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5 Questions with Bohdi Byles

Introducing Bohdi Byles!

Bohdi has been working at NewSouth for eight weeks as one of the inaugural Open Book interns.

Bohdi Byles (he/they) is a writer/makeup artist based in Sydney. He is a vocal queer person, a proud Indigenous person, a passionate creative, and an avid reader.

5 Questions with Bohdi Byles

What is the last book you read and loved?

The last book I enjoyed was The Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall. It's a sweet queer romance novel.

What have you enjoyed most in your time so far as the Open Book intern?

I think what I have enjoyed the most is that publishing has been demystified. I am no longer wandering aimlessly wondering what it all means, I've gotten my hands into some projects and have worked on things that I can put my name to. I haven't been delegated meaningless tasks but weighty, solid tasks that have a pay-off of satisfaction and hard work. Outside of that, I have just deeply appreciated that the team has taken me under their wing and been so open in embracing and guiding me.

What change would you like to see in the publishing industry?

Accessibility in publishing needs to change. It is a hard industry to get into, and it is sold as a hard industry. For anyone from a marginalised background, that can feel incredibly dissuasive. Also, frankly publishing needs fresh, younger, and more diverse/intersectional voices that better reflect the reality of the society we live in.

What advice would you give others trying to get into publishing?

Books have to be your passion. Be an avid reader, be aware of what's in the market. If you can, try and gain employment with books (independent bookstore, or bookstore chains). Know that getting a qualification does not define you, nor is it a golden ticket into publishing.

You're a writer and a makeup artist, so you clearly enjoy creativity. Tell us more about that!

I have my Bachelor of Arts (double majoring in Gender Studies and Writing), my Master's in Creative Writing, and a Diploma in Screen and Media (Specialist Makeup Services).

For years, I enjoyed writing young adult and seeing the emergence of the new adult genre. I'm currently working on a queer supernatural romance novel. Outside of fiction, I have written about gender for Archer Magazine.

As a makeup artist, my favourite product is highlighter (I like to glow). I am a freelance makeup artist, and also work as a host in MECCA. I think makeup is fun and creative, and people shouldn't be scared to play and be curious.

Bohdi Byles