Tag Archives: author interview

An Interview With Calista Lynne: Author of We Awaken

Today I’m delighted to be sharing my interview with Calista Lynne, whose new title We Awaken was released in July. I was really interested in this book as soon as I’d heard about it, as not only does the magic-laced contemporary story sound really interesting, but this is also one of very few titles I’ve seen out there where asexuality is a main aspect.

wacl

THE BIBLIOMANIAC: Hello! Firstly, could you give a quick overview of your latest book, We Awaken, is about?

CALISTA LYNNE: The main characters in We Awaken are two asexuals in a F/F relationship. One of them is a creator of dreams who helps the other girl try to get into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. It is YA Magical Realism, so there is a fair amount of conflict and adventure, but at the heart of it all, this is a tale of romance.

30341730Was there anything in particular that sparked the idea for the story?

The characters came from the fact that I wanted to write asexual representation, but the plotline came from a variety of places. Fairytales, a sonnet I never wrote, stories friends told me at parties. I had a friend growing up who had a fake license so she could rent cars underage and go to auditions in the city. Shockingly enough, that led me to make the main character a dancer.

What was your writing process like for We Awaken?

It was a bit more structured than my current writing process. I had long lists of scenes and events and wrote them as chronologically as I could without getting writers block. The first scene that came to me was one in the middle, though, so that was my anchor. There was also a fair amount of screaming at my laptop screen.

Did you always plan on having a supernatural twist in your writing?

I like to pretend that I can write in any genre, but fantastical elements just come to me better. Recently I abandoned two completed drafts of a contemporary romance because it didn’t feel right. Now I’m working on a fantasy and it is coming out so much better. I write whatever plots come to me and, for some reason, they always seem to involve creators of dreams or fairies or something supernatural. It’s not even planned it’s just in my nature, I suppose.calista-lynne

What made me really interested in We Awaken was that your main characters are asexual, which I think should be represented a lot more in YA. Did the asexuality aspect of your novel just happen as you wrote, or did you have the intention of representing minority characters?

I definitely had the intention of including minority characters going in. My goal was to write the novel I wish I had growing up and show that asexuals aren’t broken. I wrote the representation I wanted to see in the media. Although I will admit, originally there was only one asexual character in the book but during rewrites I changed it to two.

And, lastly – do you have any book recommendations?

This is a difficult question! Tragically, I don’t know many books with asexual characters- feel free to send recs my way- so I can’t offer up any titles in that regard, but I do highly recommend every book by Neil Gaiman. American Gods is my personal favorite. Honestly it’s written so cleverly it almost makes me angry. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz is my favorite LGBTQ title. I just recommend you read whatever makes you happy and don’t let anyone give you shit about it.

Thanks very much for visiting the blog, Calista! (And I second the Aristotle and Dante recommendation. That book is beautiful)

Are you interested in We Awaken? You can find more details about it over on Goodreads – and it’s out now from Harmony Ink Press.

 

An Interview with Sharon Gosling | Author of The Diamond Thief

Related Posts: Book Review: The Diamond Thief by Sharon Gosling

I adored The Diamond Thief, book one of the Remy Brunel trilogy, when I got the chance to read it at the beginning of this year. So naturally, it’s very exciting to have Sharon Gosling, author, on The Bibliomaniac today to discuss the trilogy, its genre, and Sharon’s upcoming projects. Enjoy the Q&A!

GW: Hi, Sharon! Firstly, could you tell us a little about the diamond thief, for anyone who hasn’t read it?
SG: Hi! The Diamond Thief is set in London in the late 1800s. It introduces Rémy Brunel, who is a French circus performer famed for her talent on the trapeze and the high wire. She also happens to be the best jewel thief in kx3J8Y0kEurope. She’s brought to London by her nefarious circus master in order to steal the famous diamond the Darye-ye Noor (the Ocean of Light), the sister-stone to the Koh-i-Noor (the Mountain of Light), which is in the Queen of England’s crown. As she attempts to steal it she comes up against a young detective called Thaddeus Rec, who is determined to stop her. Together they discover that something terrible is happening below the streets of London’s East End, and are forced to work together to stop it. As they do they also discover some disturbing things about Rémy’s past. 

What books inspired you to write, growing up?

As a kid I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on, but with a dad who loved Sherlock Holmes, I developed an early love for detective fiction – and fact, come to think of it. I remember one librarian being a bit concerned about me taking out a lot of adult books about Jack the Ripper when I was probably a bit too young to be reading them. I also read a lot of classic children’s books – I had a lot of Enid Blyton books and Rémy is probably in part inspired by her circus stories. I can remember wishing that our family could pack up and join a circus! Life on the road and the idea of being in a new place every week always sounded so exciting – I loved travel adventures, especially anything that took place in South America, as jungles really appeal to me. So The Hardy Boys were another favourite. I think all of these combined to encourage me to make up my own adventures, which led to writing my own, too. 

You do some really interesting things outside of writing fiction, such as writing about sci fi and The Diamond Thieffantasy in magazines. What’s the most exciting related article or project you’ve worked on?

As a result of writing non-fiction tie-in books for television and film, I’ve spent quite a lot of time on film sets, which I always find really fascinating. Oftentimes watching a TV show being made can actually be quite tedious, as there is a lot of time spent setting up, moving from one set to another, resetting, re-taking the same scene, and so on. But I love it because there’s a very specific energy that occurs on a film or television set, which I think comes from having a large group of very talented people who are all creative in different ways working on one huge project. I always find that very exciting. A year or so ago I wrote the companion book ‘The Art and Making of Penny Dreadful’ – the series is filmed in Ireland, just outside Dublin, and I spent a few days on set at the end of the shooting for the first season. That was a particular thrill for me as I got to meet and interview Timothy Dalton. I know most people would be excited about that for him being a former James Bond, but for me it was because he’ll always be my Mr Rochester! Jane Eyre is my favourite classic novel, and the BBC adaptation that he was in years ago will always be my touchstone for how it should be produced on screen. Of course, Penny Dreadful was created and written by John Logan, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of films such as Skyfall, Gladiator, Rango and Hugo – meeting him was pretty special. He’s a lovely man and an extraordinarily talented writer. 

Is there a reason you are drawn to sci-fi/fantasy/steampunk stories?

I think those three genres capture the idea that there are still things to discover and still reasons to be intrepid, which really appeals for someone who always wanted to be out there exploring inaccessible parts of the globe. Today, the world feels so much smaller. It feels known, as if there’s nothing left to discover, no mysterious corners that haven’t been mapped, photographed and given a Wikipedia entry. Genres such as science fiction, fantasy and steampunk open up new possibilities for exploration and invention. That’s probably why I love them so much.

Do you have any plans for books after the Rémy Brunel trilogy?

Always! I’ve got two that I’m currently re-drafting – one for a slightly younger audience that’s set in modern-day London and another which is a horror for a much older YA audience. So they’re both very different, which is fun. Then later in the year I have two more I want to start work on – one is a children’s adventure set in late Victorian England (I’ve realised it’s a favourite setting of mine!) and the other is the first in an adult detective series set in a village very like the one I live in now. So many stories, so little time…!

I hope you enjoyed the interview! Thank you to Sharon for answering the Q & A questions, and to Georgia at Curious Fox for organising this and introducing me to the trilogy. Interested in checking out the Remy Brunel trilogy? Read my review of The Diamond Thief here!