We have a very exciting interview for you today! Corinne Duyvis very kindly answered our (increasingly odd) questions. Because guess what else is great about this interview? We rejigged what we asked! So here you have it, your first glimpse at not only Serious Writer Questions, but also who exactly would the author want on their side in a zombie apocalypse?
Let’s start at the beginning. How did you first get into writing?
Online forum-based role-playing. I dabbled in various fandoms but was always most active in the X-Men universe. As a teenager, I spent years and years on this particular hobby, writing probably dozens of characters in total and probably several novels’ worth of content. Eventually, I got curious about writing my own stories, gave it a whirl … and never stopped.
What are your favourite genres to read and write, and are there any genres or tropes you wouldn’t write?
Sci-fi and fantasy are lifelong favorites of mine.
A genre I wouldn’t write…? Probably historical. I have nothing against the genre, but the research involved is deeply intimidating to me. Props to the authors who can pull it off!
How do you get inspiration for your books and what’s your writing process? At what point do you let other people read your drafts and who are they?
Inspiration is never in short supply; right now I have enough ideas jotted down to last me through the next decade. The motivation to write is a different story. I tend to focus on one book at a time, as I have a hard time “shifting gears.” This makes me a relatively slow author, but it does let me completely immerse myself into the book, which for me is an essential part of the process.
As for when I let people read my drafts: This has honestly been different every book and I expect it’ll stay that way. Sometimes friends give feedback on early drafts, sometimes my agent/editor are the first to see it. It all depends on how confident I am about the draft and how pressing my deadlines are.
Which three authors would you say influenced your writing the most?
At the top is K.A. Applegate: Her Animorphs series was absolutely formative. She’d write each book from a different character’s PoV and I remember being absolutely astonished when I first picked up on the narration reading very differently as a result.
I had a massive amount of R.L. Stine books growing up – some Goosebumps, but mostly Fear Street. The thought of publishing a horror novel myself one day is still really exciting to me, and I suspect that reading those books in my formative years had a lot to do with that!
Finally, Tais Teng, a Dutch author of horror/sci-fi/fantasy novels (who occasionally writes in English, if you want to check out his work). I read his books as a young kid and they definitely left their mark.
And for something that is also very important to us & what we put a lot of emphasis on when blogging. What does ownvoices LGBT representation mean to you?
It means nuance, understanding, celebration. It means offering mirrors and role models to children who may desperately need them.
And, in a strange way, it means tenderness: The kind of queer stories we had growing up were so often a form of tragedy porn. With work by queer creators – even if terrible things happen in a book, even if the characters go through terrible ordeals – I find that a sense of tenderness for the character often bleeds through on the page.
What’s one piece of advice you would like to give your younger self?
“You’re the right person in the wrong situation.”
I spent an awful lot of time wondering and worrying about what was wrong with me, both before and after my autism diagnosis. If I’d been able to see myself now – if I’d had an idea of what I could become with the right support –
It would’ve blown my mind. It would’ve meant so much to realize what I could be, the kind of person I could become, on both a personal and a professional level.
Summarise your most recent/next book in up to 5 words and a meme.
Team of Hazels saves world. Or maybe: Chosen One with AU backup.
I can’t decide!
Which of your characters would you most want to fight a zombie apocalypse with?
Amara from my debut novel Otherbound. She’s a badass and she can heal: The perfect teammate.
Or maybe a character who gets introduced halfway through The Art of Saving the World … Can’t say more than that. Spoilers. 🤫
Is there a famous franchise or simply a movie/TV show you’d like to be able to write for?
I’d love to go back to my roots and play in the X-Men universe. There’s such a wealth of history, characters, and themes.
Do you have any secret non canon ships in your books you wish people would write fics for?
Hahaha, oh man, that’s a good question. I’m honestly struggling to think of any. I guess that’s the glory of being an author: If I ship any of my characters, I can put it on the page and boom. Canon!
Rec us some great LGBT books you’ve read recently!
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger, an exceptionally fun yet moving murder mystery with an asexual Lipan Apache lead set in an alternate, magic-infused America. With lovely illustrations by Rovina Cai.
Even If We Break by Marieke Nijkamp – which I just realized also happens to be a murder mystery. This one involves RPGs, creepy mountain cabins, and a seriously queer group of teens. Such a delightfully tense read!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Corinne Duyvis is the critically acclaimed author of the YA sci-fi/fantasy novels Otherbound, which Kirkus called “a stunning debut;” On the Edge of Gone, which Publishers Weekly called “a riveting apocalyptic thriller with substantial depth;” and The Art of Saving the World, which Kirkus called “impossible to put down.” She is also the author of the original Marvel prose novel Guardians of the Galaxy: Collect Them All. Corinne hails from the Netherlands. She’s a co-founder and editor of Disability in Kidlit as well as the originator of the #ownvoices hashtag.