Writer / Reader / Fandom Extraordinaire
Monthly Archives: May 2016
Chiara / May 16, 2016 , Mon / writing

I am back again with another author interview! I told you there were more exciting things headed this way :D This time I’m interviewing I.W. Gregorio, author of the fabulous None of the Above (you can read my review here if it so pleases you). I absolutely adored None of the Above, so it was incredible to be able to chat with the author!

interview with i.w. gregorio

1) What inspired/inspires you to write LGBTQIA+ fiction?

I always like to say that the first gay person I ever met was in a book, and I’ll be forever grateful to Mercedes Lackey for singlehandedly destroying the latent homophobia that the very conservative town that I grew up in instilled in me.

Specifically, though, None of the Above was inspired by a patient I treated during residency, as you can read in this essay I wrote for Bookpage.

2) What is a favourite quote from one of your books? Why is it a favourite?

I’ll always love the “I heart my gonads” quote because a person’s reaction to the statement says so much about their comfort level with basic human biology. It’s also subversive quote because people don’t realize that women can have gonads too.

3) When it comes to representation in LGBTQIA+ fiction what do you think is the most important aspect?

That there is diversity in diversity. Particularly in regards to intersex, which is an umbrella term for a number of different syndromes and conditions, there is no single story. Everyone’s intersex experience will be different, which is why it’s so important for there to be many stories out there!

4) If you were to speak on a literary panel about LGBTQIA+ fiction what topic would you talk about and why?

I would think about the importance of #OwnVoices, because I think that there’s an authenticity and honesty that only a member of the community can bring to a story.

5) What is one LGBTQIA+ book that you recommend?

I’m a huge fan of a number of books that were published recently, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Tim Federele’s Better Nate than Ever series, because it’s so very funny, and because the MG audience needs more representation!

6) Silly question time – if you could be any animal for a day what would it be and why?

I would be a bird, say a falcon, for sure! My bio mentions that I used to play ice hockey (at a very low level) for many years in college and afterward. Mostly I was drawn to skating because it was very much like flying.

I know I said it before, but it was awesome hosting this interview! I love being able to see into an author’s mind, if only on a few topics.

I loved that I.W. Gregorio mentioned diversity in diversity and the #ownvoices movement, because I think these two aspects of diverse books are incredibly important. And now another person has recommended Better Nate Than Never, which means I really need to read that book ASAP. Especially since it’s diverse middle grade fiction, which seems to be quite rare. Being a bird for a day would be pretty amazing. Flying with wings rather than in a plane would be an unforgettable thing!

Now, to celebrate this interview, and to give you the opportunity to read the wonderful novel that is None of the Above, I’m giving you the chance to win a copy! This giveaway is open internationally, and subject to my giveaway policy.

giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you loved reading this interview as much as I did! And good luck in the giveaway! Tata for now,

Chiara / May 4, 2016 , Wed / films & music, lgbtqia

I found myself having watched three LGBTQIA+ movies in the last two weeks, and I thought I would go ahead and share some short thoughts on them because they’re LGBTQIA+, which is important, and they’re also movies, which I love. (All the source links will take you to IMDb.)

1. holding the man

holding the man

(source)

Holding the Man was a movie I’d been looking forward to for ages. It’s a story about two guys who meet and fall in love in high school, and it follows them through quite a lot of years of their life. To be honest, I was expecting to like it a lot more than I ended up liking it. I thought it would be one of those movies that completely ripped me apart and left me sobbing at the end (I’m looking at you, RENT). There was a particular moment that had me in tears because it was heartbreaking, but overall, I didn’t quite feel for this story in the way I thought I would.

I still 100% recommend it, though. It’s got a tonne of lovely moments, and I feel like it was a really raw and emotional depiction of the relationship between Tim and John (who are actually real. This is based off an autobiographical book written by Tim), and how both their lives were affected by HIV/AIDS.

2. the normal heart

normal heart

(source)

The Normal Heart broke me. It was one of those moments where I could let myself spiral down into a blackhole of despair and tears. The Normal Heart follows a fictional character through the initial discovery and subsequent epidemic of HIV/AIDS. I knew things were bad for the gay community back then – I think everyone knows that. But some of the events in this movie had me completely shocked. I don’t know if this kind of shit actually happened, but I’m guessing it did since this story is a semi-autobiographical account from the man who wrote it.

The main character, Ned, is angry. He wants HIV/AIDS to be recognised, and he’s frustrated as all hell at the fact that no one was willing to do that. His friends give him a lot of flack for that, but to be honest, I couldn’t blame him. Hell, I was angry as all hell watching how HIV/AIDS was completely dismissed by everyone they spoke to.

One of the best aspects of this movie is the relationship that develops between Ned and Felix It’s absolutely gorgeous, and will leave you wrecked. I 100% recommend The Normal Heart.

3. pride

pride

(source)

I was recommended this movie by the lovely Romi, and finally got around to watching it (she rec’d it at Christmas). It was completely different to the previous two movies I’d watched. In general, it was a lot more light-hearted. It follows the story of a group called Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM), which wanted to raise money to assist the mining communities back in the eighties. All towns except one refused their help.

Pride was, on the whole, pretty adorable. The latent homophobia expressed by some of the people in the mining town was a difficult pill to swallow sometimes, but the overall acceptance and support of LGSM was heartwarming. As with both Holding the Man and The Normal Heart, HIV/AIDS did play a role in this movie (which isn’t really surprising since they were all set in the 1980s). There were a lot of sweet moments in Pride, however, and it was incredibly enjoyable overall.

I really liked all three of these movies, but if I had to pick a favourite, it would be The Normal Heart. But seriously, all these movies were absolutely gorgeous. I really want to try and find more LGBTQIA+ movies to watch, especially ones that don’t just focus on the G, and also have some intersectional diversity in them, as well.

Have you seen any of these movies? Do you want to? Have you got an LGBTQIA+ movies you recommend?

© 2016 Chiara Sullivan / All Rights Reserved. / Design: Just Peach!