#LoveOzYA Interview: Emily O’Beirne
I love Aussie YA. I love reading books from authors that live in the same country as me, that know things that people out of Australia might be so confused about. They can incorporate this into their book and it is fabulous.
So I decided to created a feature where I interview Australian Young Adult authors about their craft, journey and some interesting facts. I thought it was a fun way for everyone around the world to get to know these authors and maybe make them want to pick up their books. And that is what I am aiming to do, spread the word about #LoveOZYA and get everyone reading it.
Hi Emily, and welcome to Angel Reads. First can you introduce yourself to everyone? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Emily O’Beirne. I work part-time teaching at university, which I love, and spend the rest of my time writing YA. I write books about young gay/bi girls, because there are neither enough books about them or for them. My latest book, Here’s the Thing, will be out in October this year.
I love reading, but I love a good TV series just as much. My guilty pleasures in life are Dogspotting and penne matriciana. I’ve recently tried to get to the gym (to offset the hours sitting at desk), but at heart I think I might be kind of lazy. I am currently raising an army of indoor plants, and I travel as much as my work will let me (my current quandary: is a third o/s trip this year just being greedy?)
What has your writing journey been like? Where did you start? Why?
Like most writers, I have always written. When I was a kid I’d just wake up some mornings and think “I’m going to write a story.” And I would. And it would be awful and cliché and a complete echo of whatever I was reading at the time. But the urge was there.
In my early twenties I wrote, and even did a writing course for a year. I entered the first 10 000 words of a manuscript into a national emerging writers contest and made it to the last three. Problem was, I didn’t have the rest of the story. Actually, the problem was, I didn’t have a story yet. Just a desire to write. I think I was too young. I spent the rest of my twenties just living and doing lots of different things, which gave me stories and characters I needed. Now, after a spell in academia and journalism, I have re-discovered my love of writing fiction, and found endless stories I want to write.
What was the process of getting your first book published?
I was actually approached by the the woman who runs my publishing company after she’d seen some of my writing online. I wasn’t really thinking about publishing. I was just writing at that point. And when I realised later I had something resembling a book, I got in touch with them. She still liked it, and it went from there.
Was it different when getting your proceeding books published?
Not really, because I’ve been with the same publisher since. I already had an idea for my second book, and the third came while I was writing that one. I wonder if it’s because I spent so long not writing, if they just keep on coming, now?
You are with an international publisher, why did you go along that route?
As I said, they approached me. In some ways it would be great to have an Aussie publisher, and to feel a part of the Aussie YA thing, but this is how it has ended up. It’s odd though, because the publishing company is European, I am an Australian, and I think the significant proportion of my readers are American.
You are an OZYA author, what are some of your favourite Aussie YA books?
There have been too many favourites across time, so I’ll just mention some I loved from this year (though not necessarily published this year). I adored Clancy of the Undertow, by Christopher Currie. I loved Clancy’s voice, which was so forthright and so funny and wry and just so genuinely adolescent.
I also recently caught up on Fiona Woods’ inter-related books, Cloudwish, Six Impossible Things and Wildlife. I think I read them backward, but it didn’t matter. One of the things she’s so great at is writing character into people’s little behaviours. I really admire that.
Here’s The Thing by Emily O’Beirne
Publish date: October 19th 2016
Publisher: Ylva Publishing
It’s only for a year. That’s what sixteen-year-old Zel keeps telling herself after moving to Sydney for her dad’s work. She’ll just wait it out until she gets back to New York and Prim, her epic crush/best friend, and the unfinished subway project. Even if Prim hasn’t spoken to her since that day on Coney Island.
But Zel soon finds life in Sydney won’t let her hide. There’s her art teacher, who keeps forcing her to dig deeper. There’s the band of sweet, strange misfits her cousin has forced her to join for a Drama project. And then there’s the curiosity that is the always-late Stella.
As she waits for Prim to explain her radio silence and she begins to forge new friendships, Zel feels strung between two worlds. Finally, she must figure out how to move on while leaving no one behind.
Thank you Emily for joining me at Angel Reads and sharing your journey. Have you read any of Emily’s books? Did you like them? Are you going to read them? Let’s Chat!
Come back next week for some more Aussie fun. If you want to know more about the #LoveOZYA movement check out the website for all the details.