The winner of many awards, including the Hugo and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, discusses her wide range of interests in writing, why she likes to write about the line between necessity and tragedy, and her first real epic fantasy trilogy coming out in 2012 (Range of Ghosts).
Brennan, M. L.
M. L. Brennan, author of the fantastic Generation V series, discussed her love of Emma Bull’s War for the Oaks (plus other books she’s enjoyed!), vampire myths, researching sanguivores, and the possibility of stories about Fort’s family or the kitsune.
The New York Times bestselling author of Kushiel’s Legacy discussed Saints Astray, her upcoming urban fantasy trilogy, the nerves accompanying releasing Kushiel’s Dart as her first novel, and more.
The New-York Times best-selling author of the Parasol Protectorate series discusses writing, her setting and the important questions – such as what she would do if she were ever attacked by a vampire without a proper introduction.
As part of the blog tour for This Gulf of Time and Stars, Julie Czerneda answered some questions about aliens with particular focus on her creation process and how her background in biology influences their development.
The author of dark fantasy Miserere: An Autumn Tale talks about dark fairy tales, writing about slightly older characters with pasts, the world she created, and her forthcoming book inspired by “Beauty and the Beast.”
The author of Wicked Gentlemen and the Lord of the White Hell duology discusses upcoming projects, writing empathetic characters, cultures in fantasy books and what she would do if Mary Renault came back from the dead.
Jones, Jaida and Danielle Bennett
The authors of Havemercy, Shadow Magic and Dragon Soul discuss collaborative writing, which of their cultures is a most appealing place to live, and what questions come up when writing a character who is an insulting, callous, horrible jerk.
Kay, Guy Gavriel
Shortly before the release of River of Stars, Guy Gavriel Kay discussed this book and his writing.
Nye, Jody Lynn
Shortly after the release of Myth-Quoted, Jody Lynn Nye answered a few questions about this and the Myth Adventure series as a whole.
Parker, K. J.
The author of the Engineer trilogy and The Folding Knife answered a few questions about the novel Sharps, focusing on writing worlds and fantasy not focused on magic.
To celebrate the release of The Purifying Fire, Laura answered some questions about research and tribulations caused by reading up on sex workers, the book she wishes she had written and living all over the world.
The author of The Whitefire Crossing and The Tainted City answered some questions about writing, reading, her world of The Shattered Sigil books, her villainous character and his ability to care for others, and more.
Warrington, Freda (Part One | Part Two)
The author of 19 novels, including Elfland and Midsummer Night, discussed what’s coming up next with her Aetherial Tales books, her previous books, young adult novels and writing realistic female characters (and much more – this lengthy interview was split into two parts for a reason!).
Guest Posts by Authors
The author of the Sirantha Jax and Corine Solomon series stopped by to tell about her lifelong love of reading fantasy as part of the celebration of the release of Blue Diablo, the first Corine Solomon book.
Beth Bernobich, author of the River of Souls series, discussed quiet moments in epic fantasy and books that incorporate these well.
Fantasy author Marie Brennan (Memoirs by Lady Trent, Onyx Court) discussed five mythological creatures that should appear in fantasy fiction more often.
The author of The Fear Principle and the rest of the books in the Fear series discussed the ordinary empath since empathy is prominent in her series.
Chima, Cinda Williams: A Fantasy Writer’s Research Notebook
The author of The Demon Prince and The Exiled Queen discussed research in writing fantasy as part of her blog tour for the release of the latter. She writes about how it’s necessary to do research even when writing fantasy fiction and why and shares some of her research experiences.
Chima, Cinda Williams: Thieves as Heroes
The author of The Seven Realms series and The Heir Chronicles discussed thieves in fiction – why they appeal to so many of us and what qualities they’re often given to make them more likable. She makes some very good points, and as a fan of thieves as fictional characters myself, this is one of my favorite guest posts.
Science fiction and fantasy author Storm Constantine discusses the inspiration for the Wraeththu.
Philip K. Dick Award nominated author Brenda Cooper (Silver Ship, Ruby’s Song, Glittering Edge) discusses being both a writer and a futurist and thinking about the balance between technology and nature.
Daniells, Rowena Cory
The author of the best selling King Rolen’s Kin trilogy lets us see what goes on inside writers’ heads.
T. Frohock discusses early memories involving angels and how this interest led to the development of the angels and daimons in her Los Nefilim books.
Gladstone, Max: Revisiting Old Friends
Craft Sequence author Max Gladstone discussed seeing different facets of characters when they interacted with a different group of people in Last First Snow.
Hill, C. J.
The authors of Slayers discusses all things dragon-related: dragons in different cultures, favorite dragons, why she included them in her book, and what they symbolize in her story.
Holloway, Emma Jane: The Uses of Macaroni in Fantasy
Emma Jane Holloway, author of the Baskerville Affair trilogy, discusses incorporating plausible details and reality in fantasy fiction.
The author of Clean, the first book in the Mindspace Investigations series, shares a quick guide to the world in the book.
Ish, Barbara Friend: I Still Believe in Small Press
Barbara Friend Ish, author of The Shadow of the Sun and publisher of Mercury Retrograde Press, discusses the value of small presses and why they are important to her both as an author and a reader.
Bascomb James, editor of Far Orbit: Speculative Space Adventures, discussed this anthology and the appeal and breadth of Grand Tradition Science Fiction.
Kaufman, Lory S.
The author of The Lens and the Looker discusses where characters come from and shares his experiences with developing characters for his novel.
During the week I left to get married in Las Vegas, I asked a few people if they would write a short story about some characters getting into trouble in Las Vegas. I’d recently been contacted by Seanan McGuire about reviewing her forthcoming debut novel called Rosemary and Rue and asked if she would be interested. She wrote this piece set in her superhero universe called “Velveteen vs. Vegas.”
Myer, Ilana C.
Ilana C. Myer discussed older fantasy book covers and the cover of her own debut fantasy novel, Last Song Before Night.
The author of the Griffin Mage trilogy, The Floating Islands, and The City in the Lake discussed the process of writing House and Shadows and how she made three different beginnings for the story into the same book.
As part of her blog tour for the release of The Sevenfold Spell, Tia Nevitt stopped by and talked about ten books that have touched her throughout her life.
New York Times bestselling author Naomi Novik (the Temeraire series, Uprooted) discussed the joy of finding flow in writing and the difficulty in finding it.
Rosen, Lev AC: It’s a Mad Mad Mad Science
The author of All Men of Genius shares some of his favorite mad scientists.
Rosen, Lev AC
Lev AC Rosen, author of All Men of Genius, shares some steampunk interior design tips.
Science fiction author Stephanie Saulter (Gemsigns, Binary) discussed violence in fiction with a focus on its prevalence in genre/science fiction.
Courtney Schafer, author of The Shattered Sigil trilogy, shares four concluding volumes that each had the distinction of being her favorite book in the entire series.
Sullivan, Michael J.
The author of the Riyria Revelations discusses fantasy tropes and his view that the way in which the story is told is more important than avoiding cliches.
Sumner-Smith, Karina: Disaster, Worry, and the Unexpected Utility of Science Fiction
Towers Trilogy author Karina Sumner-Smith discusses preparing for the zombie apocalypse—and how stories focusing on “what if” can be an aid to practice and planning.
Sumner-Smith, Karina: What Happened to Hope and Wonder in Science Fiction?
Karina Sumner-Smith, author of Radiant and the Nebula-nominated story “An End to All Things,” discusses the oft-asked question of “What happened to hope and wonder in science fiction?” for Sci-Fi November 2014.
Tettensor, E. L.
E. L. Tettensor, author of the Nicolas Lenoir books, shared some thoughts on antiheroes as part of the Master of Plagues blog tour.
Freda Warrington, author of The Blood Wine Sequence, discusses the long-lasting appeal and history of vampire fiction.
Martha Wells, author of the Nebula-nominated novel The Death of the Necromancer, Wheel of the Infinite, The Cloud Roads, and much more, recommended some older science fiction books for Sci-Fi November 2014.
Williams, Sandy: Sandy’s Favorite Scenes From The Shattered Dark
Sandy Williams, author of the Shadow Reader trilogy, shared her favorite scenes from the second book once the final book in her series was in bookstores.
Williams, Sandy: Three Things I Learned About Map Making
The author of the Shadow Reader series discusses her love of maps and her experience with getting one included in The Shattered Dark as part of the blog tour for this book.
Guest Posts by Bloggers
Ana and Thea from The Book Smugglers: Guest Review of Melusine
Ana and Thea, who run one of my favorite review sites The Book Smugglers, have a regular feature called Guest Dares, in which they dare someone to read a book. They dared me to read the first book in one of Thea’s favorite series, Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison. In return, I dared them to read the first book in one of my favorite series, Melusine by Sarah Monette.
Ana and Thea from The Book Smugglers: The Education of Edward Cullen
During the week I left to get married in Las Vegas, I asked a few people if they would write a short story about some characters getting into trouble in Las Vegas. Ana and Thea, who run one of my favorite review sites The Book Smugglers, wrote this story called “The Education of Edward Cullen.” It is about what would happen if Edward Cullen from Twilight was sent to Vegas to undergo some behavior modification treatment under the tutelage of five literary leading men (Rhett Butler, James Bond, Batman, Sirius Black, and Dracula). It’s hilarious – you want to read it.
Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2012 Guest Posts
Ana and Thea from The Book Smugglers
Ana and Thea from The Book Smugglers discussed the issue of female agency in fiction and recommended some science fiction and fantasy book containing female characters with agency.
Angie from Angieville
Angie from Angieville discussed her lifelong love of books and recommended some favorite lesser known science fiction and fantasy books written by women, ranging from older SFF to newer SFF.
Catherine Asaro talked about how science fiction can inspire young people – and has inspired some, including herself – to pursue careers in science and mathematics.
The award-winning science fiction and fantasy author of the Edda of Burdens trilogy, Jenny Casey trilogy, Jacob’s Ladder trilogy, and much more talked about how to support women writing science fiction.
The award-winning fantasy author of the Song of the Beast and the Collegia Magica novels discussed the development of her characters in the Books of the Rai-kirah series.
Dellamonica, A. M.
The author of Indigo Springs and Blue Magic discussed the topic of women and the law, which she often writes about in her fantasy stories.
The author of the Spiritwalker books (including Cold Fire, one of my favorites!) discussed her personal experience with growing up as a girl and how it’s influenced her writing.
The author of the Nightrunner and Tamir series discussed the subject of writing women who are involved in warfare in her fantasy books.
The author of Miserere: An Autumn Tale discussed writing dark fantasy with female characters, including villains.
Janice from Janicu’s Book Blog
Janice from Janicu’s Book Blog (also on LiveJournal) recommended some favorite female authors writing science fiction and gave a good summary of the books they have each written.
Jemisin, N. K.
The author of the Inheritance and Dreamblood books wrote a personal, well-written article that looked at the day she discovered a book with both a unicorn and a boy on the cover – and how it changed the way she thought about “girliness.”
Jessica from Sci-Fi Fan Letter
Jessica from Sci-Fi Fan Letter talked about expanding one’s reading horizons – getting outside one’s comfort zone and not judging books by the categories they happen to fall into.
The award-winning science fiction author (who also writes YA fantasy as Anna Kendall) shared some insights on women in science fiction and fantasy, including some research she did on the gender breakdown of members of the SFWA.
The 2012 Campbell Award finalist who wrote Of Blood and Honey and And Blue Skies From Pain discusses blending real-world events with fantasy.
Moore, Moira J.
The author of Resenting the Hero and the rest of the books in the Heroes series talked about the thought she put into writing a world without gender imbalance in her series.
Pamela from The Discriminating Fangirl
Pamela from The Discriminating Fangirl talked about two of her favorite authors of urban fantasy, Seanan McGuire and Ann Aguirre, and why she loves their books so much.
Sarah from Bookworm Blues
Sarah from Bookworm Blues talked about her thoughts on the issue of women in science fiction and fantasy and how it relates to her as the mother of a daughter she’d like to grow up to be a reader.
Shara from Calico Reaction
Shara from Calico Reaction (WordPress | LiveJournal) elaborated on why she feverishly pursued science fiction written by women and recommended some of the great finds she discovered in the process.
The author of the Raine Benares series discussed the importance of perseverance when writing.
Nebula nominee Martha Wells wrote about Raksura culture and gender roles from her books The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea.
Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2013 Guest Posts
The renowned fantasy author discussed how women writing fantasy have had high sales in the last decade, except for those writing epic fantasy.
The author of Warchild shares a common assumption people make upon hearing she is an author: that she either writes romance or children’s books.
Lane Robins, author of Maledicte and the Shadows Inquiries series, shares the three heroines who influenced her development of Sylvie.
The author of a great number of fantasy and science fiction books, including the Inda series and Crown Duel, discusses women in fandom.
Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2014 Guest Posts
Fantasy author Katherine Addison examines the women in Lord of the Rings and default-male thinking in fantasy.
Science fiction and fantasy author Rachel Bach discusses love in science fiction with a focus on why she wrote the Paradox trilogy, a series with both SF action and romance.
Beth Bernobich, author of the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award-winning novel Passion Play and more, discusses the invisibility of women in science fiction and fantasy.
Brennan, M. L.
M. L. Brennan, author of Generation V and Iron Night, discusses how more people seem baffled by her writing from the viewpoint of a male protagonist than a non-human one.
International bestselling fantasy author Trudi Canavan discusses the high percentage of women writing fantasy in Australia, theorizes on why that might be the case, and lists some Australian authors.
Chima, Cinda Williams
New York Times bestselling fantasy author Cinda Williams Chima discusses women in speculative fiction by sharing some of her own experiences as a reader, fan, and writer of SFF.
Storm Constantine, author of the Wraeththu books and many more novels and stories, discusses the craft of writing.
Friedman, C. S.
Science fiction and fantasy author C. S. Friedman discusses beginning her career without revealing her gender and the reason many told her they figured she was a male author before realizing she was a woman.
Ginn Hale, author of Lord of the White Hell, Lambda Award finalist/Spectrum Award winner Wicked Gentlemen and more, discusses being told she “writes like a man” and to what degree gender plays a role in how an author’s work is received.
Award-winning young adult science fiction and fantasy author Karen Healey discusses how her teaching and her books intersect to encourage young women to explore questions about their world.
Alex Hughes, author of the Mindspace Investigations series, shares her top 10 favorite female authors of science fiction.
Ish, Barbara Friend
Fantasy author and speculative fiction editor Barbara Friend Ish reflects on the feeling that she is doing feminism wrong as a writer.
Jordan, Paula S.
Science fiction author Paula S. Jordan discusses her inspirations and influences in developing aliens in science fiction—both the planetary environments and the effect first contact has on the individual characters.
Anne Lyle, author of the Night’s Masque trilogy, discusses being a scientist who incorporates science into her fantasy instead of writing science fiction.
Moyer, Jaime Lee
Fantasy and science fiction author and poet Jaime Lee Moyer discusses her experiences as a reader of science fiction and fantasy and women writing in genre.
Steampunk, fantasy, and horror author Dru Pagliassotti discusses the influence fantasy novels she read growing up had on her and writing her first female protagonist in Clockwork Heart after reading and writing many stories about boys.
Renay from Lady Business
Renay from Lady Business unveiled the list of over 800 favorite SFF books written by women submitted during April 2013.
Ross, Deborah J.
Science fiction and fantasy author/editor Deborah J. Ross discussed the heroic women in her epic fantasy trilogy, The Seven-Petaled Shield.
Science fiction author Stephanie Saulter discusses use of gender in her novel Gemsigns and rewriting narratives.
Science fiction writer, poetry editor, and filmmaker Romie Stott discusses biology as a feminine science and how that impacts its use in science fiction.
Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2015 Guest Posts
Genevieve Cogman (The Invisible Library) discussed female characters in fantasy and science fiction.
Science fiction and fantasy author Brenda Cooper shared some of her favorite women science fiction authors.
Alison Croggon (Aurealis nominee The Gift/The Naming, Black Spring) shared some thoughts on the Guardian article on the triumph of fantasy that led to #womenwritefantasy.
de Bodard, Aliette
Nebula Award-winning author Aliette de Bodard (The House of Shattered Wings, Obsidian and Blood, On a Red Station, Drifting) discussed ignored narratives in fiction and what she learned about them from the women in Dorothy Dunnett’s The Game of Kings.
New York Times bestselling YA fantasy author Rachel Hartman shared her process for developing the gender system in Shadow Scale.
Jensen, Danielle L.
YA fantasy author Danielle L. Jensen (Stolen Songbird, Hidden Huntress) discussed how differences between YA and adult epic fantasy readership may account for greater visibility and sales for women writing YA epic fantasy.
Liu, Marjorie M.
New York Times bestselling novelist and comic books writer Marjorie M. Liu shared what it’s like to be a woman in comics and recommended some comic books created by women.
Karen Miller (The Falcon Throne, Godspeaker, Fisherman’s Children) shared some of the awesome women writers she’s read—including one with books so absorbing that not even a fire could pull her away from them!
Fantasy author Nicole Peeler (Jinn and Juice, Jane True series) shared which fictional character she wanted to be when she grew up.
Leah Petersen (The Physics of Falling trilogy) discussed writing fantasy and science fiction with depression.
Renay from Lady Business
Renay from Lady Business discussed working for ongoing representation and requested recommendation lists of five women (and announced that the 2014 recommendation list had been updated!).
New York Times bestselling author Michelle Sagara (The Chronicles of Elantra, The House War) examined the phrase “I don’t write romance.”
Nebula nominee Karina Sumner-Smith (“An End to All Things,” Towers Trilogy) discussed some people’s refusal to read books by women based on assumptions about their writing.
Tiara from The BiblioSanctum
Tiara, who blogs at The BiblioSanctum and DigitalTempest.net, discussed her lifelong love of science fiction and reviewed The Feminine Future: Early Science Fiction by Women Writers.
Award-winning science fiction and fantasy author Genevieve Valentine discussed the influence of Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.
Wise, A. C.
Short fiction writer A. C. Wise (The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again) highlighted some incredible recent or soon-to-be released debut novels by women.
Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2016 Guest Posts
Anders, Charlie Jane
Author and io9.com editor-in-chief Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky, “Six Months, Three Days”) disagreed with Yoda and discussed the vital role anger plays in story creation, character development, and worldbuilding.
Bigelow, Susan Jane
Author Susan Jane Bigelow (The Extrahuman Union, Grayline Sisters) discusses the difficulty of finding SFF with older women as protagonists and shares some books she’s enjoyed that do feature them.
The Cold Between author Elizabeth Bonesteel discussed the joy of fighting stereotypes when writing characters.
Author Stephanie Burgis (Kat, Incorrigible; Masks and Shadows) thanked the women who showed her the way into the field of fantasy and science fiction.
Author Beth Cato (Clockwork Dagger, Breath of Earth) discussed the difficulty she had in finding a healer heroine—and how it led her to write one, busting the trope of the weakling female healer with inspiration from World War I front line nurses, in her Clockwork Dagger books.
Author and editor Zen Cho (Sorcerer to the Crown, Spirits Abroad) discussed her path to learning to write women like herself as characters.
Author and Strange Charm reviewer Rachel Cotterill (Watersmeet, Chronicles of Charanthe) analyzed idealism and realism of representation in SFF and several books that explore social issues through both approaches.
Gilman, Laura Anne
Nebula-nominated author Laura Anne Gilman (Vineart War, Silver on the Road) discussed the influence of her father in her writing and how understanding where we come from helps shape worlds.
Joanna from Strange Charm
Strange Charm blogger Joanna examined the tomboy princess trope using examples from her bookshelf, including Deerskin by Robin McKinley, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, and more.
Award-winning author Laura Lam (Micah Grey) discussed the women in her science fiction thriller False Hearts: “a book about women and the fraught, nuanced, interpersonal connections between them.”
Author Fonda Lee (Zeroboxer) discussed her decision to write under a female name despite being told she should consider a male or gender neutral pen name due to writing “boy books.”
Lisa from Tenacious Reader
Tenacious Reader blogger Lisa discussed celebrating and encouraging women, submissions statistics, and some women writing wonderful epic/high/historical fantasy, horror, and science fiction.
The Wall of Night author Helen Lowe discussed women in leadership roles in fantasy fiction and how her own heroine Malian of Night fit into their tradition.
Myer, Ilana C.
Last Song Before Night author Ilana C. Myer discussed worldbuilding and the depth adding a religious system brought to her novel.
Author and podcaster Emma Newman (Split Worlds, Planetfall, Tea & Jeopardy) discussed discovering that the 18th century attitudes about women in her books were more applicable to today than she’d realized.
Renay from Lady Business
Renay (Lady Business) opened this year’s series with a discussion of gender resulting from her challenge to read 100 unique women writers this year—and shared the updated recommendation list including submissions from 2015!
Author Kari Sperring (Living with Ghosts, The Grass King’s Concubine) shared why Justina Robson’s Quantum Gravity series matters when discussing women in science fiction and fantasy: “This is an important series, a brilliant series, which cuts to the heart of what is wrong with a world that tells women to work and be nice and run households and be kind and be ambitious but know our place.”
Author and award-winning artist Janny Wurts (Wars of Light and Shadow, To Ride Hell’s Chasm) wondered if mainstream success is selling out imagination in SFF in favor of apocalyptic cynicism.