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Welcome to the show notes of our first official podcast. Though it was a little nerve wracking to begin with (being a new adventure for both of us!), it was most certainly an awesome and fun time.

We'd like to extend a huge thank you to special guest Gary Lonesborough for bravely agreeing to take part in our first author interview, as well as all of our amazing listeners who have already listened to the show! We really appreciate you all choosing to be a part of our podcast journey and we'll be working hard to make sure all of our episodes are packed with great interviews and entertainment.

Oh – and don't forget, if you've had the pleasure of reading one of the amazing titles listed on the Australian Book Lovers website we'd love to hear your review!! Simply record and 2 to 3 minute review, email it to australianbooklovers@gmail.comand we'll add your magic to the next podcast episode :) If you don't want to record yourself don't worry, you're also welcome to email a text version of your review and it will be our pleasure to read it out!


What Country do you write on? / Who are the Traditional Owners of the land where you live/work?

At the moment, I live, work and write on Dharug land.

What was your favourite book as a child?

I loved the Goosebumps series and the Captain Underpants series. My favourite book for a long time was Goosebumps: The curse of Camp Cold Lake. It was the only Goosebumps book that genuinely scared me and it felt great to have a real reaction to it.

What inspired you to this book?

I hadn’t read any YA books with Aboriginal queer characters nor Aboriginal teen same-sex relationships and I really needed to read a book like that as a teen. I read ‘Simon vs The Homosapien agenda’ by Becky Albertalli and began looking for a book like that centred on queer Aboriginal protagonists, but I couldn’t find any. This lack of Aboriginal and queer stories and voices inspired me to write my book.

What’s the main message you’d like readers to take away after reading your book/books?

It’s okay to be yourself and to accept who you are. I would hope this book would open the minds of readers. I particularly hope to reach queer Indigenous teens who might be struggling or embracing their sexuality. I would like them to know they are not alone, that there is nothing wrong with them, that queer Aboriginal people exist, and they deserve a great teen love story.

What’s the best response you’ve ever had to your writing?

David Levithan’s comment: 'It is, honestly, a book I've been searching for over my whole career as an editor, as well as all my years as a (queer) reader. I'm not ashamed to say that it made me cry (repeatedly) and awed me with the power of its storytelling.' It was the first great response I’d received outside of my publisher.

What’s your writing goal for the next twelve months?

I’m currently working on another YA manuscript, so one of my goals is to finish the draft and submit to my publisher. Then I’d like to finish a first draft of another YA manuscript I’ve begun.

What words of advice would you give an aspiring author?

Practice makes perfect and writing a lot helps you to find your voice, to find what you want to say and how you want to say it. While I would say to read a lot and write a lot, writing is more than just writing. Take notice of the things you encounter through your day, whether it be the way the light bleeds through the trees or the feeling of a cold raindrop on the back of your neck. Take inspiration from everything – everything is material.

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Click below to learn more about this author's spectacular literary work!

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