Writer / Reader / Fandom Extraordinaire
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,

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12 Responses to i.w. gregorio interview + giveaway

  1. I loved this book so much. Like, so so much. Definitely one of my favourite books of last year! I NEED IT IN HARD COPY LIKE I NEED AIR.

  2. Ooh I haven’t read this one yet, but I LOVED the interview! I think getting that peek into authors’ minds is so interesting and awesome too. :’) Eep, fangirl over authors moment. 😂 And I haven’t read this one yet so *fingers crossed for the giveaway* It sounds really good!

    • Chiara says:

      Ah, you really need to read this, Cait! It is such a good book, and quite unlike anything I’ve read before, which is pretty amazing. I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview! I love getting to know an author just that little bit better :D

  3. Kayla Arnold says:

    Loved this interview! It’s cool to hear what an effect diversity in books can have on opening people’s minds- books really can make a difference!

  4. Romi says:

    Oh, another truly lovely interview, Chiara! This was splendid. It’s so interesting to read interviews by authors you like or whose work you look up to, but when they’ve created something that has truly touched you it’s just wonderful. I really love your questions (like I said last time), because it’s amazing to read how two different authors, one whose work I intend to read and another whose work I’ve read and enjoyed, approach them and give answers that are rather fabulous, to be utterly honest.

    The words “there is diversity in diversity” are so very accurate and when I read None of the Above, I really appreciated that in the Author’s Note it was touched on that Kristin’s wasn’t the only type of intersex there was, and how in the book it was explored that there are a range of expreiences you can have. That was one of my favourite parts of the story, actually. I think, maybe, there is sometimes one aspect of a sexuality or gender identity that is explored and it isn’t always explained that it can be all these different ways, that each story is as individual as each person, and that is so important. Because you mightn’t see yourself in *this* book with an asexual protagonist, but in *this other one* it might match up with some of the things you’re experiencing. I would say that the answer to your third question was definitely my favourite (although I would totally also want to be a bird of some sort, if I had to be any animal. Birds are impossibly beautiful and mystical, I think).

    Again, lovely interview, Chiara. x

    • Chiara says:

      Thank you, lovely <3 I'm truly happy you've enjoyed reading both of them :D I thought using the same questions would give a varied response, because diversity in literature is such a vast topic, and I'm loving learning these author's thoughts on it!

      Diversity in diversity is so important. And I really liked the author's note in None of the Above, as well. There are so many different intersex experiences, as there is with sexual orientation and any gender identity. That's why we will always need LGBTQIA+ novels, because there are so many different stories that we need to read and share.

      Birds are pretty fab, although I still think being a cat wins out for me ;D

      Thank you again <3

  5. Beth W says:

    Diversity in diversity- YES! I’ve been very happy to see intersex represented in fiction, but with any non-mainstream gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, etc. it only empowers if it’s authentic, and it’s only authentic if it’s diverse enough to be real-life-like. So happy to read more from this great author!

    • Chiara says:

      I’m happy to see LGBTQIA+ stories increase in general, and the diversity represented in each of those stories is different. We will always need more diverse stories because each and every one of them is also diverse in itself, not just its representation. I’m so glad you liked the interview, Beth!

  6. Elspeth LaMorte says:

    I love the Mercedes Lackey mention! She was also responsible for my first encounter with a LGBQTIA+ lead, and while I couldn’t find myself in her story I’m sure she helped pave the way for the increasing number of diverse protagonists that I’m able to read today. :D

    • Chiara says:

      Ah, I’m glad you related to one of Ilene’s answers, Elspeth! I think a lot of people have that one author that paved the way for their diverse reading – mine is David Levithan :D

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