On the Couch with Alison Evans

Alison Evans AAR On the CouchWho is Alison Evans?
I primarily write young adult fiction with a bunch of queer characters. I love sci-fi, magic and found family, so I try to have at least two of these things in any of my books! My first book Ida is about a girl who can travel back to any decision she’s made and choose a different path. This makes a whole mess out of parallel worlds and she starts to see doppelgangers, and she’s got to figure out how to get back to her home universe.

My second book, Highway Bodies is a zombie apocalypse story, where the main characters have to band together to survive. My third book, which is released this month, is Euphoria Kids. I was pretty depressed so I wrote something that has everything that I love in it: happy trans kids, magic, trees, crystals, faeries. It’s a very soft and slow book, where three trans kids find each other and become friends. One of them has been cursed by a witch, and so they must find the witch in order to break the curse.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Honestly, I’m not sure. I can’t really see myself doing anything else. I love writing, I’ve always loved it. I feel so lucky to be able to do the things that I do, especially for a teen audience. Teens are the most wonderful readers, and whenever I speak with them they always have the best insights. I do love gardening, so maybe I could have been a professional gardener or something like that.

Who inspires you and why?
I love everyone in the #loveozya (Australia young adult) community. Everyone has been so supportive and welcoming and we all really look out for each other.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Right now, I think writing the books that I am is helping kids. After big events, there will almost always be a teen in the audience who will come up and thank me for writing my books, because they can see themselves in it. There aren’t a lot of non-binary characters out there, and there are less Australian non-binary characters, and every bit of visibility helps.

I also have a little garden plot (my apartment doesn’t have any outdoor spaces) at the community gardens and I try to plant things there for the bees, and leave out water for the magpies. I let them eat all my strawberries, too. I’ve got some native plants in there that native pollinators like. It’s not a lot, but it’s something small.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
A couple of years ago I went to Tasmania with my friend and we drove around the island in about a week. She taught me how to drive a manual car while we were on a mountain! It was amazing. There’s so much space, we would travel for hours without seeing another car. It’s so beautiful. I loved Freycinet National Park especially. I would love to do that again.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I grew up in the Dandenong Ranges and I love it there. I think the perfect time to take someone there is when it’s rainy and misty. Find a nice café somewhere and sit next to the window with a coffee, it’s perfect. I love the tree ferns and listening to the whip birds. I don’t live there anymore, but I miss it constantly.

What are you currently reading?
I’m in the middle of two books, Claiming T-Mo by Eugen Bacon and The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. They’re both adult sci-fi. I’m really enjoying them both. They’re both wonderful writers and world-builders.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve just started listening to this podcast by RNZ called Voice of the Iceberg, where some people went to Antarctica to collect images and sounds of icebergs.

Happiness is?
My favourite place to be is the apartment I share with my wife and our cat. That, plus a rainy day and a nice cuppa, is perfect.

What does the future hold for you?
This year is very different to any year I’ve lived so far – I was successful in applying for an Australia Council grant, so I don’t have a day job anymore. I’m working on a two-book series, and I’m so excited to be able to focus on writing for a whole year!

Alison is the Author of Euphoria Kids – published by Echo Publishing and available from all leading book retailers (from 4 February) including Booktopia.

Image: Alison Evans (supplied)