Welcome to the 2017 Debut Author Bash! Today I am sharing an interview with Anna Priemaza the debut author of Kat & Meg Conquer the World! Don’t forget to enter the exclusive giveaway from Anna that is open internationally! The Bash has been happening all December, be sure to check out the schedule for other stops!
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health
Publication: November 7th, 2017: HarperTeen
For fans of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything, Emery Lord’s When We Collided, and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Anna Priemaza’s debut novel is a heartwarming and achingly real story of finding a friend, being a fan, and defining your place in a difficult world.
Kat and Meg couldn’t be more different. Kat’s anxiety makes it hard for her to talk to people. Meg hates being alone, but her ADHD keeps pushing people away. But when the two girls are thrown together for a year-long science project, they discover they do have one thing in common: They’re both obsessed with the same online gaming star and his hilarious videos.
It might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship—if they don’t kill each other first.
“Kat and Meg Conquer the World will hit home for anyone who has ever been waist-deep in fandom, doubt, or new relationships; Kat’s and Meg’s unique voices are outstanding, and their friendship brings this story to vibrant life.”—Francesca Zappia, author of Made You Up and Eliza and Her Monsters
Anna Priemaza grew up next to a field of cows, in a town with horse-and-buggy parking at 100% of the town’s two stores. She spent her days lying in a hammock under her tree fort, devouring book after book, and her nights watching her siblings play video game after video game.
For university, she moved to a city on a lake, where she studied literature and walked to her classes with her face in a book, and was somehow miraculously never hit by a car.
For law school, she moved across the country to an even bigger city, where she learned to knit and fell in love. And she realised that being in love meant she was tied forever to that new city called Edmonton, Alberta, so she settled in and wrote a book set there. And knowing she lived in the same city as her characters Kat and Meg made her feel more at home, even though there were no cows and no lake.
So now Anna is a contemporary young adult author and a practicing family and immigration lawyer in Edmonton, Alberta, where she lives with her husband and a head full of characters. She can never quite remember how old she is, as she knits like an old lady, practices law like an adult, fangirls over YouTubers like a teen, and dreams like a child.
Interview: Anna Priemaza
1. Since Kat & Meg bond over online gaming/YouTube Streamer, what video games are you consuming these days, and whose YT feed is notification worthy?
I was very addicted to Don’t Starve for a while. Then Stardew Valley. Recently, my League of Legends addiction has resurfaced.
On YouTube, if you’re not watching VintageBeef, you’re doing life wrong.
2. Your book deals with mental health issues and other real life issues, how was it to write from that perspective?
The best way I can describe it is freeing. I don’t think there’s been a single moment in my life when I have felt neurotypical, so it felt absolutely wonderful to write neurodiverse characters and to give them the freedom to experience the world in their own unique ways, without pigeonholing them into how it often feels the world is supposed to be experienced.
3. Friendship is a main theme and I loved how Kat & Meg complimented each other, what was your inspiration for such a strong female friendship novel?
I have a powerful memory of being sixteen and sleeping over at my best friend’s house. We sat on her roof and ate plums and talked about life and Harry Potter and family. That’s it. That’s the whole memory. But the warm, fuzzy feelings the memory brings me are so strong.
My whole life is littered with memories like that, of moments that make my skin tingle at the memory of just being together with a friend. Whether in the quiet of the every day, in the nightmare of my darkest hours, or in the joys of my brightest accomplishments, my friends have been there for me.
I guess what I’m saying is that I write about friendship because that’s the story I’m lucky enough to know.
4. After finishing Kat & Meg, I couldn’t help but wish these characters were real, because I want a friendship like theirs, what advice do you have for the readers out there who feel like they are alone and no one likes the things they like?
I have two pieces of advice:
If you can’t find fellow fans of the things you like in real life, find them online. Some of my very dearest friends are people I have never met in person.
Imagine how incredible it would feel if you managed to convince one of your current friends or family members to fall in love with that thing you’re obsessed with. It would feel absolutely amazing, right? But maybe you keep recommending it to people and no one is biting. Well, you can’t make them love what you love, but you can give that gift of amazingness to someone else. Find out what your friends or family members are obsessed with and try it out. Maybe you’ll find something new to obsess over. Plus, once your friend realises what great taste you have and how fun it is to obsess over things together, maybe they’ll check out your obsession, too!
5. Nerdy is the new black, and I am all for all the nerd life incorporated into this book, what other books about the nerd life inspired you and would you recommend to readers looking for complimentary books to Kat & Meg Conquer the World?
Of course, there’s Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, which I adore. For video game lovers, I’d recommend Post-High School Reality Quest by Meg Eden. For general fandom lovers, I’d recommend Geekerella by Ashley Poston.
And a couple that I’m excited to read that aren’t out yet: Ship It by Britta Lundin and The Pros of Cons by Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar, and Michelle Schusterman.
Time for some easy Q&A:
6. Coffee or Tea: Tea. Coffee is gross.
7. Salty or Sweet: Sweet
8. Hogwarts House: Very proudly Hufflepuff
9. Last Costume worn: When I’m home, I’m pretty much always cosplaying as a TARDIS, because I have an excessive amount of TARDIS clothing.
10. Last song listened: Wait – Alexi Murdoch
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