Write What You Know || Guest Post by Niamh Murphy

We have all heard that phrase before. Even those of you who aren’t writers have heard it repeated in films, articles, and English classes.

But we all know that there are stories of magic, dinosaurs, space-battles, pirates, and schoolboy wizards that can’t possibly have been drawn from the writer’s own life (no matter how much we hope that J. K. Rowling is telling the truth about Hogwarts).

So how do we cross the great divide of the fantastic whilst maintaining that fundamental authors’ tenet?

Research.

Research it until you know it. Then write it!

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Lost in Translation || Interview with Solaine Chioro

Today I’m bringing a post that is a mix of an author interview with a new segment called Lost in Translation. I invited Brazilian author Solaine Chioro to talk a bit about her book, A Rosa de Isabela, an amazing diverse retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in Brazil. This story is only available in Portuguese on Amazon, but I thought it’d be interesting to bring this here and remind us that stories don’t exist just in English.

Interview

Q1: How was the process of rewriting such an epic fairytale like Beauty and the Beast to a Brazilian scenery?

I started writing A ROSA DE ISABELA as a writing exercise. I was challenging myself to write a short short story a week and I used a list of themes for each one, and one of those themes was writing a retelling of a fairy tale. Before I even figured out what story I was going to adapt, I knew I would write a version that would happen in Brazil. Our culture is very rich and I knew I would have material to work on some fairy tale, not to mention that I really love to see stories with this cultural touch so close to my reality. It all sort of fit in, you know? When I was developing the plot, I realized that it would be perfect if this story happened in the interior of São Paulo (in a fictional city very similar to the one where my father was born). It was not just with the scenario, the approach of the slavery past or the fact that I was inspired by creatures of our folklore – like Caipora and Curipira – to build what it would be the witch of Beauty and the Beast … Everything came to me with a lot of clarity and I think giving this very Brazilian brand to history make it better.

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Author Interview || C.B. Lee

I had the pleasure of interviewing C.B. Lee, the author of one of my favorite F/F books, Not Your Sidekick. If you like superheroes, relatable characters, and adorable romance, I’m sure you’ll also love her book!

Interview

Q1: I love Not Your Sidekick so much! Where did the idea of this superhero world originally came from?

I love comics and superheroes and one of the fun things about it is that cheesy, campy feel as well as the ability to explore different themes, especially with identity. The feel of this world is also inspired by The Incredibles and the 1960s Batman TV show, but along with the comic feel of superpowers and ridiculous hero and villain names and secret leagues and guilds is also this post-WWIII world.

That came along because I’ve always been inspired by post-apocalyptic worlds and I think they’re fascinating to see how different people interpret how humanity will handle certain disasters. What I really love is seeing the rebuilding process, and we don’t see a lot of that in most post-apocalyptic narratives. I thought it would be really interesting to see a world that had already handled this and was moving forward, already in the rebuilding process. Things aren’t perfect, not by the least, but I had fun exploring how people would have dealt with the limited resources of their world.

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Author Interview || Nicole Field

Nicole Field talks about her fairie story in the upcoming F/F paranormal anthology, Into the Mystic. Check out her works and pre-order the anthology after reading her nice answers!

Interview

Q1: Hi Nicole, can you tell us a bit about the story you have in this anthology? And where did the inspiration came from?

The inspiration came from years of being fascinated by the idea of alternate fairie worlds plus obviously being a boring, ordinary human person myself. It’s a short snippet of the kind of fancy that wanders through my brain on a daily basis.

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Author Interview || L.J. Hamlin

This weekend, author L.J. Hamlin shares about her writing for the upcoming release of Into The Mystic, an anthology of F/F paranormal stories! We got interviews with two of the authors who are part of the project.

Interview

Q1: Midnight Kisses is your first F/F being published! Can you tell us a bit about the story? How are you feeling about it?

I’m really excited but also nervous as I’ve not shared an f/f before. The story is about a witch who meets a werewolf and gets an adventure.

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If you keep on believing… || by M. Hollis

I remember vividly watching Anastasia walking up the stairs in her dark blue dress close to the last moments of the movie, and realizing I was in love with stories. It’s in that moment that Dimitri sees her as she truly is, a princess, someone untouchable for a kitchen boy. And yet, they have their happy ending.

The fact that this is the first memory I have of being inside a movie theater says a lot about me. I live for that magic cliché moment when my heart beats so fast it feels like it’ll burst out of my chest and nothing else exists. Lights off, fantasy on. My eyes and ears are there just for the movie.

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Reading my Sexuality || Guest Post by Susie Purvis

When I was discovering my sexuality, and coming out in the early to mid-noughties I felt extremely alone. I grew up in a very religious, Christian community where I went to church multiple times a week, sang in the church youth band, and was a faith-based youth leader and community outreach worker for my church. The first time I tried to test the waters telling someone what I was feeling and realising about myself, I was met with a very typical but nonetheless hurtful, “That’s disgusting and so wrong!”.

Growing up, I had never been any good at making close friends. I always found myself in a large group of friends, I was rarely totally alone, but I still felt disconnected and on the outside. Reading has always been a true love of mine and growing up feeling disconnected from my sometimes-troubled world, I often sought refuge in the books I read. The characters were my friends and family, and their experiences and adventures were mine too.

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Catch That Feeling || Guest Post by Cait

Nicola Lancaster and Battle Hall Davies.

I don’t speak of these two characters very much or even the book in which I read of them, Empress of the World by Sara Ryan. Which is odd considering the impact they had on me. It was way back when in 2007, I was a sophomore just getting my bearings in high school surrounded by hormones and a critical lack of self-awareness. Nicola, or Nic, and Battle are two teenage girls who meet at a camp for gifted students and begin a summer romance. They were my first encounter reading bisexual characters. With confidence, Nic informed the reader that her romantic attraction to Battle didn’t take away all the romantic feelings she had for boys in the past. She asserts that she still likes boys but she likes girls too, that she’s sure to have feelings for either gender in the future.

At the time, I was aware that I was attracted to men and woman but was hesitant to acknowledge it, even in my own thoughts. So there was something extraordinary about reading that, in print, in a book I took out at the school library. The feelings I had but never spoke of had a legitimacy that I had silently desired. I don’t remember if the word bisexual ever gets used in the book. It would take a couple of years for me to identify myself as bisexual. But Nic’s feelings were my feelings. Battle’s feelings were my feelings.There is something to be said about that emotion one gets when the thoughts you originally thought were unique to you, are mirrored in the characters of a story you’re reading. It’s almost indescribable, that mixture of happiness and relief that I felt in that moment. But boiled down and in the simplest way, I will try to explain. I had received a profound moment of clarification and one of the most hopeful messages I had ever received in my life; that I was not alone.

And that feeling? I began to chase it.

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