In conversation with Anna Snoekstra

On Saturday 7th of July, we were invited to be in conversation with our latest #loveozya member, Anna Snoekstra, to celebrate the launch of her debut young adult novel, Mercy Point. The launch was held at the lovely Readings Kids in Lygon Street, with plenty of gorgeous refreshments including the much loved cupcakes created by Jess from cakeandmadness.

Mercy Point was selected by you guys over on our twitter to be our July book of the month, and we couldn’t have selected a more thrilling book. It’s amazing to see so much support for our Aussie authors, so we love when they pull through and win our polls, especially since we’ve been seeing how much our bookclub members have been enjoying.

Anna was super lovely, as you would expect from a crime writing novelist. Previously, Anna has published two adult fiction novels, Only Daughter and Little Secrets, and we were lucky enough to hear her talk on a panel when were up at Clunes Booktown Fest. We’ve included the blurb of Mercy Point and a few images down below from the event!Read More »

YA DAY

Are you ready for our most exciting announcement since we told y’all that we were going to be taking over the Melbourne YA bookish scene with our monthly meet ups and online chats?

Are you ready to hear about the best YA event in Melbourne this January?

Are you ready for…

OUR VERY FIRST YA DAY

That’s right! We’ve been hinting about doing something like this for a while now, and we’re so thrilled to announce that we’re doing our first one-day festival. We’re showcasing not only some of your favourite Aussie authors, but also some of Australia’s best booktubers and bloggers!

It’s going to be a full day of discussions and Q&As, and there are a ton of bookish prizes to be won! Refreshments will be provided.


Schedule

11.00: Arrive

11.15 – 12.00: Panel 1: Booktube Brilliance

12.15 – 1.00: Panel 2: Teens to the Front

1.00 – 1.20: Lunch

1.30 – 2.15: Panel 3: Aussie Authors

2.30 – 3.15: Panel 4: Insights from the Industry

3.30: End


We hope you’re as excited for this amazing day as we are! Please scroll down for more information about the four panels, and who our fantastic panelists will be.

UPDATE: We’ve just released more tickets to YA Day! Grab yours here.

The YA Room

Panel 1: Booktube Brilliance

Chami | ReadLikeWildfire

19400442_1896401707243376_7124524802373569085_oChami is an twenty year-old BookTuber at ‘ReadLikeWildFire’ (Soon to be called ‘IsThatChami’) who spends most of her time in a small little corner of the internet, harbouring copious amounts of books and unhealthy reading habits. After all the whining and crying about fictional characters that happened in her youth, Chami decided in late 2014 that enough was enough. So she looked to the joys of YouTube for people who understood her pain and immense love for literature, and alas, she found a home.

YouTube | Website | Twitter | Instagram

Lily | LilyCReads

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Lily is a a 19 year old booktuber, who has been making book related videos for about a year and a half.

She reviews books she’s recently read, as well as create a variety of book related content on her YouTube channel.

YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

Piéra Forde

PieraForde4TNPiéra Forde is a BookTuber, actor and animal enthusiast who is known for her honest, quirky book reviews and book to screen adaptations of some popular YA books.

After spending most of her childhood with her face stuck in a book and no one to talk with about them, Piéra took to YouTube to share her love of all things fantasy and since then has amassed a large following of other bookworms with similar passions.

YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

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Panel 2: Teens to the Front

Lissa Finger

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Lissa is an avid reader with “Nevernight” by Jay Kristoff, Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde, Akarnae by Lynette Noni and the Fairyland series by Catherynne M. Valente among her favourites.

She is a passionate fan of Hamilton and Sofia the First. She also spends way too much time stalking people on Twitter.

Blog | Twitter | Instagram

Sam Barnes

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Sam Barnes is a recent year-twelve graduate who is most noted for his sarcasm, self-deprecation and sass. When not procrastinating, he prefers jamming out to Billie Eilish than reading a book, and can be found editing videos surrounded by week-old iced coconut milk coffee mugs.

In the near future, he aims to focus on his passions of photography and writing, but in the mean time, remains to do nothing productive. You can find him online below.

YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

Anisha | Sprinkled Pages

66Anisha is a 17 year old bookish person obsessed with – wait for it – reading (wow, who would have thought?).

She also loves baking and rainy days.

But in all seriousness reading is the best which is why she started her blog, YouTube channel and bookstagram!

Blog | YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

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Panel 3: Aussie Authors

Shivaun Plozza

Shivaun Plozza

Shivaun Plozza is a Children’s and YA writer. Her debut novel about a girl called Frankie is titled Frankie and her activity book about medieval Europe is called Medieval Europe. Because she’s inventive like that.

Her short story ‘The Point’ is part of Where the Shoreline Used to Be, an anthology of YA fiction. Other short works have appeared in Above WaterVivid and The Victorian Writer. When she’s not writing she’s beavering away as an editor and manuscript assessor. Her next YA book is Tin Heart.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

Alison Evans

alison evans

Alison is the author of the queer sci fi YA book Ida, a maker of zines and co-editor of Concrete Queers.

They write stories about weird stuff, magic,  gender and plants.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

 

Michael Pryor

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Michael Pryor writes fantasy and science fiction, mostly for teenagers. He has published more than thirty-five novels and 50 something short stories. He is one of the co-publishers of Aurealis, Australia’s longest running Fantasy and SF magazine.

He has been shortlisted for the Aurealis Award seven times, and seven of his books have been CBCA Notable books.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

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Panel 4: Insights from the Industry

Catriona | Little Book Owl

CF3Catriona is has been making bookish videos on her BookTube channel, Little Book Owl, for over six years.

When she’s not reading, she can be found staring at her bookshelves longingly or playing video games. She is the Digital & Social Media Coordinator for Bloomsbury Publishing Australia.

YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

Kate O’Donnell

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Kate O’Donnell is a writer, editor and bookseller specialising in children’s and young adult literature.

She has a BA in History and French from the University of Melbourne and studied Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT.

Untidy Towns is her first novel.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

Danielle Binks

Danielle Binks_15Danielle Binks is a writer and reviewer, with a particular interest in youth literature. In 2016 she joined literary agency, Jacinta di Mase Management, as ‘Agent-at-Large’ – seeking authors of Young Adult (YA) and Middle Grade (MG) fiction works.

In 2017, she edited and contributed to Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology, of new Australian young adult writing – inspired by the #LoveOzYA movement – and released by HarperCollins.

Website | Twitter | Instagram

Nadja Poljo

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Nadja is a publicist at Text Publishing.

Website

 

Authors aren’t so scary ft. Alison Evans

First and foremost, we’d like to take the time to thank Alison for answering this informal interview, as well as the ongoing support they’ve given both Sarah and I this month!

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For those of you reading, Alison Evans is the genius behind our BOTM ‘Ida’, which hit shelves this month, and was voted by YOU to be selected for our very first book club read! And might we add, what an amazing selection! Alison was kind enough to answer a few questions for us and I’m here to share their answers. LET’S GO!

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Favourite season?

Spring.

Favourite genre?
There are too many that I love, though if I had to choose, Spec Fic is my favourite at the moment.

Favourite novel?
Right now,
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M Danforth.

Favourite quote?
“It is words that are to blame. They are the wildest, freest, most irresponsible, most un-teachable of all things. Of course, you can catch them and sort them and place them in alphabetical order in dictionaries. But words do not live in dictionaries; they live in the mind. If you want proof of this, consider how often in moments of emotion when we most need words we find none.” –Virginia Woolf

Favourite movie?
Princess Mononoke

Favourite TV Show?
I’ve only seen the first three seasons but I really love The X-Files.

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Favourite Disney film?
Alice in Wonderland

Favourite author/s (if you can choose)?
Jorge Luis Borges for exploring such huge ideas so succinctly and beautifully.

Favourite dessert?
Fruit pies with custard and/or ice cream.

Pizza or Pasta? 
Pizza

Gelato or Ice cream?
Ice cream

Movies or TV Shows?
TV shows

Disney Channel or Cartoon Network?
Cartoon Network, though to be fair I haven’t ever watched the Disney Channel.

Paperback or Hardback?
Paperback

Physical Books of E-books?
E-books just for sheer convenience. In my perfect world every physical book purchase would come with an e-book copy. I guess an enby can dream!

Bookmarks or doggie ears?
Doggie ears, I am literally incapable of using bookmarks properly, somehow.

Morning or Night?
Night

Now that we’ve gotten to know Alison a little more, it’s time for some book related questions! (Don’t worry, we’ve kept the spoilers out of it)

What influenced you to be a writer? Was writing always something you wanted to pursue? Did any authors or idols influence your decision?

I always loved reading and then I discovered fan fiction and it blew my teenage mind. Anyone could write stuff, and their stuff was really good! If they could do it, I could do it. Then I started writing AU stuff, and then realised that my AU stuff was so AU it was basically not fan fic anymore, so I started writing my own things. And my first true love, Harry Potter, definitely influenced me the most when I first started. Rowling’s characters are so alive and I love them, I wanted to create worlds and people like that.

If you could change or add anything to your novel, would you? And if so, what would you change/add?

Don’t ask me this or I’ll cry!!! I haven’t looked at the printed book too closely because I now there will be things I want to change.

What’s your favourite part of the writing process?

Writing the very start for the first time because anything can happen, or doing the second draft where I get to tighten everything and get rid of plot holes and make sure characters don’t switch names halfway through for no reason (the reason is because during the first draft I forget names a lot).

What about your least favourite parts?

When most of the editing is done and you’ve read the thing a hundred times in the past week and you KNOW something is missing but you just can’t figure out what.

Did you ever have moments of self-doubt? How did you overcome those emotions?

Literally all the time. I try to remember that everyone feels like this and it’s okay. I guess I just keep pushing through despite the self-doubt. NaNoWriMo is actually very good practice for this! There’s no time to question yourself, you just have to write.

Who was the first person you ever shared your writing with?

My mum! She’s always so encouraging.

Was your novel always going to have the sci-fi time travel aspect? If not, what changed/influenced your decision?

Yep! The parallel universes were the seed of the whole story from the very beginning. I’ve always loved sci fi but so often the characters were the same protagonist again and again, the straight cis white guy who gets the girl and the gender binary stays very much intact.

How has your identity formed the characters you’ve written about?

Like I said above, I wanted more characters like me in Sci-Fi. The words “bisexual” and “genderqueer” are not very often used and so I put them in there, explicitly, so that queer teens could see they weren’t alone.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to aspiring writers?

Write a lot and keep going! Someone’s going to love it.

Where can we find you on social media?

I am mostly over on twitter as @_budgie, Instagram as alisonwritesthings, occasionally on Facebook as facebook.com/alisonwritesthings and even less occasionally on Tumblr as alisonwritesthings.tumblr.com. I’ve also got a website!

If you loved this interview, and would like to ask Alison any questions we may have forgotten, consider yourself personally invited to our meet up on Sunday the 29th of January! More info here!

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IDA is available for purchase at all good book retailers including Dymocks and Readings! Grab your very own copy today!

See?

Authors aren’t that scary after all~

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Highlights from the PTA Showcase!

A couple of nights ago, we were lucky enough to attend the much-anticipated PTA Showcase! There were only 100 tickets available and they sold out exceptionally fast, so we’re very pleased to have snagged a couple before they were all snatched up by other book lovers! It was such a fun, enjoyable evening and we wouldn’t have missed it for the world. We got to hear all about upcoming releases, talk to some authors, and see all of our bookish friends!

We started off the evening by making our way down to the Penguin offices in Melbourne, which is situated at the end of Collins Street and apparently uses an old brick railway station. From what we saw of the offices when we went down the lift and into the lobby before moving to a big room for the presentations, the offices looked very fancy! And we may have casually dropped our manuscripts on all the desks… Shh… Don’t tell anyone.

Upon arrival, we received a mysterious black box and a mini figure of Harry Potter. While we had all been stalking the tweets from the night before from the PTA Showcase in Sydney and so we knew what to expect, there’s nothing like being able to hold a copy of the PTA Superproof for yourself and flick through snippets of the most-anticipated releases. We could hardly contain our excitement!

Before the presentations begun, we had the opportunity to buy books and get them signed by the lovely author guests – Fleur Ferris, Shivaun Plozza and Jodi McAlister! They were all such awesome people (besides the fact that Shivaun hasn’t listened to Hamilton yet – but we might have to let that slide), and it was fantastic to get to chat to them briefly and have our books defaced – I mean, signed.Read More »