#LoveOzYA Q&A with AViVA about SELF/LESS

AViVA is a multidisciplinary artist, with international success, garnering more than 3 billion global streams on her music to date. Her debut young adult novel, SELF/LESS, is out now!
AViVA chatted to #LoveOzYA’s Bianca Breen about the inspiration behind the story, how she approaches her varied creative interests, and how she’s found the publication journey so far.

For someone browsing for their next read, what is SELF/LESS about? What can readers expect?

Readers of SELF/LESS can expect action, intrigue, a little romance and a whole lot of questioning the status quo!

Where did the idea for the book come from? Do you recall the first seed of inspiration?

The first seeds of inspiration started when I thought about a world post-WW3 and climate crisis, what would happen if stopping conflict was how they ended this. . . how do you stop conflict? Stop people from expressing themselves. That thought terrified me, so of course, I had to pursue the idea!

How much – if any – of yourself did you write into Teddy?

The assumption is always that I am Teddy, or that Teddy is me but it’s more accurate to say I play Teddy when I perform but she is her own girl entirely! There are elements of me in all the characters, that’s part of writing. I’d say I’m split the most between Teddy, Kit and Luanna in this book – if I had to pick!

Has your music informed your writing? Or vice versa?

They are in a symbiotic relationship so both! I wanted this book (and the entire series) to be soundtracked, so at the moment, all the songs I’ve released since GRRRLS and all the songs I am releasing all map to the world of SELF/LESS and this story I’m telling. It’s like a choose your own adventure soundtrack to my books.

You’ve mentioned before that you’ve always loved telling stories. What made you decide to pursue this particular story?

I think the idea of not being able to express yourself or be creative, or what it would be like to live in a world without creativity intrigued me. Would humans survive? I think that creativity is an innate part of the human experience. It’s one of those necessities people don’t think about being a necessity… like love. You can eat, sleep and breathe without it, but that’s not really living is it?

If you were in the Underground, what would your role be?

I’d still be a musician and an author. I suppose it would be mostly live gigs performing around the clans. There wouldn’t be much technology down there to record albums. I’d also write the stories of the people down there, like a chronicler.

The book world must be so different from the music world! What’s been the most surprising thing about your publication journey so far?

In some ways, it is different, in other ways all of the entertainment industries have similarities. I think the biggest difference I’ve noticed is just the pace. In the music world (especially as an Independent musician running my own business) I control the timeline and the release schedule is faster- which is easier to do with shorter form content. With books, there is so much prep work, my book is 400 pages long, so editing naturally takes more time as there’s just literally more to get through. I think that has been some time I’ve had to work on because I can be impatient when I’m excited about something! I absolutely love every second of it though, of both worlds!



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