Nigel Featherstone, Benjamin Law and Michael Earp will appear alongside Western Australian writer Holden Sheppard as he celebrates the launch of his first novel for young adults, Invisible Boys.
Kicking off at The Little Bookroom in Melbourne with Michael Earp on 7 October, Holden will travel to Sydney to appear alongside Benjamin Law at Berkelouw Paddington and Nigel Featherstone at Better Read Than Dead on 9 and 10 October.
Holden, whose much-anticipated novel has already garnered him the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award, the Kathleen Mitchell Award and the Ray Koppe Varuna Residency, said he had common ground with all three writers.
‘Michael Earp is an author, editor and bookseller based in Melbourne who was responsible for putting together the inspiring collection Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories (Walker Books). We are both gay men who grew up in small towns in Australia, and we believe in the value of diverse gay characters in YA literature. Michael and I also happen to share a love of the same 90s singer-songwriters,’ said Holden.
Speaking about author, commentator and screenwriter Benjamin Law, Holden said, ‘He edited the new anthology Growing Up Queer in Australia (Black Inc.), which is a powerful and very diverse range of stories from writers across the LGBTIQ+ community. Benjamin was also one of the judges of the 2018 Griffith Review Novella Project, of which my work Poster Boy was one of the winners.’
Holden will spend his final night in Sydney chatting to Hachette author Nigel Featherstone about the shared themes in their novels of undertaking homosexual relationships in environments where it is taboo. Holden said, ‘I read Nigel's incredible and moving novel Bodies of Men earlier this year. Nigel dealt with the characters of James and William – both of them vulnerable and tough in different ways – and I loved how their masculinity intersected with their homosexuality in such an interesting and nuanced way.’
Thursday 3 October
Anna’s Shop Around the Corner, Cronulla, NSW
Monday 7 October
The Little Bookroom, Melbourne
Wednesday 9 October
Berkelouw Paddington, Sydney
Thursday 10 October
Better Read Than Dead, Sydney