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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

QSR: Author Interview with Mason Deaver

We have the happy privilege of being Mason's very first interview! How exciting is that?

Q. Tell us a little about your book and yourself!

A. Well, I’m a non-binary author who also enjoys a little baking and gardening here and there. I Wish You All the Best is the story of Ben De Backer, a non-binary teen that tries to come out to their parents, but it doesn’t go as expected. After they’re kicked out of their home they’re forced to reunite with their estranged sister and start a new life at a brand-new school.

Ben plans to keep their head down for the rest of their senior year, but that plans flies out the window when they meet Nathan Allan, a charismatic and charming fellow student. And what started as a tragedy might end up being a chance for Ben to be their true selves, and maybe even find love.

Q. What made you write the stories you did? What do they mean to you?

A. There are so many stories that inspired me. Simon vs. by Becky Albertalli, Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann, At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson, This is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender, and so, so many others.

They each mean their own things to me individually, whether it was finally seeing a part of myself represented on the page or sharing the same types of anxieties and feelings the main characters do. I feel like it’s already rare to see someone like myself on the page, and while none of those stories feature non-binary characters, I still saw a piece of myself in those words.

Q. What are some of your favourite things to read in queer books?

A. There’s a genuine kind of love I see in queer books, specifically ones by queer authors. That might seem a little vague, but I feel like when a queer writer is writing a book where two queer teens are in love, the way they capture it just makes me so happy.

But seeing two people genuinely in love with one another just makes me so happy, I’m always a sucker for love stories.

Q. Did you go to summer camp as a kid? Got any good stories? Or, if that's a no, got any fun summer reading plans?

A. No summer camp stories, which I’m honestly a little thankful for. As for summer reading plans, I’m sticking to contemporary, there’s something so warm and fluffy about young-adult contemporary books and summer just feels like the right time for that.

Q. Tell us one of your favourite experiences with someone who’s read your book.

A. There’s only been a handful of people who’ve read I Wish You All the Best, but a common response is people telling me it made them cry. Which might be a weird thing to pick as a ‘favorite experience’ but hearing that my words got an emotional reaction out of people makes me feel like I did something right.

Q. What are some themes, tropes, or just things in general you would love to see in queer books in the future?

A. Honestly, so many tropes need to be in queer books. We need meet-cutes and insta-love and fake royalty and so many other tropes that queer readers and readers of color haven’t had the chance to see themselves in.

Q. What’s your favourite recent queer read? What queer book are you looking forward to?

A. This is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender, I absolutely adored this story and was lucky enough to get an advanced copy. I don’t want to spoil much, but keep an eye on it this October. A few of the books very much anticipating are The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Al by Sabina Khani, The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper, A Place For Wolves by Kosoko Jackson, and Reverie by Ryan La Sala.

(Editing note: I have an e-arc of Epic Love Story, so also keep an eye out around here for a review of that. I hope I like it as much as Mason!)

Q. What’s something you always want to say in interviews but no one ever asks?

A. Well this is my first interview, so I’m actually not sure. Maybe what my favorite flower is. Which is a hydrangea, if you’re wondering.

Q. Favourite song to listen to in the summer?

A. Oh boy here we go. Is it okay if I pick more than one song? Basically anything by Carly Rae Jepsen. I’ve also really been into K-pop lately. Groups like Pentagon, Seventeen, SHINee, NCT 217, and Pristin. Also Paramore, any song by Paramore is my summer bop, but if I had to pick one it’d be ‘Hard Times.’

Q. Favourite food to cook over a campfire?

A. Smores! Definitely smores!

Mason Deaver is a non-binary author and librarian in a small town in North Carolina where the word ‘y’all’ is used in abundance.

When they aren’t writing or working, they’re typically found in their kitchen baking, or out in their garden complaining the toad that likes to dig holes around their hydrangeas. Find them on their website, on Goodreads (add I Wish You All the Best to your to-read shelf!), or on Twitter.

Thanks so much for the interview, Mason!!

Peace and popsicles,

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