When I first started looking for F/F books Siera Maley was one of the first authors I stumbled upon. Her YA stories are all super sweet with well-written romances and it was easy to fall in love with them. I’m so excited to have her on the blog today to share some of her inspirations and as a plus, she’s giving away an Ebook AND an Audiobook of her contemporary paranormal novel, Colorblind!
Winners: Nina A. || Yana S.
Q1: You have written so many wonderful F/F books I feel like I don’t even know where to start asking you about them! Is there any that was your absolute favorite to write?
Thank you so much! Honestly, I usually have a lot of projects going at one time and it makes it hard to remember my experience of writing each specific book, but the one that immediately does come to mind is Colorblind because I enjoyed being able to tackle a topic that felt important to me aside from the issues we typically see in LGBT fiction. I enjoy writing books that deal with characters who are just starting to question themselves but this was the first time I wrote something that felt like it could’ve been about anyone and just happened to be about two lesbian characters.
Q2: Where do you get ideas for your stories?
Oh gosh, it’s been so long since I wrote some of them that I’ll really have to think back. A lot of my earlier books came about when I just took a small idea and started writing to see where it led. Initially I think I just wanted to write simple, relatable coming out stories. I remember deciding to write my first novel, Time It Right, when I was 18 or 19, after my girlfriend loaned me a YA lesbian novel she owned that was about a high school student struggling with her sexuality. I read it and just couldn’t relate to a lot of it because it felt like it’d been written by someone who either wasn’t gay or couldn’t remember how it had felt to be gay in high school. At the time I’d only just finished going through that experience, so I wanted to try my hand at conveying how it had felt while it was so fresh. Similarly, a lot of Taking Flight was inspired by my own experiences growing up in a small town with religious classmates, and Colorblind was my attempt at tackling a form of depression in a creative way that didn’t feel too heavy for me to enjoy writing about. I like writing what I know because part of what motivates me to write is remembering how hard I’d found it to find LGBT fiction where I felt like I could really relate to the characters. Obviously The Noble of Sperath was a deviation from my usual genre and that came about from really just seeing the positive response to Colorblind and wanting to contribute more books that starred characters who just happened to be gay and weren’t specifically about LGBT issues.
Q3: Did you always imagine you’d become an author or did you want to be anything else growing up?
Even as a kid I loved to write, but I don’t think I ever thought about it as a realistic career path growing up. My best and favorite subject was always math and that sort of overshadowed my love of writing in the eyes of my family, so everyone sort of just anticipated that I’d get into a great college and become an engineer or some other impressive math-related job. In high school, I’d get up an hour or two earlier every morning just so that I could write before school, and then I’d spend the first half of my day daydreaming through classes about story ideas. Despite that, I always considered it to be just a hobby because it wasn’t a “real” career option and obviously I was meant to be the math genius instead. When I went to college, I switched my major several times between everything from journalism and psychology to mathematics and statistics. None of it stuck and I didn’t enjoy my classes, but I kept writing in my spare time and sometimes even skipped classes to write. Eventually I finished Time It Right and just put it up on Amazon on a whim, thinking maybe I’d sell five copies and would have a funny story to tell my friends and family. The results were better than I’d ever imagined and I started a second novel, began caring less and less about school, eventually put out a second book that did well, and took a break from college soon after that to write full-time. So it wasn’t until I actually saw proof that I could succeed professionally as an author that I started to believe it could be my career, because beforehand I didn’t think it was a reliable source of income. My family has been extremely supportive of me and I couldn’t be happier about the way things have turned out!
Q4: I’d love to see your books becoming movies one day because it’s so rare to see movies for queer teenage girls. Is that something you dream about it too?
I would welcome any movie adaptation of any of my books! I love script-writing almost as much as I love writing novels and my dream job would probably be to be on a writing team for a TV series, actually, so being a part of any sort of LGBT movie production would be amazing, whether it were a movie based on one of my books or otherwise. I hate that there are so few lesbian movies just like there are so few lesbian novels and even of those few we’re lucky to have them end happily. I think it’s ridiculous that we can practically count the number of F/F romcoms on one hand.
Q5: What are some of your favorite F/F books?
I haven’t read many F/F books since I started writing them myself, so I may be missing out on some great novels from the past five years or so, but some of the ones that come to mind are The Summer I Wasn’t Me, The Gravity Between Us, and Waiting in the Wings. I also enjoyed The Miseducation of Cameron Post and can’t wait for the movie adaptation! Most of the LGBT media I wind up consuming is in the form of movies or television shows, which is partially because I like to make sure I’m not too heavily influenced by other novels, and also because as a teenager I wasn’t really able to access LGBT novels and got into the habit of relying more on visual media for LGBT stories.
Q6: What should we expect from you next? Any books coming out in 2018?
I’ve got several projects that I’m working on at the moment, though admittedly that’s almost always the case with me. I tend to try to release a new book every nine months to a year so I guess I’m about due for one! Definitely look out for something new in 2018 in the same vein as Dating Sarah Cooper, Taking Flight, or Colorblind, depending on which project I wind up focusing on!
About the Author:
Siera has always loved writing, especially when it comes to what she thinks is missing in bookstores: quality young adult lesbian fiction. When she’s not writing, Siera lives in Atlanta with her fiancee and dogs.
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