Contributors, Interviews, Projects

Meet the Humans: Julya Oui

As part of our campaign we will be introducing you to our contributors – the fabulous, creative and talented people we’ve recruited for this project.


Being an author and a screenwriter Julya Oui believes in keeping monsters, having nightmares, and dreaming up worlds that defy logic. While Mother Nature inspires her, mindbending curiosities motivate her. She lives in a town known as the City of Everlasting Peace, or Taiping, somewhere north of Malaysia. She is also a pluviophile and an entomophile who loves shinrin-yoku.
BioPixHiRes.JPGYou can find her here and here.

[Knight Errant Press]: Is gender identity a theme that comes up a lot in your writing? If not, what pushed you to explore it this time around?

Yes. It’s not so much of a question as to why or how but a question of being realistic.

[KEP]: Has exploring gender affected your worldview and your writing and reading habits?

Definitely. I have seen the world through different physical forms. How I was treated for being so gave me insights I have never known or seen before through a series of actions and reactions. That is why it’s always nice to read a book without having to focus on the characters’ physical forms which can easily be misconstrued for what they’re not, like how it is in real life.

[KEP]: Was there a particular book, short story, poem or event in your life that inspired you to write your own?

[J]: I grew up with Pan Book of Horror Stories, doses of The Twilight Zone, and superstitions in my little old town. But what inspired me to pursue the love of my life and kept me going was The Lesson of the Moth by Don Marquis.

[KEP]: What author or book do you think is most underrated? And why?

[J]: Jungle without Water by Sreedhevi Iyer. She made me laugh and cringe and upset at how wonderful and terrible life can be at the same time.

[KEP]: Is there any book, written by someone else, that you wish you’d written? Would you change it, if yes – how? 

[J]: The Old Man who read Love Stories by Luis Sepulveda. I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s too beautiful to change even a single word but I would like to write something as gorgeous as this some day.

[KEP]: What’s the most famous book you haven’t read?/play you haven’t seen?/album you haven’t listened to?/film and TV series you haven’t watched?

[J]: I have not read a lot of classics but I guess the most outstanding thing I haven’t done recently is to watch or read Game of Thrones. I still haven’t a clue what I am missing.

[KEP]: Do you ever feel like you have book FOMO (fear of missing out) because of a famous title you haven’t had the chance to read, if so, which one?

[J]: Yes. All the time. I’m a slow reader and I can only go as fast as my love for reading can allow me to. I would like to get my hands on Yesterday by Felicia Yap. Futuristic murder mystery? Hell, yes!

[KEP]: Tea or coffee?

[J]: Tea.

[KEP]: Early morning or late into the night?

[J]: Early morning.

[KEP]: Digital or analogue?

[J]: Both. Depending on the situation.

 


GetFileAttachmentWould you like to support #QueerQuarrels?

Here are a couple of the ways you can do so:

  1. pre-order the book (and other perks) on Kickstarter
  2. boost us on Thunderclap
  3. support us by sharing and retweeting on Facebook and Twitter!
  4. if you’re in Edinburgh, Scotland – pick up a copy of our preview booklet @LighthouseBooks
Projects, Team

It’s Alive! #QueerQuarrels

Kickstarter Launch

teawolf

Remember how we kept talking about working on our project F, M or Other: Quarrels with the Gender Binary?

Well, no more teasing and you having to wait — we are ready to raise funds and be able to share this brilliant book with you!

tinyurl.com/queerquarrelsvolume1

We have been working hard since the first open call for submissions and have managed to create and put together something that we are really proud of and eager to share.

F, M or Other started out of the desire to provide a platform for people to project their opinions and experiences with gender and its social construct to a wider audience. Now its ready to do exactly that, we just need your support in order to fully bring it to life.

A combination of hard work (and great luck) has led us to being able to gather over 40 incredible creators and writers whose pieces will be compiled into an anthology split into two volumes. Each piece has a unique perspective on the theme of quarrels with the gender binary. We wanted to make sure that when you pick up the book, you are provided with a range of experiences and thoughts expressed in different forms. Gender means different things to different people — it only makes sense to show this through a variety of formats. The anthology is filled with poems, essays, short stories and comics that are here to shake things up.

Using Kickstarter gives us a chance to reach out to you, dear readers — people who want to read a book that does not try to put anyone into a neatly organised box but instead, is letting the quarrelous nature of gender speak for itself. The crowdfunding page will provide you with information about the project, showing different ways of pre-ordering the book and supporting authors and a small, independent publishing company.

Don’t worry if you dont have any money to spare, we appreciate your support in any way thats accessible to you — pitching in at Thunderclap, sharing the Kickstarter page and using the hashtag #QueerQuarrels will make a difference.

Thank you for your continuous support that reminded us during long work hours and stressful editing nights, that you want this book to exist and you are ready to have more queer writing out in the world.

If you missed the event @Lighthouse Books, make sure to check out our Twitter (we tweeted live) and Instagram (click on Birdie to see live videos).

GetFileAttachment
Preview Booklets for #QueerQuarrels ‘sold like hotcakes’ – with donations going to support LGBT Health & Wellbeing, a cornerstone local LGBTQI+ charity supporting the “community of communities”(c) Jules in Scotland. You can pick up a copy and donate what you can for the cause @LighthouseBooks. (Browsing recommended, their selection is absolutely fantastic.)

Love, The Team

PA, Team

Public Announcement

We are a Queer Press.

An interesting label, isn’t it? One that we have chosen, as the issues closest to our collective hearts are those that affect the LGBTQI+ communities.

“Queer” isn’t necessarily the right term for everyone within these communities – or even those that we publish – and we are aware of that too.

Recently, our emergent press has been confronted with anger and disappointment online. Apparently we have not lived up to the expectations of one or more persons or groups because of the choices we have made regarding the authors we wish to publish in our forthcoming anthology: F, M or Other: Quarrels with the Gender Binary.

The clue is in the title.

There is scope for publishing a writer whether or not you agree with their point of view. Indeed, in our opinion, it is important to listen to others whether or not you agree with them. It represents maturity of thought, intelligence of response and a desire to be outside the echo chamber of your own thoughts; to invite in the ‘other’, discuss and to evolve. To move forward.

Silencing the voices of those you disagree with is not a means of moving forward. This kind of social censorship is a way of excluding and denying, ultimately learning nothing, receiving nothing and giving nothing. We cannot move forward or have a chance at moving forward if we choose to exclude.

We do have a line. We do not publish hate speech. We are not a ‘phobic’ press by any stretch of the imagination and will not publish content we believe would propagate such opinions. We have debated to the point that it was painful regarding what to and what not to include in this book.

We will not silence. And we will not be held to ransom by those that would.

The approach of excluding voices simply because you are affronted by them is the reason minority presses such as Knight Errant Press have to exist in the first place.

Judging material you have not read and being willing to discount the rest of the anthology in the perpetuation of your own ignorance is a poor example of evolved thinking and one we will not support or pander to. Is it OK to accuse people of perpetuating their own ignorance…? Yes. When it comes to people demanding the same censorship on others as they suffer themselves.

We’d rather have a healthy debate through a plurality of voices than be self-congratulatory and never learn anything.

We hope you’ll join us when our Kickstarter for our quarrelsome anthology launches on February 8th.

Sincerely,

– The Team

 


Image sourced from here depicting art found on the Berlin Wall,  “My God Help me to Survive this Deadly Love” features the Brezhnev / Honecker kiss.