Exploring autism through YA fiction with Kay Kerr
Kay Kerr is a former journalist and community newspaper editor from Brisbane. She now lives on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and daughter and works as a freelance writer. Her debut young adult novel, Please Don’t Hug Me, was inspired by her own autism-spectrum diagnosis.
The interview starts at 17 minutes.
This week, we started the episode with a mini book club discussion of Olive by Emma Gannon. Overall: We loved this book and recommend to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction and likes discussing female friendships.
*Note: We both received PR copies of Olive for review.
In the interview, we chat about:
- Sibling relationships in YA fiction (and life)
- Working as a journalist in regional Queensland, including the closure and downsizing of dozens of small publications in mid-2020
- Kay’s own autism spectrum diagnosis and the experience of writing a neurodivergent character
- How Kay navigated the pitching process and sold Please Don’t Hug Me
- Why Kay decided to date the book with specific Queensland high school references
- The catharsis of writing about and reflecting on the emotion of writing about high school
- The unexpected benefits of launching a book in a pandemic
- A little bit about Kay’s next novel, Social Queue
Books and other things mentioned
- Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal by Anna Wheatley (listen to our chat with Anna here)
- The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Follow Kay @kaykerr_. Please Don't Hug Me is available now in Australia.
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