Featured Interview With Nina de Beurs
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born in New Zealand to a Maori mother and a Dutch father. I was raised in a small town outside of Auckland. I’m currently living in Auckland City as I am studying Sociology and Politics at University.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I realized my fascination books at the age of nine. My childhood best friend got me into Jacqueline Wilson’s novels and I was hooked with reading from then on. I have boxes and boxes filled with novels.
I started writing when I was around nine, but I was never serious about it. Writing for me then was just a hobby and I’d only do it for fun. I was also terrible at it.
When I was fourteen I started to write more and I actually to see it as something I could do as a career.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My favorite authors to read are Jodi Picoult, Gillian Flynn, and Becky Albertalli. I would say Jodi Picoult inspires me the most out of those authors, but I love them all. They’re all brilliant writers.
My other inspirations are my parents, and my beautiful nanny who passed away a little over a year ago. I think my real life experiences inspire me the most. If I didn’t have the experiences that I have had my writing style would probably be different.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My book Broken follows Matariki, a Maori boy who struggles to understand love, his identity, and his sexuality in a thick-skinned New Zealand community that is constantly pre-defining people. Matariki is a shy and introverted kid. He’s a lanky soft-spoken kid who isn’t violent or sporty, and that is why he struggles to fit in. In order to be considered a ‘real man’ in his community you have to be aggressive, ‘macho’, and hard-skinned. He’s always searching for love and affection, but it’s not always easy for him to trust people. This is further complicated by his strong feelings for his best friend, and the powerful influence of toxic masculinity which causes his friend to drift away from him as soon as he realizes that his manhood could be put to question.
It took me almost six months to write this novel. It was inspired my one of my friends who happens to be gay. He wanted me to write a novel that talked about hyper masculinity in New Zealand. Although there are novels and movies (such as Moonlight) that acknowledge hyper masculinity, there aren’t many New Zealand novels that talk about hyper masculinity in New Zealand. He wanted to read a story that was similar to his and a lot of others in New Zealand.
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