This is the final week of my interview series, and after having featured a debut author, and YA and MG writers both established in their careers, it seemed like the series would be incomplete without a successful self-published author too. I hope you've enjoyed hearing about many different aspects of Australian reading, writing and publishing.
Ashley Capes is a novelist and teacher based in Melbourne. After initially publishing his work via small US-based publisher Snapping Turtle, Ashley now self-publishes his speculative fiction novels and novellas, earning a consistent part-time income from his writing. He’s also a high school teacher of English, Media Studies and Music Production, and a published poet. Wearing all of those hats, Ashely caught up with me to share his wisdom.
The final installment of my interview series is coming next week, with another successful novelist explaining what led to their choice to self-publish. But for today, let me share with you some quick questions and answers I had with Sofia, aka The Literary Casanova, an Aussie blogger and reviewer who I had the pleasure of meeting at last year’s Sydney Writers Festival.
Claire West has worked as a book buyer for a variety of stores across Sydney, a position she found her way into after working in retail, as a secondary school teacher, and as a tutor. Her most recent role was senior book buyer for Berkelouw Book Face, where she co-managed the purchases of new and existing titles for eleven stores. She relinquished the role at the end of 2017 to move to Melbourne, but prior to that I caught up with her to hear more about this important role in the retail side of the industry. Claire has long held an interest in books and continues to blog at https://clairewest.com.au
Fleur Ferris has published three Young Adult thrillers with Penguin Random House, with a fourth coming out later in 2018. She's lived in multiple states across Australia and built up a wealth of knowledge in industries ranging from emergency response to rice farming. Fleur's first book, Risk, won two Sisters in Crime Davitt Awards and an Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature. Fleur was kind enough to chat with me about how she got into writing for teens, how things have changed after a few years of success in the industry, and where to next.
My wonderful publisher, Paul Collins of Ford Street, has been working hard this month coordinating myself, my editor Nan and cover designer Cathy, as well as his distributors and printers. Booksellers are now able to find my novel in the NewSouth Books catalogue, and it will soon be ready for online orders from Ford St. This past month has absolutely flown for me, and I am so proud to be able to show you what will be coming to bookshelves this May:
I haven't stopped reading (although there was a short break when I moved house), but it seems I stopped reviewing when I began posting the interview series. Sorry about that! Here's two short ones from recent reads that have stuck with me.
Kate Simpson is one third of the team behind One More Page, a kids’ book podcast launching next month. Based in Sydney, Kate and her co-hosts Nat and Liz are all kids’ book fanatics with experience in a variety of areas of the writing industry, and all write picture books. Their podcast will cover books for babies through to early YA. I caught up with Kate to find out what’s involved in creating a podcast, what inspired them, and a little more about what to expect from One More Page.
I promised more information about my novel, coming out later this year via Ford Street Publishing. I've been working hard with my editor and publisher, emailing back and forth about everything from blurbs to cover design, and to be honest most days it still doesn't feel real. But it IS real, and so in anticipation, let me share with you a little about what I've been working on.
The Girl Samantha Chen is sixteen, shy, creative and a great violinist. She works hard, but all the study she puts in is barely keeping her afloat in year eleven, and she's terrified she'll disappoint her strict parents. Oh, and she's not allowed to date.
The Boy Dylan West is not Mr Popular, but he's a nice guy. He skateboards in his free time, works at the fish and chip shop, and is happy at home with his supportive parents and older sister. He's been dating Samantha for almost a year, and doesn't mind keeping the relationship secret from her parents if that's what it takes to hang on to the girl of his dreams.
Saturday Night Dylan and Sam are at a friend's party, but they've stopped dancing now. They've had a couple of drinks, not enough to have them throwing up or blacking out, but enough to give them "a buzz" as Dylan calls it. He wants the liquid courage. Because he's pretty sure he and Sam are going to have sex for the first time.
The Aftermath Dylan thinks it all went great. Except now Sam is avoiding him, her best friend hates him, and there are rumours creeping through their Sydney private school. Rumours about rape. When it hits social media, opinions on the alleged assault flow freely and sometimes brutally, throwing both Dylan and Samantha into a spotlight they don't want. As reputations crumble and friendships end, the ex-couple are left fighting to hold on to the truth, each plagued by the same question: how could someone who loved me do this to me?
The Things We Can't Undo is for every teenager (suggested reading age 15 and up) and tackles some of the biggest contemporary questions about sex, consent, friendship, family, social media and of course, the things we wish we could take back. As publication gets closer, I'll be sharing a cover reveal, a bunch of #1linewed snippets, and details on when (and where) you can get your hands on a copy. I'll also have a few to give away, so if you're not following me on twitter, now is the time!
Emily is a sales assistant in the accounts department of a major Australian publisher and works part-time in a Sydney bookshop. She is also an avid reader and blogs at www.emilythebookaddict.wordpress.com. Her opinions and experiences of the Australian book industry are wide and varied. I caught up with Emily to learn more about how these two key parts of the industry intersect.
Jordan and Melissa are tea-drinking book lovers who each have a Masters degree in Publishing. Together, they run Bookcase Australia, a quarterly book box which seeks to share new releases from great Australian writers and enhance the reading experience by sending related items from Australian small businesses and sole traders.