Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Gabby Noone

Gabby Noone's new novel is Layoverland.

From her Q&A with Bethany Strout for Bookselling This Week:

Bethany Strout: Layoverland takes place primarily in the afterlife — in this case, a very blah airport. There have been so many religious, philosophical, and pop cultural depictions of the afterlife — how did you settle on yours?

Gabby Noone: I thought a lot about how getting in contact with the everyday corporations that run the world — like internet and cable providers, insurance companies, airlines — sometimes feels as mysterious and frustrating as getting an answer from a higher power. Rarely do you ever get a direct answer or solutions to your problem! So with that in mind, I realized an airport is the perfect metaphor for purgatory. You’re trapped there, everything that happens there is basically out of your control, most of the people that work there are just as helpless as you when it comes to having answers for why things are delayed or what have you, and if you stay longer than you expected, you start to feel like you’re losing your mind.

Also, as someone who rarely traveled in their childhood, complaining about airports seemed like such a sophisticated adult problem. So the idea of writing about teens (unaccompanied minors!) that are stuck there just felt like it had a lot of potential.

BS: The world-building in this book is crucial. And, as I was reading, I found myself weirdly excited to see what new mediocre part of Bea's environment would be revealed. Can you elaborate on what it was like to create an entire fantasy world — but instead of it being the coolest fantasy world ever, it was the most medium possible fantasy world?

GN: I got really into the idea that maybe purgatory...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue