Interview with 2019 Debut Mason Deaver!


In 2019 our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. Follow us this year as we pick the mind of the 2019 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats and more!
Last year, we Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. We ended up finding Mason Deaver and their novel I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST, and we have been interested in it ever since. We are so excited to have Mason on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

About Mason! 
Mason Deaver
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 something that’s bad for them, or out in their garden complaining the toad that likes to dig holes around their hydrangeas. 
Keep up with Mason: Website / Twitter / Goodreads 

Interview!

The Book Bratz: First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?
Mason: It’s a pretty scary thing. There are all these new things I’m learning about publishing and actually being a writer. Things I never really dreamed about having to do or know. Twitter has become a whole different animal since the book was announced. It’s been fun, but definitely a learning experience. 
The Book Bratz: In your opinion, what is the best part of the writing process? What's the hardest?
Mason: This is interesting because I feel like a lot of this changes from book to book. While I only have one book coming out, I’ve worked on four different projects since I Wish You All the Best was finished. But I really think I can say without a doubt my favorite part is dialogue. I love writing snarky or nervous characters. Characters that want to be charismatic but fail hard, or interactions that hold so much more than either character may know. The hardest part is trickier because that really does differ from book to book. With I Wish You All the Best it was finding the right voice for the story, and then figuring out the best way to tell that. With other projects it’s been tone, sometimes it’s emotional age of the character, or whether the story is dark enough or light enough in the right places. I guess a good way to make a long story short is to say: balance. Finding the balance of a story is definitely the hardest part. 

The Book Bratz: Now let's talk about I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST. What made you want to write this story?
Mason: So, I started writing I Wish You All the Best and it was a very different story about two boys in college trying to start their lives. But that wasn’t really working for me, so I put it away and over the course of a few months started thinking more and more about it. Around that time, I’d come out (mostly just to myself) as non-binary. It was a tough journey, but once I’d sort of come to terms with what I was doing, I realized how easy my journey might’ve been if I had characters in YA to relate to. But there were little to no non-binary narratives in Young Adult, and even less actually written by non-binary authors. I wanted to fix that. I reworked the story, set it in high school, made Ben a non-binary teenager who struggles with coming out and finding a place they fit in the world.

The Book Bratz: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the most difficult?
Mason: Nathan, without a doubt. He’s so nice and snarky and funny and just such a dweeb. Nathan is a lot of the heart of this book, he provides a foil to Ben, and he’s just so endearing and helpful that he’s almost a pain in the ass to Ben at first. Their dynamic is 100% my favorite thing ever. Ben might’ve been the hardest. A lot of Ben is me. They have a lot of my anxiety, my depression, and my gender. Because Ben was that outlet, and while writing them, I was right in the middle of figuring all that out. Ben is like a mouthpiece for that time in my life, which was super hard to figure out and put out there for people to read. 

The Book Bratz: Were there any scenes, characters, or plot points in the original story that you took out after rounds of editing?
Mason: Oh yes. I’ve already told you the original plot, the college setting. But that was all before I was even agented or had critique partners reading it. There’s this student art gallery scene in the book that was a lot more elaborate and ‘big’ that I changed because it didn’t make sense. There was a fight scene for Nathan that we cut because it seemed unfair to Nathan to put him through that, and while I believe Nathan is a protective soul, I don’t think he’d actually do that. Really, it’s just small stuff after that. There was an art-sharing website where Ben was one of the most popular users. Mariam, Ben’s friend on the internet who is now a big internet personality was originally an in-person best friend. I should probably go back and find an old draft and reread it, but that sounds incredibly painful and I don’t know if I can do that to myself.

The Book Bratz: What do you hope that readers will take away from reading I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST?
Mason:That they aren’t alone. I know what it’s like to be struggling with things all by yourself, so I hope that readers (especially teen readers) know that they aren’t alone. They aren’t the only people dealing with these issues, and that it’s okay to seek out or find a support system. In fact, that’s probably one of the best things that you can do. Especially if it’s made up of similar people dealing with similar problems.

The Book Bratz: Do you plan on returning to the world of I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST in the future, or do you have other ideas in store? Can you tell us anything about them?
Mason: Oh boy. So, the short answer is no. Ben and Nathan’s story has been told, and I don’t feel the need to explore anything further there. That isn’t to say they won’t appear in another book *wink wink* but their story is done. I’m a big fan of the happily ever after and I don’t want to write another story to risk their relationship. Other books? I’ve got plenty of those in the works. Unfortunately I have a brain that won’t stop. And that sounds like a blessing at first but it’s the worst because I’m juggling too many stories and ideas that I just can’t work on yet. I can’t really talk about anything specific right now, but I’m working on a middle grade, and an actual book 2 is on the way. I’ve got other ideas rumbling around  but I can’t give you any more details than that, I do have to keep some secrets. 

About I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST!

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Title: I Wish You All The Best
Author: Mason Deaver
Publisher: Push
Publication Date: May 14th, 2019 

Summary: When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school. But Ben's attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan's friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

Thank you so much to Mason for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST and can't wait for it to be out in the world on May 14th


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