Spotlight On: Ava Phillips

Ava is majoring in creative writing at PSU, to which she says “most of my coursework consists of writing classes. It’s intense, and challenging, and delightfully inspirational. I can feel my writing changing every day, and I absolutely love it.”

Q: Who or what influences and inspires your art the most?

A: Heartbreak, and also magic. I’ve always felt like heartbreak is a sort of magic in and of itself. It inspires so much of my own poetry, so it’s a gateway of sorts; allowing hurt to transform into writing. Magic too, big and small, will always have an impact on my work. From grand fairytales to wishes, magic is an integral part of me, and so it’s just as present in my writing.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: My favorite stand alone novel would have to be Borne by Jeff Vandermeer. Any attempt I might make at a summary would be a failure, and I really feel like it’s better left undescribed. I’ll give you this: there are flying bears, a dying world, dead astronauts, and so, so much wonder. I dare you to read it without getting a tattoo in the book’s honor. (I failed.)

Q: What do you do about creative blocks?

A: Write anyways. With poetry, I almost never have blocks, but my fiction gets stuck pretty frequently. I find that writing about, rather than actually writing, is enormously inspirational and allows you to feel like you’re procrastinating (when you’re actually getting work done).

Q: How do you go about transforming an idea into a finished project?

A: Music. Film soundtracks are a saving grace for me, and help me get through the special hell that is revision. And there’s so much revision to be done, at least with my fiction. Fiction writers everywhere: it’s supposed to suck in the beginning (like, really suck), and you’re going to be fine.

Q: What are your goals?

A: I think one long-held dream of mine has always been to go on my own solo book tour, and be able to meet readers. I want fan-fiction, and fan-art, and every other thing young adult fantasy authors dream of. Most of all though, I just want the world to meet these characters I’ve known so long, and I want them to be loved the way I love them. What more can a writer ask for?