As you all know, ‘Ida’ – written by Alison Evans – was our very first (of many) BOTM! And as many more of you know, on Sunday the 29th of January, we hosted our very first official book-club meeting in Alexandra Gardens with the one and only, ALISON EVANS! You know? The AUTHOR? OF OUR BOOK OF THE MONTH? ALISON EVaNS?
So naturally, Sarah, being the genius that she is, prepared a few questions for Alison, relating to both the book and themselves, to help fill any awkward silences – AND GUESS WHAT? There weren’t any! Alison very easily answered all of our questions, as well as signing our books and taking photos with us! Author G O A L S !
So let us recap it all for those who couldn’t make it! First off, yes, Alison is amazing, charismatic, humble and very funny! And yes! They have amazing BLUE hair! (also goals tbh)
Secondly: The Questions (Not all, but some)
What advice would you have for any aspiring authors who are trying to break into the field? How did you go about getting your first works published?
‘Don’t write for free! Unless you want to.’ – Alison Evans 2K17
Alison went about submitting ‘Ida’ to different publishing houses who accepted unsolicited submissions before landing a gig with Echo Publishing!
Ida works in hospitality and often comments about how she hates the job. Have you ever had a job in hospitality? Do you have any customer horror stories?
Unfortunately, Alison was far too kind to share any horror stories! But they love working in hospitality and currently work in a cafe!
Why did you chose to set Ida in such a local, lively place like Melbourne, when you could have made your own perfect fictional setting?
Melbourne had the perfect aesthetic for this novel, and other parts of Melbourne were used to set up spooky undertones and vibes! Think, never ending windy dark roads, and creaky shed doors.
Did you have much part in designing Ida?
No! That was all up to the designers! (See in the book for more details) They did receive several different cover designs but that was all!
If you could meet any book character, who would it be?
THIS QUESTIONS PROVES IMPOSSIBLE TO ANSWER
Would you ever continue Ida’s story? Are you working on anything at the moment?
At this stage, no, but fanfiction is accepted!
Was writing diversely always your intention? Did you ever worry about how you portrayed diversity in your novel?
As Alison is already bisexual and genderqueer, they were very confident in exploring and creating the life of Ida, Daisy and Frank.
What are some of your favourite LQBTQIA+ novels/main characters?
The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Sushi Central and Lizard Radio~
Why did you chose to define/label Ida as bisexual? How important do you think labels are?
Alison prefers labels as they have a sense of belonging! However, they are totally cool with not wanting labels!
And lastly, we’d love to thank Alison for joining us on a beautiful summer day to discuss their writing, as well as everyone who could join us! We were both extremely happy to see our fellow book lovers ask questions of their own and talk bout some of their favourite scenes and characters in Ida! Thank you, really! Without Alison and our booklovers, we might have been sitting in a pavilion all by ourselves *insert cringe laugh face here*
LOVE AS ALWAYS