Since you were once a Pitch Wars mentee, do you have any advice for someone applying this year?
Yes, I do! I actually made a YouTube video about it. You can view it here.
You're an art therapist? What is art therapy?
Art Therapy combines visual art and psychotherapy in a creative process using the created image as a foundation for self-exploration and understanding. Thoughts and feelings often reach expression in images in the non-verbal part of the brain, rather than in words. Through the use of art therapy, feelings and inner conflicts can be projected into visual form. In the creative act, conflict is re-experienced, resolved and integrated.
Can I watch your film anywhere?
Yes. You can watch it over on my video channel here.
Where did you get the inspiration for your novel, and is it #OwnVoices?
Yes, my novel is #OwnVoices. As for the inspiration - in 2016 I was interning at a HIV and addictions clinic in Vancouver as an art therapist. It was a facility mainly for adults, but in my mind I was being followed around weekly by two teenage boys who were so distinctly drawn out in my head. I asked myself questions about who they were - both to me and to each other - and the answers I received shaped the arc of the story. My main character was inspired quite heavily from my own personal experiences. I didn't get the opportunity to read about a lot of queer boys by queer male authors growing up, so I wrote the book I never had but always needed.
Do you have any writing resources that you can share?
I absolutely adore Susan Dennard's resources. In fact, I swear by them. You can find them here.
Do you need an MFA to write a novel?
Nope. I don't have one. I didn't even begin reading "properly" until I was an adult. I wasn't one of those children who "always knew". I grew into my craft and used it to make sense of my life. Just write, re-write and finish something. Find other writers and partner up to critique each others work. Be patient. You'll get there!