#LoveOzYA Anthology | Danielle Binks

Hi friends! Today we have a very exciting interview to share with you, which will actually be the first in a series of interviews! As you know, the #LoveOzYA Anthology was voted as our June Book of the Month, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled. This month is a celebration of all things #LoveOzYA, and between recommending our favourite Aussie YA novels on our various social media channels all month and being joined by real live authors at our upcoming Book Meet, we thought it would be great to get to know some of the amazingly talented authors who contributed to the #LoveOzYA Anthology! First up, we have the lovely Danielle Binks – who wrote a short story and edited the anthology. How cool is that?!

SLICE BinksRead More »

June Book Meet

Wow, last month just flew by! Complete with book launches, successful Twitter chats and another fantastic Book Meet, it only felt like the blink of an eye before we were waking up on June 1st. But this month holds more exciting things, because our Book of the Month is the #LoveOzYA Anthology!

Comprised of short stories from phenomenal Aussie authors, this anthology is a must-read for everyone who appreciates and adores Aussie YA. We’re lucky enough to have a few authors joining us at our next Book Meet, so if there’s one Book Meet you attend all year, make it this one! You won’t want to miss it.

LoveOzYA AnthologyThis month’s Book Meet will be held at the Wheeler Centre, so it’s vital to book your tickets. There’ll also be snacks and goodie bags! Grab your ticket here.

Until then!

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April Wrap-Up // THINGS IN MAY

Hi everyone! Wow, it’s hard to believe yet another month has passed! April was a busy month for us, as always, and we’re so excited for what this month will hold!

As you may recall, at the beginning of April we had our Autumn Picnic! Even though it was rainy, we still had a lovely time indoors, feasting on all the snacks everyone brought and chatting about what we’ve been reading recently! I don’t know about you, but picnics are one of our favourite things to host. We’re already planning our next informal get together!

As usual, we hosted our Twitter chat and our Book Meet at Dymocks, where we talked all about our Book of the Month – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor! Everyone really loved this book, and we’re so pleased we had the opportunity to read it with y’all. Here are some reviews from the people that joined us at our Book Meet!

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Strange the Dreamer – Review (spoiler free) on Bec’s Books

The Magnificence that is Strange the Dreamer on The Sprinkled Pages

Book Review: Strange the Dreamer on Read at Midnight

And of course, here’s Sarah and Alex‘s review of Strange the Dreamer.

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As April came to a close, we revived our YouTube channel by adding some more content! We’re planning on uploading twice a week, and we’ve already been planning some interviews to share with you soon. Make sure you check out our videos if you haven’t already! We’d love to hit 100 subscribers by the end of the month.

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And finally, we’ve been planning our upcoming Twitter chat and Book Meet for our May Book of the Month – The Upside of Unrequited! If you haven’t already got a copy of this gorgeous book, please do! We can’t wait to chat about it, and we’d love for you to join in. Tickets for our Book Meet will be released shortly, but in the time being, mark it into your calendar! It’s going to be a fun afternoon, as always. We even have a special surprise!

Unrequited ChatUpside Book Meet

Talk soon!

STRANGE THE DREAMER – #YARoomChat and Book Meet

Hi everyone! WOW, well I don’t know about you, but this month has been great for us so far! Not only have there been a TON of amazing new releases, including Strange the Dreamer AND next month’s Book of the Month, The Upside of Unrequited, but we also had our Autumn Picnic last weekend! It was amazing to see so many people braving the cold to come and join us to chat about books and eat the delicious sweets that our guests kindly prepared. You can see all of our photos on our Facebook Page, and there are also some on our Instagram!

This coming Monday, we have our monthly Twitter chat – #YARoomChat! As our Book of the Month is Strange the Dreamer, we’ll be talking all about Laini Taylor’s spectacular new book. As always, the chat will be spoiler-free and you’re more than welcome to join in, even if you haven’t read or finished reading the book! We’re also lucky enough to be joined by Hachette Australia’s YA department, Date a Book!

Strange YA Room

And then in a couple of Sundays, we have our Book Meet at Dymocks, where we’ll be able to chat IRL about our love for Strange the Dreamer! There’ll be a special surprise for those that join us on the day, so make sure you don’t miss out! We’re looking forward to seeing both old and new faces. Grab a free ticket today so you don’t forget!Read More »

Autumn Picnic

Hi friends! If you haven’t already seen, we’re holding another picnic this Sunday! We’ll be meeting in the same place as last time, where we’ll be sharing sweets and talking about everything bookish.

If you’re thinking of coming, please grab a free ticket through our Eventbrite link so we know how much food to bake – and bring something for us to share! We hope to see you there! ❤

THUG Book Meet

Hello friends!

It’s hard to believe another month is almost over, isn’t it? We had our March Book Talk a couple of days ago, where we discussed the powerful and important novel The Hate U Give. It was amazing to get the chance to chat with the author, Angie Thomas, last week via Skype and it was equally as great to hear everyone else’s opinion.

We also held our monthly #YARoomChat on Twitter, where we were joined by readers all across Australia (and a few from overseas too!) to talk about what we loved about The Hate U Give and why it’s such an important and timely novel.

In case you missed it, here’s a video of the interview with Angie Thomas that we uploaded to our YouTube channel! Check it out!

Next month, we’re super excited to be reading Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Make sure you grab your copy to join in the fun! Our next Book Meet will be held on Sunday 23rd April – we hope you can join us!

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Take a look at some of our favourite reviews of The Hate U Give, written by our book club members:

5 Reasons Why You Must Read THE HATE U GIVE – book review by Sarah

The Hate U Give Review (Spoiler Free) – book review by Bec

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – book review by Angel

Author Q&A

Hello again, friends! Today we’re bring you something really special – an interview with author Harriet Springbett! If you haven’t seen our last post yet, check it out to learn a bit more about Harriet’s novel – Tree Magic – and to hear more about the ideas behind it!

We were interested in learning a bit more about Harriet’s writing style and her tips for aspiring writers, so she was kind enough to give us a bit of an insight into her writing world! Enjoy!

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What does your usual writing routine look like? Do you prefer a particular place to write in? What time of the day do you get the most writing done?

I started to take writing seriously in 2005 and an integral part of that decision was to allocate myself a specific writing time and then stick to it. I’m definitely a morning writer – this is when I have the most ideas and energy – so I write every weekday morning. Having a routine makes it easier to treat writing as a job. I think about my story and take notes at other points during the day (and night) too, but this is bonus time. My regular evening runs even count as work time, as this when I play through new scenes in my head. It’s often the best time to solve my characters’ conflicts.

Sunlight is very important to me, and I tend to follow the sun around the house, sitting to write where I can see outside – or sitting outside whenever possible. This means there are tables every room. My current favourite place to write is in my tiny dressing room, squeezed between hangers of clothes, just because it has a huge window, the morning sun and a view over lots of spring flowers.

What was the most difficult part about writing Tree Magic, and would you do anything differently when writing your next novel?

Finding a title was difficult, but my longest challenge came from settling on the best approach to creating the novel. I’m totally fascinated by the creative process in general, and I love discovering parallels between writing and other arts. My first (bottom drawer) novel was tightly plotted and didn’t leave enough room for creativity. So I decided to let Tree Magic (my second novel) grow organically. This was more fun, but it required massive editing. My latest novel, Red Lies, White Lies, is a combination of the two methods, and I feel much happier about this. I’ve used the same approach for my current novel: I’ve plotted the main motivations and conflicts but have left room for the characters to do what they must within this framework.

The most complicated technical aspect when writing Tree Magic was probably finding the right voice for Rainbow’s age as her story progresses: she’s 13 at the beginning and 18 at the end, and teenagers change a lot between those two ages. My own kids were very young at the time and I had their voices around me all day, so this didn’t help. They’re teenagers now, so I feel very in tune with the YA books I’m reading and writing at the moment.

If there was one thing you could change about the publishing industry, what would it be?

That’s an interesting question, as the poor publishers have already had to cope with huge changes over the last 10 years. As an idealist, I guess I would replace the big publishing houses with a multitude of small publishers, all with equal resources. That would make the whole sector fairer – but it sounds rather Animal Farm-ish, doesn’t it?

Do you prefer the writing or the editing stage?

I love thinking up ideas and pulling them together to make a story in my head, and I love editing. The actual writing is the hard part for me. It’s where you have to take risks. I’m a very slow writer because it takes time to get into my fictional world and make the decisions for my characters using the right words. Although this part can be laborious, scary and fill me with self-doubt, it is also the most exciting part. It’s when the magic happens. It’s when the characters pick up the scent of the story and run with it.

To help myself through this long part, I often stop writing in the middle of a scene. This makes it easier to pick up the next day. I start every session by reading back to the beginning of the scene and editing a little, to get back into the swing of it, and then I continue writing. It’s a big mistake to finish at the end of a scene, so I start a new one, even if I know I’ll change it all the next day. As a Jodi Picoult once said: “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?

I’ve learnt so much over the past 12 years that it’s difficult to find just one piece of advice. I guess I would tell them to write short stories before attacking a novel. The turnaround time is faster, so you can learn from your mistakes more quickly and have fun experimenting until you’re clear about how and what you write. Only then, once your training has warmed you up, should you embark on the marathon of a novel.

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Thanks to Harriet Springbett for answering our questions and giving us an insight into her writing methods! These tips have been really useful, and we’ll definitely be using them in our own writing endeavours. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Tree Magic!

Tree Magic by Harriet Springbett

51WAlm0W2vLRainbow’s magic hands can shape trees at her will, but her gift is dangerous and has fatal consequences.

From England to France, through secrets, fears and parallel worlds, Rainbow’s journey to understand her powers takes her beyond everything she’s ever known.

To find the truth, she must also find herself.