Authors, Friday Feature

Friday Feature: Author Kellie Doherty Interview

Kellie Doherty is a queer science fiction and fantasy author living in Eagle River, Alaska. Her work has been published by Desert Palm Press, Queer Sci Fi, and Pathos Literary Magazine, among others. She currently works full time as an office assistant and part time as a freelance editor. In her (mostly non-existent) spare time, she likes to read, play games, and watch way too much YouTube.


Published Books

Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties– Recently released on March 27th!

Losing Hold (Cicatrix Duology book 2)- Published April 2017

Finding Hekate ( Cicatrix Duology book 1)- April 2016

You can purchase all three books at Desert Palm Press here!


Interview

What inspired you to write Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties?

Well that’s a little bit of a story, actually! I got the idea for my fantasy series back when I was teenager. I thought it would be fun to have four distinct main characters each with their own stories, their own failures and triumphs, and then have them come together at the end. I started with Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties because Misti, my main character, was the first of the four characters to really stand out to me. I knew her the best. I was inspired by the type of magic she wields (though I call it crafting in my world), and she has a really cute companion animal so that helped me, too. So really, I was inspired by my main character to write her story first.

Is there anything you really want readers to know about your recently released novel, Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties?

I’d like readers to know that Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties is the beginning of a new five-book fantasy series, where, while the story is about Misti during her adventures you’ll also get to meet the other three main characters of the upcoming books. The first four books will be standalones, but you’d probably need to read one of the first four before reading the fifth. The character arcs will be intertwined in some way (think: bumping into one of them on the side of the road) but also unique, too.

Your previous two published novels are science fiction and your recently released novel is fantasy. Do you do any research before and/or during your writing process or is it all from your imagination?

Most of it is from my imagination, but for my science fiction work I did research how certain technology would work and what living on a spaceship would be like. (Oh, and if watching Firefly, Star Trek, and Stargate reruns counts as research then I did a lot of that, too!) For my fantasy work I researched sword fighting vs. dagger fighting styles, mythological creatures from various cultures, fun plant-life, things like that. (I watched a bunch of Critical Role while writing my fantasy work, too, which helped!) I also do research on various worldbuilding aspects—unique foods, interesting fashions, cool settings—and sprinkle that into my writing, too.

As a queer author, how important is representation in books to you?

So, so, so important. I can’t stress that enough! Diversity is a huge conversation happening in the publishing world right now and I am thrilled that we’re finally talking about it—and doing something about it! We need more diversity of all kinds—queer, POC, disabled folk, etc.—in all areas of publishing, writing, marketing, social media, design, etc. Representation is so important to readers, too, being able to see yourself in the books you read. I didn’t get to see many queer main characters in fantasy and science fiction works when I was growing up and even into the beginnings of adulthood so being able to add positive representation is lovely. It’s one of the reasons I write!

What other authors have inspired you?

Wow, there are so many awesome authors out there—V.E. Schwab, Becky Chambers, Tomi Adeyemi come to mind right now. The other authors at Desert Palm Press are constant sources of inspiration for me, and my friends who are yet-unpublished-but-are-amazing-writers are super motivating, too!


Want to Know More?

You can check out Kellie’s website here. She also has a twitter.

Friday Feature

Friday Feature-G. Willow Wilson

G. Willow Wilson is an American-born, Muslim author who is the author of both the recent Ms. Marvel comics, a memoir, and two fiction novels. She grew up in the US, but spent most of her 20s in Egypt where she was an English teacher. In 2009, she returned to the US where she lives now.

What’s so great about her?

What a fantastic woman! First, she was the writer for the Ms. Marvel comics. These comics feature a young Muslim girl who has the ability to shrink and enlarge parts of her body. Wilson has been very upfront in interviews about how carefully she planned this character and the care she took to represent the Muslim community. It’s this thoughtful, own voices writing that I think we all need more of. She’s also wrote Alif the Unseen which won the world fantasy award for best novel. Her upcoming book release The Bird King is a gorgeous historical fiction novel. I loved it. She says, “It’s a love song and I wrote it for you.” It makes my heart soar.

Books/Comics

Ms. Marvel-comic

Mystic: The Tenth Apprentice-comic

Cairo-comic

Air-comic

Vixen:Return of the Lion-comic

The Butterfly Mosque-memoir

Alif the Unseen-novel

The Bird King-upcoming novel


I got all information from two sources: G. Willow Wilson’s website here and this The New Yorker article here.

I hope you check her out! Let me know if you’ve read any of her writing and what you think of it!

Friday Feature

Friday Feature- Marlon James

Marlon James, photo taken from Wall Street Journal

Marlon James is a Jamacian-born author who works in both Minnesota and New York as a professor. In New York, he works as an adjunct lecturer at St. Francis College. In Minnesota, James is associate professor in the English department. He has published four novels so far. Two novels have received multiple awards.

What’s so great about him?

He is taking a different perspective to writing a book series than I’ve seen before. Marlon’s most recently published novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the beginning of a series. This series is going to be telling the same story, but with each book being from a different perspective. He says it is then up to you to decide which character you choose to believe. There may be other book series that do this, but I haven’t heard of them and I’m very excited to see where this story and this changing of perspective goes.


His Published Books

John Crow’s Devil

The Book of Night Women

A Brief History of Seven Killings

Black Leopard, Red Wolf


Most information came largely from this wikipedia post. All source information on this post was checked and proven accurate, but in order to not write a large list I direct you to a single post.

Authors, Friday Feature

Friday Feature: N. K. Jemisin

photo taken by Laura Hanifin, 2015. Permission given under creative commons license

N.K. Jemisin is a multiple award-winning fantasy author. She was born in Iowa, but currently lives in New York working as a full-time writer.

What’s So Great About Her?

She is the first person to win the Hugo Award three years in a row. What an accomplishment! If that isn’t a phenomenal statement of the quality of her work I’m not sure what is.

Jemisin also creates stories with diverse, complex characters that challenge the epic fantasy status quo:


“As a black woman,” Jemisin tells me, “I have no particular interest in maintaining the status quo. Why would I? The status quo is harmful, the status quo is significantly racist and sexist and a whole bunch of other things that I think need to change. With epic fantasy there is a tendency for it to be quintessentially conservative, in that its job is to restore what is perceived to be out of whack.”

Quote taken from: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/27/nk-jemisin-interview-fantasy-science-fiction-writing-racism-sexism

She also discusses writing about characters of color. As writer this is personally a big deal to me. I know a lot of authors are willing to give advice, but she’s very honest and blunt. If you want to write characters of different racial backgrounds she’s providing plenty of examples for you. You can find the beginning of those posts here.

Her Novels:

The Broken Earth Trilogy: The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Kingdom

The Inheritance Trilogy: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdom, and The Kingdom of the Gods.

Dreamblood Duology: The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun

How Long ’til Black Future Month (short story collection)

Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture (collaboration with other authors)

And numerous other short stories that I’m not adding, but if you’re interested you can see the full list here.


Want more from N.K. Jemisin? Check out her patreon!

Sources: Information came from http://nkjemisin.com/ unless otherwise stated.

Authors, Friday Feature

Friday Feature: Tomi Adeyemi

Picture taken from Instagram with permission of the author.

Tomi Adeyemi, what a lady! She is 25 year old Nigerian American who graduated from Harvard with a degree in English literature. Before writing a bestselling novel Tomi studied West African mythology and culture. Tomi Adeyemi’s first published book was Children of Blood and Bone. She is currently working on the sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, which should be released June 4th of this year.

What’s So Great About Her?

Tomi Adeyemi is a woman on a mission.


I was determined to write an incredible YA story, with adventure and imagination like nothing people had ever experienced. And my protagonist was going to black.
And you know what? It wouldn’t matter.
Because when you have a good story, it doesn’t matter who the story is about. 

Or more specifically,


So that is why I write. The dream is the same, but the purpose is different. It isn’t fame or success; it is a burning passion to tell a story about someone who is different and to force readers to fall in love with what is different from them.


To give you a little bit more background on those statements, Adeyemi was greatly affected by the internet backlash about Rue being cast as a young black girl in the movie version of The Hunger Games . She was particularly upset when people stated they were less affected by Rue’s death specifically because she was black. Now, even I remember hearing about the Rue controversy and being upset that people could be so outraged simply because the casted actress was black. But, Adeyemi didn’t just get upset. She took that hurt and used it to craft a best-selling novel. She wrote to give representation to girls who may not have felt like they had it before. You can’t get motivation better than that. She is everything I want in an author and you should definitely check her out. She even offers free writing advice and courses on her website! You can check it out here.

The quotes came specifically from this blog post. All other information came from Toni Adeyemi’s personal website.

Friday Feature

Upcoming Friday Features


Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

Hello beautiful readers,

February is just around the corner and along with it I’m going to begin what I like to call Friday Features. What are Friday Features you may ask? Well, let me tell you. February is Black History month. In celebration of this every Friday I will be doing a feature on a black fantasy writer. Now, I realize that there are way more than four black fantasy writers out there, but I hope this will begin to introduce you to new, amazing authors.

When I thought up this idea I took a look at my book shelves and I must sadly admit that I had maybe one or two black authors within all the books I owned and those weren’t even fantasy books. I thought that was odd considering the sheer number of fantasy books I own, but I also thought it was telling. I want more diverse stories and if you’re here you probably do to, but I wasn’t yet actually purchasing any of them. I have since bought at least one book from each of these authors that I will feature. If we want more diverse stories and more diverse authors then we must support those stories and authors.


Do you consider diversity when you purchase any of your books? I’d love to hear from you!