Surprise!!! We’re squeezing in one more post before pride month is over AND a second giveaway! To round out pride month, we asked two authors of upcoming books with LGTBQ representation about writing these characters. Read below to hear what Mischa Thrace, author of My Whole Truth, and Elizabeth Tammi, author of Outrun the Wind, had to say. And don’t forget to enter to win an Arc copy of each of their books!
Hey everyone! Happy last week of Pride! I’m here to talk a little bit about my forthcoming debut novel, Outrun the Wind, which is a sapphic reimagining of the story of Atalanta from Greek mythology. For anyone who’s familiar with Atalanta’s story, you might be confused or skeptical as to why and how I chose to write such a different take on this myth.
The answer, in short, was spite. In the original myth, Atalanta essentially ends up with this dude Hippomenes because of divine trickery…in some versions, she ‘lets’ him win, but that’s also just completely nonsensical and unlike her. Anyway, I was so baffled and outraged by this ending that I started wondering how I could make her story make more sense to me– new characters and dilemmas sprung up, I shifted her timeline around a bit, and soon enough, Atalanta had her own love story. One that made perfect sense to me, and one that I hope will resonate with others.
I especially love queer stories that take place long ago, like The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller and And I Darken by Kiersten White. However, I felt like there was a lack of female representation in these types of stories, and I could see there was a desire for these mythical reimaginings, especially from fans of Percy Jackson (like myself!).
Outrun the Wind was my way of exploring and making sense of an aspect of identity, mythology, and history that too often goes ignored. I sincerely hope Kahina and Atalanta’s story will connect with readers like it connected for me.
About Elizabeth Tammi
Elizabeth Tammi was born in California and grew up in Florida, but she is currently double-majoring in Creative Writing and Journalism as an undergraduate at Mercer University in Georgia. When she’s not writing, you can probably find Elizabeth at rehearsal for one of her vocal ensembles, or at work for her university’s newspaper and literary magazine. Her other interests include traveling, caffeinated beverages, and mythology. Outrun the Wind is her debut novel. You can find Elizabeth online on Tumblr at annabethisterrified, Twitter at @ElizabethTammi, Instagram at elizabeth_tammi, and at elizabethtammi.com.
Outrun the Wind
The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. But when Kahina encounters the legendary warrior Atalanta on a routine mission, a dangerous line is crossed and both girls learn that their actions have consequences and rules were made to be broken.
This is an exciting time to be a reader because we’re seeing a renaissance of queer literature, where LGBTQ+ books are no longer confined to tales about the struggle of being different. While those are definitely important stories, they’re not the only stories, and now readers get to tag along with lesbian detectives, gay wizards, and queer characters off all stripes on all sorts of adventures – and it’s about time! No reader should have to see themselves in books where their fictional analogues are always repressed, constantly heartbroken, and inevitably killed. For queer and questioning readers, this wider, more inclusive representation couldn’t have come soon enough, especially given the the absolutely toxic rhetoric and policies coming from the Trump administration. Queer kids need queer fairy tales, and actually, so do cishet kids – they just might not know it. For some readers, their only exposure to diversity will come through the pages of a novel, and I dare any reader, of any orientation, not to be swept away by Emily Skrutskie’s badass lesbian pirates, M.K. England’s bisexual space pilot, or Shaun David Hutchinson’s gay alien abductee. In an age where bigoted ‘family values’ are being reinforced by the government, fiction can be a form of resistance, a chance for readers to find themselves, find an escape, and find common ground. Queer lit has the power to change lives, regardless of how you identify.
About Mischa Thrace
Mischa Thrace has worked as a teacher, a horse trainer, a baker, and a librarian and has amassed enough random skills to survive most apocalypses. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, a one-eyed dog, and a cranky cat who rarely leaves the basement. She loves tea, geekery, and not getting ax-murdered on long walks in the woods. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at mischa_thrace or at mischathrace.com.
My Whole Truth
Seventeen-year-old Seelie Stanton never wanted to kill someone. But the universe doesn’t care what she wants. Shane Mayfield doesn’t care what Seelie wants either. When the former high school basketball star attacks her, she has no choice but to defend herself. She saved her own life, but she can’t bring herself to talk about what happened that night. Not all of it. Not even when she’s arrested for murder.
We hope you had the best pride ever!