Interview with Andrew Rivas, Author of A Nice Place Full of Good People
07 Dec 2022
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write A Nice Place Full of Good People?
In February of 2018, I attempted suicide and was illegally held in a psych ward for seventeen days. I had always wanted to be an author but had never finished any manuscripts. Upon being discharged I decided to turn the experience into something productive and chronicle the time I spent there. I spent the next month in a hurried panic, desperately trying to get my time there on to the page before it faded from memory.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main character of A Nice Place Full of Good People, what would they be?
Kind of a weird answer because the main character is me, but Serotonin by Girl in Red fits really well.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
My favorite genres to read are definitely science fiction and fantasy (most of the time a mix between the two), and they are also by far my favorite to write. Taking something that doesn’t exist and making it relevant to the human experience, to our base fears and wants, is very fun for me. Writing ANPFOGP was rewarding, but challenging and very upsetting to write.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
I’ve been meaning to finally start Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett; I hear the Discworld series is excellent. I also just bought Candlekeep Mysteries, a D&D manual, because I want to try DMing for my friends.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
The “extended metaphor” scene, by far. It’s actually an amalgamation of three different conversations I had in the psych ward. Molly’s description of addiction and my description of depression makes me tear up every time I reread it. I’m really proud of it.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
I write in bursts of twenty minutes or so. I find it very hard to write for extended periods of time; it’s much easier for me to write in ten to twenty minute increments throughout the day than to write for three hours straight. Not sure if that’s weird or not, but that’s how I write.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
I don’t have a singular motto I live by, but I try to be as kind and understanding as I can be, and I value empathy very highly in the people I choose to keep around me.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
Even if it doesn’t feel like it, you are valued, you are loved, and you will be missed if you do something drastic like I did. There are ALWAYS people willing to talk; talk to family, call a help line, talk to friends even if you don’t think they’ll understand. Hell, email me! Hurting yourself is never the answer.
Andrew Rivas is the author of the new book A Nice Place Full of Good People
Connect with Andrew RivasAuthor Site
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