Author Crush Friday with Tristina Wright
Glitter girls, you have pressing questions for your favorite authors and we have their answers. Welcome to our weekly segment, Author Crush Fridays.
We love asking questions and we love the answers from some of our favorite authors. Today we’re talking to Tristina Wright, who is the author of the fast-paced sci-fi thriller YA, 27 Hours (October 3, 2017; Entangled Teen). Thank you for talking to us today, Tristina! We’re honored!
GLITTER: Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.
TRISTINA: My hair is not really pastel colors. It’s an average brown with a black streak on the left side. No, really. The black is my birthmark.
I can flip my tongue upside-down. The ability to do that is genetic! My mom can do it.
I’ve never seen Pulp Fiction. My husband thinks it’s a travesty.
This is going to be really cliché, but I’m terrified of spiders. We’re talking any spider from cinema horror to ones barely bigger than a pinhead. Nope.
I’m a book hoarder. My husband says I probably have enough to go full dragon and just pile in the middle of the living room to curl up on.
GLITTER: Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer.
TRISTINA: I was twelve when I first decided, “Yes, this is a Thing I Want To Do.” I was watching Newsies and crushing hard on one of the characters decided I wanted to write a sequel. So, I got myself a notebook and wrote a sequel. Then, believe it or not (believe it because I was adorably naïve), I wrote to Disney and asked them if I could publish it. They shockingly said no (they were very nice about it and I wish I knew who wrote me back, because they didn’t dash a little girl’s dream when they could have). After that, I kept writing. I wrote stories for friends, stories in all my classes, stories for myself. I wanted to major in English in college. I wanted to write. So I did.
GLITTER: Where did the idea of 27 Hours come from?
TRISTINA: It’s been a 12-year journey, but the original spark was the mental image of a young man standing in front of a marble statue which was coming to life. However, my attention was always on the young man, because he was never afraid or hesitant. Curious and relieved. Tense. But never fearful. And I needed to know more.
GLITTER: Do you love to create complex characters, and which comes first for you: the characters or the plot?
TRISTINA: Oh gosh, yes. Complex characters are my catnip. Give me flawed heroes and relatable villains. Give me main characters who take one look at their trope and go, “Nah.” Love interests who go against every stereotype. Characters who embrace found family and cut off blood family because it’s healthier. Complex characters are everything.
Safe to say, characters come first for me.
GLITTER: In 27 Hours, what was your favorite chapter/scene to write and why?
TRISTINA: Probably the one with Rumor and Braeden fighting the dragon over Epsilon. It’s one that’s remained largely intact since I first wrote it. It’s the scene where Rumor and Braeden’s friendship really takes hold and blossoms. It’s a huge turning point for Rumor as well. He’s faced with the decision to stay closed off to these people he just met or pull apart his walls a bit. Plus, the banter was a lot of fun to write.
GLITTER: How much research went into writing this book?
TRISTINA: So. Much.
Even though some aspects of it are #ownvoices, I still included my own marginalized identities in the research I did for all the other identities I’m not. Marginalized identities aren’t a monolith, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t falling into any internalized bias with regards to my own identities. The characters in this book span race, queerness, disability, and gender intersections, so I did a lot of reading. Books, articles, blogs, tweets. I spoke to people. I read more. I hired sensitivity readers. I worked with more betas than I ever have before. I read more.
GLITTER: Has any conversation you’ve ever eavesdropped in on ever made it into one of your novels?
TRISTINA: Not eavesdropped, no. But texts, yes! Some of the banter in the book are edited text conversations.
GLITTER: How important are diverse books?
TRISTINA: So important. The first time I saw a bisexual young woman who also lived with chronic pain, I cried. Being able to see yourself in a story is amazing. Being able to see yourself as the hero of that story is life-altering. And I truly believe we make the world a better place the more we publish inclusive books.
GLITTER: What is the one piece of advice you can offer a new writer?
TRISTINA: It’s okay to be afraid. The fear keeps you human. It makes you care. The day you stop being afraid is the day you stop caring.
GLITTER: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
TRISTINA: Toughest: “Your book hurt me.”
Best: “I saw myself in your book.”
GLITTER: If you could collaborate on a new book with anyone, who would you collaborate with and why?
TRISTINA: Kate Elliot. The most epic of world-building and mayhem and magic. I think it would be incredible.
GLITTER: What are you working on now?
TRISTINA: 27 Hours Book 2!
Tristina Wright is a blue-haired bisexual with anxiety and opinions. She’s also possibly a mermaid, but no one can get confirmation. She writes YA SFF about queer teens because they deserve the spotlight. She married a nerd who can build computers and make the sun shine with his smile. Most days, she can be found drinking coffee from her favorite chipped mug and making up stories for her two wombfruit, who keep her life unpredictable.