Book Week - Alison Evans

For Book Week, we shine a spotlight on Victorian writers like Alison Evans. The award-winning author tackles themes of queer identity across an array of genres.

Book Week conversation series

For Book Week 2020, we put the spotlight on five Victorian writers, each with a unique voice and story to tell.

Was there a particular moment you recall when you fell in love with reading and/or books?

"Honestly no! My mum really encouraged us to read and she'd always be reading to us or taking us to the library, and so reading has always been such a huge part of my life."

What is the most rewarding aspect of being an author?

"Hearing from trans teens who have read my books is always my very favourite. Being able to create work for them to read is truly the best job in the whole world and I can't believe I get to do it. I know I needed someone like me to write books when I was a teen, and knowing that I can be that for other people is wonderful."

What creative work of yours are you most proud of?

"In terms of actual words published, Euphoria Kids is the work closest to my heart. Writing a story about three trans kids that doesn't focus on their trauma and instead focuses on queer joy and gender euphoria was very healing for me, and lots of readers have told me the same thing."

"Me and Nevo Zisin also have started up a writing group for trans youth, through City of Melbourne Libraries (online of course!). It's a really nice space where trans people can share their work with other trans people, get feedback, and make connections. Writing can be really hard and lonely when you don't know any writers, and being a trans writer again can be difficult because so many spaces can be unaccomodating to us. Through lockdown our fortnightly meetings are a bright spot and getting to know everyone has been so fun."

How has the pandemic impacted your work as a creative?

"The first few months of lockdown I couldn't do anything creative. I've had depression for years but pandemic-depression is a new and heavy thing, and I had quit my retail job in January because I'd got a grant from Australia Council. So I found myself with literally all the time in the world and no will or energy to do anything. Eventually, I made myself get some new skills and I did an Auslan course online, I learnt how to tattoo myself, and I'm learning to sew."

"After giving myself a break from creative writing with these other things, I then found I wanted to write again. Since starting to write over ten years ago, this was my longest break from my craft--and it was really hard. Being able to write again has been wonderful, even if I'm not nearly as productive as I would have been normally."

What has been your favourite piece of writing in 2020?

"Ghost Bird by Lisa Fuller. It actually came out at the end of last year but I only read it a few months ago. It's a YA book about an Indigenous girl whose twin sister has disappeared, and she resolves to find her. I never watch horror movies because I get way too scared, but I find that reading horror books I can handle. Definitely not the case with Ghost Bird, I was so terrified! It's also beautifully written and the way Lisa writes family dynamics is filled with love."

You can follow Alison Evans on Twitter ,and their latest book, Euphoria Kids , is available now. 

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