AuthorI am Brianna Goux, a 19 year old redditor who has published her first young adult sci-fi novel, AMA!
Sep 29th 2017 by BriannaMGoux • 27 Questions • 7476 Points
Proof is this picture of me wearing the shirt that I attended the speech in. It says "baby killer Erdogan!"
I am also a former fighter with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), fighting against ISIS in Syria. I am on the board of the nonprofit organization North American Kurdish Alliance, which helps to raise awareness of and promote solidarity with the Kurdish people. I'll start answering questions in just a few minutes.
Why is your username a credit card number ?
I'm not sure, but I'm glad they're trying to do it.
Fun fact: I got to feed giraffes once and I cried
It's Erdogan's personal credit card #. Everyone please buy whatever you want.
There's a drive through safari park here in the UK where I live. You can buy a box of food and the giraffes come and stick their heads in the car to get some eats. It's so much fun.
Congratulations on the book! Think my daughter will love it.
EDIT: For those of you that asked it's West Midlands Safari Park in Kidderminster, UK. I haven't been for years but at one point went every birthday for a five year stretch. There used to be a monkey section too but they had to close it due to the monkeys royally screwing up cars.
What do you foresee for the future of Kurds living in Turkey?
I might have to visit where you live then. . .
Thank you! I hope she does :)
It's not looking great. Every day, Kurds are arrested, imprisoned, beaten, raped, tortured and executed for things as simple as speaking Kurdish with their families or singing Kurdish songs. The Turkish state has destroyed over 3,000 Kurdish villages I could continue with the list of atrocities committed against them but it would take all day.
The one bit of optimism I have is that people are becoming more and more aware of Erdogan/Turkish state crimes, and I think that soon the whole world will call on Turkey to stop what they are doing or face repercussions. Turkey is badly losing its war against Kurdish freedom fighters in the south. I think it will be a long, painful uphill battle for Kurds in Turkey to reclaim their rights, but I believe that it will happen some day.
Get to those really delicious leaves just up there a little higher . . .
Every day, Kurds are arrested, imprisoned, beaten, raped, tortured and executed for things as simple as speaking Kurdish with their families or singing Kurdish songs.
Is there a source on this? I have no idea about the situation but some numbers would be great.
This is a good answer, that's what I would be doing if I were a giraffe.
My g.f. is an extremely good writer but the distance between 'typing in a word document' and 'being published' seems intimidatingly vast to her.
What would you say where the steps (big or small) from aspiring to published?
Thank you, appreciate it. Do you keep a rundown of sources I can keep on-hand by chance? I know I'm asking a lot but it would really help people spread and understand what you're saying - which I believe is the goal.
I would say that you can't look at it and see the end. You have to look at it and see the next step - that's her goal. Only after that she had to move on to the next step. She can keep publishing in mind, but the distance will be discouraging. She has to do it step by step. If she has a passion for writing and for what she's writing she just has to start the journey. It's vast, but it is SO worth it. Tell her I say good luck! She'll be there before she knows it!
Edit: forgot a word
Our nonprofit is working on an information section of our website that has a detailed list of crimes against Kurds, so stay tuned and hopefully we can have something more comprehensive in the next few months.
I've often thought that SciFi is at its core a sociological genre - put normal human beings in outlandish situations and examine what the outcome of that may be.
Do you agree with that and what are some of the main themes you adress in this book?
If you were magically put into a leadership role in the Kurdish independence movement, what would you do at this point?
Ohhhh, I like your view on that. I think that it could be, for certain novels, but I wouldn't put the whole genre in there. This is because there are books, like mine, where the main characters aren't human and therefore it creates a different balance of things. However, I could see the validity of your point in novels that do feature humans in outlandish situations. My main themes that are addressed within this book are ambition, coming of age, courage, discovery, and loss.
Hm, that's a very tough question.
My main priority would probably be to get large foreign powers on our side. I would attempt to convince the US, UN and NATO that recognition of the Kurdish people is vitally important to stability in the Middle East, and would explain that Kurds are generally a more moderate and secular community compared to their neighbors. My being an American would enable me to have an easier dialogue with US/UN officials, and I could use that to convince these world powers to use their strength to protect Kurdish people.
How much have you spent, out of pocket, from start to finish?
Do you think the attempted coup was staged?
So far about less than 1,000. The editor was paid for by my parents who are awaiting me to pay them back every penny. So including what I owe my parents I'll be at about 5,000. I could've paid them back before, but they don't want me to deplete my savings.
The whole thing is so damn shady I'm not sure what to think. I don't know if it was staged, but it kind of gives me 1933-Reichstag-vibes.
Erdoğan's claim that Gülen was involved is dubious. Erdoğan's political game is to blame everything on either the PKK or Gülen when he loses his tenuous grasp on power. German intelligence is doubtful that Gülen was involved in any way, and considering Germany has found Turkish state infiltration of their police and the Turkish government has spied on German politicians, that's saying a lot.
I do know that if the state wasn't involved, they at least knew about it well in advance. I wouldn't be surprised if later intelligence was uncovered that showed that the government was somehow involved in deeper levels.
What's your opinion on the YPG and SAA meeting up near Deir EzZor? Do you think there will be conflict or that they'll be able to work something out?
Usually less than an hour. I'm busy with school and work right now so I don't write enough :(
I hope they can arrange some sort of agreement and each stay on the opposite sides of the river. YPG doesn't need another enemy right now.
How long were you able to keep the costume on the cat?
How are there so many Erdogan supporters in the US?
About three minutes. . . and the entire time I was holding her to take the picture while she was trying to gouge my eyes out and get the thing off. She now likes to "hunt" the costume and kill it for its evil deeds.
I would imagine it's because Turkish citizens living abroad are still able to vote in Turkish elections. The government frequently send Turks to campaign in other countries to convince people to vote for Erdogan.
So who actually attacked you? This is what is unclear to me.
It's hard to figure out, we are working on identifying some of them. Because Erdogan's security guards just wears suits, we can't tell who attacked whom. Plus, I was face down for much of the incident.
I guess my line of thinking is that if it's private security, sue the shit out of them.
Also it's pretty dogshit for the NYPD to not look more into an assault just because you were also possibly committing a crime. Maybe it's because of the different state but for us if there's an assault we at least long form it and give the CA a chance to decide if charges are warranted, regardless if the victim was also involved in something criminal.
Hopefully as we ID more people we can find out more about the routes we can take
Our goal was to make sure Erdogan knew that when he leaves the confines of his safe space in Turkey, he will be challenged and called out for his heinous crimes against humanity. We intended to garner support and media attention, while at the same time shutting down his speech. I would say we accomplished quite a bit.
You did well to hire and editor and seek the help of that marketer, but you should definitely be prepared for an uphill battle. That marketer is going to be your best friend, so definitely seek their advice as this continues.
I just wanted to let you know, from someone who self-published eight books and is currently trying to sneak into traditional publishing, that writing and releasing the book is much, much easier than the rest of the process. Keep a strong hand on your social media, post every day, but mostly don't assume people will want to read your book or automatically respect you for self-publishing.
In fact, it's the opposite. Readers want any chance to be distracted away from your work, and it's up to you to make them care enough about you to read your book. Writing YA makes that easier because you have a larger base that's easier to manage, but keeping up with your platform is still going to be the toughest part of your job.
That said, this AMA has (relatively) exploded, so I wish you the best of luck and that your head is always full of stories.
Are you a former US serviceman? Where did you get military training for fighting with the YPG?
I'm well prepared for the uphill battle! I know that a lot of people aren't going to take me seriously and it's going to be hard. But I'm ready and I'm confident.
Never been in the military before. Training was all in the YPG.
Did you find it hard to write the length? I love writing but I always give up a few chapters in.. I can't get the length.
Do you have proof that you were in the YPG?
No, it was more of I was writing while on a road trip with my family and all the sudden it hit me that I had a book. I was just continuing and moseying along with it. That's probably not helpful, but if you find the right project you'll never want to stop working on it.
Yes. here is a picture of me in uniform, and with former YPG spokesman Redur Xelil.
Young Adult can mean a lot of things... is this book appropriate for 10-12 year olds? Or is it more aimed at a high school audience?
How do you feel about the hundreds of thousands of western tourists who funnel money into Turkey every year?
Have you guys ever thought about buying airtime and ad space in these places with some information about what is really happening there. Most of these people seem oblivious to what they are contributing to.
It's aimed at anyone from 10-15 give or take; however, I'm hoping to write it in the way Harry Potter is done. That is, I want to start with aiming my novel at the younger portion of readers (10-13) and have the books grow in maturity with them.
It's really disheartening to see. There's such a dark side that they don't even know about. We have done campaigns against Turkey before, my nonprofit North American Kurdish Alliance helped rent a truck that drove around NYC during the UN Assembly. It could be part of another campaign in the future.
How hard was it to scrap everything you'd been working on since the age of 12, and start over? Was it a gradual process, like a Ship of Theseus type of thing... replacing a few paragraphs here and there, and then you realize you've rewritten everything... or was it more one night you just opened up a new Word document and started over?
What do you think about Israel/Palestine issue . And its paralels to the Kurdish issue?
So I actually started my first draft on a type-writer that my grandmother had given me. When I was transferring it from there to word I realized that the story sucked, so I pulled out the pieces I liked and threw away what I didn't. What I was left with was the first half of the plot, and my main characters. From there I reshaped it, and rewrote about 75% of it. I didn't like the other one as much, and the ending wasn't true to the book. It wasn't too hard because it was never a job to me- I've always loved the story and the world I got to play in when writing it. For me it wasn't work so I didn't see the set-back in scrapping everything.
I am not educated enough about Israel/Palestine to draw parallels to the Kurds
Hey there! How would you describe your leap from writing short stories to a full fledged book? Was it a gradual development or did you decide one day "I want these particular characters to be in a novel." Also how do you feel after finishing your first book? Did you immediately start thinking about what was next or was it a bittersweet moment?
What was daily life like fighting with the YPG? How did you end up joining up with them?
It was a gradual development. When I first started writing this novel it was a short story. When I finished it was bittersweet, but I wanted to make this a series so I started in on the second book.
In the front, just a lot of moving around, trying not to step on mines, and getting shot at sometimes. In the rear, a lot of boredom and sitting around waiting. Guard duty usually every night. The main difference was lack of creature comforts, I guess, but I really didn't mind that part much.
They have information online if you search enough, after some exchanged emails I was headed to Northern Syria. They don't actively recruit but there are ways to contact them.
Did you guys hit back? Also next protest will you guys bring more protestors and give his bodyguards an good American beat down?
I'm actually graduating at 19! I cheated though and did my first two years while also doing my last two years of high school via a program called running start.
None of us fought back. Even if I wanted to, my arms and legs were pinned or held down from the moment I was taken to the floor by Erdogan's supporters.
While I can't say I dislike the idea of giving the guards a taste of their own medicine, I imagine that we would look pretty unsympathetic in the media if we were to fight back. Many media outlets are already calling this a "brawl" or a "clash", instead of the one-sided beat down that it actually was. Though certainly a bigger opposition would have been better in terms of keeping the security busier and creating more chaos.
Hi there! Thanks for doing an AMA.
I assume you're a reader, not just a writer--how did you get into reading? Who are some of your favorite authors? How did you decide to go with intergalactic adventures, as opposed to...literally any other genre? Do your many animal companions play a role in this novel? Also, how do you feel about onions?
Most importantly: which Teen Titan, and why?
Thanks for responding! Could you expand on what you see as their biggest problems,and biggest threats?
What is a western person like me to do to support that community, to help build the world we'd like to live in?
Any hurdles that others can assist in?
Starting off with the most important question: the original because the humour was so on point and the characters felt more real than whatever Teen Titans Go! Has going on right now. I adore the one I grew up with.
Yes! I've always been a reader. I remember learning to read with my dad specifically when I was younger and his mother was an English teacher so she fostered the love of reading in me as a child. I attribute my love of literature and writing to her. She passed away two years ago this month and I miss her everyday.
Favorite authors are Ray Bradbury, J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
To be honest I adore classics. My dad bought be a bunch for Christmas when I was 12 and I've been hooked ever since. I started writing about intergalactic travels though because I wanted to write worlds where I'm not bound by traditional rules that we have here on Earth. I wanted limitless possibilities and adventure.
Edit: because my fingers slipped and posted this before I was actually done
The biggest threat is absolutely Turkey. They have been making incursions into Northern Syria and murdering civilians with artillery, particularly in Efrin canton and between Efrin and Manbij city.
You can support by making your representatives aware of issues with Kurds, or finding your local Kurdish/leftist solidarity community and working with them. I've linked to my nonprofit in the comment of this thread, we are always looking for assistance.