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 »
It’s hard to believe another month is almost over, isn’t it? We had our March Book Talk a couple of days ago, where we discussed the powerful and important novel The Hate U Give. It was amazing to get the chance to chat with the author, Angie Thomas, last week via Skype and it was equally as great to hear everyone else’s opinion.
We also held our monthly #YARoomChat on Twitter, where we were joined by readers all across Australia (and a few from overseas too!) to talk about what we loved about The Hate U Give and why it’s such an important and timely novel.
In case you missed it, here’s a video of the interview with Angie Thomas that we uploaded to our YouTube channel! Check it out!
Next month, we’re super excited to be reading Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Make sure you grab your copy to join in the fun! Our next Book Meet will be held on Sunday 23rd April – we hope you can join us!
Take a look at some of our favourite reviews of The Hate U Give, written by our book club members:
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!
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!
There are too many that I love, though if I had to choose, Spec Fic is my favourite at the moment.
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 TV Show?
I’ve only seen the first three seasons but I really love The X-Files.
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.
Fruit pies with custard and/or ice cream.
Pizza or Pasta? Pizza
Gelato or Ice cream?
Movies or TV Shows?
Disney Channel or Cartoon Network?
Cartoon Network, though to be fair I haven’t ever watched the Disney Channel.
Paperback or Hardback?
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?
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.
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!
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.