Today I welcome the second of many Australian YA publishers who are gracing us with their presence (and thoughts) as part of PSnark's Aussie Month.
Sarana Behan is the Children's Marketing Coordinator at Random House Australia. She and the members of RH's exclusive Bermuda Triangle are a great source of recommendations and were the lovelies that sent me my blessed copy of If I Stay (Gayle Forman).
What's is a normal day for you at Random House?
It seems to be different every day. The great thing about working in kids books is everyday is different and lots of fun. I really enjoy what I do here, and I love all the fantastic people I work with. It's like a family really. The best thing about every day is that I get to talk about the one thing I love and know inside out and back to front. Books. I'm a big reader, not just kids books but adult books as well. I talk with authors and booksellers and other book lovers on a daily basis and I never get sick of it.
What do you believe are the popular themes in YA at the moment?
I think there seems to be trend towards romance and the supernatural as themes at the moment.
What do you believe is the future direction of YA?
I cant talk about the industry as a whole but I know at Random apart from publishing some fantastic books this year we are really focusing on making sure our books look really great.
(Adele - forget great, they look fabulous)
Which Australian authors get you excited?
JC Burke, Alyssa Brugman and of course our brilliant Woolshed Press authors. I think one of my favourite books that has always stayed with me was Finding Grace by Alyssa Brugman. It was so original and I don’t think I’ve read anything like it since. I recently went back and reread it and its even better than I remembered. JC Burke also continues to write great books. I think I've read every single one of hers. She captures that teenage voice unbelievably well. Our Woolshed Press authors are all very close to my heart as well. I have read them all and I have loved every single one of them.
Your big recommendation at the moment?
The Spooks series. I absolutely love these books. They are so clever. I think I would have to say these are better than Harry Potter. I also really liked Posse by Kate Welshman. She is a great new author. I think that she is an author to look out for.
What are some of the upcoming releases that readers should be chomping at the bit to read?
I've just read quite a few books in the past few weeks. Firstly The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, I must mention because this is the one everyone will be talking about in the next few weeks especially because the film is released this week. Frenemies and Faketastic by Alexa Young are brilliant. I was reading Frenemies on the ferry with my headphones on and I didn’t realise I was laughing so loud until the lady next to me asked me what I was reading that was making me laugh so much and where she could get a copy !!!
One that I must mention which isn’t released yet is Tallow and all I can say about this, is that everyone is going to love it.
The Vampire Beach books are also great for all those people out there that have read the Stephanie Meyer books and now want more.
Thank you to Sarana for answering my many questions on a doubtlessly busy day. Also a big wave to the rest of the RH crew, who are as lovely as they are knowledgeable (I'm not sucking up, it's the truth).
Next up - Paul Collins from Ford Street Publishing