'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 7 December 2015

#LoveOzYA December Update with Lili Wilkinson

To support the #LoveOzYA initiative, each month Kids' Book Review will ask an Australian YA author to share their favourite Australian young adult titles - what they are reading, what they've read and what books are on their TBR pile. We'll also include a list of Australian author YA new releases for the month. Our guest author for December is Lili Wilkinson, author of Green Valentine and The Zigzag Effect.

What are you currently reading?
Isobelle Carmody’s The Red Queen. I’ve been waiting for this book since I was eleven, and it’s everything I hoped it would be. The Obernewtyn series was a big part of why I wanted to be a writer, so it feels like a real end of an era.

What are your recent OzYA favourites?
Fiona Wood’s beautiful Cloudwish.
Ellie Marney’s Every series.
Illuminae  by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – amazing, mind-bending format!
Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deb Biancotti.
Oh, and I was lucky enough to read Justine Larbalestier’s forthcoming My Sister Rosa early, and it is SO good and creepy.

What 5 OzYA titles are currently in your TBR pile?
Summer Skin by Kirsty Eager (love the way Kirsty writes girls)
The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer (Golden Inky Winner!)
The Colours of Madeleine trilogy by Jaclyn Moriarty (I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet!)
Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix (a YA regency romance? YES PLEASE)
The Flywheel by Erin Gough (have heard nothing but great things)

What advice would you give to aspiring YA authors?
Write what you know, but don’t just write what you know. Push yourself include people who aren’t like you in your stories. People with different personalities, dreams, ethnicities, sexualities, genders, values. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice about this (or anything).

And work hard. Really hard. They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to get really good at something. So don’t stress if you write something that doesn’t get published, or that turns out to be a bit crap. It’s all worthwhile, because it’s all working towards that 10,000 hours.

Can you tell us a little bit about your current writing project?
I’m writing a psychological thriller about a girl who gets involved in a cult. Something very different for me! It’s been really interesting researching real-life cults – I’m fascinated by the intersection of belief and vulnerability, and what causes people to believe, and then stop believing. I’m hoping to do some YouTube videos about my research, so stay tuned! The book is called The Boundless Sublime, and will be out in August 2016 with Allen & Unwin.

Visit Lili Willkinson's website for more information about her books and author events.

December YA New Releases

Ask Me Anything by Rebecca Sparrow (UQP)

Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie (Text Publishing)

The Ghost by the Billabong by Jackie French (HarperCollins)

Swallow the Air by Tara June Winch (UQP - 10th anniversary edition)

Their Fractured Light (The Starbound Trilogy #3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)