Blog Tour: Kindred: 12 Queer Stories #Loveozya - Guest Review and Interview from Amy

We are opening up our blog today from a Guest Review and Interview from Amy. Hope you enjoy her thoughts- Tash

Hey! I am super grateful to be a part of this tour with the release of Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories and I’d like to start off by saying a massive massive thank you to Walker Books Australia and AusYABloggers for sending me a copy of the book and allowing me to share my thoughts. I’ve also had the delightful privilege of interviewing Erin Gough, which you can find after my review. 


43197387What does it mean to be queer? What does it mean to be human? In this powerful #LoveOzYA collection, twelve of Australia’s finest writers from the LGBTQ+ community explore the stories of family, friends, lovers and strangers – the connections that form us.

This inclusive and intersectional #OwnVoices anthology for teen readers features work from writers of diverse genders, sexualities and identities, including writers who identify as First Nations, people of colour or disabled. With short stories by bestsellers, award winners and newcomers to young adult fiction including Jax Jacki Brown, Claire G Coleman, Michael Earp, Alison Evans, Erin Gough, Benjamin Law, Omar Sakr, Christos Tsiolkas, Ellen van Neerven, Marlee Jane Ward, Jen Wilde and Nevo Zisin.

Includes a foreword by anthology editor Michael Earp, resources for queer teens, contributor bios and information about the #LoveOzYA movement.

View Kindred on Goodreads | Walker Books Australia


If you purchase Kindred from The Little Bookroom you can have it signed By Michael Earp. All You have to do is mention in the order notes that you followed the Kindred Tour and would like your copy signed by Michael.

For people looking to find a bookshop near them: Find A Bookshop.

Amy's Review

This is a book for queer youth to know that they are not alone in their experiences, that these incredible and diverse set of authors have lived these queer lives and understand themselves and their experiences so much so that they are able to articulate this understanding beautifully and capture it in stories such as the twelve wonderful short stories in this anthology. We read to know we are not alone, and to read a book like this instantly validates experiences outside of the usual cishet bubble. As lovely as this tour it, I really hope that this book finds itself in the hands of the kids who need it and for them to know that it’s okay.

This book was wonderfully diverse and not just with a variety of queer identities, but also featured disabled and First Nations authors and characters. In the same way I feel validated by reading about the gay stuff, I know that this extra level of inclusivity will mean worlds for the young people in those situations.

I enjoyed certain stories more than others, which I think is fair when reading an anthology like this with such a diverse set of very unique and really very quite different stories. From dystopian worlds to first interactions with crushes, relationships with family to magical quests, there is a story in here for everyone. I think my personal favourites would have to be Jen Wilde’s “Waiting”, Marlee Jane Ward’s “Rats”, Michael Earp’s “Bitter Draught” and of course, Erin Gough’s “In Case of Emergency, Break Glass”.

Please make sure to check out the other stops on this tour with plenty more in depth reviews and interviews by going here!

Interview with Erin Gough 

Without further ado, I’d like to share my interview with the every lovely Erin Gough. I am absolutely obsessed with her second novel, Amelia Westlake, and adore her works, so this interview was particularly exciting.

This interview was completed before I had received the book, however I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Erin at the Kindred launch in Melbourne to say hello. Even as I got stuck behind the tables and had to rush off quickly afterwards – heaven forbid we miss our train home (spoiler: we didn’t) – she was very kind and welcoming.

Before I get too into it, I thought I’d start off with some simpler easy questions first just to let you warm up a little.

Yes or no - Pineapple on pizza?

Yes. Bring it.

Do you have a favourite word?

‘Agile’ is my current favourite. I am definitely overusing it in my writing at the moment.

If you could only ever listen to one artist for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Nina Simone.

Alright too easy (I hope?). I think that's enough of a warm up, here's some questions that perhaps may require a bit more brainpower.

Exploring and defining your identity can be a difficult process on its own without the extra hurdles that can come along with being queer - such as potential mental and internal struggles, or challenges from the world around you. How did you navigate (or perhaps still are navigating) this process of exploring your queer identity?

It was hard. It’s still hard at times, but it’s a lot easier than it was when I was a teen. I was in denial for a long time about my sexuality. I didn’t know any lesbians. I grew up in a fairly religious community and being gay was not a legitimate identity in that community. Even though I suspected I was a lesbian, I told myself it was just that I hadn’t met the right boy yet. I decided I had to date a few boys to be sure, which I did. Then I kissed a girl. It changed everything. I was at university and living out of home by then, which made it a lot easier to explore who I was. I don’t think I could have done that had I been living with my parents.

And to follow on from that, how do you identify?

As a cis lesbian.

And of course, queer identities also generally have the extra element of them with regards to coming out. How was your coming out experience?

It was pretty hard. I was 24. I waited until I was living overseas to phone my parents. They were really upset and said some hurtful things. When I came home a few months later I had a hard time adjusting to being out. My friends were amazing, which helped. Some of them knew already. My girlfriend and her family were incredibly supportive. I also had some counselling, which was exactly what I needed. And I took up kickboxing, which was awesome! I pounded a lot of anger into those punching bags.

What (or who?) inspired the short story you contributed to Kindred?

The story is partly inspired by my own experience of dating boys when I was in my late teens and early twenties and trying to make it work. And then meeting someone who changed everything. That’s what my protagonist, Amy, experiences. She meets this girl – in a hall cupboard, of all places – and it is so life changing that the dead rise up, the world floods, and people start speaking in rhyme. These surreal elements of the story are a departure from my usual approach. I wanted to convey how incredible it is to finally be with someone you’re attracted to, after denying that part of yourself for so long.

Apart from your own story, which is your favourite story from Kindred and why?

Marlee Jane Ward’s ‘Rats’ is amazing. The voices of her characters are so strong, the language she uses to tell her story is poetry, and her narrative had me on the edge of my seat. 

And finally, do you have any words of wisdom for young queer Aussie teens?

Be proud of who you are, because you ought to be.

I’d like to thank Erin again for being a good sport and for her excellent words. I think those are nice words to finish on – be proud of who you are, because you ought to be.

1 comment

  1. That was an absolutely wonderful interview, Amy!
    I loved reading about Erin's own experiences with her sexuality, and how it tied to her story in Kindred.


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