IndieAthon | Q&A with Emily O’Beirne

Throughout the month of March, me and my fellow hosts from IndieAthon will be interviewing some awesome indie authors and self-published authors. This time, we’ll have a Q&A with the awesome Emily O’Beirne who writes great (queer!) books. I’ve read a couple and loved them! Thank you, Emily, for answering my questions!


Tell us a little about yourself

I love to write (duh), and my job involves helping other people to write. I say I’m a dog person but I suddenly have a cat. I am currently raising an army of plants inside my apartment to make up for not having a garden. I love to cycle everywhere, see lots of movies, cook for people, and travel as much as possible (I’m headed to Taiwan next month and I’m very excited).

What is the best thing about publishing your book?

This will sound strange, but publishing a book, although exciting, is also always kind of painful, too.  Of course, it’s lovely to have your work in print and have people read it, but see, when you’re writing a book, it never ever feels like it’s finished. It feels like there is always something that can be done to make it better. I can never even look at my books after they’re published.

The best part is probably those occasional emails I get from people who connected to one of my books and wanted to tell me so. Except for reviews, you don’t really get to know what happens when a book gets to a reader, so that is always a lovely and surprising thing.

If you could choose one book (other than your own), that you wish everyone in the world could read, what would it be?

That is the most impossible question to answer! For one, I could never narrow it down to one! Secondly, I can never imagine a book that exists that I think that every person from every culture and experience would read and feel the same about.  I only hope that people read. And that they read books that make them happy, books that open their eyes and send them to other worlds, and that make them think.

What is it like to indie publish your book?

My publisher is a small, independent publisher who hadn’t been around that long when they first approached me about working with them. There are definitely upsides and downsides to publishing with a new and small publishing house.

The positives are getting to actually communicate with someone with the publishing house when you have a question or concern. There is a sense that there is someone (or more than one) person who actually cares what happens to you and your book. You also have more of a say in things like your book title and cover. I have never had my publisher dispute what I have decided to call my book, and I’ve always had final say on the cover. That’s not common with larger publishing houses. I always think how much I’d hate having my book published with a cover I couldn’t stand!

As for the negatives, some of these probably come from them being a young publishing house, as much as an indie publishing house. Things like dealing with some difficult or inexperienced editors at first while the company consolidated its staff. Also, when I first started with them they were more generally an LGBTQ/women’s publisher, but have become more focused on romances. This makes it tough, publicity-wise, when you’re (practically) the lone, regular, contemporary YA writer.  Small publishers have a harder time with publicity in general, obviously. And as an Aussie writer with a European publishing company, it is very tough to get Aussie reviewer to even look at my book.

The last few years have been a learning curve for both me and my publisher, but as I always remind myself when things aren’t going the way they should with my writing or the publishing process, it’s a gift to be published at all.

I’ve inserted the links and synopses to some of Emily O’Beirne’s books below.


25019692A Story of Now

Nineteen-year-old Claire Pearson knows she needs a life. And some new friends.

But brittle, beautiful, and just a little bit too sassy for her own good sometimes, she no longer makes friends easily. And she has no clue where to start on the whole finding a life front, either. Not after a confidence-shattering year dogged by bad break-ups, friends who have become strangers, and her constant failure to meet her parents sky-high expectations.

When Robbie and Mia walk into Claire’s work they seem the least likely people to help her find a life. But despite Claire’s initial attempts to alienate them, an unexpected new friendship develops.
And it’s the warm, brilliant Mia who seems to get Claire like no one has before. Soon, Claire begins to question her feelings for her new friend.


Future Leaders of Nowhere

“Finn’s solid. Not in body, but in being. She’s gravity and kindness and all those good things that anchor.”

“Willa’s confusing. Sometimes she’s this sweet, sensitive soul. Other times she’s like a flaming arrow you hope isn’t coming for you.”

Finn and Willa have been picked as team leaders in the future leader camp game. The usually confident Finn doesn’t know what’s throwing her more, the fact she’s leading a team of highly unenthusiastic overachievers or coming up against fierce, competitive Willa. And Willa doesn’t know which is harder, leaving her responsibilities behind to pursue her goals or opening up to someone.

Soon they both realize that the hardest thing of all is balancing their clashing ideals with their unexpected connection. And finding a way to win, of course.

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