My name is Mads, and I'm a twenty-five year old queer writer of LGBTQ YA literature. I graduated from SUNY Cortland class of '14 with a BA in English and a passion for the written word. I'm married to my wonderful partner, and together we raise our cat-daughter, Zack. I've been writing since high school and completed my first manuscript in 2016--a YA Fantasy--and my second in early 2018--a YA #ownvoices Contemporary with Horror elements. Both manuscripts are currently out on submission. When I'm not writing, I can be found volunteering at my local LGBTQ Youth center or binge-watching television.
A little bit more about Mads; My name is Mads, and I'm a twenty-five year old queer writer of LGBTQ YA literature. I graduated from SUNY Cortland class of '14 with a BA in English and a passion for the written word. I'm married to my wonderful partner, and together we raise our cat-daughter, Zack. I've been writing since high school and completed my first manuscript in 2016--a YA Fantasy--and my second in early 2018--a YA #ownvoices Contemporary with Horror elements. Both manuscripts are currently out on submission.
One of my main drives as a writer is to produce stories that heavily feature diverse voices in a variety of situations and genres. I am a firm believer that representation in YA literature is incredibly important in helping readers find agency in their own lives. I spoke about this to about eighty participants at a fantastic LGBTQ Youth outreach center called Pride For Youth, a subset of the Long Island Crisis Center. These amazing young adults, spanning from thirteen to twenty opened a dialogue about the different kinds of stories they would love to see themselves represented in, and I've made it my goal to provide as many of these stories as possible in my career as a writer.
When I'm not writing, I can be found volunteering at my local LGBTQ Youth center or binge-watching television.
Mads identifies as Pansexual & Non-Binary and prefers the pronouns They/Them.
We sat down with Mads to gush over an interview;
1. Besides LGBT+ OwnVoices, anything else in your books OwnVoice (mental illness, physical disability, etc.)
My other OwnVoice identities extend to Anxiety, Depression, and Dysphoria, and those subjects are very important to me in the stories I write.
2. What is the best money you've spent as an author?
The best money I've ever spent on my writing career, (besides my laptop), was my badge for the Writer's Digest Conference in NYC. I went in 2017 and am signed up to go again in 2018. I've learned so much about the craft, and made new friends within the field. I've also participated in the speed pitching contest they hold, and it taught me how to face my fears and pitch my book with as much confidence as I could. That lesson was indispensable.
3. Do you view writing as a "spiritual" practice?
Perhaps not quite "spiritual," but definitely a therapeutic one. When I wrote my second book, it was my first foray into OwnVoices. It was the first time I wrote out my identity in such expanded terms. I also wrote about anxiety, depression, and dysphoria within the story, and writing my main character facing those demons down gave me the courage to face my own in a new way. I'll never forget the experience of writing that book and what it taught me about myself.
4. Have you ever googled yourself? Anything interesting?
No, I haven't, but now you have me curious...
*one google search later*
PHEW! Nothing all that crazy there! Looks to me like it's all writing-related, though seeing my name on the calendar for my Pride for Youth presentation made me smile. There are a few embarrassing pictures of me cosplaying Yuri!!! on Ice, but I put those on my twitter myself, so I shouldn't be all that surprised.
5. What part of life do you write most about? (Child, Teenager, Adult, etc.)
Teenage life, primarily. This may change one day, but YA is my first love.
6. You've been transported to the world of Harry Potter! What House do you want to be in? Who do you try to date (if anyone)? Is Harry your BFF or the antagonist?
I am a Hufflepuff through and through, and I'll defend my house with a passion. I don't know if I'd try to date anyone, but I married a Slytherin, and I stand by the fact that Slytherins and Hufflepuffs make the best partners ever. I don't know if Harry and I would be close friends or not, but he DEFINITELY wouldn't be the antagonist.
7. You meet your favourite author! They tell you they've read your book and LOVED it! What is your reaction?
In my head, I'd be composed, and grateful, and very humble. I'd smile, and thank them profusely before telling them how much their book impacted me.
The reality is I would probably start crying, look very un-cool, and be so embarrassed that I would find an excuse to run away.
8. You're at the club (I know we're both probably introverts but like, play along) Your favourite song comes on! What is it?
Favorite song?! How can there POSSIBLY be one favorite?! I do know this: whatever song it is probably wouldn't play in a club. My favorite song depends on my headspace for the day. I think right now it's Outer Space/Carry On by 5SOS. Don't judge me--listen to it, and wait through the silence after Outer Space to hear Carry On. I have a lyric from Carry On tattooed on my wrist to remind me to "Outlast the Ignorance" and I try to do that everyday.
9. You're transported to your WIP! What is your relation to the MC?
I think I would be another best friend to my MC, Lex. Lex needs someone else who ID's like them to help them through what they're dealing with. I know I'm a few years older than Lex, but I would love to be like an older sibling to them, helping them through the times when it feels like the world is ending.
10. Anything else the readers of this world should know about you?
I'm a nerd. A gigantic nerd. I will talk for hours about the characterization in shows like Westworld, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the Punisher, and so many more. I love to cosplay, go to conventions, and meet the actors who bring the shows I love to life. I am also VERY bad at initiating conversations, but I love to talk to people. My DMs are open to ANYONE who wants to chat and I promise, ever message is welcome and exciting.
If Mads seems like your kind of author, you can follow them on Twitter @madsbertasio
They also have a personal website: madsbertasio.weebly.com
Mads is currently unpublished but is currently querying one of their books! Follow them on Twitter to keep up with their work.
We thank Mads for joining us today!
Tune in tomorrow for our next author, J.M. Wolf!