TOUR: Monuments 2019

Monuments is here! I’ll be touring Australia to celebrate, and I’d love it if our paths crossed. If you can’t make it to any of these events, don’t despair. Booktopia has a stack of signed books, and you can order one here.

SYDNEY

TUES AUG 27 7PM: The Children’s Bookshop Beecroft.

Dr Rose Brock, professor for Kids and YA Lit, editor of Hope Nation, will be chatting to emerging authors and librarians. I’ll be hovering around, eating snacks and joining the discussion.

WED AUG 28 5.30PM FOR 6PM: Kinokuniya Sydney.

Becky Albertalli (Love, Simon), Jaclyn Moriarty (Gravity is the Thing) will be joining Rose Brock and me to discuss all things YA until 6.45pm, then signing books until 7.30pm. Standing-room only. We’d still love to have you there. RSVP NOW.

MELBOURNE

SAT AUG 31 9.30PM: The Moat.

Dispenser of sexy advice Jess McGuire brings together two wise and attractive panellists (me and Sally Rugg, author of How Powerful We Are) to solve your love conundrums. Submit queries online! Or don’t! Drink and be quietly judgmental! BUY TICKETS.

SUN SEPT 1 4PM: SLV, Village Roadshow Theatrette.

Pop culture’s filled with OTPs that creators are keen on keeping apart. Alison Evans, Jes Layton, CB Mako and me offer alternative salacious stories from our thirsty imaginations. BUY TICKETS.

Events in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra to come …

GIVEAWAY: Win an audiobook!

2018 saw the release of both The First Third and The Sidekicks on Australia’s Audible store. I’ll be giving away the choice of either to one lucky subscriber of my author newsletter. Simply sign up before February 15 for your chance to win.

What can you expect to feature in my author newsletter? News, sneak peeks, special offers, giveaways, book recommendations … It’s going to be my main way of communicating the readers while I gear up for the release of Monuments later this year.

More soon.

TOUR: Want Will Kostakis to visit your school?

You’d think, after years spent working as a web journalist, I would have learned not to headline a post with a question that could easily be answered with thousands of “No!” comments, but hey, apparently not.

Hi. If this is the only way you get Will Kostakis news, you haven’t heard from me since … shrieks while scrolling … Okay, that’s bad. It’s been two years since my last update. Those years have been spent writing and rewriting and rewriting my new young-adult novel, Monuments, and touring schools in Australia and the United States. While I get to work writing (and then rewriting and rewriting) Monuments 2, I want to be better at keeping in touch.

That means regular updates and soon, a newsletter (click here to subscribe) jam-packed with exclusive news, offers and giveaways.

What sort of offers will the newsletter feature? Well, those of you who’ve been following me for a while know that I’m a big believer in getting out and visiting schools, especially those restricted by locations and budgets. With the release of each book, I tour select schools around the country for free. This is the sort of thing my newsletter will eventually feature, but since my subscriber base is currently just my mum, I figured it’s only fair I involve you, my abandoned website visitors in it too.

To celebrate the re-release of 2014’s Stuff Happens: Sean in a collection of four awesome Stuff Happens stories (A Lot of Stuff Happens), I’m hitting the road in the first half of 2019. If you would like your Australian primary school to host a free author talk and meet-and-greet, email me. I will accommodate the first 15 schools to get in contact, and on the off-chance there’s more, I will try to visit as many as humanly possible.

Stuff Happens: Sean isn’t the year’s only re-release. Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOZYA Anthology has been released in B-Format, complete with a summery makeover. To celebrate (you guessed it), I’m hitting the road in the first half of 2019. If you would like your Australian high school to host a free author talk and meet-and-greet, email me. I will accommodate the first 5 schools to get in contact. If there’s more, you’ll be first in line for the Monuments tour later in the year.

Oh … yeah. My new novel Monuments is in stores this September. More on that soon.

The Sidekicks gets a US cover

sidekickswebHere it is! The Sidekicks has its US cover. My friends at Barnes & Noble invited me to pop by their Teen Blog to reveal it, and chat a little about the real-life inspiration behind the novel.

When someone dies, it carves a line through your life. Everything before it becomes the past, and everything after is never the same.

My best friend died in the summer between my sophomore and junior years.

Read the full essay here.

smallkicks

The Sidekicks hardcover edition is now available for pre-order.

In other news, The Sidekicks has been longlisted for the Gold Inky! It joins Shivaun Plozza’s Frankie, Zana Fraillon’s The Bone Sparrow, Sarah Ayoub’s The Yearbook Committee, Alice Pung’s My First Lesson, Randa Abel-Fattah’s When Michael Met Mina, Justine Larbalestier’s My Sister Rosa, Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight, Cath Crowley’s Words in Deep Blue, and Claire Zorn’s One Would Think the Deep.

The Centre For Youth Literature is currently looking for teen judges to decide the shortlist. It’s a wonderful opportunity, especially if you love reading and discussing books. They’re looking for applicants Australia-wide, aged 12 to 18. Applications close 9am AEST Wednesday 22 March.

Being political

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I’ve wanted to write something about marriage equality and the election for some time now. Whenever I attempt to write a piece, though, a voice in my head tells me not to be so political. It’s a neat trick. Conservatives politicise the way I live and the way I love, then make me feel as though it’s inappropriately political to speak from my own experiences.

As a result, I’ve written nothing.

And when you write nothing, you relinquish the pen to somebody else. Somebody who says that he, as a heterosexual white male with “very strong religious views”, encounters the same “dreadful hate speech and bigotry” as LGBT Australians.

With the Coalition’s expected return to power will come an expensive plebiscite over whether marriage equality should be granted. Yes, a federally funded opinion poll asking whether two consenting adults should be allowed to marry is ludicrous, but the plebiscite will be so much more. It will be about the validity of homosexual love, the acceptability and quality of homosexual parenting, and a whole load of other homophobic concerns.

It will finally put a numeric value on the disdain some people have for same-sex-attracted people. See, even if it is overwhelmingly successful … Like, let’s say 70% vote in favour of marriage equality, it will still stand as a reminder to every gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, questioning person, adult or child, that 30% of Australians disapprove of them.

I might not ever get married, but I want marriage equality. I do not believe in trickle-down economics, but I believe in trickle-down morality. So long as our politicians debate and bicker over whether LGBT Australians ought to have equal rights under the law, the homophobic fringes of society are vindicated.

Marriage equality will change attitudes, and … Sorry, Fred Nile, but it will also change schools. Male and female teachers will have husbands and wives respectively. More kids with same-sex parents will enrol. Kids who’ve been to gay weddings will know that they can be just as boring. ‘Gay’ will eventually lose its meaning as a slur.

And let’s be honest, schools do need to change. My heart shouldn’t skip a beat when I hear a teacher say something about respecting the LGBT community at an Anglican school assembly (last week). I shouldn’t have a librarian tell me how much she enjoyed The Sidekicks and boast about encouraging teachers to borrow it because it was on their ‘Adults-Only’ shelf.

We’re being left behind by the rest of the world. I feel it now. I felt it last year, when I toured with a gay author from the United States. Having read their bio, a teacher at a secular school approached us and delicately implied that it would not be appropriate for this author to talk about certain things, because “there were square parents at their school”. Having seen this author speak for a few days, I was beginning to feel inspired to come out professionally myself – that incident alone pushed me back into the closet until earlier this year and … we all know what happened then.

My heart breaks just thinking about the students who are affected by those same … “square parents”.

On the other side, Bill Shorten has said that marriage equality will be the first law Labor passes if the party wins the election. It makes me deeply uncomfortable that a party that was in power three short years ago is now dangling equal treatment under the law as some eleventh-hour sweetener in a marathon election campaign.

If the alternative is a divisive plebiscite, on top of the parallel importation of books and the general feeling that our parliament is some unfunny Benny Hill skit, I’m game.