which hit the shelves in August 2017. She is a graduate of Clarion South and also writes for children under the name Bren MacDibble.


Graphics sourced from Winged Graphics, GraphicsDish, Dainty Doll ArtCarousellerie Creative, OpiaDesigns, and ArtCreationsDesign.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s