Inky Awards Shortlist: Interview with David Levithan and Nina LaCour
Interview questions for Silver Inky shortlisted David Levithan and Nina LaCour, proudly provided by 16-year-old Inky Awards judge, Kellie.
What is your book about?
David: It’s about two queer teens, Mark and Kate, who go to the same school but don’t really know each other. Mark’s in love with his best friend and Kate’s in love with a girl she’s never met in person (but who’s coming to town)... and together they have to figure out a lot of things about love and life in the span of a Pride Week.
What is in your pride 'survival kit'?
Nina: Honestly, not very much! Pride celebrations are often a little chaotic and I like to travel light. Water is always good, a tube of lipstick (much like Kate), and at least one person I love. A camera (but a phone camera will do) and some cash for food. My favorite experiences of Pride are when I just relax and go wherever the crowd takes me.
What would your teenage self enjoy most about your book?
David: I think I would have found it mind-blowing (back then) to read a book about queer kids facing the ins and outs of romance and friendship without them being entirely defined by their queerness. Also, teen David (not unlike adult David) was a sucker for a good love story, especially one which doesn’t take a traditional route.
What do you think are the most pressing issues regarding LGBT representation in YA?
Nina: We've seen so many more novels featuring gay, lesbian, and bisexual characters--which is wonderful! But there is still so much room for other sexual and gender identities to be represented. One of my favorite moments of writing this book with David was when he included a genderqueer character. It made me so happy to think of genderqueer teens seeing themselves represented, even if in a small part. So I think the novels featuring LGB characters should keep coming, and the TQIA+ novels should also be celebrated and their authors encouraged to continue cultivating broader diversity within the YA LGBTQIA+ cannon of literature.
If you won the Silver Inky Award you would...?
David: Come up with a very loving custody arrangement for it. Luckily, Nina and I have a blast sharing things – whether it be characters or tours or music. An Inky would be an awesome thing to share as well.
The Inkys close tomorrow! Vote in the Inkys here.