THE CONVENTION COLLECTIVE: Thank you for joining us in the Spotlight Ivy! How did you get into writing and why did you want to become an writer?
Ivy Noelle Weir: I always wrote stories and comics; from the time I was a very young kid. In high school, I had a short fiction workshop class that I loved, and that was when I started thinking that I wanted to be a Writer with a capital W. Then I went to school for fine art and art history, where I focused much more on scholarly writing and criticism. I came back to writing fiction more seriously after college.
TCC: What genre do you like writing the most?
Ivy Noelle: I had dreams of being a sci-fi/horror writer as a teenager, and I think that’s still the space where my heart lies. I love the spooky stuff: reading it, watching it, writing it. But as a longtime fan of shoujo manga, I also really love writing slice of life, or contemporary fiction that focuses on relationships. Inside you there are two wolves, etc etc.
TCC: What was the first work you completed, where you stepped back and thought, “Yes, y’know what, I can do this for a living!”?
Ivy Noelle: I had sort of an unconventional route to comics…I had been working on a novel, but then I met my creative partner Steenz and really loved her artwork and approached her about collaborating and making my novel concept into a comic just totally on impulse. We decided to submit it to Oni Press’ open submissions when they were doing that, and they acquired it! That was my first book, Archival Quality, and I guess that’s the moment I thought this was going to be my life, haha. (Editor’s note, check out the review we did for Archival Quality here)
TCC: Which writers inspire you? And they don’t have to be in the medium you work in, either…
Ivy Noelle: Most of the writers that I consider inspirations come from the literary world…Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, etc…Mike Mignola’s work on Hellboy has also been hugely inspirational, and I always admired Ai Yazawa and Rumiko Takahashi. But mostly I feel inspired by my peers, seeing what they’re making, thinking, and doing. So many folks out there are doing incredible stuff and it motivates me to make mine better.
TCC: Can you tell us your greatest fan moment, interacting with a personal hero of yours where you may have gone a little weak at the knees?
Ivy Noelle: At Emerald City Comic Con a few years ago, I met Jaime Hernandez. I grew up reading Love & Rockets (my mom was a huge fan) and I totally freaked out and gushed at him like a weirdo. He did a sketch for me of Hopey and it was awesome.
TCC: What is your favorite fandom? Who is your favorite comic book character/movie/tv character?
Ivy Noelle: I’m not sure I have a favorite fandom…I tend to be pretty omnivorous when it comes to things I’m super into. My favorite comic book character is Nightcrawler and/or Sailor Mercury.
TCC: What’s your working routine? Do you work regular set hours and days, keeping certain days free for personal time, or do you find you create any time the muse takes you?
Ivy Noelle: I have a fairly demanding 9-5 day job, so finding time to write is hard. For me, what works is keeping what I call “grandpa hours”—I go to bed pretty early, and I get up around 5 AM to write. Keeping myself to a routine is important, it’s the only way I can get everything done without totally burning out.
TCC: When you’re creating, what do you use for background noise? Some creators use music or podcasts, some use a TV show that they just can listen to in the background. What do you use?
Ivy Noelle: My ideal scenario is working in a coffee shop. The low murmur of other people’s conversations, music, and general coffee-making clatter just really works for me getting in the zone and not being distracted. I’m missing it pretty bad during the pandemic!
TCC: What was the first comic con that you remember attending? And, indeed, what was the last?
Ivy Noelle: My first major con was Otakon, when I was a tiny baby nerd (like, 11 or 12?) following around my big brother. My last con pre-COVID was New York Comic Con 2019. Who would have ever thought I’d be nostalgic for the Javits Center?
TCC: What’s your favourite element of a comic convention? And which bits could you easily leave behind?
Ivy Noelle: These days, my favorite part is seeing all my comics friends in real life. It’s like summer camp. As for what I could leave behind…I’d like to not feel like I got worked over with a bat and have the flu after a 4 day show, haha.
TCC: At a convention, when you’re not behind your table or doing the things you have to do at a con, which corner of the show would we find you in?
Ivy Noelle: Spending too much money in artist’s alley.
TCC: A lot of creatives are also taking to crowdfunding – such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo – to generate income from their work. What’re your thoughts on that?
Ivy Noelle: People are using Kickstarter to create spaces for voices and talents that the traditional publishing ecosystem has long gatekept out, or to fund more experimental work that helps push the medium in new directions. I’m about it.
TCC: What projects have you recently finished? What are you working on at the moment, what projects are coming up that you can talk about?
Ivy Noelle: Well, obviously, I have Bountiful Garden coming out. This is my first single-issue series and I’m really excited about it. I hope folks check it out on Free Comic Book Day and keep up with the story after! My newest graphic novel in the middle grade space, The Secret Garden on 81st Street (with art by Amber Padilla) is coming out on October 19th from Little Brown for Young Readers. It’s a modern re-telling of The Secret Garden set in New York City. I had a blast working on that one.
TCC: How do you stay connected with fans? Do you use a mailing list or newsletters, are you active on social media?
Ivy Noelle: Oh boy, my imposter syndrome makes it hard to believe that I have anything like “fans”…but if folks want to stay in touch, I’m on pretty much every social media platform at @ivynoelle.
TCC: Where can people find out more about you and reach out to you?
Other than my social channels, my website, ivynoelleweir.com is the best way to get in contact.
TCC: Thanks Ivy, for your time!
Ivy Noelle: Thanks for having me!
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