Today’s the day. Officially. Something that I’ve been working towards for close to sixteen years in my own, meandering way.

From today you can walk into bookshops all across the country* and find a book with my name on the cover. With my writing on the inside.

It’s really quite surreal, to be honest. I’ll be walking to work, knowing that the copies my amazing bookshop ordered will be waiting for me to put on the shelf.
A book.
With my name on it.
Today is the release day of Underdog: #LoveOzYA ShortStories edited by Tobias Madden. It is a collection of twelve short stories for young adult readers by previously unpublished authors. Here’s the official blurb:
#LoveOzYA celebrates the best of new Australian writing for teenagers. It has grown from a humble hashtag into a movement, reflecting the important role young-adult fiction plays in shaping our current generation of readers. This anthology collects, for the first time, some of the tremendous work from the #LoveOzYA community.
Featuring a foreword by award-winning Australian novelist Fleur Ferris, Underdog celebrates the diverse, dynamic and ever-changing nature of our nation’s culture. From queer teen romance to dystopian comedy, hard-hitting realism to gritty allegory, this brilliant, engrossing and inspiring collection of short stories will resonate with any teen reader, proving, yet again, why there is just so much to love about #LoveOzYA.
The full list of contributors includes: Sofia Casanova, Cassi Dorian, Michael Earp, Jes Latyon, Sophie L Macdonald, Tobias Madden, Stacey Malacari, Felicity Martin, Kaneana May, KM Stamer-Squair, Sarah Taviani and Vivian Wei.
All the stories are varied in style and content, so there’s really something for everyone in here!
And, excitingly, if you’re the kind of person who reads anthologies in the order they have been arranged by the editor (from beginning to end), once you’re done reading Fleur’s fantastic forward, you’ll find yourself face to face with a story by yours truly.
If the review in Books and Publishing is anything to go by, you’re in for a treat!
“… The collection begins strong, opening with a sweet
(and queer) literary meet-cute by Michael Earp…”
*blushes profusely*

It’s so moving to find that, after all this time talking about books to the world, that people are responding well to what I’ve put out there, too. I’ve been getting messages from readers with advance copies, and seeing very kind words about my story, and the collection in general, on social media. It really does ease the fear and imposter syndrome that wracks me every time I think too much about my writing being out in the world.



Funnily enough, my story, ‘Meet and Greet’, was one I originally intended for Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories, which is out in June. I had it written and polished, but after an editorial decision about the overall make up of stories in that collection (my own decision), I chose to write another one for Kindred which meant I had this one sitting around when Underdog submissions opened, so off it went. And here we are! I guess in some ways, if you want the full Kindred Experience, you’ll need to get your hands on Underdog too! *wink*
So, if you feel inclined to read a great collection of stories, head out and pick one up, or ask your library to order in a copy or three. I hope you like my contribution. I’m proud of it… just a smidge. ?
*I’d hope that bookshops around Australia have ordered some for their readers. If they haven’t they should be able to get it for you. Or, if you’d like, I’m happy to sign any orders from the Little Bookroom. (I’ll be the one posting them out, I’m sure I can scribble on it for you too, if so desired).

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