Click here for full interview. Excerpt below: How much do you relate to the main character of Like a Love Story? The book is so close to my heart. I mean, it’s like a big piece of me is on the page. Of course, as with all novels, the story itself is fiction. I didn’t become an activist. I wasn’t walking up to necessarily meet people who could get me out of my shell that young. But on an emotional level, it’s very real. It’s very much about the emotions I was feeling when I was a teenager, and I moved to this country at a young age like the Reza character, who is a character in the book who moves to New York City as a teenage with his mom, who’s getting remarried. And suddenly he meets queer people and has exposure to a community that his culture really shielded him from and
Abdi attended the 2018 TeenBookCon in Houston. Check out an interview he did with Blue Willow Bookshop in anticipation of the event. Read the full interview here. An excerpt:
We’ve read that one of your goals for your books is to tell stories of gay characters in immigrant communities. Can you tell us about why that’s important to you and how you plan to continue representing those characters?When I realized I was gay, there were no stories about gay Iranians out there. It made me feel like I didn’t exist, or like the world didn’t want me to exist. So telling these stories feels like writing myself into existence, and giving the teenage me the stories he needed. Hopefully, the stories also give other queer people from immigrant communities some narratives to look to if they want to see themselves. The queer immigrant experience is often very different from the queer
Abdi attended Ontario Teen Book Fest 2018. To read the Q and A he did for the festival, click here. Important questions were asked and answered, like: RNSL: Cake or Pie? And why? AN: Which one comes with ice cream? Because I’ll take that one, eat the ice cream, and give the cake or pie to someone else. But if ice cream isn’t happening, then pie. Unless it’s ice cream cake, obviously.