First Chapters Q&A with Michael Earp

Michael Earp is a bookseller and the editor of Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYAStories.  He has passionately worked with Children’s and YA books for more than 16 years.  He has a degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Children’s Literature.  His writing has appeared in The Victorian Writer and Aurealis.  He also established the #AusQueerYA tumblr to coincide with the #LoveOzYA campaign, of which he was previously the Committee Chair.

Michael will be reading at First Chapters on Friday 5 April from his short story "Meet and Greet" which is published in Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories.

1. Brunswick Bound has asked you to read a piece from your published work.  Tell us what we can expect from the piece you have chosen?

‘Meet and Greet’ is a queer meet-cute for book nerds set at Melbourne Writers Festival. It’s pretty adorable and very wholesome.

2. How would you describe the kind of books that you write?

So far: Short (stories). But in my work overall I like to explore the connections between people and always have a queer element somewhere in the mix.

3. What was the first book that you read (or had read to you) that left an impression on you?

There were probably others before this, but The Chronicles of Narnia resonates throughout my childhood. In particular The Magician’s Nephew. The notion of the wood between the worlds was incredibly beautiful inspired such wonder and possibility for me.

4. Do you believe that books should answer life’s big questions?

I believe that books should pose life’s big questions, and that we should be able to gain some insight and a reflection of ourselves in the metaphysical soup the ensues.

5. Do you have any writing quirks?

None that aren’t common enough. Except that I’m so easily distracted and often take breaks, sometimes to just paint my nails. (The dangers of keeping my nail polish on my desk)

6.  What is your favourite word or phrase?

Oh, there are so many! But the word aubergine comes to mind immediately.

7. What have you found most surprising about publishing a book?

That I finally got here!

8. What is the question that you hope never to be asked in an author Q&A?

Please share the first piece of writing you did/still have. – Umm, no thanks. Let’s not.

9. What question do you hope you will be asked and why?

That’s a tough one! I like surprising and challenging questions (so long as I’m able to be witty and insightful in response!) 

10. Which author that you have read do you think should be better known or more widely read?

I’ve effectively been a self-employed publicist for Marlee Jane Ward ever since I read Welcome to Orphancorp. I think it’s just incredible!


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