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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kayla Bashe is an author who has tons of awesome F/F stories so I’m super excited to have her here at the blog. Check out her interview and buy her books because I’m sure you’ll find something that suits your needs.
The only mainstream representation of my marriage has been (for the most part) cancelled.
The Netflix series Sense8, featuring a trans-inclusive sapphic relationship between Amanita and Nomi, will no longer be gracing the screens of its viewers. For two seasons people watched these two women, very much in love, face the hardships before them. I know of no other mainstream fictional relationship to replace it.
It felt nice to have something I could point to and say, “Look! That’s us”. Had it been allowed to continue beyond the two-hour finale that will air in 2018, maybe I could have more of those moments.
Our first July interview is with author Charlotte Anne Hamilton! She recently published a Robin Hood Retelling as a novella with a sweet romance and some nice action scenes. There are many stories coming from Charlotte that I’m sure people will love it so it’s great to have her here to talk about her work.
Q1: You wrote a lovely Robin Hood F/F retelling! Where did this idea come from?
A book is never a solitary effort, or at least, it shouldn’t be. It doesn’t matter if you are published traditionally, indie, or self-pub, you’ll need people to help you with things like editing, formatting, and cover design.
Thinking about that, I decided to share today a few of my favorite book covers in Femslash. There are so many wonderful covers that I find it hard to choose just a few, but I tried to contain myself!
I couldn’t find the name of a few artists and I’d love to credit all of them. So, if you see one missing and if you know who worked with it, let me know.
During my childhood the sizzling of hotdogs and the smell of chili indicated it was Friday night in the Castro household. Get the mustard. Set the table. Feed the dog. Dinner! How was your week? As the youngest of four I couldn’t compete. How could I top a tale as exhilarating as my brother’s detailed account of peeling dried glue off his hand in one single sheet? Or my sister’s account of how she had saved her entire class by raising her hand to tell Mrs. Trumble that Holly had white bugs crawling in her hair. The few times I was able to get a word in edgewise it was taken out of context. “Is this my bike?” I yelled on my way up to see Santa at my dad’s company Christmas party. I carried the three by three inch wrapped gift back to my seat. Surely why not? My dad had tools. “I won a dime in the spelling B…” Congrats! That I promptly threw away, my consolation prize for being the first to tap out. The word was: Truck. T-R-U-K. I won’t bother to tell you about my lisp phase. And so was the plight of this youngest of four. The sauciest of comebacks a dollar too short. A day, make that a week and sometimes several years too late. Like driving down the interstate at seventy miles per hour. It’s raining and it’s loud, but a bridge is ahead then deafening silence as you pass underneath it. That was your moment! Darn it’s too late.
Yet here I am using my voice, it’s a voice in a sea of much more eloquent voices. I’m classically untrained. I took English 101 three times. Third time was the charm that and a tutor. What’s an Oxford comma? How does it differ from a Yorkshire comma? Does Kansas have a comma? I know that’s not a thing. I have no business writing, but I do anyway. I use made up words for my made up worlds. My observations from a life of listening. It may not look pretty or sound that way either. I’ve come to enjoy the looks paid upon me. Pinched brows, nervous laughter and avoidance of eye contact. Maybe it’s my irreverent nature? My jokes about Jesus? Or Nunscects, my upcoming comic book about nuns and insects. Coming soon, no really! I have found my voice and have found my platform through books and art and poetry. Where can I use this? I better write that shit down. Sooner or later it’ll make a ton of sense.
About the Author:
Celeste Castro, @writerceleste, is Mexican, dyslexic and a janitor by trade and a lot of other things too including the author of Homecoming a lesbian romance.
From the time I was a child until I went off to university, I knew exactly who I was: an artist.
Art was my everything; other interests came and went but drawing and painting were always there. Having a creative outlet helped me get through my parents’ divorce and, later, my tumultuous teen years. In fact, right up to the point where I applied for uni, I was convinced my future profession was going to be in the arts. It had to be – it was who I was.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t end up going to art school.
Instead, I spent five years chasing down my B.A. and a certificate in PR before launching myself headlong into my career. I enjoyed it, but my art seriously suffered. By the time I graduated I couldn’t have even told you where to find my once ever-present sketchbooks. All that love and passion had been buried beneath the responsibilities of adulthood and the confusion that came with realizing I didn’t know myself or what I wanted out of life quite as clearly as I had previously thought.
The loss of my creative spark broke my heart, but it was a light I couldn’t seem to summon back. I went a nearly a decade without making anything that wasn’t somehow tied to my career; something just for me.