Interview with a SFWA Fantasy Author

If you read my blog, you already know a lot about the inner workings of my mind. Today, you’ll get the inner workings of someone else’s! Let’s have a warm welcome for L. Rowyn, author of The Moon Etherium. ::digital applause ensues::

Rowyn and I are both involved in the SFWA fantasy Storybundle—available till the end of this month—which is how I learned about her books.

What? You want to know more about the SFWA Storybundle?

Here’s how it works: SFWA prez Cat Rambo picked 12 fantasy novels that she thinks are awesome. For a few short weeks, those books are all on sale for however much you feel like paying (almost). $15 for twelve books? Sure. $4.5m for twelve books? Also good!

If you’re looking for some nicely curated reading, you may want to check out the Storybundle. (Plenty of reading samples for the wary on that webpage.)

For now, let’s learn about L. Rowyn!

Tell us about your book in the SFWA Storybundle in one or two sentences.

In a post-scarcity world of abundant magic, Fallen is not content with the power to shape herself and her own environment, but seeks to impose her will upon all those around her. Miro and Ardent work to stop her, and rescue Miro’s father.

What was your favorite part about writing this novel?

I loved writing in a setting where everyone had the power to do so many convenient and impossible things easily. Don’t like the way you look? Make a new body for yourself, in whatever gender or species you like, real or imaginary, of whatever fitness level you prefer. Want to live in a palace that requires no maintenance? Sure! Tired of that commute? Just teleport where ever you want to be. Hungry but you don’t want to cook or go out for food? Wave your hand and a delicious meal will appear. Do you or your loves ones have health issues? Not anymore! Aether fixes everything. There are a lot of wonderful fantasy stories that place magic in the hands of a select few and dwell primarily on how they use it to fight one another. But I am fascinated by the idea of everyday magic — and also by the fact that solving all the problems of scarcity is not the same as solving all problems.

On a related note: the ease of transformation let me imagine a culture that assigned no weight or prejudices to appearances. The fey have no stereotypes based on skin color, physical features, or gender, any of which a given fey might vary from one moment to the next. Their culture also treats all sexual orientations as unremarkable. It was fun to play in a setting where issues that are fraught for my own culture were things they couldn’t even imagine caring about.

Let’s talk about fantasy fiction more generally. Is there a trend in fantasy fiction that you love right now? Or perhaps one you’d like to see make a comeback?

I adore the mash-up of genres, like romance with paranormal, or science fantasy, or mystery and fantasy. Kyell Gold’s Black Angel, for example, combines YA, queer lit, furry, horror, and fantasy all together and adds a dash of science fiction. I like fantasy best as a wide-open genre, embracing not just action-adventure tropes, but every kind of story.

What is your current favorite fantasy novel to read and why?

This is a complex question for me, not only because I hate picking favorites but because my answer to “favorite” and “favorite to re-read” are very different. One of my favorites is Even the Wingless, by M.C.A. Hogarth, a dark, intimate science fantasy about one ambassador’s struggle to survive and achieve his goals in a vicious court full of ritualized torture and sexual violence. I like it because it’s deeply invested in the struggle against evil not as “how do I kill the bad guy”, but as “how do I get individuals and, by extension, the systems that created them, to turn away from evil?”

But for re-reads, I prefer comfort reading, like Jackdaw, by K.J. Charles. It’s an M/M fantasy historical romance (I told you I love genre mash-ups). I am one of those people who re-reads all the sweet endearing scenes in a romances, and Jackdaw has a lot of those.

If readers absolutely adore your book, is there a sequel? What should they read of yours next?

The Moon Etherium is a standalone novel in the Etherium series, and there is a sequel! The Sun Etherium will come out in December, and has all the things I loved about TME only more, so I’m excited to get it into reader’s hands. In the meantime, I also have two standalone books in a different setting: A Rational Arrangement and Further Arrangements, both polyamorous fantasy romances.

Thanks for coming by my blog to tell us about your work, Rowyn!

Remember, you can get The Moon Etherium and 11 other novels for your favorite reading device at whatever price you want (almost) for a limited time only. Check out the SFWA Fantasy Storybundle today.

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Janine A. Southard is a Writer & Editor for narrative projects. She's a proven talent when it comes to mimicking voices and crafting content for videogames, articles, & fiction.