Author Interview || Tom Wilinsky and Jen Sternick

Tom Wilinsky and Jen Sternick authors of Snowsisters.

Tom and Jen:  Duet, the young adult imprint at Interlude Press, will release our debut novel, Snowsisters, on February 15, 2018. High school students from different worlds are thrown together as roommates at a week-long writing conference. As Soph, who attends private school in Manhattan, and Tess, a public school student who lives on a dairy farm in New Hampshire—get to know each other and the other young women, each discovers unexpected truths about friendship, their craft, and how to hold fast to their convictions while opening their hearts to love.

Tom:  People ask us all the time how we write together and how we began. I live in New York and Jen lives in Rhode Island, but I travel regularly to Massachusetts to attend to my elderly mother, so we arranged to meet for brunch on a rainy Sunday in June, 2015 and talk about writing our first novel. I don’t remember who suggested it first, but we wanted to each take a character and write that character’s voice in the first person.

Jen: Ideas for scenes and story directions pop into my head all the time.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with a good one or a nagging concern. Often, I text Tom from the grocery store, something like: “a high schooler who wants to be a drag queen wins a guest appearance on his favorite show!” Or I’ll just write a scene and send it to him with no warning. He’ll ask where it fits and I will have no idea.   Tom’s pretty good at letting me run.  Tom and I email multiple times daily about our work.  We also talk by phone weekly for at least an hour-and-a-half.  

Tom: Once we have a general outline, we decide who is going to write what and when.  I usually write on weekends, when I can spend several hours at a keyboard.  We talk on Saturdays or Sundays–both when we’re really trying to get something out.  We do our scenes and chapters on Google Docs and share with each other once we’re ready.  When we’re working on drafts, we use “suggested” for editing so that it’s clear what is new and who is inserting or removing text.

Jen: We split the voices, but by the time we are done editing and revising, it’s often hard to tell who wrote what.  And sometimes I’ll have an idea that I want to write down that needs to be told from Tom’s character’s voice. But I always ask him to edit the voice to read the way he wants it to, and we each get final veto on edits to the voice we are assigned.  

Tom and Jen:  We love the back-and-forth of collaborating. Early on, we made a decision not to let writing differences get in the way of our friendship.  Both of us are good at communicating when something is important to us and at letting go when it isn’t. And we have a commitment to the work. If we have a deadline, whether external or internal, we both know that the other will do what it takes to meet it.

We also balance each other out in terms of managing anxiety and stress. If one of us is worried about attending an event, or how a chapter will be received, the other one is usually able to calm fears. Getting a book published takes a lot of courage, a lot of persistence and a lot of time. Sharing all of that makes it much easier.

Tom and Jen: Snowsisters is available now for for pre-order at Amazon, and Interlude Press, and will be in bookstores on February 15. We want to caution prospective readers that triggering warnings are posted on the Interlude Press website based on some of the content.  We can’t wait for you to read it!

About the authors

Tom and Jen met in high school in Massachusetts in the early 1980’s and started a conversation which, years later is ongoing. Tom is gay, partnered and lives in New York. Jen is straight and lives with her husband and two children in Rhode Island. Tom and Jen follow all kinds of popular media, especially those with an LGTBTQ youth theme and are voracious readers. Both work as attorneys in their real lives.  They write fanfiction together online.  Snowsisters is their debut novel.



Author Interview || Taylor Brooke

Next month, an awesome soulmate F/F romance is coming out and I can’t wait for everyone else to be able to read such an interesting book. Curved Horizon has so many things in it that I think romance readers will absolutely love it so I couldn’t miss the chance to have the author, Taylor Brooke, sharing a bit about her work on our blog.


Q1: How would you explain the Camellia Clock world to someone who’s starting the series from Curved Horizon?

You know, I left the Camellia Clock open for interpretation on purpose. I wanted people to find their own footing within a soulmate universe because the term soulmate is so different for all of us. Soulmate could be best friend, someone could have multiple soulmates – there’s room to explore. But to go over the basics: The Camellia Clock is fate. The driving force behind its decision making is unknown, but as it was developed, scientists could track patterns and changes influenced by this anomalous human hormone – the soul. Being able to pinpoint exactly when two lines of energy will meet, or when multiple lines of energy will meet, opened up the discussion for sexualities, gender identities and so on. Even though the Camellia World seems to lean toward a bi/pan mindset, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other Rose Roads, including ace/aro Rose Roads. Because the Camellia Clock is a tether for soulmates, someone who is asexual would be matched with people suited for them depending on where they landed on the spectrum. That goes for aromantic folks as well. After a pair/group reaches 00:00 on their Camellia Clocks, they’re faced with a decision to take their relationship in two directions – Emotionally or Physically. Sometimes it’s a mix of both, sometimes couples/groups lean one direction more than the other, it just depends. There’s room to navigate identities, fluidity, boundaries, trust and so on. That’s really one of the most interesting parts of the story for me – the act of falling in love backward, or forming an intense bond backward. When the characters are presented with their soulmate/soulmates, whether stranger, friend, rival or acquaintance, they’re faced with a future most people would’ve wondered about for a long time. There’s curiosity trying to balance with lust, love trying to balance with friendship. There could also be absence in curiosity, lust, love, friendship, or a significant increase in one or the other. Depending on who is paired with who and how they identify, a Rose Road could be romantic, it could be friendship, it could be companionship. Emotional connection means something different to everyone and so does physical connection. The Camellia Clock doesn’t have stipulations placed on souls. Once the pair/group times out, it’s up to them to figure out how they proceed, what’s good for them, what’s necessary, wanted and encouraged.

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Author Interview || N. G. Peltier

N.G. Peltier is publishing a free F/F Christmas short story with Trinidadian characters tomorrow on her blog! To celebrate that we had a little chat about her inspirations and what she’s planning next for this story.


Q1: Your short story has a lot of food references that sound delicious. Tell us a bit about them and what are your favorite Christmas food!

Yes! We Trinidadians love to eat, and Christmas time is no exception. The food is my fave part of Christmas actually. I mention specifically ham and pastelles in the story as these are usually staples meals for that time. Some people simply bake the ham with a glaze on it others will get a little fancy and add some pineapple and cloves like below. Either way it’s delish!

While I enjoy a good ham the pastelles are definitely my favourite! Pastelles are a meat filled, either beef/pork/ chicken or veg stuffed cornmeal dish that we wrap in fig leaf. There’s also olives and capers in there. So to eat, simply unwrap the leaf and dig in! My family always makes this one week before Christmas and we split it among ourselves sooo yummy!

As for drinks my fave is ponche de crème a milky type drink with alcohol. I believe it’s sort of like the eggnog Americans have. My mom makes her quite strong 😉

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Author Interview || Brigitte Bautista

Brigitte Bautista is an author from the Philippines who’s debut novel, Don’t Tell my Mother, was a delight for me. She has a great writing that is funny and heartbreaking at all the right times with interesting and complex characters. I’m sure many people will love to get to know her better in this interview and hope everyone picks up her book!


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Author Interview + GIVEAWAY || Siera Maley

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!

Giveaway: Ebook || Audiobook

Winners: Nina A. || Yana S.


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Author Interview || Vanessa North

It’s been a while now since I got an ARC of Roller Girl, the third book in a series called Lake Lovelace, and had a pleasant surprise when I realized this was a great F/F adult book with steamy times and a nice found family vibe related to sports. Today, I chatted with the author, Vanessa North, and got some interesting answers about her research and even about a new F/F story coming soon to share with readers!


Q1: Roller Girl was the first F/F book in the Lake Lovelace series. How did you feel making this transition?

I don’t think it was a difficult transition at all for me as a writer–Tina was an integral part of the Lake Lovelace community from the first book, and her story was plotted concurrently with the second book, so it was really just a matter of figuring out her character’s vulnerabilities and strengths and exploring them.

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Author Interview || RoAnna Sylver

I had the chance to interview the lovely author RoAnna Sylver for the blog! Besides sharing a bit about Chameleon Moon (a dystopian book with an F/F/F established relationship!), she’s also bringing some awesome news for a new series. Check out her amazing and fun answers.


Q1: Your novel Chameleon Moon has been calling a lot of attention of the reading community lately. How would you summarize the story of this book for new readers?

There’s a city. It’s on fire. And it’s quarantined behind a giant energy barrier, like a big bubble. Trapped inside is everyone you’d ever expect to fall in love with and then watch die, in every other movie or book that broke your younger self’s heart. Queer people, disabled, neurodivergent, asexual and aromantic, polyamorous folks, married lesbians, agender and nonbinary trans people, kids with PTSD and brains trying to kill them. In this story, they live. They’re the heroes. Sometimes they’re super-heroes. And they freaking rock.

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Author Interview || Lyssa Chiavari

We have Lyssa Chiavari today on the blog to share a bit about her new release, Cheerleaders from Planet X! This is a fun and refreshing take in SciFi where cheerleaders fight aliens (I know, what a great idea). I’m sure many readers will love this book as much as I did when it comes out later this month.


Q1: Cheerleaders from Planet X has such an original story! Can you tell us a bit about where this idea came from?

I know it sounds trite, but it actually came from a dream I had! A loooot of my short stories have come from dreams, but this was the first full novel I’ve written that stemmed directly from a dream. It seems like a lot of times my subconscious is working out for me what I should write next, because I always know when I wake up when something’s meant to be written down rather than just being an ordinary dream. In the case of Cheerleaders, I woke up and immediately wrote the first two chapters in a frenzy. I don’t think I ever could have come up with such an off-the-wall premise consciously!

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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.


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!


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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