Ask an Author Anything | Q&A

YA Day is coming up fast! We couldn’t be more excited for our #LoveOzYA-filled day, which comprises of five panels and 15 incredible authors! There’ll also be games with prizes up for grabs, and The Younger Sun will be our bookseller for the day.

In the lead up to our most anticipated event of the year, we’ll be sharing little Q&As with the attending authors to get a little sneak peek at what they might be talking about on the day. How exciting! And if you haven’t booked your ticket yet, places are going fast – reserve your spot here so you don’t miss out.

First up we have Michael Earp, Katya de Becerra, and Alison Evans from our ‘Ask an Author Anything’ panel sharing their tips and advice for all aspiring authors! Check it out!

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Highway Bodies | COVER REVEAL

It’s finally time to reveal the stunning cover for Highway Bodies! It’s been so hard keeping how gorgeous this cover is a secret, but finally you can all feast your eyes upon it! We’re so excited to get a copy of Highway Bodies, and devour it, and then put in on our shelves along with Ida – and every other book that Alison blesses the world with!

Congrats again, Alison! We’re so happy for you and we can’t wait for Highway Bodies to be out in the world. Everyone, make sure you go ahead and preorder your copy so you can read it as soon as it’s out!

Highway Bodies hi res

Bodies on the TV, explosions, barriers, and people fleeing. No access to social media. And a dad who’ll suddenly bite your head off – literally. These teens have to learn a new resilience…

Members of a band wield weapons instead of instruments. 

A pair of siblings find there’s only so much you can joke about, when the menace is this strong.

And a couple find depth among the chaos.

Highway Bodies is a unique zombie apocalypse story featuring a range of queer and gender non-conforming teens who have lost their families and friends and can only rely upon each other.

Preorder your copy:

Allen & UnwinDymocksReadingsBooktopiaBook Depository

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Q&A with Emily Gale

As a part of our series of #LoveOzYA interviews for #LoveOzYA Month, today we have a lovely Q&A with Emily Gale to share with you! We adored her most recent release, The Other Side of Summer, and we can’t wait to get our hands on what she publishes next! We hope you enjoy this interview!

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The Other Side Of Summer is such a gorgeous read. How did you go about publishing it? Did you face any difficulties?

It wasn’t written to contract but I was hoping that Penguin Random House, who published my first Australian novel, Steal My Sunshine, would be interested. That said, I was gobsmacked by their enthusiasm for it. The Other Side of Summer is the most personal book I’ve written so everything that’s happened with it, good and bad, has affected me deeply. The support from my publisher has been wonderful, from superb editorial work to a commitment to publish its sister-book, which is coming next year. Previously I’ve had to be very persistent and take a lot of rejection to get a novel published, but this book was my lucky star.Read More »

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!

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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.Read More »

Q&A with Mark Smith

Today we have another excellent #LoveOzYA interview with an author we love – Mark Smith! Read all about his recent YA release, how he writes, and what some of his favourite #LoveOzYA novels are. We hope you enjoy!

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We loved you novel, The Road To Winter, and it’s sequel. Why did you decide to focus your novel on such a serious topic?

I didn’t really set out to write a serious book. First and foremost I wanted to tell a gripping story because, as a reader, that’s what I look for in fiction. The development of the characters in the dystopian setting I create allows me to explore some deeper issues around violence, the treatment of asylum seekers and climate change. Being an educator, I know one of the best ways of engaging young people in an issue is to personalise it – create characters they feel a deep empathy for, then look at the way they deal with conflict, cruelty and a changed world. Younger readers will relate to them by putting themselves in the characters’ shoes and thinking about how they would deal with such a situation.

What type of research did you have to undertake to ensure that your novels were received well?

I work principally with fifteen year old boys, many of them reluctant readers. So I began by surveying them about their reading habits and putting together a list of what they look for in a novel. Not surprisingly, they wanted suspense, humour, a twist (or three), unpredictability, mystery, a deeper story, thrills, action, a strong climax and not too much description. I added strong female characters, a sixteen year old protagonist and a blooming romance – and I had the framing for the Winter series.Read More »

Q&A with Sarah Epstein

Sarah Epstein’s Small Spaces is one of the #LoveOzYA debuts coming out next year that we can’t wait to get our hands on, so we couldn’t resist asking her a few questions for our #LoveOzYA Month to learn more about it! This is an interview you don’t want to miss – and you’ll be adding a ton of awesome #LoveOzYA novels to your TBR as well!

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We’re so excited that your debut YA novel, Small Spaces, is being released next year! What was your path to publication like?

Thank you! I’m so excited too! I’d like to say my path to publication was relatively straightforward, but the truth is it took several years of submitting three different manuscripts to agents and editors before Small Spaces found a home. I started writing YA around a decade ago and it took me a few years to finish my first manuscript because I was bringing up babies and running a small business at the same time. I ended up shelving that manuscript after its first round of submissions because I realised it had a couple of major plot issues. But my second manuscript snagged me a US agent and was shopped around to US publishers for the best part of a year, resulting in a disappointingly close call at acquisitions and loads of rejections. I’d started writing Small Spaces by that stage, but ended up parting ways with my agent. It was a really challenging time because I felt like I’d tumbled to the bottom of the heap again, and I really had to pick myself up and keep going. Nicola, my editor from Walker Books, stumbled across my website after I’d just started querying Small Spaces, and after reading a short synopsis on my site, she requested my manuscript the same day. From there it took another nine months of back and forth with Walker, including another revision of the manuscript, before I was offered a contract.Read More »

Q&A with Cait Drews (AKA Paper Fury)

Hello again, everyone! Today we have a very special Q&A with Cait AKA Paper Fury AKA C.G. Drews! ALL THREE OF THEM. They might all be the same person, but that’s highly unlikely considering Cait is the queen of Twitter and Instagram and blogging and she’s an author so… I reckon she’s actually multiple beings ruling over different dominions.

Ever since we heard that Cait’s debut novel is being published, we haven’t stopped squealing about it! We’re so happy for her, and as a #LoveOzYA author, we just had to ask her a few questions for our #LoveOzYA Month! We hope you enjoy!

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If you had to describe yourself by naming three bookish characters, which characters would you choose?

Ooh I love this question! So I’d love to say Cath from Fangirl who is a writer and huge booknerd, and Sean Kendrick from The Scorpio Races who is quiet and probably likes magical creatures better than anything else, and also Lazlo Strange from Strange The Dreamer who fell into a book and can’t get up.

Ooh such great choices! As bloggers and readers, all of us must have a piece of Cath within us. And yes, we can definitely relate to falling into a book and not being able to get up.

As a blogger and a writer, what does #LoveOzYA mean to you? Why is it important?  

It’s important to me because it’s my country and people! As a bookworm, my life is pretty flooded with American and British books, so it’s always super amazing to read a book that has Aussie slang and culture and humour woven into it, and I hope to do that with my writing too.Read More »