The Book Riot Live Interview: Ayize Jama-Everett
Ayize Jama-Everett is the author of The Liminal People, The Liminal War, and The Entropy of Bones. Find out more about him here!
Q: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Option B: Pantser. I just start writing and see where the story takes me.
Q: Got a favorite superhero?
Q: What’s one thing you want people to know about your book?
Not everyone with powers is a hero. Some folks are just trying to stay alive long enough to forgive themselves for the damage they’ve done. That’s what my books are about.
Q: Do you know your Hogwarts house?
The one with the orgies.
Q: You can take one (and only one) book with you on a 4-day trip where there are NO BOOKSTORES. What book do you take?
Safe House by Andrew Vachss.
Q: Favorite album or band to listen to while writing?
Right now? Valerie June.
Q: What’s the story you wish someone else would write, so you could read it?
Alt-history story in which Black America isn’t consistently burned, lynched, and jailed for hundreds of years. It would be titled “The Visible People”.
Q: Chunky or smooth?
Option C: I hate peanut butter.
Q: What are you reading right now?
The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville.
Q: What book do you wish more people had read?
Mine! That’s why I write the books.
Q: Which comes first in your process: plot or character?
False dichotomy. The most miraculous things can happen to a dullard and it doesn’t move me: See Forest Gump. Similarly, an autodidact stuck alone on an island can only learn to pick coconuts. For me, plot and character co-evolve or the story is uneven.
Q: What genre have you never written in but want to?
Q: What’s the most surprising thing you learned in the course of writing your most recent book?
I actually like research.
Q: What’s your least favorite question to get as a writer?
“Where do you get your ideas?”
Q: What was the worst job you ever had? The best?
Worst: Pizza maker in Santa Cruz. Who the hell orders a pizza with vegan cheese? I hung up on so many people until I realized that was a real thing. Best: Drug and alcohol counselor. We saved lives together.
Q: What question do you wish you could ask your readers?
Q: What do you know now about publishing that you wished you knew when you were first starting out?
Talent, luck, relationships, and persistence all play their part.