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So to wrap up the YApocalypse, I have an author whose books may just have the COOLEST titles. Meet Justin Woolley – who hails from Melbourne, Australia.

YApocalypse Fast Five (quick – before the zombies eat our brains!)

1. Why do you write YApocalypse novels?

I suppose the question as to why I write YApocalypse is two pronged, firstly there’s then question why do I write YA? And then there’s why do I write post-apocalyptic YA?

I started writing for young adults because I used to be a teacher and wanted to write for that audience. There is something wonderful about being an author for readers at such a formative time, you have a real chance to speak to issues that will help shape them. Plus, I remembered all the experiences I had reading at that age. I think books I read as a teenager have stuck with me more than any others.

So, why post-apocalyptic/dystopian fiction then? I think the appeal of apocalyptic fiction is the same as the appeal of all fiction, seeing people overcome conflict, but is there any conflict as great as tearing down the world and forcing people to do whatever they need to do to survive. I think apocalyptic fiction is a great metaphor for the struggles we all face when we feel like the world is ending. Apocalyptic fiction can also be a great mirror to hold up and see the darker side of humanity. We can see what humans might become if all the rules are taken away.

2. Tell us how your book falls into the YApocalypse genre and why we should all run out and grab a copy NOW!

My book A Town Called Dust, the sequel A City Called Smoke and the soon to be released conclusion to the trilogy A World of Ash are post-apocalyptic novels set in the Australian outback hundreds of years after a plague has turned the population of the world into dusty, decomposing, zombie-like creatures called ghouls that survive by drinking the moisture of living humans. The last of mankind lives in and around the city of Alice protected by the ghouls behind a giant border fence, until the fence falls…

I love using the rich Australian outback as a character in itself, the emptiness, lawlessness and isolation feature strongly. A Town Called Dust is Mad Max meets The Walking Dead. It’s been called the next Maze Runner which is nice, and not just by my Mum.

3. If you had a choice in what apocalypse you had to survive (or TRY to survive), what would it be (for me, zombies—the slow moving variety!)

Probably slow-moving zombies for me too. After writing a series about moving to the desert to survive them though I wouldn’t recommend it. I’d prefer to find a nice tropical island somewhere, maybe a cocktail or two.

4. What’s your favorite YApocalypse novel? The one you push onto all of your friends, hoping you will have someone to squee with over it.

Even though it’s more dystopian the one that jumps to mind at the moment is Red Rising by Pierce Brown. It’s brilliant. Though there are so many great books out there it’s always hard to choose.

5. The world is about to END, quick—name three things you would place in a time capsule for future civilizations?

First, let’s put in a very detailed account of what we did wrong to cause all this in the first place then maybe smarter people can stop history from repeating. Second, copies of the great works of literature. Third, the recipe for chocolate because everyone needs chocolate.

A Town Called Dust (The Territory 1)

A Town

Stranded in the desert, the last of mankind is kept safe by a large border fence … Until the fence falls.

Squid is a young orphan living under the oppressive rule of his uncle in the outskirts of the Territory. Lynn is a headstrong girl with an influential father who has spent her entire life within the walled city of Alice.

When the border fence is breached, the Territory is invaded by the largest horde of undead ghouls seen in two hundred years. Squid is soon conscripted into the Diggers-the armed forces of the Territory. And after Lynn finds herself at odds with the Territory’s powerful church, she too escapes to join the Diggers.

Together Squid and Lynn form an unlikely friendship as they march to battle against the ghouls. Their journey will take them further than they ever imagined, leading them closer to discovering secrets about themselves, their world, and a conspiracy that may spell the end of the Territory as they know it.

Buy it:


Justin Woolley


Justin Woolley has been writing stories since he could first scrawl with a crayon. When he was six years old he wrote his first book, a 300 word pirate epic in unreadable handwriting called ‘The Ghost Ship’. He promptly declared that he was now an author and didn’t need to go to school. Despite being informed that this was, in fact, not the case, he continued to make things up and write them down.

Today Justin is the author of the Australian set dystopian novels A Town Called Dust and A City Called Smoke, the first two books of The Territory Series. He also writes the web serial Listening to the Other Side, a fictional blog about talking to the dead.

Justin lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife and son. In his other life he’s been an engineer, a teacher and at one stage even a magician. His handwriting has not improved.

Find him:

The YApocalypse – a celebration of young adult post-apocalyptic novels or series – will run throughout September. Posts include featured authors and book recommendations – as well as random musings about THE END. If you are a YApocalypse author who wants to get involved click here. If you want to keep up with posts click here.

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