Interview with Mia Relidzh

June 1, 2023

Alice Peremitchyk, also known as Mia Relidzh (pseudonym) is a 15-year-old writer from Kyiv, Ukraine. She was selected as the winner of the children's literary competition "Perodactyl" in 2018. Later she was included in the hundred most talented children of Ukraine, according to the criteria of the "Literature future" festival. Besides writing, Alice has many hobbies, such as astronomy, astrophysics, music and design. She is interested in various philosophies and likes to look at life through the prism of metaphors. In her work, this girl shows her emotional state, and according to her, poetry helps to cope with feelings and express them. Alice is currently working on a detective story, which is going to be published in autumn. The girl is very fond of the murder mystery genre, so her upcoming book will contain unexpected plot twists, eccentric characters and creepy secrets.

What would you like teens outside of Ukraine to know about you or your country?

In general, I would like them to know more about our wonderful, but sadly, underestimated country. Ukraine has many interesting things: places, culture, cuisine. And I am ready to spread it abroad.


Tell us what we would see if we could look out your window with you right now.

You would see a nearby house and a boring crossroad. But don't rush to conclusions! Claude Monet painted the same pond indifferent ways, so why can't I? The sky is different every day: pale pink, blue with fluffy clouds, or purple like a bruise. And the crossroads for me symbolizes the crossroads of my entire life. I see metaphors everywhere.


Describe your home or hometown to readers.

Kyiv is a beautiful city. There are many picturesque landscapes, quaint architecture and a whole bunch of interesting places to go. The royal blue Dnipro river divides the city into two incredible banks, and in the spring, when the chestnut trees bloom, my city really comes alive and renews itself. I'm very lucky to live here.


Where do you write? What time of day do you write? Do you have a particular writing process?

I usually write at my desk in my room, very often in the dead of night. I like it when everyone is asleep and doesn't bother me, so I can focus on writing. Sometimes I write something new, and sometimes I edit what I wrote before.


How would you define "imagination"?

Imagination is the main driving force of my life. I owe almost everything I create to her.

If you described Ukraine in three words or phrases, what comes to mind?

Freedom, strength, unity - no doubt. Nothing to add.


How do you feel living through a war has affected your way of writing?

In fact, it had a significant impact, although it was not noticeable at the beginning. As terrible as it sounds, now we're living in danger, so it has become important for me to share my thoughts with people more often (in the form of poems), because I've got so much to say andI'm afraid that I may not have time to do it...


Who are your favorite authors?

Probably H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury and Tess Gerritsen. I also really like Ukrainian poets - Lina Kostenko and Vasyl Simonenko, whose poems touch me to the core.


Besides writing, what are you interested in? (Hobbies, sports, music, etc.)

I love astronomy, because space has always been interesting to me. Its eternal beauty and infinity have stolen my heart.Sometimes I draw, listen to music, do archery or walk with my friends. I also like to play the piano and guitar. Perhaps because of my versatility, it is difficult for me to find my place in the world.

Tell us a bit about your family (siblings, pets, relatives).

I have a nice family, my parents always support me when needed. And I also have a cat, Winnie the Pooh, who loves me so much.


How did you start writing creatively? Do you remember the first creative piece you wrote?

I started writing quite early: as soon as I learned to hold a pen. My earliest works may not be found nowadays, but I remember some childish stories and poems that my parents, friends and teachers liked when I was still in primary school.

What's a typical day at school overall (aside from writing) like?

I confess, I don't really like going to school. It is very important for me to express myself in the community, and it is very difficult to do this at school, because some children unfairly get more than they deserve. My friends, however, are what make me go to school every morning with a cheerful attitude. It's nice to know that in any community there are people who care about you.


Any advice on how to write in a time of difficulty or turmoil? When parts of regular life are falling apart, how do you find the space in your mind and heart to write?

Such times are the easiest for me to write.When my life is falling apart, the only thing left for me is to write to keep myself together and feel something.


What helped you capture these feelings in your piece(s)? Did you rely on anything to help you emotionally during your writing process?

When I write, the feelings sort themselves out in my head. That is, poetry for me is a way to remove from my soul some kind of a burden--that stone of mixed feelings that don't give me peace and torment meat night. Poems often raise my fighting spirit, or on the contrary, give me a break.

Is writing your main outlet for handling these tough times? Is there anything else you do to cope as an adolescent "under the madness" of the world?

I read or listen to music. In fact, music is also poems simply set to melodies. Other poets can tell a lot about important things in a few lines.

How has knowing your work will be published in English affected your writing style?

It didn't scare me at all. It is an invaluable experience for me to publish some of my works in English. It is worth adding that this didn't affect my writing style, because from the very beginning I wrote them in English, so I was not afraid that something would happen during the translation. Also I'd like to learn more languages ​​in the future to be able to publish worldwide.

"Under the Madness lies literature" - Unknown
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A magazine for teen writers—by teen writers. Under the Madness brings together student editors from across New Hampshire under the mentorship of the state poet laureate to focus on the experiences of teens from around the world. Whether you live in Berlin, NH, or Berlin, Germany—whether you wake up every day in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America—we’re interested in reading you!