Q: What made you sign with Vital Narrative Press?
A: Three words: "Our stories matter." It’s important to me that I work with people who feel the same way about certain key things—like visibility and representation—and the Vital Narrative team is passionate about many of the same things I am.
Q: What made you want to write A Body Held Still By Fear And Loathing?
A: When I write poetry, it’s like I’m painting my internal landscape with words. It feels like I’ve been at war with myself and everyone else during the last few years, emotionally and creatively. And I guess I just wanted to put together all these textual pictures, so I could make sense of what happened and figure out where I need to go next.
Q: Describe your writing process.
A: Aside from lots of procrastinating, I don’t really have one. I’m still experimenting with different methods and habits while I have a little free time.
Q: What is your most unusual writing habit?
A: Writing poetry in the body of an email, saving it as a draft and then forgetting it forever.
Q: What literary/movie/TV character is most like you?
A: I’m a combination of Hermione Granger, Ilana Wexler and Michael Scott.
Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
A: Writing. Making TV and movies.
Q: What writing advice do you have for other authors (especially those looking to release their first book)?
A: The only person you should be working to please is yourself. Do right by yourself first.
Q: Do you plan on reading your reviews?
A: I don’t think I’ll be able to stop myself!
Q: What's your least favorite thing about the writing process?
A: Editing. I didn't write second drafts for years.
Q: What is your next project?
A: A short story collection and a web series.
Q: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
A: I’d love to be able to stop time. I’d have endless time to do everything.
Q: If you were a superhero, what costume would you wear?
A: Something very low-key. All black with a dash of color, like a jumpsuit with a royal purple hood and purple shoes. I want to be stylish, but still practical. No capes.
Q: What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
A: I really want to shoot a feature-length film.
Q: What were you like as a child? What was your favorite toy or activity?
A: I was curious, intense and trusting. My favorite thing to do was read—normally, things I wasn’t supposed to be reading! A close second was constructing sordid, soap-opera style dramas with my dolls and action figures. They usually ended in a graphic death.
Q: What has been your biggest failure?
A: Giving in to fear.
Q: What has been your greatest triumph?
A: Choosing to keep living when almost every fiber of my being was telling me not to.
Q: What books do you wish you could have written?
A: Cloud Atlas, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold.
Q: Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
A: Stephen King, Zora Neale Hurston, J.K. Rowling, Patrick Ness, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes and Margaret Atwood are all authors whose work stirred something in me that has—so far—never stopped moving.
A.A. Redd will release her first book, A Body Held Still By Fear And Loathing on October 21.