Jan 26, 2017

An Interview with Alison Evans || #DiverseReads2017

Today I come to you with another #DiverseReads2017 interview! Say hi to Alison Evans, the author of Ida, a fantastically queer fantasy of alternate universes with a biracial MC.

I read IDA some time back, and I'd definitely recommend this book! You can check out my review here, plus Alison is an absolute sweetheart and I am happy to host them on the blog today!

1. Describe your book in 5 words

Self, rain, warmth, trees, doubles.

2. What inspired you to write IDA?

I was working in a cafe at a tourist railway and I had finished my shift and got into my car to drive out to a party. I started the engine and then realised I’d forgotten to get changed out of my work clothes. So I turned off the car, got out and got changed. Once I was on the road, there had been a car accident a couple of minutes before. So I wondered if I would have been in it, if I hadn’t gone back and changed my clothes. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I wrote Ida.

3. The characters of IDA are extremely diverse and belong to underrepresented spectrums. What made you create such characters, and how important do you think it is to represent them?*
*( IDA's MC is bi, love interest is genderqueer and uses they/them pronouns, it's a f/f relationships, plus there's two other non binary characters - among which one has a POV, and a trans character)

I wrote them because these are the kinds of people in my life. I am bi and genderqueer, most of my friends are queer. We don’t see too many characters who ID this way (especially explicitly, on-page) and I want to add to the existing representation because I think it’s important for queer people, especially queer teens, to see themselves in fiction.

4. What do you think should authors keep in mind when representing gender and sexual orientation in their books and characters?

There is no one queer experience, we’re all really different people. Just because I’m bi it doesn’t mean that everyone who is bi has the same beliefs as me, their experience is different from mine. I think it’s probably best to keep in mind you can’t speak for a whole group of people.

5. What has been your favourite aspect(s) of the entire journey of IDA?

It’s so hard to choose! When I got the offer of publication that was pretty exciting. This was before I was offered an actual contract and my editor, Angela Meyer, offered to meet up with me in person to talk about it first. That was before I really knew what to expect, so my imagination went pretty wild.
The other thing has been seeing people, both people I know and don’t, posting pictures of their copies and saying they’ve been reading it. I know that getting a book published means people are going to read it, but actually seeing it happening has been the best.

6. What advice would you give for aspiring authors, especially but not limited to queer teens?

Don’t give up! I wrote the first draft of Ida in 2011. It’s okay if it takes time.

7. Can you share with us what you’re working on next?

I have been taking a break from writing novels for the past month to focus on uni, but the last book I started writing was a witchy semi-spooky queer romance story so I’m hoping to get back to that soon. I’ve also been thinking about going back and editing a zombies story I wrote a couple of years ago.
The last short story I wrote will be in the next issue of Concrete Queers, which is full of spec fic written and drawn by queer people. You can keep an eye out on our twitter @concretequeers for more details!

Title : IDA
Author : Alison Evans
Release Date : 30th January 2017
Publisher : Echo Publishing
Synopsis :

How do people decide on a path, and find the drive to pursue what they want?

Ida struggles more than other young people to work this out. She can shift between parallel universes, allowing her to follow alternative paths.

One day Ida sees a shadowy, see-through doppelganger of herself on the train. She starts to wonder if she’s actually in control of her ability, and whether there are effects far beyond what she’s considered.

How can she know, anyway, whether one universe is ultimately better than another? And what if the continual shifting causes her to lose what is most important to her, just as she’s discovering what that is, and she can never find her way back?

'Ida' is an intelligent, diverse and entertaining novel that explores love, loss and longing, and speaks to the condition of an array of overwhelming, and often illusory, choices.

About Alison

Alison Evans writes about people who don’t know what they want, relationships and Melbourne. They are co-editor of Concrete Queers, a maker of zines and a lover of bad movies. Their work has been published in various Australian and international magazines, lit journals and zines. You can find them on twitter @_budgie or on their website, alisonwritesthings.com

This post is part of Diverse Reads 2017, a reading challenge hosted by myself and Shelly. If you want to join the challenge, or if you're an author who wants to be featured, sign up here

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