Kristen Young is the sparkling publicist for black dog books. She joins the other lovely publishing personnel, from different Australian publishing houses, that have allowed me to interview them.
What's is a normal day for you at black dog books?
I’m the publicist at black dog books so a normal day for me consists of talking to people about our books - that’s right – someone actually pays me to talk about books I love! The Fools!
But seriously, my role is to try and get some attention in the media (and that includes any type of media – print, radio, blog) for our books and our authors. So I spend a lot of my day on the phone, on the email and at the post office sending books out! It isn’t always easy, but it is pretty fun and there is a really good team here who make it a lot easier!
What do you believe are the popular themes in YA at the moment?
I think we are seeing people talking about some really interesting things in YA at the moment – certainly more interesting then ten years ago I would say. But it seems to me that one of the prevalent themes in YA (maybe in all lit) is that sense of place, finding somewhere that you belong – whether that is driven by a catastrophic event or a major change that makes the character reassess things – it just seems to be a theme that people really respond to.
What do you believe is the future direction of YA?
Our French intern gave us the best term ever –“Bit Lit” – for the current trend toward vampire novels but I am kind of hoping that we move away from that! There seems to be a big resurgence in romance and historical romance in particular at the moment which I am finding interesting.
But maybe you are better off asking someone in America what they think – cos if the parallel importation laws get changed that’s what will be reading!
Which Australian authors get you excited?
Well, I am biased but Karen Tayleur, Sue Lawson, Charlotte McConaghy and Lili Wilkinson of course. And I think because I am new to black dog I get to say that!
Aside from our own I think Julia Lawrinson, Melina Marchetta and James Roy are very exciting authors.
Your big recommendation at the moment?
I think might get some agreement here – The Strangers of Paragor Book 1: Arrival. Epic saga, epic battles, romance – what more do you want!
Thank you to Kristen for taking the time to answer my many questions about her role at bdb. Make sure you drop by the black dog books website to check out their titles. For those in the teaching profession, bdb also have a range of support materials that are great to refer to!
Next up - Juliet Izatt from Walker Books Australia.
Black Dog Books