#LoveOzYABloggers - Sci-Fi

#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.

Sci-Fi - Sarah's Entry

I attempted to take some pretty pics for this fortnight's prompt. Ethan even tried to ''help'' me. But in the end I decided I would just use the covers all lined up in a row.

My plan for picking the books this time around was; An extremely well known Oz YA Sci-fi I loved, a lesser known Oz YA Sci-fi I loved and One that I haven't read yet but am sure I will love.

Ta-Da > >

> > Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff < < 

I really doubt that Illuminae needs a introduction. By now I think you would be hard pressed to find someone in the YA book world that hasn't heard of it. This book, the first in The Illuminae Files trilogy, was my favorite read of 2015. Super computers, deadly viruses, young lovers separated and unlikely heroes - YES PLEASE. It was beautiful, quirky, funny, action packed, exciting, thrilling, gut twisting, sweet, murderous and just plain awesome. 

Hero is the first book in The Hero Rebellion trilogy and it introduces us to Hero Regan. We see Hero battle normal teenager issues; school bullies and finding out who her true friends are. As well finding out that her whole life has been some sort of long running science experiment and dealing with the consequences of who and what she truly is, a human hybrid.

> > The Undercurrent by Paula Weston < <

I am chomping at the bit to read this one and plan on starting it later this week. So yeah, at the moment I can't tell you much about it other than what Goodreads can (the book titles link to Goodreads). Things I've heard (while trying to stay away from reviews incase of spoilers); Gripping, non-stop action, a girl who can wield electricity, absolutely brilliant - YES PLEASE.

What is the best Sci-fi novel you have read by an Aussie? We'd love hear about it!

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

Author Spotlight - Ellie Marney Guest Post

No Limits Rip

I have a playlist on my phone called ‘No Limits Rip’ that is just music I listened to while writing the

Actually, no, it’s not music I listened to while writing, cos generally I don’t do that, I prefer silence so
the words in my head don’t get mixed up with the lyric words in music. But I had songs on a playlist I could repeat that captured the mood of the story or maybe evoked a certain feeling. Occasionally I
got an idea that some song referenced a particular character, so I stuck that in as well.

I generally listen to playlists while driving. During the writing of No Limits I was working night shifts, so spinning these songs in the car on my way to and from work, late at night along lonely country roads, gave me a chance to really sink into a character’s head.

Do I Wanna Know – Arctic Monkeys

This song is referenced in the very first line of the book, which is my favourite line of the book: ‘Blue-and-red lights swirling over a windscreen whiteout, and the siren sounds exactly like the guitar
feedback loop on an Arctic Monkeys track.’ And it does – the guitar feedback during the final strains
of the song actually sounds exactly like a police siren. Have a listen. Speaking of opening lines: quite
often, you don’t get to keep your favourite opening lines (I have been known to excise the first
chapter entirely during book edits). But this one I liked, so I kept it.

The sense of menace and bad karma in this track seemed a good fit for the start of the story. Now
every time I hear this song, it just reminds me of Harris.

Crystal Balling – Jackie Onassis

I listened to a lot – I mean, a lot – of Aussie hip hop during the writing of the book. Some of it made it into the story, too: this song is referenced explicitly when Harris escapes his Dad’s house and makes a painful eight-kay trek on crutches to the Five Flags, the Five Mile pub, where he enters a raucous Friday night ‘blokes at the pub’ scene.

I like the track because it has that very strident Australian language and a Friday-night feel, plus an awesome brass chorus – it’s kind of uplifting but real, if you know what I mean.

Run – Seth Sentry

I fucking love Seth Sentry. Seriously, I think he could be one of the smartest, most genuine hip hop artists out there right now, and I love this song, which is about being a kid growing up in the suburban Australian peninsula town of Frankston. Again with the Australian language, and a great sense of what it’s like being a teenage shithead, which I thought fit Harris pretty well – he’s a shithead, and he’s trying to cut loose, stay a few steps ahead of the cops and everybody else.

A Place Like This – Majid Jordan

A grim and evocative song for a character like Reggie – Recep ‘Fuck off, soccer’s for wogs’  McLeod.

Lots of kids I know of got into drugs pretty early: a local kid whose family I know was already an ice addict at fifteen. People use drugs for all kinds of reasons, but when you’re still a kid you don’t tend to make very considered choices, y’know? And ice is cheap, and available…and it’s all pretty much downhill from there.

I never saw Reggie as just a bit player in No Limits. He’s probably one of the main reasons I wrote the book. I mean, sure, I wrote it for Harris and Amie, to get their stories told. But the stories that occupy the backdrop to the main action are sometimes the pivots on which events turn. Reggie is a character who showed up on the day and just demanded to be written on his own terms. I’d really like to see him play in the local footy league one day – and if he gets his shit together after No Limits, I think it could actually happen.

Resolution – Matt Corby

There’s a lot of turning points in the story, but I think one of them happens on the day Harris buys a car – which becomes the Pitbull – from Nick Partridge. It’s during the conversation with Nick that Harris realises his interest in Amita Blunt is more than just a passing regard. Something is starting to change inside him, something is pushing him towards finding an escape from his current life of desperation, and he recognises it happening. I like the staunchness of this song, and I love Matt Corby’s voice, and the whole resonance of it.

The Ship Song – Nick Cave

‘I put the radio on. It’s the end of an old Nick Cave song, and Harris starts singing along. I’m somehow not surprised to discover his voice is a warm baritone. He smiles while he sings, hair blowing in his face, and he glances at me until I laugh and join in…’ 

Nuff said 😊

Burn the Pages – Sia

I love the fierceness of Sia’s voice, and the sense of her being street-wise but still sensitive to life – I think Amie Blunt shows similar characteristics. Amie spends a lot of time twisting herself into knots trying to please other people, which I guess is her way of holding onto them, and holding onto the past. But Amie’s self-awareness and her sense of responsibility also makes her view the world slightly differently. Which might be one of the reasons why she never views Harris in a blinkered way: she’s open to the idea that people change, that everyone is trying to work out life for themselves. Unlike lots of other people in town, she doesn’t denigrate Harris for his choices or his past, or look down on him. And her high expectations give him something to aspire to. Amie’s natural optimism might come across as naivete if her own life experiences haven’t tempered her, given her some fortitude.

Harris’s voice seemed to come naturally, almost fully formed, but Amie was a tougher nut to crack. I had to work quite hard to get into Amie’s head and understand her voice – I certainly spent more time thinking about Amie, and her life, than I spent thinking about Harris and his. But it was important to do that: I had to put Amie in some hair-raising situations, so I needed to understand how she would react. It didn’t really surprise me to discover that, when she’s put under pressure, Amie’s innate courage and resilience come strongly to the fore.

That’s it. A few other songs made it onto the playlist – Hey Now by London Grammar, Brainbox by Hilltop Hoods, This Is Not the Way Home by The Cruel Sea, Turn Down For What by DJ Snake & Lil John, amongst others – but the ones I already talked about were the important ones.

I hope these notes give you some sense of the inspirations behind the writing of No Limits. People are always asking where the ideas come from: mostly the ideas come from inside my weird brain, but music and art and nature and a whole bunch of things go towards sustaining your energy and maintaining flow during the long slog towards the first-draft finish line.

So now No Limits is out in the world – fly free, little bird! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


No Limits is available to pre-order now, and to purchase on April 14, 2017.

Reader Spotlight: Guest post by @SarahRHatch

DO Judge a Book by its Cover by Sarah Robinson-Hatch

Have you ever bought a book simply because it looked beautiful? Have you ever been put off reading a book because it didn't have an appealing cover? I certainly have. But what makes a cover worthy of buying the book without even knowing anything about the narrative? Why do some of the best books have the ugliest covers? And here’s the question we all want to know the answer to: Why are publishers still using human faces on the front of books?

Gorgeous covers, like beauty, is all in the eye of the beholder. What I find attractive might not interest you, and a cover you might adore might be one that I feel pretty meh about. And I even think that our tastes in covers develops and changes, much like how our change in books can shift. I used to love covers with lots of colours and heaps of detail, but now I seem to gravitate towards the ones that are a little more simple, like We Are the Ants and Radio Silence.

What I love about these covers is how subtle they are, but I also adore the colours used, contrasting the white font. I’m no artist, but the colours in the sky in both covers is so appealing to me. But another type of cover that I’ve been seeing recently, and that I really like, is people who have been drawn. Thank goodness most publishers and cover designers are realising that having faces on covers, like with Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, isn’t attractive at all. As well as having silhouettes of people on covers, drawn people, like the girl on the front of the American version of The Hate U Give, is another example of a type of cover I love.

But let’s implement my love of these covers and discover what I’ve bought just because of the pretty cover, shall we? As I’m notorious for not reading blurbs, I feel that being susceptible to gorgeous covers is even more of a risk to my bank account. For example, We Are the Ants was totally a cover buy for me. I mean, I’d heard a couple of my friends had enjoyed it, but that beautiful cover really sealed the deal. How could I say no to having that book on my shelf?

And then there’s books that I buy because of their gorgeous cover and never get around to reading. For example, Infinity Glass. I had no idea what these books were about, but I had to buy them because they looked good, right? Never mind avo on toast and $6 lattes, buying books is the reason why I’ll never be able to afford a house to put them in. It’s not my fault I care more about stocking my library than actually acquiring the space to have a library.

There are also books that just haven't picked up yet because I’m not a fan of their covers. I’m sure they’re brilliant books, but if the cover isn’t something I’m proud of on my shelf, then what’s the point? Oh yeah, the content. I wasn’t ever a fan of the UK and Australian cover of Radio Silence, and the American one hadn’t come out when I first heard about this book. I knew that a lot of people really loved it, but the reason why I was so late to that party was because I didn’t like the face on the cover and the colours were off-putting. Thankfully, I was able to overcome that problem, and now Radio Silence is one of my all-time favourite books. *Insert some cliched, vaguely inspirational quote about not buying books for their covers*.

But then we enter a whole different dimension when we’re talking about hardback novels that have art inside the dust jacket or on the book itself. It’s time to talk about what books like like naked. If you buy a lot of books, something you’ll probably have considered is what the book looks like under the dust jacket. Is it plain, or is there some art on it, or something embellished? And what does the spine look like? Although these questions aren’t vital to the beauty of the cover itself, it’s undeniably an important factor in deciding to get the paperback or the hardcover. I’m a sucker for hardcover books with art indented on the front.

Something that confuses me about the way the world works is why book covers change from country to country. Also, I want to know how wifi works, but that’s a question for another time. It’s strange seeing the different covers of foreign editions of books. How does each country decide what covers will entice the market? Why are these covers often so drastically differently? Unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers to these questions, but if you know, I’d be interested in hearing why!

So what covers do you find appealing? Have your tastes in covers changed over the years? What’s the worst book cover you’ve seen? Do you know why covers change from country to country! I’d love to know! In the meantime, I’ll just be sitting here, petting all of my beautiful books.

Sarah Robinson-Hatch is a student who, when not dwelling in fantasy worlds or outer space, resides in Melbourne.

Sarah has won a number of writing awards and hopes to one day have a novel published. Her favourite things to write about are teenagers saving the human race during world-ending cataclysms and death scenes, both of which probably freak her out more than any potential readers.

When she’s not writing, she can be found trying to wrangle fifteen novels onto a bookstore counter, thinking of how she can best make readers cry, or fangirling to the point of hyperventilating over fan-art, movie trailers and authors favouriting her Tweets. She's also probably frantically planning the next event for The YA Room — a Melbourne YA book club which she co-hosts.

Sarah thinks every type of weather is reading weather and refuses to leave the house without two books in her bag — just in case she finishes the first one. You can find her on Twitter @SarahRHatch or on her blog, Written Word Worlds.

Blogger Wrap Up - July

Welcome back, July was a busy month  and there was plenty happening on the blogsphere. So here is some of our favourite reviews and discussions from around the blogsphere from Aussie and Kiwi bloggers. Make sure to use the ausyablogger  hashtag on twitter and instagram so we can find your posts  and  others can check  them out and have a read. Who knows you may be even  featured  in a future Wrap Up

Cait of Paper Fury reivew Song of the Current over the  Boomerang Book Blog and talks about how it captured her heart with pirates and more

Danielle reviews the gorgeous The Colour Project , a debut that is coming out this month  and a must read for contemporary lovers.


Gabby reviews Wreck from Oz YA Author Fleur Ferris and this one is a dozy


Kira reviews one this month's OZ YA new release  The Gap in Ghost Town

Sarah review upcoming fantasy  Heart of Mist which is coming out end of August 

Laura review the diverse fun geeeky Queen of Geeks, another wonderful OZ YA novel 

 Hope you enjoyed  the picks for  Best of Bloggers - July Wrap and we will be back  with more picks next month. August is going to be a busy month so I can't wait to share

You can find Tash via  Thoughts by TashTwitter  Instagram and Goodreads

#loveozyabloggers - feels

#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.


Choosing only three books that much that theme of feels was really difficult, so much of why I read is because I love getting caught up with the characters and feeling what they are going through.  I settled on these three because I read them all a million years ago, and I can still remember the feeling I have associated with them so strongly.

> > Borrowed Light by Anna Fienberg < < 

This one was always one I was going to include.  I don’t normally enjoy overly introspective literary type books (that’s why I read YA)  but something about this really speaks to me.  I think it’s that main character Callisto is such an outsider, and that was something I really related to.  The book is ostentatiously about her dealing with accidentally falling pregnant at 16, though to be honest to me the book is more about what it feels like to try and keep your not very well functioning family together when you are the type of person that overthinks everything.  

> > Mahalia by Joanne Horniman < < 

Mahalia is the opposite to borrowed light in almost every other way, except for that I was pretty sure that I wanted it on my list.  This book is very much about teenage pregnancy, and it’s unusual both in that it’s not full of angst about this, but also that it’s starring a teenage dad.  The book never tries to glorify pregnancy, or make it look easy, but it is just a lovely portrayal of what it’s like to be a teenage boy trying his best to raise a kid.

> > A Cage of Butterflies by Brian Caswell < <

This is the book that I think is least likely to live up to a more modern audience, but I’m still including it because it’s something that had an impact on me.  It’s about a group of smart teens who end up living on a farm together, and discover that things aren’t all they seem.  Again it plays into the themes of the first book with feeling othered, and I love it because to me it’s about finding chosen family.  I’ve included the audiobook version specifically here because Rebecca Macauley is a super talented voice actress, and i credit this version for being a lot of what helped me emotionally connect to the characters.  

August Events


What Launch! The Undercurrent by Paula Weston
When 3rd August 2017
Time 6.30pm
Where Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St, Bulimba QLD 4171 
For more information...

New South Wales

What The Build-Up Season book launch
When 3 August 2017
Time 6:00 pm
Where Kinokuniya Bookstore
The Galeries Level 2 500 George Street Sydney, NSW 2000

For more information...

What Dymocks Sydney YA Bookmeet
When August 5, 2017
Time 2:30 PM 
Where Dymocks Sydney, 424 -430 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
For more information...

What Connect with Your Audience: Writing for Kids and YA
When August 12, 2017
Time 10:00 AM
Where NSW Writers' Centre, Callan Park, Lilyfield
For more information...

What YA Smackdown!
When 12 August 2017
Time 11:00 
Where Books Kinokuniya Level 2, The Galeries 500 George Street Sydney NSW 2000
For more information...

New Zealand

Northern Territory



What Bendigo Writers Festival 
When 11 - 13 August 2017
Time various
Where various

For more information...

What Love Your Bookshop Day (with YA special guests) 
When August 12, 2017
Time 10AM
Where The Younger Sun, 26 Murray Street, Yarraville, VIC
For more information...

What No Limits Booklaunch
When 18 August 2017 
Time 6:30pm 
Where Dymocks Melbourne Lower Ground, 234 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
For more information...

What Harper Collins 2017 Education Evening
When August 24, 2017
Time 4:30PM
Where InterContinental Melbourne, 495 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
For more information...

What Melbourne Writers Festival
When 23 August - 3 September
Time various
Where various
For more information...

What Book launch: Take Three Girls
When 27 August 2017
Time 1:30pm 
Where Readings Hawthorn — 701 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122
For more information...

Western Australia

What Short Story Writing Workshop with Danielle Binks
When August 12, 2017
Time 9AM
Where Broome Public Library Hamersley Street Broome, WA 6725
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

#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#7)

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!

Sarah's pick

Title: The Simple Gift
Author: Steven Herrick
Released: January 4th 2000 
Publisher: QUP
Add it to Goodreads 

I'm not proud.  I'm sixteen, and soon to be homeless.  
Weary of his life with his alcoholic, abusive father, sixteen-year-old Billy packs a few belongings and hits the road, hoping for something better than what he left behind. He finds a home in an abandoned freight train outside a small town, where he falls in love with rich, restless Caitlin and befriends a fellow train resident, "Old Bill," who slowly reveals a tragic past. When Billy is given a gift that changes everything, he learns not only to how forge his own path in life, but the real meaning of family.

why i chose it

I didn’t discover Steven Herrick until earlier this year thanks to fellow AusYABloggers Mod Kelly. Within the first few pages of my first foray into Herrick’s work I was in love with his writing. I’ve gone on to devour all his books that I can get my hands on, with The Simple Gift being my favourite so far, and Slice a close second.

I thought that maybe if Herrick had slipped under my radar he may have slipped under other peoples as well. Using The Simple Gift as a Throw Back Thursday seemed an opportune way to try and rectify this.

The Simple Gift is beautifully heart-warming. I just sat and hugged the book once I was finished reading it.
Three people from different walks of life are brought together by circumstance, the result being that they all end up making each other’s life better. Written in free verse it is a captivating story of friendship and second chances, of healing and new love.

Follow Sarah at The Adventures of SacaKat, 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.

August New Releases

If you're purchasing online, remember to check out Booko for free shipping when purchasing from Booktopia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld and Boomerang Books. Support your local bookstores to support our Australian publishing industry. 

August New Releases

Penguin Teen

Hachette Australia

Allen and Unwin

Allen and Unwin

Walker Books Australia


Walker Books

Self Published

Simon and Australia

What books are you excited for in August?

You can find Kelly via Diva Booknerd  Twitter  Instagram and Goodreads

#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#6)

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!

Nicole's pick

Title: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
Released: June 5th 2006
Publisher: Penguin Books
Add it to Goodreads
Francesca battles her mother, Mia, constantly over what's best for her. All Francesca wants is her old friends and her old school, but instead Mia sends her to St. Sebastian's, an all-boys' school that has just opened its doors to girls. Now Francesca's surrounded by hundreds of boys, with only a few other girls for company. All of them weirdos, or worse.

Then one day, Mia is too depressed to get out of bed. One day turns into months, and as her family begins to fall apart, Francesca realizes that without her mother's high spirits, she hardly knows who she is. But she doesn't yet realize that she's more like Mia than she thinks. With a little unlikely help from St. Sebastian's, she just might be able to save her family, her friends, and - especially- herself. 

why i chose it

I may be the very last person to have read this book, having only read it last year, but it's been around for more than 10 years and definitely qualifies as a Throwback Thursday title.

What Marchetta does so brilliantly is write about families and their every day lives in a way that is painfully real. Francesca not only has to settle into a new school and find new friends, she has to deal with growing apart from her old friends, negotiating a co-ed environment that is not girl-friendly, and deciding what she wants to do with her life. At the same time, her mother, the glue that holds her family together, is falling apart. Francesca feels helpless and angry and most of all, terrified that the same thing will happen to her. There are a lot of books which explore the complexities of mental illness, but few that look at the effects not just on the individual, but on their entire family.

Just in case I am not the last person to read this, and you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it.

Follow Nicole at Nicole Has Read, 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 - Fantasy

#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.

Fantasy - Sarah's Entry

I really enjoyed seeing everybody's High school prompted books last time around and here's hoping even more of you share your own this time. Without further ado here is the second theme  - Fantasy.

A big part of me just wanted to list the first three books in Lynette Noni’s Medoran Chronicles. Noni’s captivating fantasy series has fast become one of my all-time favourites alongside Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. And she’s only put out the first three books!

> > Akarnae (The Medoran Chronicles #1) by Lynette Noni < < 

A fast and fun read that had me dying to get my hands on the second book. A strong start to an entertaining and captivating series. The main characters are all easily likable and I fell for them immediately. New friends are made, a whole new world is discovered, as are all new dangers. The story was fast paced, easy to read and flowed really well. 

Now my minds going off on a tangent, thinking of books that I never shut up about. The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf and The Tribe trilogy springs to mind. Yeah, it’s normally listed as a Dystopian but I have seen it as Fantasy, and it’s just so fantastic how could I not bring it up. Yep that works for me.

> > The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (The Tribe #1) by Ambelin Kwaymullina < < 

This story is fresh and exciting. It is action packed, high danger with just the right about of young romance. Ashala is amazing, in fact so are all the Tribe members and Ashala’s connection to natural world is truly beautiful.
Kwaymullina writing flows beautifully and is filled with powerful energy. This book was a real pleasure to read and had me racing out to read the second book.

Now I’m thinking, ok I’ve got two awesome Aussie ladies how about an awesome Aussie fella to finish off the third – enter Jay Kristoff and Nevernight.

> > Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff < <

I haven’t read this one, but it is sitting on my shelf waiting for me and I’m super keen. All the reviews I’ve read have praised Kristoff for its action filled stabby-stabby awesomeness and positive and empowering sexiness. It is listed as YA but I’ve seen some reviewers question whether it is too descriptive with its violence and sex scene to be classed as such. But teens can handle a lot more than they are given credit for. Parental prerogative, I do not intend to censor reading material. 

There is nothing better when this world is getting you down then getting swept off into another. Am I right? Yes, yes I am.

Author Spotlight - Rachael Craw Q&A

We are so excited to have the fabulous New Zealand author, Rachael Craw, as our guest this month. She very graciously took time out from her busy writing schedule to answer a few questions for us.

Rachael is the author of the Spark Trilogy, Spark, Stray and Shield.

What are you reading at the moment (or, what's the last book you read)?

I recently finished Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor, which I had been saving for a jolly good wallow. I adore Taylor’s work, her rich imagery, world building and characterisation. I was not disappointed. It was completely exquisite and riveting. I read Fleur Ferris new YA thriller, Wreck afterwards – an adrenaline filled page-turner. I love Ferris’ urgent, action-packed style and I lapped it up. I am just about to read Kylie Scott’s first YA novel, Trust. I’m excited to crack into it.

There's a lot of love for the Spark series in both Australia and NZ, how does it feel to have your characters come to life in other people's imagination?

It’s a dream come true. I love hearing from a reader who has fallen in love with the characters and the world of the story. That kind of investment is priceless.

What has been the highlight of your publishing journey so far?

Gosh, this is tough question. There are so many aspects that never get old – like seeing your book in print for the first time. Hearing from a passionate fan. Going to writer’s festivals has been incredible. I’ve been able to come to Australia for several events that I would never have been able to attend otherwise. The Perth Writer’s Festival, Somerset Celebration of Literature, Reading Matters. Amazing.

Your new book has been announced and I know you're working on that at the moment - what can you tell us about it?

Black Water Cull is YA speculative fiction. It’s set on a mysterious island (I have been fantasizing about setting a novel on an island for few years and I am so in love with the moody/brooding/landscape). There is a dimensional rift through which slip creatures from another time and place causing havoc for the locals. There is a mystical herd of deer protected by an elite force of Rangers. There is an infamously dangerous 4 yearly cull to protect the fragile eco-system of Black Water Island and ruthless fortune hunters who risk everything to get their hands on Actaeon’s Bane a priceless compound only found in the bones of Black Water deer. The cull is really the backdrop to a very human drama. Cal West is a ranger and Meg Archer is a young hunter who returns to the island looking for closure on a childhood trauma that links their lives.

Now that you've had a complete series released, is the writing experience different this time?

No. I always find it hard. Never easy. But I love it. Even when I hate it, I love it. Hopefully, I’m a little more instinctual and have a more refined ear but it’s an ongoing learning curve. I always want to be better.

We are all about promoting both Australian and NZ authors. A lot of our readers don't have much experience with NZ YA - can you share some of your favourites with us?

My favourite NZ author is Elizabeth Knox. Her Dreamhunter/Dreamquake duet are so brilliant. Mortal Fire is wonderfully magical and beautifully written. Kate De Goldi is another kiwi author hero, I love The 10pm Question. Karen Healey writes amazing YA, When We Wake and When We Run are very clever furture/dystopia novels inspired by Sleeping Beauty. Bernard Beckett, Brian Faulkner are exceptional. One of my favourite Middle Grade authors is Sue Copsey who writes brilliant ghost stories for kids.

Sweet or savoury?

I have to have both. Kettle corn is the ultimate. That and salted caramel.

What advice do you have for young people who want to become writers?

Read a lot. Write a lot. Learn to receive criticism. When a trusted mentor points out the problems in your work it forces you to seek creative solutions which makes the work better. I wanted to be good more than I wanted to be published and I really wanted to be published. So, I determined to receive criticism because I desperately wanted to make my work better. I don’t regret a single cut, change, edit. Also: never give up.

Why did you choose to write for a YA audience rather than adult spec-fic?

I really can’t imagine writing anything else. I’m not sure what it says about me but I just knew I would write YA. I love that on the cusp of life aspect to that age and stage of life.

Thank you so much to Rachael for taking the time to answer our questions! I'm sure we're all looking forward to reading Black Water Cull!

Rachael Craw can be found on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and on her website

#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#5)

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: The Wrong Girl (The 1st Freak House Trilogy #1)
Author: C.J. Archer
Released: May 25th 2013
Publisher: N/A
Add it to Goodreads
It's customary for Gothic romance novels to include a mysterious girl locked in the attic. Hannah Smith just wishes she wasn't that girl. As a narcoleptic and the companion to an earl's daughter with a strange affliction of her own, Hannah knows she's lucky to have a roof over her head and food in her belly when so many orphans starve on the streets. Yet freedom is something Hannah longs for. She did not, however, want her freedom to arrive in the form of kidnapping.

Taken by handsome Jack Langley to a place known as Freak House, she finds herself under the same roof as a mad scientist, his niece, a mute servant and Jack, a fire starter with a mysterious past. They assure Hannah she is not a prisoner and that they want to help her. The problem is, they think she's the earl's daughter. What will they do when they discover they took the wrong girl?

why i chose it

I really liked The Wrong Girl because there were a lot of things to like about it! Which may sound obvious, but it's true. I loved the gothic setting. It's what drew me to read this book in the first place (along with that absolutely lovely cover, which still remains a favourite). The romance ignited quickly, but didn't move at a breakneck speed, which was refreshing. The main character was likeable, and her voice was incredibly unique. Secondary characters were standouts, and the ending left me wanting to read the sequel straight away - which is always a good sign.

If you're interested in reading The Wrong Girl it's actually free on Amazon!

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.
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