Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Camping Book List 2015, and happy holidays!

It’s nearly Christmas Day as I’m writing this.  And I’m not organised, except for camping – we’re leaving on our annual family camping trip on Boxing Day, which I’m excited about because it means a nice long time out, and lots of writing done on a camp chair at the cliff near our camp site when everyone else is asleep (and I am weirdly awake – old habits die hard, I guess).  I’ve printed up my manuscript, I’ve got all my little exercise books full of squiggly notes, and I’m taking a Melina Marchetta book with me, as a good luck talisman J

Lots of people put up their ‘Best of 2015’ book lists at this time.  I’ve read many many amazing books this year, but I’m not going to list them all because I don’t like to rank books (I find it really hard to do, actually) and also because my memory is so poor that I’d probably leave out all the crucial ones.  Instead, I’m going to list the books that I’m taking on holiday with me (in hard copy or e-book format), to give you an idea of the kinds of worlds I’ll be living in while I’m away.

Some of these books have been recommended, some just looked interesting, some are books I’m curious about because they correspond in some way with the book I’m currently writing.  But for whatever reason these titles grabbed me, so I’m hoping to get through them all in the next fortnight.  And here they are:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
The Natural Way of Things – Charlotte Wood
Hope Farm – Peggy Frew
Clancy of the Undertow – Christopher Currie (lots of people reckon this is awesome)*
Gated – Amy Parker
The Murder Complex – Lindsay Cummings
Spark – Rachael Craw*
Risk – Fleur Ferris*
Pieces of Sky – Trinity Doyle*
Ghost River – Tony Birch
Lair of Dreams – Libba Bray (because I’ve been waiting for a chance to sink my teeth into this)
Nona & Me – Clare Atkins*
A Thousand Lives – Julie Scheer
Saving Francesca – Melina Marchetta (my lucky charm)*
Wolf by Wolf – Ryan Graudin (on Amie Kaufman’s strongest recommendation)
Black Spring – Alison Croggan*
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf – Ambelin Kwaymullina*
(* #LoveOzYA for the win!)

What do you reckon?  I’ve also been promising to read Grapes of Wrath for about three years and never getting around to it, so this could be the time it happens…if I don’t get distracted by all the other shiny things.

I also wanted to let you all know that I won’t be answering emails or texts or phone calls during the holidays.  We’ll be gone for two weeks, and in that time I will be enacting radio silence (actually, it’s not like I have a non-radio-silence option: there’s no phone and internet reception where we’re going).  So if you’re trying to get in touch, please be patient, and I promise to get back to you around mid-January next year.

And on that note – happy holidays!  Whatever your religious affiliation (or not), or plans for the season (or not), I hope you have a lovely time between now and the New Year.  May all good things come your way, may you stay safe from bushfires and mozzies, may the sunburn (or cool freeze) steer clear, and may your books (and writing, if you’re that way inclined) be plentiful!  All best wishes from me and my family to you and yours, and see you in 2016 J


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Literary community: the golden thread

I found my literary community online on Twitter.

It was 2012, or maybe 2013, I’m not exactly sure – basically it was such a short while after I’d signed my first publishing contract (with Allen & Unwin for Every Breath) that the ink  of my signature was still wet on the page.  This was about the moment when my brother, Jared, said, ‘Ell, you’ve got to get some platforms, mate.  I’m getting you a domain name.  And while you’re at it, learn how to use Facebook properly and get on Twitter.’

Twitter?  I thought he was mental.  Why would I want to send 140 character missives about what I had for breakfast out into the universe?  What could possibly compel me to –

‘There’s loads of writers on Twitter.  You could be involved in the community.’


Well, that made sense.  Living two hours away from the urban action in Melbourne made me feel disconnected from everything.  I’d always worked alone.  I’m not into scenes, I didn’t do parties or events, and I was crap at ‘networking’.  I had no writer’s group, I’d never had a writing buddy.  I’d tried a few things online  - writer’s forums – to give me some perspective on whether what I was producing was any good (I even made one friend that way – hi Denis!) but I really had no idea about the industry or the community that I purported to be interested in joining.  I’d attended one writer’s course (and I made some friends there too, although they lived far away in Melbourne).  The only solid connection I had to other writers was through their books – books that I devoured, sighed over, read and re-read.  The information that I gleaned about craft, about submissions, about the professional aspects of writing…I got most of it from books, or authors’ blogs, or whatever articles I could find online with my wonky internet modem humming in the background.

Which was…fine.  Really, it was.  I got by pretty well with what info I’d managed to scrape together for myself while working alone.  I managed to fanangle a publishing deal, didn’t I?  I was doing okay.  I have to admit, being a solitary writer in a rural zone gave me a feeling of specialness, a real ‘pulling myself up by my bootstraps’ sense of myself.  I didn’t need anybody!  I was a literary island!  No derivative outside influences for me – my singular voice would be my stylistic benchmark.  I could make my own rules and do it solo, and my writing would be better for it, because it would be ALL ME.

The only problem was, it was a crock of shit.

When I hit a wall with a manuscript, I had no one to turn to (except my books, my faithful friends).  I think I gave up on a few pieces because I just bounced them around inside my own head without respite.  I didn’t even realise you could hit the wall that way – I’d never heard of anyone else doing it.  I figured it was just my own faulty wiring.  Working out solutions to problems of craft took a long time, because it was just a slow process of trial and error, and checking back with dog-eared pages or bookmarked articles (a lot of which contradicted each other).

And then, when negotiations began for book deals and so forth, I had no freaking idea what I was doing.  Was this how it was done?  Was this normal?  I had a bad experience where a publisher gave me a twenty-four hour ultimatum to accept a deal or forget it – I angsted about it, because I really didn’t feel comfortable, and in the end I passed, but I had no other experiences, no other yardstick with which to measure this, and I felt terrible.

What about problems with tax or legal issues?  Is this advance split okay?  Should I change the POV – can I even do that?  What do editors really want from you?  Am I being unreasonable?  Do you have to promote your book yourself?  Really?  Should I speak up more in editorial meetings?  And what about speaking engagements?  What about book launches?  Does this chapter really have to go?  Why?

I had so many questions about the industry, about writing, about the profession in general, and no one to ask.  I’d been alone for so long, hunkered down in my writing cave, that I’d almost forgotten that there was a world of other people out there who were struggling along the same way I was.

Then I discovered Twitter, and suddenly the universe expanded.  I connected with the larger community of writers, in this country and overseas, and found a great number of like-minded people who shared my concerns and questions, confronted the same obstacles.  Collectively, they knew a heck of a lot more about the industry than I did, and they were generous with their wisdom.  Plus, y’know, being in their company was just nice.

With the benefit of their frank advice, I was able to tackle craft issues in new and more constructive ways.  I worked out how to handle my own business affairs (and I’m still learning on that front).  I was encouraged to engage more at events (and that was a big deal – for city events, I have to make arrangements for my family and then travel a long way, so it was good to know which events were good to attend, and whether new friends would be there to back me up).  I developed a much greater understanding of the industry I was working in, and the professional standards and expectations of the literature sector.  Above all, I discovered a great feeling of collegiality and support, that I was not doing this on my own, and with that came a renewed confidence in my own abilities, both in writing and in handling the concerns of my new chosen field.

Twitter was great for me, because of the distance factor – I could be involved while still far away.  Other writers I know who live closer to urban centres have the benefit of meeting writer friends in person, or use alternative ways to connect.  Facebook, monthly meet-ups, newsletters, cons, beers at the pub…  Whatever your preferred method, there’s bound to be a way for you to touch base with your writing community in one form or another.

I’m extolling the virtues of community here because I recently read two articles that lamented the involvement of writers in the social sphere.  One was about a new anthology of American writing from The Paris Review,called The Unprofessionals – the editor of this book, Lorin Stein, prefaces the anthology with the complaint that many young contemporary writers have become ‘unthinkingly proficient’ at self-promotion and networking, and that such engagement often draws writers away from the art of writing itself.  According to Stein, this results in “less close reading, less real criticism, lower standards, and less regard for artistic, as opposed to commercial, success.”

The other article I read was a criticism of ‘literati communities’ in urban centres, specifically in Melbourne.  In her piece titled ‘Literati cities: just the spot for networking, less so for writing a great novel’, Brigid Delaney highlights the idea (suggested by Adelaide writer Jonno Revanche) that compared to writers who live and work in the urban ‘literature hubs’ of Australia, outside voices are undervalued and aren’t as easily heard.  Melbourne comes in for some particular criticism for its ‘cliquey’ scene.  This is a fair cop – I understand what it’s like to be on the fringes of urban networks – but what bugged me about the article was the idea that to be a real writer of Great Novels, one has to abandon community and lark out on one’s own.  According to Brigid Delaney, the literary community may actually be holding you back from producing something of real artistic worth.  She says, ‘You may need the scene to get job opportunities but you don’t need the scene to write a really great book. In fact the further away you are from any type of group-think, the better your writing will be, the more unusual, the more surprising and the more vivid.’

Both of these ideas stem from the romantic concept of the writer as The Great Artiste, slaving away over a hot Remington in a garret somewhere.  Real writers – according to these articles – don’t engage socially, don’t mix well with others.  Their focus is exclusively on The Great Work.  Writers are a class apart, observant of but clearly above the squalid affairs of human life, and they would never stoop to something as crass as networking or (god forbid) self-promotion, because they don’t even care if anyone reads their work – the artistic merit of the writing is its own reward.  If writers involve themselves in the petty concerns of Real Life (like, I dunno, talking to other writers or even *gasp* promoting their own books) they will lose that Specialness, that Unique Voice that sets them apart from the rest of the proles.

I’m sorry, but this is horseshit.

It ignores so many issues that…well, I’m struggling here to put the issues into some sort of coherent order, there’s just that many of them.  For one, writers are people, just like all the other people you see around you.  They have jobs, and friends, and families (shocking, I know) that ‘impinge’ on their attention to their Great Work every freaking day.  I’m not about to tell my seven-year-old, ‘Sorry, darling, but Mummy is too busy with her Great Work to involve herself in your petty breakfast-making concerns right now’ (no matter how much I sometimes might like to).  Writers are forced to engage with others, because social engagement is a part of what makes us human.

For two, writers are always solitary – always, in their own head.  We don’t need to deliberately separate ourselves.  Let’s face it, even in convivial groups of friends we can’t wait to get away and be alone with our inner voice.  Writers are always thinking about the story, the words that bring it to life, and sure, everyone needs alone time to make those words happen on the page, but you don’t need to isolate yourself from social engagement to ensure that your focus is laser-pointed all the time.  That would drive you mental.

Are you worried that if you engage socially, your Inner Voice will be watered down, or polluted, or somehow disappear?  Really?  How insecure are you?  (Okay, writers are insecure, but…)  I’m pretty sure that your unusual, surprising and vivid voice is still there, inside you, no matter how much you communicate with other people and involve yourself in normal life.  Amazingly enough, it might even benefit you to have some input from other sources.  Talking to people and engaging socially means hearing about other stories, other lives – maybe that might add to your voice, not detract from it (it’s not a negative-sum game, folks).

And are you quite sure that your issues of craft will be magically resolved, if only you could have complete isolation?  So I’m picturing you, the solitary Great Writer, bumbling along like Thoreau in the wilderness, reinventing the wheel every time you have a problem…  Uh, no.  Just no.  Give yourself time alone to work – obviously – but don’t cut yourself off from your other writer mates who might (gee, I dunno) have gone through the same problem and have some wisdom to share.  Writers need professional friends to lean on in times of trouble, to ask for advice, to share the hard struggles of day-to-day work with, and to offer encouragement and support.  And if people are distracting you, then back off – give yourself some space, absolutely!  But don’t worry that your Specialness will somehow up and vanish cos you’re not living like a hermit.

Finally, I’ve got to ask the question of what you think you’re writing for.  Are you writing exclusively for you?  Then fine, live like a hermit, write your stuff, then stick it in a drawer and pull it out every few years so you can have a nice read.  Are you writing to enlighten yourself, or enrich your own life?  Again, that’s fine, and maybe you will only have a readership of one, but at least you’ve done something – you wrote! – and the writing has fulfilled its function.

Maybe that enrichment might extend to others.  Think of LaMott’s patients in the emergency room.  Do you write to tell a story that you think others might empathise with, a story that they might see reflected in their own lives?  Do you write to explain something you’ve realised about human existence, an explanation that is so full of beautiful words and imagery that it resonates with others too?  Then congratulations, you might have a publishable work.  Somebody else might find something good and true in what you wrote.  Maybe lots of people might find your book resonates with them – you have engaged, in the deepest way, with people from many different perspectives.

This is social engagement.  The life of a storyteller is one of giving, of connecting with people, of hearing the chord thrum in every soul.  Your writing does not exist in a social vacuum.  To think anything else is dishonest.  Your writing – your published writing – is going into the hands of many people, is connecting you to them with a fine golden thread that is no less real for being invisible.  Again in LaMott’s terms, you are the host, the person people come to for food and drink and company.  That is a wonderful, humbling role to have in our society.

You are a storyteller.  Own it.  Then live life, get out there, and find your community.


Sunday, 6 December 2015

#LoveOzYAbookclub: December 2015 book selection

Can you hear the Christmas sleigh bells tinkling?  No?  Well, I hope this tinkles in your ear then – we have our second book for bookclub!

This month’s book has been selected by the authors of last month’s title – as #LoveOzYAbookclub operates on a domino system for titles.  So big thank yous to Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, who have chosen Green Valentine by Lili Wilkinson as our book of the month.

Green Valentine is the story of Astrid (Lobster Girl), a perky eco-warrior, and Hiro (Shopping Trolley Boy), a slouchy non-participator, and how they find common ground while taking on the enormous task of re-greening their hometown of Valentine.  The book has been described as ‘a charming and inspiring read’ – I was privileged to launch this book in August, so I’m delighted it’s come on the menu for bookclub.

Lili Wilkinson is a wonderful writer for teenagers, and was a direct inspiration for my own foray into crime fiction (after reading her book A Pocketful of Eyes). CBCA says that “[Lili’s] books challenge expectations, and ask teenagers to look at their choices, and be sure they are making them for the best reasons.” 

If you would like to order the book through Boomerang Books, use the code loveoz at the ‘use a promotional code’ step, and you’ll receive free shipping.

Because it’s such a busy time, I’ll put the discussion post up either a little early or a little late, depending on how people are getting through the reading – and we might have a delayed intro to 2016 as a result (that’s probably my fault, for selecting a brick like Illuminae for the first title – oops), but let me know how you’re getting on with it.

So I hope you enjoy Green Valentine over the holiday period, and may your December be full of calm, and many books!


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

EVERY WORD blog tour is over - sads, but thank youse all

Hello!   The North American blog tour for Every Word is over – sads.  I hope you had a good time checking out the various posts about the book, especially the silly one where I talked about chopping wood in thongs.  Before we go any further, I’d like to sincerely thank all the bloggers who participated – they did a mighty job, and showed amazing energy and enthusiasm, so I’ve listed them all here for awesomeness:

Eri at Airy Reads
Heather at Books & Quilts
Nicole and  at Reading Lark
Amanda at Gun in Act One
Angie at Angieville
Gillian at Writer of Wrongs
Shilpa at sukasareads
Sabrina at Hiver et Café
Adrienne at Books & Bassetts
Michelle at FAB Book Reviews
Leanne at authorleannedyck

Some people really went all out for their end of the tour – check out these amazing artworks!  I especially love the drawing of Rachel and James (I want that as a poster):

I’d also like to extend a special thank you to my Tundra liaison/publicist/blog tour manager and all round incredible person, Sylvia Chan.  Sylvia worked above and beyond the call on this tour of duty, and she has handled everything with her usual friendliness and calm, and I’m hugely appreciative of all the effort she put in.  Thank you Sylvia!!

Also, thank you to all of you who Liked, RTed, reposted, commented, added and joined in the Every Word tour – with your help, the news about Every Word will spread in the US and Canada, and Rachel and Mycroft will find some new friends.  I’m full of appreciation for everyone who gave the book a little nudge along, and I hope, if you put your name down for a giveaway, you get your heart’s desire!

Blog touring is some exhausting work (and it’s not even real *live* touring! Geddouttahere!) and I’ve gotta say, I’m very glad to be back in the writing groove for now.  I’m working on a New Thing, which is still a bit too new for me to talk about with confidence yet, but it’s coming along.  I’ve also got some good news – along with Gabrielle Tozer, Will Kostakis and Melissa Keil, I’m going to be headlining the CBCA National Conference in May 2016.  If you’re in Sydney then, do come along!

Until then – see you around the traps


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

#LoveOzYAbookclub: November 2015 Book Discussion Post – Illuminae (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff)

Hi and welcome to our first book club Discussion Post! 

Now, as book club host, it’s kind of my job to be impartial, but this is the first book off the rank, and (hopefully) the only book I’ll get to choose over the course of book club.  And I’ve got to say, I loved Illuminae – it shook up my head in the best possible way.  I’ve seen a few books that have tried to meld the narrative aspects with graphic-novel style, but this is the first book that I think actually managed to pull it off.  From page one to finish, I absolutely could not put it down (I read it in almost a single sitting) and I was truly blown away by the finale.  Now I’m praying that Brad Pitt and his movie production mates do the novel justice on the big screen.

So – on with the show!  Illuminae is reviewed by Danielle Binks, of Alphareader fame, and she had some great things to say about it, including this:

“Y’know how Battlestar Galactica is actually exploring religion and civil liberty … Or, okay – how Joss Whedon’s Firefly isn’t really just an intergalactic-Western? But rather it’s inspired by the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg and the everyday people who are stepped on in the great moments of history, and that it’s even a story of the immigrant experience and outsiders pushed to the fringe by the victors in a war they never wanted any part of? Yep, okay – well, in the same way there is a lot happening beneath the surface of Illuminae.”

What did you think about Illuminae?  Add comments below, or feel free to join in the Facebook group for discussion about this book, as well as general book talk and a bit of silliness on the side.


Saturday, 21 November 2015

#LoveOzYAbookclub: Author Q&A – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Illuminae)

To value-add to our book club experience, I’ve asked authors whose books we’re reading to either a) answer a short Q&A, or b) participate in an FB author chat, if they’re able.  As authors can get very busy, I’ve tried to keep it light-hearted, with the emphasis on something fun and easy.

The authors of our November book, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, have been very busy indeed of late, so I’m hugely appreciative that they’ve agreed to join in at #LoveOzYAbookclub with the answers to a few silly questions.  The Discussion Thread for Illuminae will go up early next week – until then, enjoy!

* One curious or unusual thing about you that most people don’t know: is that Jay is a Karaoke King (you should hear him do metal songs) and Amie used to work as a professional sailing coach—she walked on a boat before she took her first steps on land.

* Your work space – tell us about it: Right now Amie’s is wherever she can perch amidst towering stacks of boxes, because she’s moving house, but usually it’s a study lined with bookshelves, where she writes at her treaddesk, or in an armchair. Jay has a study too, with a great big fancy desk and a fireplace… but he always ends up writing on the couch in his uggs.

* Writing Must-Haves – snacks, drinks, music…whatever: For Amie, the music is mostly by Muse or Two Steps From Hell, and for Jay, it’s mostly silence, or the classical music of Ludovico Einaudi (which is hilarious, because usually Jay listens to metal.) When we’re brainstorming, Jay drinks Jack Daniels and Amie eats chips. When we’re at home writing, it’s Red Bull for Jay and Pepsi Max for Amie all the way.

* If your book was a ride at SeaWorld, it would be…: banned for its incredibly high death toll.

* The zombie apocalypse strikes, but it’s okay, cos you have your choice of weapons, and you choose…: copies of Illuminae. Seriously, have you seen that thing? It’s the size of a brick. As our secondary weapon, we choose a friend who runs far more slowly than us. That should slow them up.

Thanks Amie and Jay! And see you all ‘round the Discussion Thread next week :)


Monday, 9 November 2015

Spring is for hayfever, and the Every Word NA blog tour

Hello again!  I feel like it’s been ages since I wrote an update post – but that’s okay.  I’ve been keeping busy with speaking engagements and workshops in schools and events, and also with the #LoveOzYAbookclub which has been the topic of my last few posts.  We have our first book for the book club  – Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – which is pretty exciting.  And I’ve been dealing with hayfever and Spring and the last term of school rolling to a close…all in all, that’s been enough to keep me on the hop.

The other thing that’s on the hop is the North American tour for Every Word.

The book was released in the US and Canada a few months ago, and I’m very excited that readers overseas are finally getting their hot little hands on it.  I’ve been receiving some (sometimes irate) emails about WHEN IS YOUR SECOND BOOK COMING OUT HERE OMG WHY THIS WAIT ARGH, so I’m pleased to finally be able to plug Every Word and enjoy the way folks are getting into it.

The blog tour starts next week, and it’s a very full schedule of tour stops.  Some bloggers are doing reviews, and some bloggers have livened up their tour stops with a bit of silliness/seriousness from me.  I’ve answered interview questions (everything from ‘James Mycroft is a jerk: discuss’ to explaining how I got that weird scar on my right foot), and given location pic-tours of London, and hopefully shown everyone a pretty good time.  If you’d like to catch up with what people are saying (or you just want to know how I got the weird scar), please do check out the tour stops below:

Monday Nov 16

Tuesday Nov 17

Wednesday Nov 18

Thursday Nov 19

Friday Nov 20

I’ve also been doing a sneaky little promo for the tour on social media, where I’ve been posting pics of the journey that Rachel and James took from Melbourne to different places all over London:

I hope I haven’t confused anybody, because I’m not actually in London right now…

But the snaps have been very fun!  If you’d like to check out the pics, or signal boost the blog tour by cross-posting, go for your life – they’re gathered under the hashtags #EveryWord  #Wattscroft on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

 I’ll update again in a little while, but until then, hope you’re travelling well, and have fun reading the tour posts!


Monday, 2 November 2015

#LoveOzYAbookclub : November 2015 book selection

Welcome to the #LoveOzYAbookclub debut book selection!

This month’s book is our very first, and the only book I get to choose – after November, the title selections will be made by the authors of the books under discussion.  I spent a long time thinking about which title to choose…and finally made a decision by asking myself Which book would I want to read more than any other?

So…*drumroll*… our book for the month of November will be Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

Illuminae is the first book in The Illuminae Files series, and has been described as “a fantastically entertaining space opera with explosions and romance” combined with “a thoughtful and expansive tale of political intrigue and subterfuge”.  It’s one of the biggest things to come out of Australian YA in a long time – it’s already hit the New York Times Bestseller List.  It’s also (if you have a quick glance at the insides) a mashup of graphic design and story – in fact, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

AmieKaufman is the co-author of the Starbound Trilogy with Meagan Spooner, and Jay Kristoff is the author of The Lotus Wars series, and they both live in Melbourne and are both quite lovely.  Amie and Jay have already agreed to choose a title for #LoveOzYAbookclub for next month.

I've made an arrangement with Boomerang Books (who specialise in Australian books and had all the titles I searched for at excellent prices) so that #LoveOzYAbookclub members can get free shipping.  If you would like to order the book through Boomerang Books, use the code loveoz at the ‘use a promotional code’ step, and you won't have to pay for postage.

So go forth and read!  I hope you enjoy Illuminae, and I’ll look forward to the discussion we’ll have about it at the end (probably early in the last week) of November here on the #LoveOzYAbookclub group.


Sunday, 18 October 2015

#LoveOzYAbookclub: Title Suggestions Masterlist and How This All Works

Hi all, this is the introductory post for the #LoveOzYAbookclub – welcome!  If you enjoy reading YA books, and specifically Australian YA, then this is the club for you.  I'm not going to make stupid references to Fight Club, cos that is passe, and the only rule of #LoveOzYAbookclub is talk all you want about bookclub.  Oh, and invite whoever you want - young readers, older readers, readers of all shapes and sizes and persuasions.  The more the merrier. 

I’ll be updating with posts here on the blog, but running the discussion threads on the #LoveOzYAbookclub Facebook group page – feel free to run on over there and join to stay current.

This post is just to say hi, and thanks for coming along, and to show off the list of books from which we’ll likely select the books we’ll be reading.  We'll read a book a month - makes it nice and easy, huh?  I’ve made a big OzYA master list below, which will be added to from time to time, as new titles get suggested and old ones get crossed off.

If we’ve left out your fave, or you’d like to suggest a particular title to be read for #LoveOzYAbookclub, add a comment here or at the FB page, or you can always tweet me (just remember to tag me and #LoveOzYAbookclub).

This will be the process for #LoveOzYAbookclub (title selection and general procedure):
I’ll select the first book (because I'm bossy like that), which I’ll announce in early November.  Then I’ll ask the author of that book to choose the next title from the list (for December), and so on down the line (Janurary, February, etc...).  If the author of the current book doesn’t want to choose or is unavailable to do so, I’ll ask someone else to do it or do it myself.  I’ll ask someone who enjoyed the book to review it for the first discussion post, which I'll put up here/on FB in the last half of each month.  Then folks who'd like to comment about how they liked the book of the month can take it from there.  And so on, ad infinitum, until we run out of books, or the internet collapses, or the zombie apocalypse arrives, or whatever.

So, you got that?

*I'll pick the first book, then it will domino from there
*I'll make a Title post at the start of each month, letting you know which book we're reading
*I'll make a second Discussion post near the end of the month, after we've all had a chance to read
*Discussion and comments will be on the relevant thread over at the #LoveOzYAbookclub FB group page.
*If the author of the book is amenable, I’ll try to arrange an interview, or a Facebook author chat, during the relevant month.
*I’m also in the process of organising a way for those buying the book to get free shipping for online orders.

Masterlist of OzYA Books Suggested So Far (feel free to suggest more!):

InBetweenDays – Vikki Wakefield
TheFlywheel – Erin Gough
Risk – Fleur Ferris
Talk Under Water – Kathryn Lomer
Sidekicks – Will Kostakis 
Razorhurst– Justine Larbalestier
GoodOil – Laura Buzo
Zeroes– Margo Lanagan, Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti
The Book of Days – KA Barker
GreenValentine – Lili Wilkinson
A Little Wanting Song – Cath Crowley
The Intern – Gabrielle Tozer
Notes from the Teenage Underground – Simmone Howell
Burn Bright - Marianne dePierres
My Life as an Alphabet – Barry Jonsberg
Head of the River – Pip Harry
Atmospheric– Carole Wilkinson
Deucalion - Brian Caswell
Grace Beside Me – Sue McPherson
Steal My Sunshine – Emily Gale
How to be Happy – Dave Burton
Undine– Penni Russon
The Last Girl - Michael Adams
90 Packets of Instant Noodles – Deb Fitzpatrick
Finding Grace – Alyssa Brugman
Clara in Washington – Penni Tangey
Living Hell - Catherine Jinks
Killing Darcy – Melissa Lucashenko
Jasper Jones – Craig Silvey
Into the River – Ted Dawe
The Extinction Gambit - Michael Pryor
Girl Saves Boy – Steph Bowe
First Person Shooter - Cameron Raynes
ThingsYou Either Hate or Love – Brigid Lowry
Laurinda _ Alice Pung
Cooper Bartholomew is Dead – Rebecca James
Spark – Rachael Craw
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club - Alison Goodman
Thrive– Mary Borsellino
The Dead I Know – Scot Gardner
The Protected – Claire Zorn
Hating Alison Ashley – Robin Klein
Between The Lives - Jessica Shirvington
One True Thing – Nicole Hayes
48 Shades of Brown – Nick Earls
Twinmaker: Jump – Sean Williams
Whisper– Christine Keighery
Illuminae– Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff 
Finnikin of the Rock – Melina Marchetta
How to Make A Bird – Martine Murray
Rise of the Fallen – Teagan Chilcott
A Small Madness _ Dianne Touchell
Eon - Alison Goodman
Facing Up – Carolyn Gilpin
Fire in the Sea – Myke Bartlett
Little Paradise – Gabrielle Wang
Intruder– Christine Bongers
Black Glass - Meg Mundell
Crashing Down – Kate McCaffrey
Zac & Mia – AJ Betts
Cloudwish – Fiona Wood
The Gathering – Isobelle Carmody
Frankie– Shivaun Plozza
Nona and Me – Clare Atkins
Deadly,Unna? – Phillip Gwynne
Pieces of Sky – Trinity Doyle
Does My Head Look Big in this? – Randa Abdel-Fattah
A Single Stone – Meg McKinley
So Much To Tell You – John Marsden
Summer Skin – Kirsty Eagar 
The Cracks in the Kingdom – Jaclyn Moriarty
Sabriel – Garth Nix
You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About – Daniel Herborn
Stay With Me - Maureen McCarthy
Shadows– Paula Weston
The Vanishing Moment – Margaret Wild
Footy Dreaming – Michael Hyde
This is Shyness – Leanne Hall
I Am the Messenger – Markus Zusak
Frankie and Joely – Nova Weetman
Preloved - Shirley Marr
Cry Blue Murder – Kim Kane, Marion Roberts
Calypso Summer – Jared Thomas
Freedom Ride – Sue Lawson
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf – Ambelin Kwaymullina
The Pause - John Larkin
Five Parts Dead – Tim Pegler
Sky Legs - Irini Savvides
Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean – Kirsty Murray, ed.
Losing It – Julia Lawrinson
Fairytales for Wilde Girls – Allyse Near
The Big Dry - Tony Davis
The Tricksters – Margaret Mahy
Cracked – Clare Strahan
Oracle - Jackie French
Run – Tim Sinclair
Kill The Music - Nansi Kunze
The Minnow - Diane Sweeney
Snow White: This is No Fairy Tale - Keith Austin

*Many of the authors have multiple books, so I’ve only put up one book per author.  The decision on which book to include was either suggested, or made by me (because I wanted to read a certain book.  Soz.).  If you’d like to suggest a different book for the same author, that’s fine, but let’s make sure we spread the love around.

*Some books have collaborative authors – once their joint book is read and crossed out, I’m happy to include works they’ve penned as individuals.

*Yes, I’ve included some NZ authors (mainly because I want to read Into the River and Spark, and why not).

*No, I haven’t put my own books on the list, cos I didn’t want to feel like a der.  I’m getting plenty of love by facilitating this bookclub, which is good enough for me (and if you want to go read the Every series, thank you, and the link to Booktopia is on the sidebar at right! #officialplug).

* If you’re a blogger/reviewer and you’d like to have your reviews included in the bookclub, please get in touch.

And that’s it!  Hope you like the list and please feel welcome to join in the reading and discussion by joining the #LoveOzYA bookclub on Facebook.  Keep an eye out for the first book, coming up soon (first week of November) – I’ll post it here and cross-post to the group plus everywhere else.  I can’t wait to start reading!