To finish off our series of interviews with #LoveOzYA authors attending Clunes Booktown Festival this year, we chatted to the lovely Sarah Epstein! Sarah will be appearing on the New Voices and Smart New Writing panel, Writing for the Millennial Mind panel, and the Building the Fictional World for Gripping Crime panel. We’re such a massive fan of Sarah, so it will be wonderful to see her there!
Check out our Q&A!
We’re so excited you’re appearing at Clunes Booktown Festival this year! If the weekend of the festival happened to be the zombie apocalypse, would you choose to team up with some other authors to try and survive (and if so, who would they be?), or would you try and survive on your own?
I would definitely team up with other authors because they’re crafty! They can imagine how each different scenario plays out in any given situation. In particular, I’d seek out thriller and horror writers because the combined knowledge of their gruesome internet search histories would come in handy. And they’d have the stomach to do what needs to be done.Read More »
Next up we have the amazing Will Kostakis to talk all about his short story in the #LoveOzYA Anthology and his favourite #LoveOzYA books! His story was one of our absolute favourites (though picking a favourite story from the collection would be like choosing our favourite child), and it was so lovely to meet him at our Book Meet a few days ago!
Next up we have the lovely Gabrielle Tozer to answer all of our questions about the #LoveOzYA Anthology and her story in it! We really enjoyed reading her contribution, and so we were super excited to learn more about how she got into writing and what some of her favourite Aussie novels were growing up!
We’re thrilled to share our next #LoveOzYA interview with you, this time with Michael Pryor, another amazingly talented author who contributed to the #LoveOzYA Anthology! His story was really intriguing and thought-provoking, and it was great to learn more about Michael in this interview.
Next in our series of very exciting #LoveOzYA interviews we have the lovely Ellie Marney! We absolutely adored her story in the #LoveOzYA Anthology, and we loved learning more about her and her writing experiences in this interview. Enjoy!
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.