The Book Riot Live Interview: Ayize Jama-Everett

Ayize Jama EverettAyize 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?

The question. [Editor’s note: Get the Question’s backstory here.]

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?

Bodice ripper.

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?

Get it?

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.