Interview with Mason Deaver, Author of I Wish You All the Best

Mason Deaver is a non-binary author who lives in Charlotte, NC, where the word ‘y’all’ is used in abundance. Typically, they’re writing incredibly queer stories, but when they decide to take a break, they love gardening and baking.

‘I Wish You All the Best’ is their debut novel.

Can you tell us a little about your writing process?

– So I’ve used a mix of both plotting and pantsing. For I Wish You All the Best that was totally written on the fly, for these next three projects I’ve been juggling, it’s all plotting. I’ve found that each project has still been different though, and that each requires their own sort of work. Another must of mine is having an album I associate with the project. Like how I Wish You All the Best is definitely Paramore’s After Laughter.

What sort of research do you do for your books?

– That’s another thing that varies from project to project! This is kind of a secret, but for an upcoming project I’ve had to research a lot of music terms, parts of a violin, sheet music, etc. In the past I’ve had to research things like release dates, the layout of certain parks, school dates, things like that. Writing really does make your Google search history a mixed bag.

Where did your inspiration for I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST come from?

– A lot of it came from my own experiences dealing with my gender and first loves. Thankfully I was never forced from my home, but in Ben I’ve instilled a lot of my feelings about my own gender, my anxiety, my depression. So a lot of it comes from real life.

Were any of your characters based off of people you know?

– There are a few! Some are more obvious than others. I won’t spoil anything but I think you’ll notice when you get to read the book!

What do you typically read while you’re writing? Do you avoid certain genres?

– Another mixed bag! So when I was writing and editing I Wish You All the Best I couldn’t read anything. That was about a solid eight months of just not reading a book. At all. Nowadays I find it a little easier to balance things out, but most of the time I find it difficult to read while working on something. It spikes my anxiety a little bit, and there’s a little voice in the back of my head telling me I’m taking the ideas or something.

What advice do you have for teens or those who are aspiring writers?

 Write your truth. Whether that be writing about your gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability, mental illness, your family life, putting a piece of yourself in your own writing can open up a door for making your story authentic. Of course, this doesn’t always work, and you should never be pressured to write about the things you aren’t ready to put out there in the world. But writing your own truth can be therapeutic in a way.

Young Adult literature is full of such talented authors! Who are some of your favorite writers, YA or otherwise?

– Oh my gosh, so many! Becky Albertalli of course. Rachel Lynn Solomon, Kheryn Callender, Adam Silvera, Alice Oseman, Angie Thomas, Kelly Loy Gilbert, Julian Winters, Maureen Goo, Adib Khorram, Sabina, Khan, Courtney Summers, Laura Silverman. There are SO many amazing authors we have writing so many amazing stories nowadays. There really are too many to name, but that’s a start!

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