AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – HELEN SCHEUERER Q&A




We are so excited to have the Lovely Helen Scheuerer, as our guest this month. Helen took time out of her busy writing schedule to answer a few questions for us. Helen is the author of Heart of Mist and the founding editor at Writers Edit.


HEART OF MIST WAS PUBLISHED ON THE 31ST OF AUGUST, CONGRATULATIONS! IF YOU COULD GO BACK PRE-PUBLICATION DAY AND GIVE YOURSELF ANY ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Thank you! Hmmm… That’s a great question. I think I’d tell myself: Everything’s going to be okay! I was a massive stress case before the release of Heart of Mist, and in the end, the book’s success surpassed all my expectations!

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR PUBLISHING JOURNEY SO FAR?


So far, I’d say hitting #1 on Amazon in under 24 hours of the book’s release. That was an incredibly surreal moment for me. I had worked myself into the ground trying to get Heart of Mist into the right hands, and it showed that hard work pays off. 

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BECOME WRITERS?

Write what you love. Don’t write for a trend or what you think is expected of you. You’ll never be able to sustain writing something you’re not in love with. I learnt that the hard way! 

HAVE YOU FOUND THAT YOUR WRITING PROCESS HAS CHANGED AT ALL NOW THAT YOU ARE WORKING ON BOOK NUMBER TWO? 


My writing process itself hasn’t changed much, but I’ve found it much harder to balance writing alongside the marketing of Book I. A book is a living thing, even after it’s been released - it need nurturing and promoting constantly, especially in the first few months of its life. And that makes it hard to create something new at the same time!

CAN YOU TELL US ANYTHING ABOUT BOOK NUMBER TWO IN THE OREMERE CHRONICLES?


Book II will see all the main players from Book I return. We’ll get to explore the realm on a much broader scale, and a number of big secrets from Heart of Mist will be revealed...

WHAT ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT (OR WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ)?


My reading has varied quite a lot over the last few months! I’m slowly working my way through Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series and am currently on The Fiery Cross. I’ve also read First Year: The Black Mage Apprentice by Rachel E. Carter.

WE ARE ALL ABOUT PROMOTING BOTH AUSSIE AND NZ AUTHORS - CAN YOU SHARE WITH US ANY FAVOURITES YOU HAVE?


I’ve recently discovered Gabrielle Tozer and her book Remind Me How This Ends, which I loved! Then I’ve got my classic faves like Isobelle Carmody and Melina Marchetta.

Thank you so much to Helen for taking the time to answer our questions! I'm sure we're all looking forward to reading Heart of Mist, if we haven’t already!



HELEN CAN BE FOUND ON TWITTERINSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK & HER WEBSITE.

#LoveOZYA Throwback Thursday (#10)

Throwback Thursdays are not a new idea, whether posting a picture of yourself from years ago, linking back to an old review on your blog, or talking about a book you loved in the past. We at AusYABloggers are putting a new spin on it. The #LoveOzYA movement has really taken off over the last year or so, but there's so much great Oz YA out there that was published before the movement started, and we want to shine a light on it.

Kelly's #LOVEOZYA Throwback Thursday

Swallow The Air
Written by Tara June Winch
Published by UQP
Add to Goodreads
In 2006, Tara June Winch’s startling debut Swallow the Air was published to acclaim. Its poetic yet visceral style announced the arrival afresh and exciting new talent. This 10th anniversary edition celebrates its important contribution to Australian literature.

When May’s mother dies suddenly, she and her brother Billy are taken in by Aunty. However, their loss leaves them both searching for their place in a world that doesn’t seem to want them. While Billy takes his own destructive path, May sets out to find her father and her Aboriginal identity. Her journey leads her from the Australian east coast to the far north, but it is the people she meets, not the destinations, that teach her what it is to belong.

Swallow the Air is an unforgettable story of living in a torn world and finding the thread to help sew it back together. 
May is a young indigenous girl who lost her mother at a tender age, displaced and leaves the City of Wollongong to travel to far Northern Australia in search of her ancestral family. May was a character representative of aspects of our broken country, where Aboriginal communities are left behind while white society moves forward. One of the realities May also faces is how Indigenous Australians can be treated by our police, authorities and our communities. May's life isn't a stereotype, she's a young woman that society as a whole has neglected, representing our traditional land owners that have been overlooked.

Swallow The Air by indigenous author Tara June Winch is compelling. Please support indigenous Australian authors. This is reading diversely. Reading beyond your knowledge and experience and support the Indigenous arts.

You can find Kelly via Diva Booknerd  Twitter  Instagram and Goodreads

READER SPOTLIGHT: INTERVIEW WITH BEC

Name &/or Nickname.
Bec.
Where do you live (State or vague area).
SE QLD.

Where do you wish you lived (e.g. Narnia, Fantasia, etc.). 
Any fantasy land honestly. I love the feel of Wendlyn and Terrasen (basically anything that’s as pretty as the South Island of New Zealand and Scottish highlands)

Top Three favourite #LoveOzYA reads of all time.
Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Lotus War trilogy by Jay Kristoff

Top Three YA Series of all time (worldwide).
I know I’m going to miss some of my all time favourites, but three that first come to mind:
Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
Study series by Maria V Snyder
Witches of Eileanan and Rhiannon’s Ride (a second series counts because it’s the sequel series!) by Kate Forsyth

Who or what got you into reading.
My friend lent me the Unicorns of Balinor and Phantom Stallion series waaaayyy back in primary school, but I wasn’t a full on bookworm until I started high school. I didn’t have many friends so read a lot of Nancy Drew and whatever else I could get my hands on.

Preferred Genres.
 Fantasy, Sci Fi, Historical, Steampunk.

Have you ever met any famous authors (it's ok to brag in this instance). If not who would you love to meet.
I’ve met a fair few surprisingly! Maggie Stiefvater, Maria V Snyder, Jay Kristoff (I have dropped things in front of him both times I’ve met him), Amie Kaufman, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Juliet Marillier, and Sarah J Maas. I’d love to meet them all again, plus Kate Forsyth, Leigh Bardugo, Susan Dennard, Meagan Spooner, and many many more!

If you could spend a day with any YA protagonist who would it be and why.
I’d love to spend a day talking to Tessa Grey about books! I’m happy to talk to anyone about books really

 Where can we find you online.

Goodreads: BecBooktineus
Twitter: @booktineus
Instagram: @booktineus
Tumblr: booktineus


Hi there. Do you want to be apart of our Reader Spotlights? We are giving our Readers the choice to share their bookish experiences in the form of either an interview or by writing a guest post. You can join in on the fun by signing up HERE.

#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#9)

Throwback Thursday edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Aussie books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book each week, and we'd love you to join us!

chiara's pick


Title: These Broken Stars (The Starbound Trilogy #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Released: December 1st 2013
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Add it to Goodreads
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets to the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other's arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder - would they be better off staying in this place forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won't be the same people who landed on it.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

why i chose it

Before any other reason: that cover! Which I know is a super shallow reason to want to read a novel BUT it is what inspired me to read this book in the first place, along with the fact that it was being promoted as a YA sci-fi version of Titanic.

Another reason to read this novel is Tarver. Half the book is from his perspective and I adore him. No other character in this trilogy came close to Tarver. He is just precious and incredibly lovable.

I read These Broken Stars in one day, with only small breaks in between sittings. It was that addictive. I was immersed in the story from page one, and I shipped the ship from the moment the two met. There is so much to enjoy about this book which is why it's my pick for this week's Throwback Thursday!

Follow Chiara at Books for a Delicate Eternity, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads


What's your pick for this week? Share on your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or in the comments below! Make sure you tag your posts with #AusYABloggers so we can share the love.

#LoveOzYABloggers - Favourite Covers

#LoveOzYABloggers is hosted by #LoveOzYA, a community led organisation dedicated to promoting Australian young adult literature. Keep up to date with all new Aussie YA releases with their monthly newsletter, or find out what’s happening with News and Events, or submit your own!

The #AusYABloggers team is very happy to have teamed up with #LoveOzYA to present #LoveOzYABloggers.

Favourite Covers - Sarah's Entry


Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar. I love the hot pink forefront with the grey scale image behind. I think the cover is bold and beautiful just like the story. A kick-ass cover for a kick-ass book.

Jess Gordon is out for revenge. Last year the jocks from Knights College tried to shame her best friend. This year she and a hand-picked college girl gang are going to get even.

The lesson: don't mess with Unity girls.

The target: Blondie, a typical Knights stud, arrogant, cold . . . and smart enough to keep up with Jess.

A neo-riot grrl with a penchant for fanning the flames meets a rugby-playing sexist pig - sworn enemies or two people who happen to find each other when they're at their most vulnerable?

It's all Girl meets Boy, Girl steals from Boy, seduces Boy, ties Boy to a chair and burns Boy's stuff. Just your typical love story.

A searingly honest and achingly funny story about love and sex amid the hotbed of university colleges by the award-winning author of Raw Blue.

Green Valentine by Lili Wilkinson. Pink and Green, my two favourite colours and a combination of both will always tickle my fancy. I think this cover is super cute and sets the mood for the adorable story.

When Astrid and Hiro meet they give each other superhero names. She's Lobster Girl and he's Shopping Trolley Boy. Not an auspicious beginning. But it gets better. Then it gets worse. Much worse. Classic romantic comedy: girl-meets-boy, love blossoms, and is derailed. Incredibly engaging, upbeat, funny and smart. 

Astrid Katy Smythe is beautiful, smart and popular. She's a straight-A student and a committed environmental activist. She's basically perfect.

Hiro is the opposite of perfect. He's slouchy, rude and resentful. Despite his brains, he doesn't see the point of school.

But when Astrid meets Hiro at the shopping centre where he's wrangling shopping trolleys, he doesn't recognise her because she's in disguise - as a lobster. And she doesn't set him straight.

Astrid wants to change the world, Hiro wants to survive it. But ultimately both believe that the world needs to be saved from itself. Can they find enough in common to right all the wrongs between them?

A romantic comedy about life and love and trying to make the planet a better place, with a little heartbreak, and a whole lot of hilarity.

Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian. I am still yet to read this one (hope to get into it this month). But I think the colours and gold embossing are stunning on the paperback. 

Since Ava lost Kelly, things haven’t been going so well. Even before she gets thrown out of school for shouting at the principal, there’s the simmering rage and all the weird destructive choices. The only thing going right for Ava is her job at Magic Kebab.

Which is where she meets Gideon. Skinny, shy, anxious Gideon. A mad poet and collector of vinyl records with an aversion to social media. He lives in his head. She lives in her grief. The only people who can help them move on with their lives are each other.
 

Try as I might I couldn't get a picture to do the cover of Beautiful Mess justice.

You can find Sarah via The Adventures of SacaKat  Twitter  Instagram and Goodreads

Reader Spotlight: Guest Post by @sofiaecasanova


My Changing Perspective as an Adult Reading YA

You know, I didn't think I'd aged that much until I recently celebrated by twenty first birthday and I realised I was no longer a teenager. I'm. Twenty. One. How did that happen? It feels like I aged faster than the speed of light and now I'm no longer the dancing queen.
But has that changed the fact I read YA? Heck no. But has it changed how I view my reading of YA? I think so. There's something so comfortable about reading YA, and having studied some creative arts subjects in university, adult literature is sometimes too difficult for me to wrap my head around. Most days I want to curl up with a YA book and feel at ease with soft romances, cool sci-fi operas, or a fantasy world where people have magic because who doesn't like magic? 

Since becoming an adult, I felt a sudden pressure to read adult literature such as literary and historical fiction, non-fiction or the classics. Not following the Stella Prize or Man Booker Prize shortlists felt like a crime, even though those books are phenomenal. As belittling as this perspective may be (and how close I have come to socking someone in the face for telling me YA is inappropriate for me to read), it's important to remember that people will enjoy a variety of books in their reading life. And while I do enjoy other genres, YA has always been my go-to genre because, quite simply, I love reading it.
But now all I can think to myself is: Am I allowed to read YA anymore? Have I changed too much to read YA? Here is how I now tend to view YA since entering the realm of adulthood. 

Instead of immersing myself as the protagonist, I start to feel nostalgic.
There is a level of escapism that comes with reading YA. Maybe it's the idea of a world divided by factions, or a place where AI's take over a space ship and have you question your morals *cough* Illuminae *cough*. I know for sure if I were in The Hunger Games, I'd be the first to go. Just take away my glasses and I have nothing going for me.

Or maybe it's the first time getting drunk, or holding someone's hand, or having your first kiss after saving the world from a zombie invasion. It's these moments that give me that warm fuzzy feeling of contentment rather than heart palpitations. I only really started reading YA contemporary and SFF this year, and if anything, they brought me back to reading and reminded me of who I used to be. The nostalgia is real, yo.  

The thought process behind decision-making is so different compared to adult literature and that's what's awesome.  
I'll usually find myself covering my eyes to hide from second-hand embarrassment or gripping the pages screaming internally because young protagonists make decisions that 21-year-old Sofia never would. These decisions are, more often than not, reckless, irrational or sometimes insane, and that's what's so beautiful about them. 
I recall Randa Abdel-Fattah saying at #AllDayYA that those things we feel at sixteen or seventeen are so intense and new and we experience so many things for the first time. We never get those moments back and while these characters are wading through this uncertain time of their lives, we're making slight connections to our own lives. It's incredible. 

Of course, there's always that awkward moment when I agree with the parent instead of the teenager.
I feel like a backseat driver with these characters sometimes, especially when the protagonist sees their parent as a problem. I totally get that perspective because that used to be me, but now, all those strict rules on alcohol, drugs and curfews make sense. Or I've actually aged 100 years and I'm now babbling incoherently about agreeing with my parents. They are right sometimes, you know. 

While I am no longer the target audience, I feel no shame in reading YA.
Long gone are my days of being seventeen and experiencing high school drama, even if they do feel like yesterday. Rather than feeling like YA is for me, I've placed myself in a situation where YA is a genre I can read among others like sci-fi, fantasy, literary fiction, etc. There is no shame in enjoying YA; there are a lot of adults who read it and it's a dominating genre in my book collection. 

YA novels make great page-turners and bring forth a strong collection of voices and literary masterpieces.
There are some fantastic voices in YA that might not be found in adult or middle grade literature. We just celebrated the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and look at the profound impact of that series on so many readers to this day. Other amazing stories like The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak, The Mortal Instruments trilogy by Cassandra Clare, The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and Cassandra Jean. The list goes on, and where would some of us be without these stories? 

So maybe I do agree with my parents sometimes and I enjoy reminiscing on being seventeen. But there is no right or wrong book for you to read. If you enjoy the classics, go for it. If middle grade is your thing, read the heck out of it. And if YA is your go-to genre like mine, then why stop reading it? We change as people and the books we read will impact us no matter what age we are. Reading is an experience and it's amazing to see how many new stories we get to indulge in every day. 

You can find Sofia @ The Literary Casanova, Goodreads, Instagram and Twitter

Hi there. Do you want to be apart of our Reader Spotlights? We are giving our Readers the choice to share their bookish experiences in the form of either an interview or by writing a guest post. You can join in on the fun by signing up HERE.

#LoveOzYA Throwback Thirsday (#8)

Throwback Thursday edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Aussie books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book each week, and we'd love you to join us!

chiara's pick

Title: Girl Saves Boy
Author: Steph Bowe
Released: August 30th 2010
Publisher: Text Publishing
Add it to Goodreads
The first time we met, Jewel Valentine saved my life.

Isn’t it enough having your very own terminal disease, without your mother dying? Or your father dating your Art teacher?

No wonder Sacha Thomas ends up in the lake that Saturday evening…

But the real question is: how does he end up in love with Jewel Valentine?

With the help of quirky teenage prodigies Little Al and True Grisham, Sacha and Jewel have a crazy adventure, with a little lobster emancipation along the way.

But Sacha’s running out of time, and Jewel has secrets of her own.

Girl Saves Boy is a hugely talented debut novel, funny and sad, silly and wise. It’s a story of life, death, love… and garden gnomes.

why i chose it

This book was published when the author was only sixteen, and that still blows my mind when I think about it because this book was so beautiful and lovely and profound. 

Girl Saves Boy follows Jewel and Sacha, both of whom are characters that I absolutely adored. Jewel doesn't want to live, and Sacha is desperate to. Their relationship is complicated and simple at the same time, and you'll be wishing for a Happily Ever After practically from the moment you meet them. 

When I finished this beautiful book I wanted to cry because there was just so much rawness to this story, and you should definitely read it!

Follow Chiara at Books for a Delicate Eternity, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads


What's your pick for this week? Share on your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or in the comments below! Make sure you tag your posts with #AusYABloggers so we can share the love.

October Events


Queensland

What Meet Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood
When 12 October 
Time 6pm - 8pm 
Where 
Brisbane Square Library
266 George Street, Brisbane,
For more information..

New South Wales

What YA Bookmeet with Krystal Sutherland
When 7 October
Time 230pm - 330pm 
Where Dymocks Sydney, 424 - 430 George Street, Sydney
For more information..

Victoria

What Fleur Ferris/Mark Smith/Alison Evans Visit Squishy Minnie in Kyneton
When October 7
Time 2pm - 3pm 
Where 80 Mollison Street, Kyneton

For more information..

What Book launch, meet and greet YA author Juliet M Sampson
When October 7
Time 2pm - 3pm 
Where Brighton Library, 14 Wilson Street Brighton
For more information..

What Untidy Towns: Book Launch
When October 7
Time 4pm - 6pm 
Where Masonic Hall, 9 Willis Street, Yarraville 
For more information..

Please feel free to leave a comment if you know of any other events we have missed this month, of if you would like your event to be included in future monthly roundups.  


You can find Tole via Twitter  Tumblr and Goodreads

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