What made you want to be a YA writer and how is the process different from your music/art? Do you feel any different relating to your audience?
AViVA: I have always been writing and aspired to be an author. I believe there is something timeless about the experiences we have as adolescents and how they shape us as adults which is why I chose to write this novel from that perspective. For me, all the art I create is done so with the intention to connect with people on an emotional level. In that sense there is no difference, the medium might change but the intent and message are still there. That being said, I find my writing process more structured and prefer to plan and outline. With songwriting, I prefer to be more organic in the creation and let the art define itself for me.
How did the idea for Self/Less come about and which character do you most relate to in the book?
AViVA : The original idea for SELF/LESS came about one summer while I was eating fish and chips. I was thinking about what life would be like if we had never had WWII and what a Nazi regime might look like in a post-climate change reality- as if history was forgotten or hadn't existed. At the time I was writing music that I wanted to have more weight and self-expression is at the core of everything I do. I have always been quite an obsessive person and love anything I can immerse myself in completely, so I wanted to create a world that did that.
What kind of message do you hope to convey through Self/Less to YA readers?
AViVA : In the book, you see two extreme ways of living and the people in both worlds are trapped in their own ways. We need to find a way to be ourselves, live creatively and express who we are, but we need to follow our truth in a way that is respectful to the people and world around us. Finding that balance is true freedom. I hope people understand the power of creativity to help dev fun who we are and get out all the things we might not know how to express otherwise, like Teddy.
Who would you cast in the film adaptation of Self/Less?
AViVA : I think that Rose Byrne would be an amazing Luanna, Chase Stokes would be perfect for Jamie, Amandla Stenberg as Michelle, oh and Keir Gilchrist as Link would be super interesting... Teddy and Kit are still too hard for me to pick! It's a big cast of characters…
Who’s your favourite author? Can you give us your top 5 YA reads?
AViVA: That is an impossible question but if I had to pick the author that had the greatest impact on my love of reading and writing as a child I would say Enid Blyton.
My top 5 YA reads:
They're 5 that I would recommend everyone read, lover of YA or not!
Who would you have dinner with if you get to choose amongst authors dead/alive?
AViVA: Charles Dickens and Jane Austen would be a nice brunch pairing, I'd love to meet Cinda Williams Chima because I love her work… and I think slipping into one or two meetings of the infamous Inklings would also be quite a delight.
Can you give us a sneak peek as to what’s to come after book 1?
AViVA: I'm terrible at sneak peeks because I always give too much away! Let's just say, things don't stop for Teddy, she has a lot of problems to solve and she's about to discover just how deep the lies run...
Thoughts on your debut being chosen as the Dymocks October YA- Book of the Month?
AViVA: I am so grateful and excited! It’s always been important for me to emphasise that I am an author AND a musician, not just a musician who wrote a book. I think this opportunity really helps show the book community that I am serious about my craft and I am here to stay! I cannot wait to build my community here in the reading world!
Self/Less by AViVa is availabe in store and online now.
*Free tote bag available while stocks last. Available in store and online.