HI, peeps! Today we’re joined by author and director Ji Strangeway, who had some time out of her crazy busy schedule to do a Q&A with us.
Introduce yourself to the rest of the class. Who are you and what makes you tick?
I’m Ji Strangeway, writer-director…born-again-poet…author. Writing keeps me going.
What does it mean to you to be an author? What makes a writer a writer?
It means to be responsible for the world that you create. The ability to create the highest architecture of words is what makes a person a writer.
Are you promoting a specific book? Tell us about it. Include the book blurb if you’d like.
Yes, Red as Blue is my new hybrid graphic novel. It’s a YA love story about 15-year-old June Lusparian, a Mexican-Armenian teen struggling to make sense her life, her sexuality, and her future during the 1980s.
Tell us about your biggest guilty pleasure. For example, to you sit naked in your pantry in the middle of the night and eat Nutella with your fingers?
I’m a night owl so dinner for me often happens when everything is closed. For better or worse, I live in the city where you can get gourmet fusion style hot dogs served Vietnamese “bánh mì” style at 3a.m. It’s heart attack food.
Tell us one thing that you’re passionate about. For example, would you strap yourself to an oil rigging a la Lucy Lawless with a Greenpeace sign in your hands?
I’m passionate about standing up for the youth and their individuality. The best I can do this is by telling stories that speaks to them and for them rather than “at” them.
What’s your writing process? That is, do you have a particular place you write and/or time of day? Do you have any particular things you do before you write? (e.g. do you listen to music, drink coffee, take dance breaks…)
I unplug everything. I don’t check email or go online. I don’t take calls. I usually go for 8-12 hours straight. Sometimes 18. Nighttime and cold weather is the best for my creative flow. I now live in LA, so I miss dark moody days that inspire me.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you (unless you’d have to kill us, in which case tell us something that some people don’t know).
I used to interview punk bands when I was teen for my own “rag,” met the Red Hot Chili Peppers before they became famous. I walked up to them while they were all taking a piss on the wall of an old Denver movie theatre. I hung out with the Bad Brains, G.B.H. and cool bands who were just legends in the scene. I got hold of a rare interview with the legendary beatnik author William Burroughs before he died. Hmmm…what else? I was always surrounded by powerful healers and female shamans.
Is there a book by another author that you wish you had written?
East of Eden.
If time and money were no problem, where would you most like to go in the world?
I would be more interested in having time to luxuriate in doing nothing instead of travelling because travel can be exhaustive unless it’s a sabbatical. There’s definite beauty in getting outside of your element. I wouldn’t mind spending half a year living in a modest third-world country in South-East Asia or South America.
And finally, what sorts of writing (or other!) projects are next for you?
I’d like to start working on my next novel would also love to get back into film directing. I like to bounce around with various artistic mediums because it keeps me grounded and not take myself too seriously.
Thanks for featuring me. If anyone wants to learn more about my work, just go to my website.
Readers can find out about my book, Red as Blue, HERE.