Autumn Picnic

Hi friends! If you haven’t already seen, we’re holding another picnic this Sunday! We’ll be meeting in the same place as last time, where we’ll be sharing sweets and talking about everything bookish.

If you’re thinking of coming, please grab a free ticket through our Eventbrite link so we know how much food to bake – and bring something for us to share! We hope to see you there! ❤

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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IDA Book Talk

Hi everyone! For those that haven’t heard already, we’ve just announced our very first Book Talk for our Book Of The Month! We hope you’ve read Ida already, because our discussion will be focussed around this phenomenal novel, and we’re so lucky to be joined by the author Alison Evans at our meeting! If you haven’t had the chance to read Ida yet, make sure you grab a copy because it’ll be great to have a group discussion, and I’m sure Alison would be more than happy to deface (sign) your book for you.

Our Book Talk will take place on Sunday 29th January from 4.30 – 6pm at the Janet Lady Clarke Rotunda in the Alexandra Gardens, Melbourne. It’s just a five minute walk from Flinders Street Station, and across the road from Hamer Hall!

Please make sure you grab a free ticket to our event and spread the word! You can get your ticket here.

We can’t wait to see you all there!

January Book Of The Month – IDA

After receiving votes from most of you on Twitter, we’re super excited to announce that our Book Of The Month for January is Ida by Alison Evans!

Ida is published by Bonnier and is available at many bookstores in Australia right now, including Dymocks! Make sure you grab a copy so you can join in all the fun and come along to our meet-up at the end of January. It’s also fantastic that Alison is a local Melbourne author, and they’ll be joining us to discuss their latest novel! More details will be revealed soon.

Here’s a synopsis of Ida!

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How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want?

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?

Ida is an intelligent, diverse and entertaining novel that explores love, loss and longing, and speaks to the condition of an array of overwhelming, and often illusory, choices.

Inaugural Picnic – 15th January

Hi friends! If you haven’t seen already from our Twitter page, we’re having a picnic to celebrate the official launching of The YA Room! The picnic will be held on Sunday the 15th of January from 2 – 5pm at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. We’d love to see you there! There’ll be tea, cakes and sweets, as well as book-swapping and bookstagram opportunities!

To make this afternoon the best it can possibly be, here’s what you can do to help:

Tell everyone you know to come and have fun with us!

It just wouldn’t be a bookish picnic without all of you lovely people there. We want to see as many of your faces as possible and get to know you! As this will be our first official meet-up before our regular monthly book club sessions, this is a great opportunity to meet some like-minded fangirls and fanboys and get all the inside goss about the year ahead with The YA Room.

Bring food to share!

We’re going to be doing a lot of baking in preparation for the day, but the more cakes and cookies the better! It’s no secret that the bookish community loves sweets. So if you have the time to bake something or even bring something that you’ve bought to share with other people, that would be much appreciated!

Bring a book to participate in our book swap!

We’re planning on doing a fancy book swap, so if you’d like to be involved with that, please bring along one book that’s in good quality and you think others might not have already – and wrap it up! Everyone who brings a book will receive a book and we don’t want you to miss out! We’ll tell you the rules on the day, but it will be fun and involve some sneaky stealing too… but that’s all part of the game!

If you have any questions about the day or anything The YA Room-related, please leave them in the comments! And you can find a map of where exactly we’re meeting so you don’t get lost down below. Thanks, everyone!

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Introducing: The YA Room

Hi everyone! Sarah and Alex here, introducing the first official Melbourne-based YA book club – The YA Room! We’re launching in 2017, but we’re very excited to share what we’ve been working on with you and meet some more passionate, enthusiastic YA readers!

We’re currently finding the perfect venue for our monthly meet-ups, finalising all our social media platforms and working with publishers and booksellers to organise some really great things for our book club. We’ll keep you all updated with our progress and we’d love to hear your suggestions to! What kind of books would you like to read along with us? What authors would you like to see at our meetings? We’d love to know!

But in order for The YA Room to be a success, we need your help. We’d love to reach out to as many readers as possible and meet likeminded fangirls and fanboys, so you can help us out by sharing our social media sites! We’d really appreciate your support.

Twitter: @TheYARoom_MELB

Facebook: The YA Room

Instagram: @theyaroom

YouTube: The YA Room

Enquiries: theyaroom@gmail.com

If you’d like to know more about us, click onto our About page. If you’ve got any further questions, please leave a comment down below!

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