It’s time for another Evernight Spotlight! Today we have Lisa Borne Graves, author of YA romance Apidae. She’s been with Evernight Teen since early 2017. You can also find her short story Dare in the ET anthology Kissed.
DEIDRE: Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Lisa! When your cover release for APIDAE came out, I was stunned. It’s beautiful.
LISA: Evernight’s cover artist Jay Aheer is absolutely amazing. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was perfect. The colors and warmth radiate the hope I tried to imbue throughout the novel’s bleak dystopian backdrop.
D: How long have you been writing?
L: My entire life. I can’t remember when I started but remember winning something early in elementary school when I was 5 or 6 for poetry. I was incredibly shy and had selective mutism but managed to read it aloud in a room full of hundreds of people. Needless to say, I didn’t share my writing again for years.
D: That had to be rough. Do you remember when you decided to start sharing your work again (or what motivated you to try again)?
L: In high school, I was in an honors study hall and this boy Ed cut class to hang out with us. He insisted on reading it. I expected him to make fun of me, but he read it aloud, and everyone in the room listened. From then on, we acted it out.
D: What draws you to YA in particular?
L: I love that precipice of a child becoming an adult, the loss of innocence or eye-opening experiences that mold them into the adults they will one day be.
D: Do your MCs have anything in common across your stories?
L: My girls are no damsels in distress. They realistically have insecurities and rely on others’ opinions as most teens do, but they grow, change, and become strong and independent women. My boys are usually equal parts strong and sensitive, yet hide their softer edges due to society’s expectations. Their relationships may have problems, but they always end up having a 50/50 relationship where neither dominates the other.
D: Would you say you actively try to address toxic masculinity in our culture?
L: I’m not sure I actively do it, but for sure, my villainous men and societies exhibit toxic masculinity. It is the one thing I detest most in society and never understood. The best fictional heroes and real-life men embrace equality.
D: Do you have similar themes across your stories?
L: Unconsciously, my themes rely on the power of love and the need for all people to have autonomy.
D: Tell me a little about your latest release.
L: After Apidae, I published Fyr which is book 1 of a YA fantasy romance series called Celestial Spheres. Toury arrives in Fyr where magic is power and a prince’s love is deadly. Prince Alex realizes she can break his curse, but Earth girls aren’t so easy. Saving the world? Even Harder.
D: That sounds fun! I love a good fantasy romance. What’s next for you?
L: In February, Quiver, which is book 1 of a YA paranormal romance series called The Immortal Transcripts, will be released. Callie doesn’t believe in myths. Archer doesn’t fall in love, but creates it. Callie begins to unravel the very fabric of Archer’s godly existence, but if that knowledge will kill her, to what lengths will they go to be together?