Into the Mystic, Volume Three is a short story anthology featuring nine paranormal short stories that center on a lesbian/bisexual romance. I’m super excited about it, since I feel there is a lack of LGBT fantasy romance especially ones that focus on the ladies. Since I know a few of these authors, they let me interview them!
Fire and Brine – Of all the bars in all the world, Alice had to wander into Cassandra’s. Are either of them ready for what comes next?
Lis lives in Boston with her partner and kid. She chases the mail for money and has too many books and too few days off. She has more stories at Ninestar Press under her other (PG 13) pseudonym, Valentine Wheeler. Check out Dead Letter in Into the Mystic Volume Two, and Piece of Cake in the Teacher’s Pet anthology! Coming out next month in Once Upon a Rainbow Volume Three, is her story “Loose in the Heel, Tight in the Toe.” And Surface Tension, a novella about mermaid abductions, is due out in September.
- N. K. Jemesin.
- S. A. Chakraborty
- Felicia Davin
- Seanan McGuire
- Tamora Pierce
As Bru Baker roars away in the ghostly carriage, L.J. is surprised to find herself in…South Dakota. Outside of a bar, called Dusty’s. Since a drink sounds like a fantastic idea after the night she’s been having. L.J. goes inside and is surprised to find everyone seems to know her name. Just as she’s backing out the door again, L.J. notices a fellow author perched at the bar.
Lis Valentine: You gotta write with other people! Work in coffee shops together! Hop into each others’ google docs, email drafts back and forth! The more you see other people’s process, the more you can understand and streamline your own and figure out what works…and you know, what doesn’t… for you.
Lis sagging on the bar.
Lis: Not to mention the fact that writing can be lonely if you’re doing it solo. Make it social and make it fun if that’s your jam!
L.J. approaches the bar cautiously waiting for vampires, or werewolves, or succubi.
L.J.: Hey there, Lis. So I take it “Fire and Brine” takes place in a bar?
Lis: Well, why not? All these supernatural beings, and they never once get down after lights’ out? Come on. I love the trope of strangers meeting for a night, and this was the perfect opportunity. Ladies in a South Dakota bar…
L.J.: So what drew you to F/F/ romance?
Lis lashes out with her drink.
Lis: There’s not enough of it! I’m always looking for great queer female characters, especially in genre fiction and romance. We’re making strides, but we aren’t there yet.
L.J.: I know, I read your tumblr post about men taking men to task about their female characters and I–
Lis: As a queer female-presenting person, I love seeing people like me in the fiction I read. This particular piece was a bit of a challenge for me because I don’t usually write erotica, but I’m proud of it!
L.J.: Ooh spicy!
Lis: Proud of it!
L.J.: And you should be, Lis. Tell me what it’s about?
Lis: So Cassandra– she’s the main character. She looks like Alona Tal — she’s a woman who lives her life on her terms now that she’s gotten a fresh start.
She has a long history that she’s pushed aside and tried her best to forget. She built Dusty’s up from nothing when she bought it, and she isn’t going to let anyone get in the way of her life.
L.J.: Hey! That’s a gun you’re character is pointing at me!
Lis: And then there’s Alice– she’s visually inspired by Saba Mubarak. Alice has no love for the quiet life. She blows into a town and then right back out of it, taking what she needs and charming everyone along the way.
L.J.: That’s a really hot combo.
L.J. backs away from the blonde with the pistol.
L.J.: Any challenges in writing such intense character into a fantasy romance?
Lis: I started writing through fan fiction, so the mix of fantasy and romance is what I’ve always written. I find that romance doesn’t care what genre you’re writing in: if the sparks are there, they’ll fly!
Probably about as fast as L.J. flies out of that bar.
Find more Lis Valentine on her: