Get to know our Youth Ambassadors: Alex Dupriez

By Alex Dupriez

Alex is a queer writer, illustrator, and swordfighting librarian. He is a committee member with the Australian Library and Information Association and avid reader, with a huge passion for Australian fantasy and YA stories. When he isn’t lurking in bookshops or libraries, he can be found looking for native frogs.

Youth Ambassadors

What are your reading goals for 2024?

My main goal is a consistent reading habit. I’ll often find myself reading 3 or 4 books at once, then not reading at all for a while, then right back into multiple books. I also want to try borrowing from the library more — which is ironic, considering I work in libraries!

What is your favourite genre, and why?

I’ve always been drawn to fantasy, ever since I was a child. There is a certain beauty in the complexity of worldbuilding and lore potential that fantasy offers, and I find that I can spend days dedicated to analysing and deconstructing worlds that I read about. The deeper and more expansive the world is, the better.

What book or author do you always recommend?

What book or author do you always recommend?

There are quite a few I could recommend, but one of the best I can think of is Tamsyn Muir. She is an incredibly talented and sharp writer, and her debut novel 'Gideon the Ninth' was an incredibly refreshing read that brought me out of a serious reading slump. As a swordfighter myself, I can also say that the duels and sword shenanigans in her writing are FANTASTICALLY done!

If you could meet any author, who would it be?

There are a LOT of authors I would possibly sell a kidney to meet, but I would 100% sell BOTH kidneys if it meant I could meet Peter S. Beagle in person. I grew up on the movie adaptation of his novel ‘The Last Unicorn’ and have recently read the original book, and it absolutely blew my mind. I’m fascinated by his writing style, and I would love to spend an afternoon just hearing his writing processes and picking apart his brain if I could.

If you could pick the world of one book or series to live in, what would it be?

If you could pick the world of one book or series to live in, what would it be?

I’d take anywhere that is queernormative and neurodivergent friendly. My most recent read that would reflect this would probably be the kingdom of Cres Stos in Seth Haddon’s book ‘Reforged’. Also, ancient magic bones that grant powers are cool!!

What books do you always find yourself coming back to?

As a reader, I always come back to two different series — ‘Warrior Cats’ by Erin Hunter, and ‘Dark Rise’ by C.S. Pacat. As an autistic child, I often found there was a barrier to enjoying a lot of the books my peers read — I struggled to relate to many of the protagonists and the stories. But 'Warrior Cats' and 'Dark Rise' both ventured out of the norm for protagonists, and provided a lot for what I was desperately seeking in fiction.

As a writer, I’m drawn to the first few chapters of George R. R. Martin’s ‘A Game Of Thrones’, especially the opening chapter where the Stark family finds the direwolf pups. There is a particular way that GRRM interweaves worldbuilding, lore, and archaic dialogue that just really scratches an itch in my brain. It’s something I constantly go back and study, and each time I find a new technique that I didn’t notice before.

Any upcoming releases you can’t wait to get your hands on?

Any upcoming releases you can’t wait to get your hands on?

Currently I seem to be amassing a collection of sapphic fantasy.

I am absolutely itching for the final instalment of Tamsyn Muir’s ‘The Locked Tomb’ series, so when ‘Alecto the Ninth’ is released, expect me breathing heavily and pressing my face against the glass of the nearest bookshop.

Other books I’m really excited for also include:
- 'The Lotus Empire' by Tasha Suri
- 'Immortal Dark' by Tigest Girma
- 'Legend of the White Snake' by Sher Lee
- 'Daughter of the Bone Forest' by Jasmine Skye
- 'Spin of Fate' by A. A. Vora

Where is your favourite place to read?

At home, in aircon, on my sapphire-blue leather couch I found on the side of the road. However, this often means that my lap ends up becoming free real estate for my partner’s cats (this is fine). It also means that my reactions to whatever is on the page becomes live entertainment for my roommates and my partner (this is also fine).

Do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebook?

Do you prefer paperback, hardcover, or ebook?

Generally I’ve had a preference for paperback, but I’m slowly being converted into joining the hardcover gang! Its partially for the beautiful variant covers, but also for their durability. I need keep my personal collection small and curated due to renting, so I can become very particular about what copies I personally own. In saying that, I’ll often take whatever format is available at the library!

As much as I want to enjoy e-books and audiobooks, I personally struggle with them as a format. I promote e-books a lot in the library to try and make up for it though, because it allows so much accessibility potential for other readers.

See who our Youth Ambassadors are for 2024!
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