Today we have a piece by Verity about her #LoveOzYA novel, May Day Mine! Although we haven’t read this one yet, we’re eager to pick it up soon – maybe even for one of the squares on our Bingo Challenge!
Thank you, Verity!
Even though May Day Mine is published by Harmony Ink Press in the US, it is a #LoveOzYA title as the author, me, is Australian, and the book is set in Australia, based on the Beaconsfield mine disaster. I was inspired by the event to create a fictional account, with a fictional family, as I was trying to imagine what it would have been like to live in that small town at that time. I started writing it ages ago, and spent a lot of time on it during my Master of Arts in Creative Writing course at the University of Tasmania. The other students in the class and the tutor gave me lots of helpful input to try to bring my fictional family to life. I didn’t want it to be a realistic version of exactly what happened, as I felt a responsibility to the real families who were involved and I didn’t want to upset them. So I changed the number of men who died in the rock fall, and changed the number of men trapped, so no one character would represent a real person.Read More »
Now we have a very exciting post about #LoveOzYA and Instagram by Margot McGovern! We love her discussion about why Instagram is important, and how to make your bookstagram shine!
Thank you, Margot!
I’m a YA reader and author and also an Instagram tragic (@project_lectito). When I’m not reading or writing, chances are I’m either taking bookish snaps or ogling gorgeous pics from other bookstagrammers. I’m particularly addicted to the #LoveOzYA hashtag. It warms my heart to see so many thousands of images celebrating local stories.
One of the reasons I write YA is because of the Australian YA I read growing up. I read a lot of books from overseas too—Fear Street and Point Horror mostly—but it’s the Aussie stories, stories by John Marsden, Melina Marchetta, Gillian Rubinstein and Robin Klein (to name a few), that have stayed with me. I loved that these stories take place in a recognisable landscape and spoke to my experience as a young Australian. They made me feel that the action was happening here as well as overseas, and that my story mattered just as much as those of teenagers in other countries. Read More »
Today we have another excellent post for our #LoveOzYA Month, this time by Andrew Jaxson! Andrew shared all the ways in which Australia scares us, and how this makes for great novels. We couldn’t agree more!
Thank you, Andrew!
To plagiarise Douglas Adams, Australia is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.
It’s this vastness, this unknowable, beautiful, terrifying scale that has infused so many Australian stories.
Australian YA doesn’t exist in a vacuum – our work is guided and inspired by work of all genres, from all times – and in Australia our national stories have an extraordinary heritage. We live in a country that has shaped one of the oldest cultural histories in the world, where Indigenous oral tradition connects the landscape to spirituality, family, identity, darkness and beauty. It’s one of the reasons I chose to start the prequel to the Unseen series, The Dark Unseen, with a reference to one of these stories. Our narratives are inextricably linked with our landscape. It shapes our voices.Read More »
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!
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 »
In this post for #LoveOzYA Month, Charlotte shares five reasons why you should read #LoveOzYA! We couldn’t agree more with this, and if there’s someone in your life you think should read more #LoveOzYA, show them this piece!
Thank you, Charlotte! There are so many great reasons to read #LoveOzYa. From spreading the word around the globe, to reading unique voices from this country, Australian literature is just dying to be read. My name is Charlotte, and in this guest post I am going to be sharing 5 reasons why you should read Australian young adult books. Get ready to run immediately to your nearest bookstore!
1) Spreads the Love of Oz YA Books Around the Globe
Reviewing Oz young adult books online gives international readers an insight into Australian books. As Australia has a fairly small population, we need the support from other countries to ensure our stories are heard everywhere.
In order for people from around the world to know about #LoveOzYA, a great way to share the love is to talk about the books online! You can use the hashtag to gush about a good book you have read, which may prompt someone else to read it too. Posting about great Australian books you have read naturally spreads the enjoyment for these books around the world.Read More »
As a part of our #LoveOzYA Month, we’re super excited to bring you this exclusive Q&A with Nova Weetman! We absolutely love her work, and she’s such a major part of the #LoveOzYA community. We hope you enjoy!
As an author of both Children’s and Young Adult novels, what differences have you noticed that separate the two readerships?
My books are contemporary real world stories, so even though I’m writing for two distinct readerships, the themes are often similar. They’re about friendships, family, identity and working out where you fit. I think the main difference is that young adult readers want a more complex story than middle grade readers do, purely because of where they’re at. Middle grade readers will often read up, so they may also read YA, but the YA readers don’t tend to read down. My daughter stopped reading middle grade once she started high school. It was like an invisible line that she refused to cross.Read More »
Today we have another excellent Aussie book blogger who’s here to share her favourite #LoveOzYA reads! This is such a great selection, so if you’re yet to pick up some of these novels, then we definitely recommend doing so!
Thank you, Jessica!
Hello fellow YA readers! Have you ever gone looking for some YA recommendations, but the suggested books are quite old? As in, published at least a decade ago? Often, the reason these books are recommended is because they are considered ‘classics’. But, one of the reasons that I went looking for recommendations in the first place is because I wanted to discover something I didn’t already know about!
So, to celebrate #LoveOZYA this month, I decided to list my favourite five OZYA reads that have been published in recent years — more specifically, since 2015. Hopefully some of you might discover something new! Read More »
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!
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 »
The next instalment in our month of #LoveOzYA goodness is a piece written by Aussie author, Taryn Bashford! We loved reading about her life as a writer and why she writes YA. We can’t wait to read her novel, The Harper Effect!
Thank you, Taryn!
From the age of five I wanted to be a writer. I have a trunk full of stories I wrote in coloured pens, books I stapled together, self-illustrated covers I designed. They included stories about the Smurfs, or a family of ants after the grass disappeared, or secret treasures to find. But when I became a teenager, I began to write adult novels with adult characters and adult situations.
When I look back and ask myself why this happened, given I loved reading books like Anne of Green Gables and The Outsiders, I think it’s because when I was a teen there wasn’t a YA or teen shelf in my library or bookstore. Anne of Green Gables was lumped into the children’s section, and as I was no longer a child, I no longer read those books or wrote in that genre.Read More »
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!
We loved you novel, TheRoad 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 »