Bio: My name is Lily Maureen O’Nan. I am a genderfluid transfeminine writer, artist, musician, and a double major in sociology and psychology with a minor in gender studies. I’m also multiply neurodivergent, but place emphasis on Autism. I am the sister of David O’Nan. My pronouns are they/them and she/her. I write a variety of genres, and have one self-published book entitled Cracked Around the Edges. https://transdisciplinaryneurodiversity.blogspot.com/2022/03/name-is-lily-maureen-onan-and-i-am.html?sm_au=iVVrZppJZf6F0kVMHtJqHK0qJ6jF1 Twitter @LilyMONan
1. When did you start writing and whom influenced you the most?
Lily: I started writing philosophical rants down on paper when I was 14 or 15 after being told I think existentially by my therapist at the time. Soon after, I started writing my signature stream-of-consciousness poetry, which has evolved significantly over the years. I have always been most influenced by Beat literature, so I would say that Kerouac created the foundation for me to become the writer that I am today, however, more recently, I would say Ada Hoffman has been a huge influence on me and got me interested in the genre of speculative fiction written by Autistic authors.
2. Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Lily: Honestly, I have somewhat known that I wanted to be a writer since I was a teenager, but I did not fully commit to writing completely until I went back to university, published my first book, and started work on more projects. After having won a scholarship for a grant that I wrote for about disability and adversity, I feel like an accomplished writer in academia, and that gave me more confidence to work on my own personal writings.
3. Who has helped you most with writing and career?
Lily: I would have to say that my book would not have been published if I did not have my nesting partner, Jessica, as co-editor to format the book correctly. I also have to thank my brother, David, for being a strong support, and the late Bill Sovern for giving me a stage when I needed it.
4. Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work?
Lily: I grew up in a very small town in Kentucky called Sebree and it influences a lot of my work, as it was not a pleasant place to live, so I had to use many forms of escapism to deal with the trauma, therefore, it is reflected in my work a lot. I also spent a short time in New Orleans growing up, and that has also had a significant influence on my work because it gave me a taste of various cultures and subcultures that I would have otherwise not been introduced to. As far as travels go, Chicago has indirectly influenced my work through a past polyamorous relationship that did not work out as planned.
5. What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you?
Lily: My most meaningful work has yet to be published, but it would have to be a flash speculative fiction piece that I wrote. Most of my poetry is untitled.
6. Favorite activities to relax?
Lily: I am a voracious reader. When I am not doing schoolwork, I am reading for pleasure or developing my social life more. Listening to music and social media are other ways I choose to relax, and honestly, I write to relax at times.
7. What is your favorite line/stanza/lyric from your writing?
Lily: I cannot reveal my favorite line from my writings, as the piece has not been published yet.
8. What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always come back to you as an inspiration?
Lily: I would have to say that I am most inspired by industrial and folk music. There are quite a few songs that come to mind as an inspiration, such as “Venus in Furs” by The Velvet Underground and “Waitin’ Around to Die” by Townes van Zandt. Lately, I have been listening to “History is Everyone’s Fuck” by Street Sects a lot and it is inspiring me to want to start a new music project.
9. Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, projects that you would like to promote?
Lily: I am working on a book of poetry, a collection of flash speculative fiction, a memoir, and possibly a book of essays. I read poetry at The Bokeh Lounge, and you can more than likely find me at Poetry Speaks. I have read there during the past two events. I am also considering starting a new music project.
Bonus Question: Any funny or strange occurrence you’d like to share during your creative journey?
Lily: I got mistaken for a friend of mine at Poetry Speaks while being called to the stage, so that was kind of humorous.
For Lily’s Twitter and links to her blog!