I participated in a month-long series on Twitter labeled #LGBTWIP hosted by @AJWhiteAuthor Here’s the recap giving all the prompts and my responses. This was great fun, and I hope to participate again.
Day 1: This sounds fun! I’m Jeanne G’Fellers, seven-time author of diverse Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I’m a differently-abled, pan, witchy, Appalachian queer. I’m also running a day behind because I just found this.
Day 2: Current WIP #1 Keeping House, novel two in my Appalachian Elementals series, due out 2019. it’s queer contemporary Appalachian Fantasy. The first tale is Cleaning House, released 8/1. Third series, seventh novel.
Day 3: What are your WIP inspirations? Mama & Me, Keeping House, & The Appalachian Series is about home. It’s set where I live. It’s everything I know from a queer perspective with a definite queer twist. My protagonist’s name came from a local road sign, BTW.
Day 4: My writerly back story – seven novels since 2005, a novella in November, two novels & a novella scheduled next year. I began writing to escape & and now I write because I can’t stop. Characters are like haints (ghosts/spirits) they attach to me & won’t hush until their story is written.
Day 5: Strangest fact from research – The Cherokee, widely thought to not have lived within the setting for my current series, actually did. There’s evidence of a Cherokee town that was known for their bright clothing, colored from local mineral-based dyes.
Day 6: First story w/ LGBT Characters – No Sister of Mine FF Sci-Fi 2005 Bella Books – GCLS award for Excellence in Spec Fiction and Lambda Finalist
Day 7 Do your characters share your experiences? Series One, The Sisters Series, FF Sci-Fi – yes, but not in a way most people would expect. https://tinyurl.com/y87vru3y
Series Two, The Surrogate Series, Bi Sci-Fi – yes. I stride numerous lines in my life. I’m the queer parent of three grown children, & I hate labels in general. They set limits and bring expected behaviors with them. https://tinyurl.com/y87vru3y
Series Three, The Appalachian Elemental Series, Queer Contemporary Fantasy – Oh, hell yeah. This is about home, blood kin & family of choice. This is where I live, the roads I run, love, & acceptance in all its forms. https://tinyurl.com/y87vru3y
Day 8: Does queerness play a big part in your WIP? The LGBTQ experience, be it Human, alien, or paranormal is an integral part of all my works. That said, of my three current WIPs – two have the word queer on the title page & go from there.
Day 9: First book you read with a queer character? I didn’t know it at the time, but Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern – a lot of the male dragon riders were gay. It didn’t occur to me until later because it was subtly written, but there it is.
Day 10: Any hang-ups about your WIP? Don’t think so. My novella is off to the editor & the only problem I have with my other one is that the series has lacked an audience. But it’s the last novel in the series, so I’m dang-sure going to finish it. #amwriting #WIP
Day 11: Dreams for this WIP? I always dream big! 1 – Surrogate: Traditions finishes the series (aside from anthology) – find larger Bi audience. 2 – Mama, Me novella – bring peace, share happiness, paint Appalachia queers like me in a realistic, loving light. #amwriting
Day 13: How is romance handled in this WIP? I don’t write genre romance, but my stories always have a romantic subplot. My current WIPs have the romance of rediscovery, rekindling, & renewal. Cent & Stowne have been together more on than off for 3K years.
Day 14: History of this WIP: Keeping House is the second in the Appalachian Elementals series. Set in Northeast TN, 2018, it continues two months after # 1.5 Mama, Me, & the Holiday Tree (release set for 11/18) leaves off. The Appalachian Elementals series (Contemporary Fantasy) is about my home, the roads and mountains I roam, with magic, fae, haints, & family of choice/ blood kin with a queer Appalachian twist. Keeping House, like Cleaning House is coming naturally, organically, and I’m having LOTS of fun writing it. I think it shows.
Day 15 – how does the setting handle queerness? Regionally, we’re having our first large-scale regional Pride festival 9/15 and that shift in thinking is reflected in the novel, which is set in NE TN. How does the setting handle queerness? Cont: For the characters in the Appalachian Elementals series, queerness is perfectly normal, especially for the magical beings. No one cares. It’s about the soul, about energy. The rest is unimportant.
Day 16: Appalachian Contemporary Fantasy as Crime Fiction. (WIP is Keeping House) A hard-boiled backwoods detective works her way into an underground mountain community only to fall under their leader’s tempestuous spell.
Day 17: Escapist? My latest series, first release Cleaning House, is set in the here-&-now, where I live in NE TN, so it is, but isn’t. It’s home with its problems but home with its beauty too. It’s a fantasy novel as well, so it’s escapist by default. My first six novels are far-future SciFi, so yes, very much escapist. My characters face social problems within their worlds, but & sometimes those problems are very real, but it is escapist for me as the author & the reader alike (I hope).
Day 18: Count your fucks. Hmm. Okay. WIP one (holiday novella) None. A work like that shouldn’t have any. They interrupt the warm fuzzies. WIP two: 14 with more to come unless I edit them out, some of which I will. Personally – I’ve none to give today.
Day 19: Best Line: “Your land. My kind. We’ll always be indebted to you for your grace. So on, so forth, diplomatic BS. Curtsies, bows, & all that-there crap.” Dane extended her hand to Cent. “Come on, girlie. It’s half-past time to get goin’.” (from Keeping House)
Day 20: Queerest line in your WIP? But the whole thing’s queer! (sigh) Okay, Here’s 1 of 3: “A person is a person, or Hunter in our case. Hell, Dane stood on the edge of non-binary before I knew there was a word for it.” – Conall Gow (Keeping House, 2019) 2/3 Weeds headed for the door, stopping only long enough to collect a woman & someone, Cent couldn’t be certain of their gender, dressed in blue leggings & a pastel pink tunic with purple sequin trim that matched their nails. (Keeping House, 2019) 3/3: Aubrey’s as queer as I am, though we’re at different points on the spectrum, but Rayne doesn’t care any more than Stowne does. It’s not our gender or sexuality that matters. It’s our souls. (Mama, Me… queer holiday novella 11/18)
Day 21: What rep do you want to see more of? 1 of 4. My wishlist: Bi, Pan, Ace, Trans, & nonbinary shown in a positive light would be wonderful. Because LGBTQIA+ can definitely exist within what looks from the outside to be a cis-het relationship. What rep do you want to see more of? 2 of 4. My wishlist: More diverse stories – mixed peoples, races, ethnicities, & beliefs/paths would be extra spectacular. Oh, & less stereotypical gender roles? Is that too much to ask? What rep do you want to see more of? 3 of 4. My wishlist: Swinging for the fences on this one – less falling into bed within half a scene of meeting each other. This falls into the realm of respecting yourself and your partner. What rep do you want to see more of? 4 of 4. My wishlist: Last but not least – queer families. Families of choice alongside blood kin, not for contrast but for acceptance. Happy kids w/ their queer parents. Queer parents happy w/ their kids.
Day 22 – Show your flag. Welp, these are mine.
Day 23: Who are you writing this story for? I write for myself first & foremost. The rest is gravy. But I’m also writing the Appalachian Elementals series for all the other Appy queers out there. Because we’re real. Because we need positive rep. #amwriting #WIP
Day 24: Least favorite character? I’d have said King Dane Gow until recently, but now that I know her story she’s lovable in a smart-arse, gotta get sh*t done kinda way. Her “father” though… King Duff & his sons deserve everything they get/got. #amwriting #WIP
Day 25: How does your MC hange? I don’t think it’s so much that Cent wants to change as it is change comes with knowledge. She’s trying to understand her past, & that’s changing her future. (Jeanne’s obtuse answer du jour) #amwriting #WIP
Day 26: Hmm. Cent’s patronus? An owl, but not the Harry Potter sort. A good ol’ barn owl. Seeking. Watching. Relearning her own power. Queer feathers ruffled. Turning slowly to look back so she can remember her magic .#amwriting #WIP #CleaningHouseNovel
Day 27: last line you wrote? “I like girls, women.” Dane settled into the other chair. “Always have. Always will. I don’t tilt the other way at all. I’m Hunter fey, and I’m a woman too, at least I was last I looked.” #amwriting #WeNeedDiverseBooks
Day 28 Books like your WIP? Um… the first in the series? Is there another Queer Appalachian Contemporary Fantasy in existence? One with a pansexual & nonbinary MC? I don’t think so, but someone please prove me wrong. #WeNeedDiverseBooks #ownvoices
Day 29: This novel, & the rest in the series makes me appreciate my home, Appalachia, even more than I already did. We’re a unique culture. & there is a definite Queer Appalachia subculture. #ownvoices #writewhatyouknow #lgbtbooks #queerspecfic #cominghome
Day 30 Wrap-up. Thanks, Andrew @AJWhiteAuthor for the month-long series. I met a lot of great people and got to know about a lot of incredible books. Hope to do this again!