09 June, 2019

They don't make plus size spacesuits by Ali Thompson Book Spotlight and Interview! @Artists_Ali

They don't make plus size spacesuits
By Ali Thompson
Genre: Sci-fi short stories

About the Book
 “They don’t make plus size spacesuits” is a sci-fi short story collection, featuring an introductory essay. It is written by long-time fat activist, Ali Thompson of Ok2BeFat.

This book is a incandescent cry from the heart, a radical turn away from utopian daydreaming of future body perfection to center a fat perspective instead. 

Ali invites people to experience a fictional version of a few of the many ways that fatphobia can manifest in a life. The ways that the people closest to fat people can subject them to tiny betrayals on a near constant basis. The disdain that piles up over the years, until it all becomes too large to bear.

And while some of the fatphobic tech in these stories may seem outrageous and downright unbelievable, it is all based on extrapolations of so-called “advances” by the diet industry, as they search for ever more efficient ways to starve people. 

The modern day worship of Health promises a future peopled only by the thin, a world where the War on Fatness is won and only visually acceptable bodies remain.
What will that future mean for the fat people who will inevitably still continue to exist?

Nothing good.
About the Author
Ali Thompson is the Bill Nye of fat girls. 

She is the creator of Ok2BeFat, which by an amazing coincidence, is the name of her YouTube channel. 

She's a fat activist, writer, YouTuber, and collage artist. She is a bisexual queer who lives in Philadelphia with her husband Josh and their many cats. 

You can find her on Twitter at @Artists_Ali, where she probably just said something weird.
Find out more at alithompson.net

An Interview with the Author!
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
Definitely, it is finding the time to write. I have a full-time regular office job and I have to find ways to fit the creative work into the time I’m not at the office or doing all the regular chores everyone has to do to keep life up and running.
I’m also the kind of person who has 50 projects all going on at once. I feel like it keeps me fresh and interested in what I’m working on. But working can spread out my focus, and it can all feel a little out of control at times.
I try to manage it by planning out on paper the steps I’m working on with my creative work—what’s next, what not to forget. I’ve been using a bullet journal method this year to keep track of everything, and I’m finding that really helpful.
And also just constantly reassessing and reprioritizing. It can be stressful, but it’s also a lot of fun.  
When and where do you do your writing?
I live in a really small home with my husband and four cats and about a million books, so I squeezed my desk into what most people would probably call the dining room because we have a dining room table in there, along with my desk and computer and filming equipment.
There’s no door to lock, so I frequently find myself removing cats from directly in front of my face, after petting them for a bit, of course.
I do my writing after I get home from work and on the weekends. My husband does a lot of the household chores so that I have the ability to make space to work. I am so thankful for his help because it would be so much harder otherwise.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
It is definitely helpful to have an active social media presence. I was born to tweet—I love Twitter so much that it’s ridiculous, even though it can be a lot and it’s run by not very good people. There’s something really awesome and validating about having a place to put my random thoughts and to work out ideas. Plus, I really just love talking to people, so I find it really fun.
But I do think it’s also really key to find a social media platform that really works for you. I don’t really like Instagram, so I don’t have one. I think people can tell if you’re really engaged and having a good time.
I also think that being real is important if social media is a big part of any promo strategy. People who like you and want to engage with you are going to be your audience. Once you find your people, everything starts to really click.
And hey, now all those times people were wondering why I was playing around on the internet, now I can just say I was “building an audience”. (Which isn’t really true, but why tell them that? lol)
What are you most proud of as a writer?
I really am trying to write fiction like what I wished I could have read. I’ve been a fat activist for a longish time, and I really do believe in the power of representation. I know it makes a difference in people’s lives because it’s made such a huge difference in my life.
I always hope people can relate to the experiences that I’m writing about, and it is so gratifying when they do.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
This is a little bit of a cheat because he’s best known for being a musician, but it would have to be John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. But he’s written books, so I’ve decided that it counts.
I’ve listened to interviews with him and he just has this depth of knowledge about so many varied topics that there’s no way to know what we would talk about, but whatever it would be, I bet it would be the best conversation I’d ever had.
He often works with really emotional topics that can really strike a chord with people and he has said some really beautiful things about how he receives those emotions back from people when they want to share them.

I would love to talk to him more about that because body size issues are also really emotionally charged too. And I want to be as warm and kind in receiving people’s responses to my work as he is.  

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