Guest Posts & Interviews


Bear, Elizabeth
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.

Carey, Jacqueline
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.

Carriger, Gail
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.

Czerneda, Julie
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.

Frohock, Teresa
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.”

Hale, Ginn
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.

Resnick, Laura
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.

Schafer, Courtney
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

Addison, Katherine: Why Jack the Ripper?
The Goblin Emperor author Katherine Addison discussed Jack the Ripper, who appears in her fantasy novel The Angel of the Crows.

Aguirre, Ann
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.

Bernobich, Beth
Beth Bernobich, author of the River of Souls series, discussed quiet moments in epic fantasy and books that incorporate these well.

Brennan, Marie
Fantasy author Marie Brennan (Memoirs of Lady Trent, Onyx Court) discussed five mythological creatures that should appear in fantasy fiction more often.

Chepaitis, Barbara
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.

Constantine, Storm
Science fiction and fantasy author Storm Constantine discusses the inspiration for the Wraeththu.

Cooper, Brenda
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.

Czerneda, Julie
Science fiction/fantasy author and editor Julie Czerneda discussed moving in the midst of book deadlines for the Future Past Tour celebrating the release of The Gate to Futures Past.

Daniells, Rowena Cory
The author of the best selling King Rolen’s Kin trilogy lets us see what goes on inside writers’ heads.

Forna, Namina: The Importance of Feminist Boys in YA Literature
The Gilded Ones author Namina Forna discussed the impact of portrayals of boys in stories with examples from books and film (including the love interest in her debut novel).

Frohock, T.
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
Max Gladstone, author of Three Parts Dead and Two Serpents Rise, shared some science fiction reading advice as part of Sci-Fi Month hosted by Rinn Reads.

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.

Gornichec, Genevieve: Worldbuilding the Past: A Fantastical Viking Age
The Witch and the Weaver author Genevieve Gornichec discussed the questions she considered when creating the setting for her historical fantasy novel featuring Gunnhild, a Norwegian queen during the tenth century.

Hansen, Essa: Creating Belonging While Finding Family
The Graven trilogy author Essa Hansen discussed her love of found family and incorporating it into the science fiction books in her series (and gave a few recommendations for more science fiction stories with found families!).

Hieber, Leanna Renee: Penny Dreadful‘s Betrayal and the Complexity of Feminism in the Gothic Tradition (2016)
Prism Award–winning author Leanna Renee Hieber discussed the choices made in Penny Dreadful and the complexity of feminism in the Gothic tradition.

Hieber, Leanna Renee: Time Immemorial Cover Reveal (2021)
As part of the cover reveal of the three Time Immemorial novellas, Leanna Renee Hieber discussed the creation of the character Elizabeth Marlowe and shared character concept photos from some of her different timelines.

Hieber, Leanna Renee: Ghosts of the Forbidden Cover Reveal (2022)
Prism Award–winning author Leanna Renee Hieber discussed her book Ghosts of the Forbidden, the first contemporary Gothic romance novel in the Glazier’s Gap line of fiction, with the reveal of its cover and “women running from houses” step-back cover.

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.

Hughes, Alex
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.

James, Bascomb
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.

Kennedy, Jeffe
The Promised Queen author Jeffe Kennedy discussed there being times career authors need to reinvent themselves and the illusion of “making it” as an author.

Kim, Sophie
Last of the Talons author Sophie Kim discussed the duality of the protagonist in her YA fantasy debut novel.

McGuire, Seanan
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.

Neumeier, Rachel
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.

Nevitt, Tia
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.

Novik, Naomi
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.

Sandler, Karen
Tankborn trilogy author Karen Sandler shared some insight into adapting scenes from her novels for television and discussed the short film Recombined, a screenplay that is also based on the world of her YA science fiction series.

Saulter, Stephanie
Science fiction author Stephanie Saulter (Gemsigns, Binary) discussed violence in fiction with a focus on its prevalence in genre/science fiction.

Schafer, Courtney
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.

Tidhar, Lavie: “Another Science Fiction”
Neom author Lavie Tidhar discussed his Central Station universe and wanting to write something different from the American science fiction that he loves, a novel where “nothing happens” and no lone action hero has to save any worlds.

Tsai, Mia: “The Case for Aftermaths”
Bitter Medicine author Mia Tsai discussed her love of aftermaths and exploring what happens after the characters have been through the climactic, traumatic events of the story.

Warrington, Freda
Freda Warrington, author of The Blood Wine Sequence, discusses the long-lasting appeal and history of vampire fiction.

Wells, Martha
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.

Yolen, Jane
Nebula and World Fantasy Award–winning author Jane Yolen discussed romance and love stories for the release of her romantic fantasy short story collection The Scarlet Circus.

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.

Asaro, Catherine
Catherine Asaro talked about how science fiction can inspire young people – and has inspired some, including herself – to pursue careers in science and mathematics.

Bear, Elizabeth
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.

Berg, Carol
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.

Elliott, Kate
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.

Flewelling, Lynn
The author of the Nightrunner and Tamir series discussed the subject of writing women who are involved in warfare in her fantasy books.

Frohock, Teresa
The author of Miserere: An Autumn Tale discussed writing dark fantasy with female characters, including villains.

Ian Sales from SF Mistressworks
Ian Sales, curator of SF Mistressworks, talked about why he started this site dedicated to reviewing science fiction books written by women.

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 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 Read React Review
Jessica from Read React Review started the event with a thoughtful post on women in fiction by discussing the definition of the term ‘woman.’

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.

Kenda from Lurv a la Mode
Kenda from Lurv a la Mode discussed how Seanan McGuire’s October Daye books made her more willing to read books about a fantasy element she used to avoid.

Kress, Nancy
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.

Kristin from My Bookish Ways
Kristin of My Bookish Ways shared a list of her five favorite female authors of science fiction and fantasy.

Leicht, Stina
The 2012 Campbell Award finalist who wrote Of Blood and Honey and And Blue Skies From Pain discusses blending real-world events with fantasy.

Lisa from Starmetal Oak Reviews
Lisa from Starmetal Oak Reviews recommended four of her favorite SFF books by women that she thinks deserve more readers.

Memory from Stella Matutina
Memory from Stella Matutina shared how two women made her into a fan of the fantasy genre.

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.

Shearin, Lisa
The author of the Raine Benares series discussed the importance of perseverance when writing.

Wells, Martha
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

Carey, Jacqueline
The renowned fantasy author discussed how women writing fantasy have had high sales in the last decade, except for those writing epic fantasy.

Lowachee, Karin
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.

Renay from Lady Business
Renay from Lady Business shares her experiences with discovering science fiction and fantasy and her lack of exposure to books written by women in the genre.

Robins, Lane
Lane Robins, author of Maledicte and the Shadows Inquiries series, shares the three heroines who influenced her development of Sylvie.

Smith, Sherwood
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

Addison, Katherine
Fantasy author Katherine Addison examines the women in Lord of the Rings and default-male thinking in fantasy.

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings discusses the books that played a major role in her enthusiasm for science fiction and fantasy—especially dragons!

Bach, Rachel
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.

Bernobich, Beth
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.

Canavan, Trudi
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.

Chachic from Chachic’s Book Nook
Chachic from Chachic’s Book Nook shares some of her favorite fantasy and science fiction books with great romances.

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.

Constantine, Storm
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.

Grace from Books Without Any Pictures
Grace from Books Without Any Pictures recommended five recent speculative fiction books by women.

Hale, Ginn
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.

Healey, Karen
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.

Heather from The Galaxy Express
Heather from The Galaxy Express shares her love of science fiction romance by discussing what the genre has to offer and recommending a variety of books.

Hughes, Alex
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.

Keri from Feminist Fantasy
Keri talks about why she started Feminist Fantasy and recommends some feminist-friendly fantasy favorites.

Khanh from The Book Nookery
Khanh from The Book Nookery discusses her love of dragons and how it began with books by Patricia Wrede and Anne McCaffrey.

Lyle, Anne
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.

Pagliassotti, Dru
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.

Rinn from Rinn Reads
Rinn, the organizer of Sci-Fi Month hosted at her blog Rinn Reads, discusses the portrayal of women in science fiction and fantasy.

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.

Saulter, Stephanie
Science fiction author Stephanie Saulter discusses use of gender in her novel Gemsigns and rewriting narratives.

Stott, Romie
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

Cecily from Manic Pixie Dream Worlds
Cecily from Manic Pixie Dream Worlds shared a dozen truly great female protagonists from science fiction and fantasy written by women.

Cogman, Genevieve
Genevieve Cogman (The Invisible Library) discussed female characters in fantasy and science fiction.

Cooper, Brenda
Science fiction and fantasy author Brenda Cooper shared some of her favorite women science fiction authors.

Croggon, Alison
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.

Hartman, Rachel
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.

Kelley from Oh, the Books!
Kelley from Oh, the Books! wondered if young adult science fiction book covers were different when authored by a woman.

Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow
Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow shares some of her favorite SFF-related review sites, blogs, and podcasts run by women.

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.

Memory from In the Forest of Stories
Memory (In the Forest of Stories) shared twelve of her favorite women comic creators.

Mieneke from A Fantastical Librarian
Mieneke from the World Fantasy-nominated site A Fantastical Librarian discussed the representation of mature women in fantasy fiction.

Miller, Karen
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!

Peeler, Nicole
Fantasy author Nicole Peeler (Jinn and Juice, Jane True series) shared which fictional character she wanted to be when she grew up.

Petersen, Leah
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!).

Sagara, Michelle
New York Times bestselling author Michelle Sagara (The Chronicles of Elantra, The House War) examined the phrase “I don’t write romance.”

Sumner-Smith, Karina
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, discussed her lifelong love of science fiction and reviewed The Feminine Future: Early Science Fiction by Women Writers.

Valentine, Genevieve
Award-winning science fiction and fantasy author Genevieve Valentine discussed the influence of Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness.

Wendy from The BiblioSanctum
Wendy from The BiblioSanctum,, and Women Write About Comics discussed her quest for more insight into the mind of Octavia Butler.

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 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.

Bonesteel, Elizabeth
The Cold Between author Elizabeth Bonesteel discussed the joy of fighting stereotypes when writing characters.

Burgis, Stephanie
Author Stephanie Burgis (Kat, Incorrigible; Masks and Shadows) thanked the women who showed her the way into the field of fantasy and science fiction.

Cato, Beth
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.

Cho, Zen
Author and editor Zen Cho (Sorcerer to the Crown, Spirits Abroad) discussed her path to learning to write women like herself as characters.

Cotterill, Rachel
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.

Dina from SFF Book Reviews
Dina (SFF Book Reviews) discussed her experience with reading challenges and some of her favorite underread female authors discovered through them.

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.

Lam, Laura
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.”

Lee, Fonda
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.”

Letourneau, Sara
Writer and blogger Sara Letourneau shared some of her favorite fantasy heroines with great inner strength.

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.

Lowe, Helen
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.

Newman, Emma
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!

Sperring, Kari
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.”

Wurts, Janny
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.

Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2017 Guest Posts

Arden, Katherine
Fantasy author Katherine Arden (The Bear and the Nightingale) discussed heroines—realizing they didn’t really do anything in the older books she read, discovering that modern heroines are often too perfect, and finding the balance between writing a remarkable heroine and a paragon in her own first novel.

Ash, Sarah
Fantasy author Sarah Ash (The Tears of Artamon, Tide Dragons, Songspinners) delved into the subject of grandmothers: archetypes, witches (including well-written ones like Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld), her own characters, and more!

Carriger, Gail
New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate, Finishing School, Custard Protocol) discussed being asked why she includes queer characters in her stories—and that it never occurred to her not to write them because of Mercedes Lackey’s books.

Choo, Yangsze
New York Times bestselling author Yangsze Choo (The Ghost Bride) shared that her stories often begin with inspiration from old buildings—and also shared a little bit about her second novel, The Night Tiger, and the house she remembered when writing it.

Chupeco, Rin
YA fantasy/horror author Rin Chupeco (The Bone Witch, The Girl from the Well, The Suffering) discussed changing the definition of “strong” heroines and the importance of stories featuring flawed heroines.

Clarke, Cassandra Rose
Fantasy and science fiction author Cassandra Rose Clarke (Star’s End, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, Magic of Blood and Sea) shared her early reading experiences and how her discovery of characters like Meg Murray, Dana Scully, and Padmé Amidala first sparked her interest in SFF.

Danya from Fine Print
Danya of Fine Print analyzed the representation of menstruation in fantasy fiction and its common roles in stories in those rare cases when it is included, featuring examples from Jacqueline Carey’s Miranda and Caliban, Kristin Cashore’s Fire, and Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small quartet.

Eichner, Maureen
Maureen Eichner of By Singing Light shared her early experiences with reading fantasy—and how six women shaped her understanding of the genre.

Frohock, T.
Fantasy author T. Frohock (Los Nefilim, Miserere: An Autumn Tale) wrote a tribute to Tanith Lee, an author she said “changed the way I saw the world,” with a focus on her short fiction of which she was particularly fond.

Hieber, Leanna Renee
Four time Prism Award-winning author Leanna Renee Hieber (Strangely Beautiful, Perilous Prophecy, The Eterna Files) discussed Gothic fiction and women’s portrayal within it, including examples from older literature, her own stories, and modern work.

Higgins, C. A.
Author C. A. Higgins (Lightless trilogy) shared about her process of writing Constance in Supernova: wanting to create a largely unsympathetic heroine and discovering how to make her climactic scene work.

Howard, Kat
World Fantasy Award-nominated author Kat Howard (Roses and Rot, An Unkindness of Magicians) discussed being asked why there are so many women in her stories—and her answer to this question.

Hunter, Sylvia Izzo
Fantasy author Sylvia Izzo Hunter (The Midnight Queen, Lady of Magick, A Season of Spells) shared how fanfiction helped her hone her skills and gain self-confidence—and, ultimately, made her a better writer.

Jae-Jones, S.
New York Times bestselling author S. Jae-Jones (Wintersong) wrote a personal essay titled “The Albatross” about identity and writing, which focuses on being an American of Asian descent whose fantasy novel does not contain overtly Asian elements.

McKinney, Bridget
Bridget McKinney of the Hugo-nominated site SF Bluestocking discussed the incredible work women are currently producing in speculative fiction and ten books that may offer some hope.

Renay from Lady Business
Renay of the Hugo-nominated site Lady Business began the 2017 series with a discussion of the continued relevance of Joanna Russ’ How to Suppress Women’s Writing almost 35 years after its publication.

Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
Hugo Award-winning author and editor Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Retrieval Artist, Diving Universe, The Fey) discussed the importance of representation and the teaching experience that culminated in her editing Women of Futures Past—and the changes she’s seen in science fiction, particularly anthologies and best-of collections, in recent years.

Shawl, Nisi
Tiptree Award-winning author Nisi Shawl wrote about women and age in speculative fiction: “We are it.  This, more than anything else, is the connection I want everyone to make between old women and speculative fiction: equivalence.  Identity.  Like all humans we face the unknown every day; unlike most humans, we know that.”

Turner, Megan Whalen
New York Times bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner shared how her local bookstore highlighted books by women during Women’s History Month and discussed the importance of Discovery: “I believe that Discovery, the process of finding books and authors that are new, is the most important aspect of increasing diversity in publishing.”

Wilde, Fran
Award-winning author Fran Wilde (Bone Universe, “The Jewel and Her Lapidary”) discussed shifting perspectives in books within a series, both in general and within Updraft, Cloudbound, and Horizon. She also asked the authors of some of her own favorite series to share their reasons: N. K. Jemisin (in her Inheritance trilogy), Aliette de Bodard (in her Dominion of the Fallen novels), and Elizabeth Bear (in her Edda of Burdens trilogy).

Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2018 Guest Posts

Aguirre, Ann
Sirantha Jax author Ann Aguirre shared some of her experiences as a new writer in the science fiction/fantasy community and examined progress for women writing SFF since the publication of her debut novel ten years ago (with input from SFF authors Ilona Andrews and Piper J. Drake).

Caruso, Melissa — “Fighting in Ballgowns”
Swords and Fire author Melissa Caruso discussed badassery in fancy dresses, including how she had loved seeing swords and gowns together since she was a child—and later learned through firsthand experience that swordfighting and ballgowns actually can work very well together!

Fan, Mary — “Not the Main Character, Not the Sidekick”
Jane Colt author Mary Fan examined writing a secondary female character without making her a sidekick to the male protagonist in her dark YA fantasy novel Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil.

Khan, Ausma Zehanat — “The Companions of Hira”
Khorasan Archives author Ausma Zehanat Khan wrote about the main theme in her fantasy series—the power and agency of women—and the historical and present-day inspirations for the Companions of Hira, a group comprised entirely of women.

Kuang, R.F. — “Be a Bitch, Eat the Peach”
The Poppy War author R.F. Kuang examined the lesson that the Chinese legend of the Moon Lady teaches girls and discussed her love of Azula (from Avatar: The Last Airbender) with all her ambition and rage.

Miller, Rowenna — “Women and the Authenticity Falsehood in Fantasy”
Torn author Rowenna Miller discussed the false perception that writing strong, empowered, diverse women in fantasy fiction clashes with historical “authenticity.”

Morris, Cass — “Historical Resonance”
From Unseen Fire author Cass Morris examined melding history with fantasy and the timelessness of similar questions that consistently crop up time and again—and having had no idea just how resonant the themes she wrote in 2011 would become a few years later during the 2016 US election cycle.

Ng, Jeannette — “An Incomplete Taxonomy of Fairies, with examples”
Under the Pendulum Sun author Jeannette Ng presented an overview of the field of fairy lore, including examination of fairies as Other, people, predators and parasites, abstract concepts, and mirrors.

North, Claire — “Strong Women!”
The Sudden Appearance of Hope author Claire North shared some thoughts on Strong Women—including that this type of character is needed but also that there need to be new conversations about the meaning of the term, which too often seems to restrict characters to being strong in certain ways without allowing them to also be vulnerable or complex.

Renay from Lady Business
Renay (Lady Business, Fangirl Happy Hour) opened the 2018 Women in SF&F Month series with a discussion of her reading as continuing education and described how she uses reading challenges to discover more voices.

Shepherd, Peng — “The Time-Traveling Book That Made Me Love SFF”
The Book of M author Peng Shepherd shared the story of the novel that first kindled her love of SFF and introduced her to the magic of books—literally!

Wilkins, Kim — “Princess Leia and Beyond”
The Infernal author Kim Wilkins discussed her early experiences with SFF, her first time writing epic fantasy, and wanting stories with a variety of complex women—such as those in her novel Daughters of the Storm.

Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2019 Guest Posts

All Guest Posts from April 2019

Azad, Nafiza — “The Strong Woman: Politics of Feminine Power in THE CANDLE AND THE FLAME”
The Candle and the Flame author Nafiza Azad wrote about intersectional feminism and the many ways in which the women in her first novel express feminine strength.

Cordasco, Rachel — “The Women of International SFF”
Editor, reviewer, and translator Rachel Cordasco (Speculative Fiction in Translation) discussed women writing and translating international speculative fiction, including their work with collections, novels, and individual short stories.

Daud, Somaiya — “Ideologies of Space”
Mirage author Somaiya Daud wrote about the genre of futurisms and addressed a common question about her Moroccan-inspired science fiction novel: Why are they in space?

Faizal, Hafsah
We Hunt the Flame author Hafsah Faizal shared how she came to understand why she incorporated the girl disguised as a boy trope into her debut novel after her choice to do so was questioned in a way that felt wrong: “Isn’t it ironic that Zafira struggles with her gender-obscuring cloak while the author herself is covered?”

Fitzgerald, Elizabeth — “Faerie YA and Valentine”
Elizabeth Fitzgerald (Earl Grey Editing, The Skiffy and Fanty Show) discussed her love of faerie YA and why she’s especially fond of Jodi McAlister’s Valentine series, particularly its inclusion of consent, diverse characters, and healthy relationships.

Glass, Jenna
The Women’s War author Jenna Glass shared some favorite books with wonderful heroines and why she appreciates these particular characters.

Gratton, Tessa — “Death and the Fantasist”
The Queens of Innis Lear author Tessa Gratton wrote about her mother’s passing and her grief, her mother’s influence, moms in her books, and her novel Lady Hotspur (coming January 7, 2020) being largely about her own relationship with her mother. (I recommend having some tissues on hand for this one!)

Harrow, Alix E. — “My Mother’s Sword”
The Ten Thousand Doors of January author Alix E. Harrow discussed the gift her mother gave her by sharing books in which women told their own stories.

Hawke, Sam — “The Sewing Test”
City of Lies author Sam Hawke discussed her sewing test for the portrayal of female characters in books—and why she created her character Kalina, who cannot fight due to chronic illness, despite her own lifelong love of fighting.

Huang, SL — “Being a Woman”
Zero Sum Game author SL Huang shared how she used to feel out of place as a woman and how some of the criticism of “strong female characters” in media made her feel uncomfortable with wanting to see women like herself represented.

Lostetter, Marina J. — “Learning to Feel the Shape of Stories”
Noumenon author Marina J. Lostetter examined the complications of writing advice and her journey as a writer.

Martine, Arkady
A Memory Called Empire author Arkady Martine discussed motherhood—including motherhood narratives in science fiction and creating her own through the character Five Agate.

Mihalik, Jessie — “On Writing and Reading Science Fiction Romance”
Polaris Rising author Jessie Mihalik shared her experience writing science fiction romance and discussed the appeal of cross-genre books.

Renay from Lady Business
Renay (Lady Business, Fangirl Happy Hour) opened Women in SF&F Month 2019 with a discussion of history, SFF fandom, and lists, and she also introduced the recommended SFF books by women list with 2018’s submissions.

Sara from The Fantasy Inn — “The Many Strengths of Female Characters in Fantasy”
Sara (The Fantasy Inn) discussed her love for heroines with compassion, inner strength, and quiet courage, and she shared some thoughts on female characters from The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher, City of Lies by Sam Hawke, The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb, The Dragon Prince, and Game of Thrones.

Shannon, Samantha
Fantasy author Samantha Shannon shared the stories behind three of the smaller details in the epic fantasy world of The Priory of the Orange Tree.

Singh, Nalini — “Wonder and Freedom”
Psy-Changeling author Nalini Singh discussed her love of reading and writing speculative fiction, a genre filled with wonder and the freedom to explore.

Suri, Tasha
Empire of Sand author Tasha Suri examined fairy tales—particularly their obsession with feet and gendered punishments—and shared how fairy tales and Indian classical dance inspired the magic system in her debut novel.

Teerdhala, Swati — “The Unlikeable Heroine”
The Tiger at Midnight author Swati Teerdhala wrote an homage to “unlikeable” heroines such as Sansa Stark, a character she admired and felt was real, and discussed her initial concern that her own heroine, who seeks revenge for her family’s murder, needed to be “likeable.”

Wilde, Fran — “Six Favorite Fictional Librarian Heroines”
The Fire Opal Mechanism author Fran Wilde discussed her appreciation for librarians and her love of stories featuring them—and shared six of her own favorite fictional librarian heroines.

Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2020 Guest Posts

All Guest Posts from April 2020

Amayo, Reni K — “Why We Should All Know More About African Mythology”
Onwe Press co-founder and Daughters of Nri author Reni K Amayo wrote about the importance of myths and what we can learn from them.

Brissett, Jennifer Marie — “The Sophomore Book”
Elysium author Jennifer Marie Brissett discussed working on her second novel, Destroyer of Light, and the experience and pressures of writing the sophomore book.

CW from The Quiet Pond
CW shared about her journey as an artist and how it tied into her journey with mental health in the story of how her fantasy-themed book blog, The Quiet Pond, and its first animal caretaker(s) came to be.

Estep, Jennifer
Crown of Shards author Jennifer Estep discussed early influences on her writing, particularly how Leia not becoming a Jedi in the original Star Wars movie trilogy prompted her to write the fantasy stories she wanted to tell.

Ibañez, Isabel
Woven in Moonlight author Isabel Ibañez wrote about her love for the badass warrior girl trend in YA fantasy but also wondered if depictions of other types of strength and multi-talented characters are getting left behind.

Kennedy, Jeffe
Forgotten Empires author Jeffe Kennedy discussed being a writer whose cross-genre work was accepted and published as romance before also being recognized as fantasy—and what surprised her when she started attending SFF conventions.

Kerr, Katharine — “What is Good Prose, Anyway?”
Deverry author Katharine Kerr proposed definitions for what constitutes “good” prose and “bad” prose.

Kirk, Robin — “Science Fiction and Human Rights”
The Bond author Robin Kirk discussed the power science fiction has to inspire and teaching a course on human rights with fiction, interviews, and/or talks by Ursula K. Le Guin, N. K. Jemisin, Octavia E. Butler, Nnedi Okorafor, and more.

Larkwood, A.K.
The Unspoken Name author A.K. Larkwood delved into why she wrote about a non-human protagonist in her debut novel.

Madson, Devin — “Perfectly Shallow Characters”
We Ride the Storm author Devin Madson discussed characters—including what can make them seem to lack depth, Messy Characters who do not conform to social ideals, and what the amazing characters she’s read lately have in common.

Mandanna, Sangu — “Creativity in the Time of Corona”
Celestial Trilogy author Sangu Mandanna shared about the difficulty of holding on to creativity in the midst of a global pandemic and discussed a few things that have helped get her creativity flowing again.

Skrutskie, Emily — “The Badass Mothers of SFF”
Bonds of Brass author Emily Skrutskie wrote about her fondness for badass moms as characters and some of her favorites in science fiction and fantasy.

Stewart, Andrea — “Happily Ever Aftermath”
The Bone Shard Daughter author Andrea Stewart discussed fairy tales and fiction, exploring what happens after a couple gets together, and writing an established relationship between two of the women in her debut epic fantasy novel.

Suvada, Emily — “On Heroes, Horror, and Hope”
This Mortal Coil author Emily Suvada explored the coronavirus pandemic—and the one thing that surprised her about it having authored a series that feels uncomfortably familiar at the moment—stories, community, and hope.

Thakrar, Shveta
Star Daughter author Shveta Thakrar discussed messages in fiction and examining internalized ideas about the path a story must take—and how and why the female friendship in her fantasy debut novel changed after early drafts.

Villoso, K.S.
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro author K.S. Villoso shared how her Chronicles of the Bitch Queen series sprung from the concept that Queen Talyien was a badass—and how being a badass went beyond her skill with a sword.

Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2021 Guest Posts

All Guest Posts from April 2021

Beaton, E. J. — “The Imperfection of Clever Women”
The Councillor author E. J. Beaton explored the question “How clever are women allowed to be in novels?” and discussed allowing intelligent fictional women to be messy and human and fallible.

Bovalino, Tori — “On the Amorphous Nature of Horror”
The Devil Makes Three author Tori Bovalino discussed the horror genre and horror elements in fantasy and science fiction.

Brown, Ashaye — “Fantasy as Lucid Dream”
Dream Country author Ashaye Brown explored the relationship between fantasy and dreams in an ode to imagination and creativity—and discussed why the fantasy genre does not deserve the derision often aimed its way.

Divya, S.B. — “Through the Eyes of Women”
Machinehood author S.B. Divya discussed questioning whether or not she should include a male protagonist in her science fiction debut novel upon realizing all three of her planned POV characters were women.

Duane, Diane
Middle Kingdoms and Young Wizards author Diane Duane discussed food and the role it can play in fantasy and science fiction worldbuilding.

Garcia, R.S.A. — “The Things I Love”
Lex Talionis author R.S.A. Garcia wrote about literature, film and television, and community—specifically, those things she loved that loved her back and had an impact on her.

Gong, Chloe — “The Mary Sue Club Is Still Taking Applicants”
These Violent Delights author Chloe Gong discussed the criticism many female characters in YA SFF receive for being “Mary Sues” and these types of characters still being necessary—especially after the We Need Diverse Books movement led to more books by authors of color being published.

Henderson, Alexis — “Writing Dark Fiction: An Exercise In Self-Acceptance”
The Year of the Witching author Alexis Henderson discussed how she came to write horror and her complicated kinship with it.

Hur, Angela Mi Young
Folklorn author Angela Mi Young Hur discussed weaving Korean folktales into her novel about “the inheritance of myth from parents and culture”—in particular, the inclusion of her ancestress Queen Heo Hwang-Ok, whose story she heard from her mother and now tells her daughter.

Kornher-Stace, Nicole
Archivist Wasp author Nicole Kornher-Stace discussed the double standard in the perception of men and women with the same asshole qualities and writing women who aren’t traditionally “nice” in her own books, including 2021 releases Firebreak and Jillian vs. Parasite Planet.

Kuhn, M. J.
Among Thieves author M. J. Kuhn discussed some of the subtler sexism that can make its way onto the page and fighting internalized misogyny when writing.

Long, H. M. — “Creativity in Crisis”
Hall of Smoke author H. M. Long wrote about her difficulties with writing after the pandemic hit and shared some of the things that helped her continue to create.

Smart, Ciannon — “Building an Empire”
Witches Steeped in Gold author Ciannon Smart shared how she came to create the Jamaican-inspired secondary world of her YA fantasy debut novel.

Wecker, Helene
The Golem and the Jinni author Helene Wecker shared how writing the sequel, The Hidden Palace, was more difficult than she’d expected and how thinking about the acts of Into the Woods helped her shape the dynamic between her main characters.

Whitten, Hannah
For the Wolf author Hannah Whitten discussed agency: how the first fantasy she loved, The Castle of Llyr, was also the first she read that gave the “princess” character agency and how choice and wanting are a big part of Red’s story in her own debut novel.

Wisoker, Leona — “Of Being So Damn Tired”
Children of the Desert author Leona Wisoker discussed Tove Jansson and what it meant to her that Moominmamma had a story arc about being so damn tired in one of the Moomin books.

Yu, E. Lily — “Four Godmothers”
On Fragile Waves author E. Lily Yu celebrated women in fantasy by discussing four authors whose work taught her about writing, giving her gifts like the wrong (but actually right) dreams and showing her the sorcery of language.

Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2022 Guest Posts

All Guest Posts from April 2022

Abdullah, Chelsea — “Why SFF?: Lies, Truths, and the Story Between Them”
The Stardust Thief author Chelsea Abdullah shared about some inspirations—such as oral storytelling, Arab representation in SFF, and blurred lines between truth and fiction—that had a role in her writing the personal story that became her debut novel.

Barnes, S. A. — “Give Me Messy Heroines”
Dead Silence author S. A. Barnes discussed wanting stories about flawed, imperfect heroines and writing about these types of characters in her own work.

Berwah, Tanvi — “A Girl and Her Maristag”
Monsters Born and Made author Tanvi Berwah shared about her love of monster companions and the trope of “a boy and his x” in fantasy—and how that had an influence on her YA debut novel.

Chee, Traci — “What Makes a Hero?”
The Reader author Traci Chee wrote about realizing that the hero’s journey didn’t quite fit the arc she wanted for her YA fantasy novel A Thousand Steps into Night—and discussed reconsidering some of our ideas about heroism.

El-Arifi, Saara — “Routes to my roots”
The Final Strife author Saara El-Arifi dedicated her Women in SF&F Month guest post to the Black women who preceded her, with a particular focus on Phillis Wheatley as the first writer of the Black diaspora.

Emrys, Ruthanna
The Innsmouth Legacy author Ruthanna Emrys discussed writing a story that reflected her experiences as a parent and combining childrearing with first contact in her “diaperpunk” science fiction novel, A Half-Built Garden.

Evans, Davinia — “The Reason”
Notorious Sorcerer author Davinia Evans shared about her thought process when deciding to include more women in her fantasy debut novel—and the Notorious Sorcerer cover was revealed along with her guest post!

Falaye, Deborah — “We Are All a Little Morally Gray”
Blood Scion author Deborah Falaye wrote about having morally gray female characters in YA fiction and discussed making one the protagonist of her YA fantasy debut novel.

Gillig, Rachel — “Maidens, Monsters, and the Lines that Blur Between Them”
One Dark Window author Rachel Gillig discussed the monster/maiden dynamic and exploring it through a different type of maiden in her gothic fantasy novel.

Lin, Judy I. — “On Developing a Non-Combat Focused Magic System and Addressing Issues of Inequality Through Storytelling”
A Magic Steeped in Poison author Judy I. Lin discussed the tea-based magic system and worldbuilding in her YA fantasy debut novel.

Lyons, Jenn — “Out of the Maze”
A Chorus of Dragons author Jenn Lyons shared how Tenar’s story in The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula K. Le Guin had an impact on her.

McMyne, Mary
The Book of Gothel author Mary McMyne wrote about her love of fairy tales and feminist retellings—and discussed exploring the Rapunzel folktale from the witch’s perspective in her debut novel.

Patel, Vaishnavi — “Divorcing the Evil Stepmother”
Kaikeyi author Vaishnavi Patel analyzed the evil stepmother trope and discussed telling a story from the perspective of one of these characters in her debut novel.

Rao, Kritika H. — “In Defense of Questions”
The Surviving Sky author Kritika H. Rao discussed the many questions explored in her science fantasy debut novel, such as those related to power and privilege as seen through the (often opposing) perspectives of a married couple.

Sim, Tara
Scavenge the Stars author Tara Sim shared about how she became a fantasy reader and writer, particularly how Alanna: The First Adventure gave her a love for girls with swords that had an influence on her novel The City of Dusk.

Unger, Kimberly
The Extractionist author Kimberly Unger shared some thoughts on research and including explanation when crafting stories, featuring an example from the science fiction TV series The Expanse.

Verma, Aparna — “The Need for Angry, Ruthless Women in Adult SFF”
The Boy with Fire author Aparna Verma wrote about Maa Kali, Rani Laxmi Bhai, and Begum Hazrat Mahal—and how they had an influence on Elena and Ferma, the female protagonist and her closest friend, in her debut novel.

Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2023 Guest Posts

All Guest Posts from April 2023

Ashing-Giwa, Kemi
The Splinter in the Sky author Kemi Ashing-Giwa wrote about her space opera spy thriller and how it reflects herself and her family.

Bear, Lauren J. A. — “Finding Fantasy, My Postpartum Power”
Medusa’s Sisters author Lauren J. A. Bear shared how reading fantasy by and about women helped her during a time she needed hope and the unique catharsis found in the genre.

Blackgoose, Moniquill
To Shape a Dragon’s Breath author Moniquill Blackgoose shared how the media representation she’d encountered had an impact on what she imagined in SFF stories as a young writer.

Bonnin, Elisa A. — “Breaking the Mold, or ‘What even is neurotypical anyway?’”
Dauntless and Stolen City author Elisa A. Bonnin discussed autism, writing, and defaults—and her realization that some of her characters she’d thought were neurotypical may not be after all.

Chao, A. Y. — “Mirrors and Doorways”
Shanghai Immortal author A. Y. Chao discussed erasure, her Chinese Canadian diaspora identity, and what it means to feel seen in stories.

Cruz-Borja, Vida — “‘New myths’ and the people who tell them”
Song of the Mango and Other New Myths author Vida Cruz-Borja discussed mythology, appropriation, and the “new myths” of her collection.

Davenport, N. E. — “Why I Write Confident Heroines”
The Blood Gift Duology author N. E. Davenport shared why it’s important to her to write women who are proud and outspoken about their achievements.

Deane, Maya
Wrath Goddess Sing author Maya Deane wrote about literary realism—what it means for a story to be “realistic” and how fantasy’s refusal to be so makes it powerful.

Elsbai, Hadeer — “The Doctoress on a Donkey: Finding Transformative Fantasy in History”
The Daughters of Izdihar author Hadeer Elsbai wrote about researching Egyptian history and using real-life inspirations in fantasy fiction.

Frost, Sienna — “A World You Don’t Belong”
Obsidian: Awakening author Sienna Frost shared about why she writes and publishes and discussed the amazing superpower of being able to create fictional worlds.

Kaner, Hannah — “Don’t damsel your fury”
Godkiller author Hannah Kaner discussed women’s anger and the experiences that led her to make her main character “a woman who never learned how to be small in a world that didn’t expect it of her.”

Okosun, Ehigbor — “Myth and Magic, Seen and Unseen”
Forged by Blood author Ehigbor Okosun discussed her writing journey, the magic of stories, and what led her to create her debut novel and main protagonist.

Older, Malka
Centenal Cycle author Malka Older shared how rereading Watership Down as an adult inspired thoughts on fiction and the past that went into her science fiction novel The Mimicking of Known Successes.

Penelope, Leslye — “When Fantasy and STEM Collide”
Song of Blood & Stone author Leslye Penelope shared about how she found her way to computer science and how it fits with writing fantasy.

Weekes, Gemma — “Coming Home to Magic”
“(Dying of) Thirst” author Gemma Weekes, whose story appears in Glimpse: An Anthology of Black British Speculative Fiction, discussed her love of fantasy and the power that lies within books and stories.

Wells, Martha — “Deconstructing Epics”
The Murderbot Diaries author Martha Wells wrote about using different structures in fantasy and science fiction epics, as she does in her fantasy novel Witch King, and discussed a few other SFF books that do this.

Women in Science Fiction & Fantasy Month 2024 Guest Posts

All Guest Posts from April 2024

Buba, Gabriella — “Fantasy Safe Spaces: Facing the Specters of the Past Now They’ve Come Back to Haunt Us”
Saints of Storm and Sorrow author Gabriella Buba shared about using fantasy fiction to dig into troubling topics and how she grappled with things that grieve her, including colonialism and the loss of women’s rights, in her debut novel.

Chan, Eliza — “Into the Retelling-Verse”
Fathomfolk author Eliza Chan wrote about the appeal of retellings, from different versions of Spider-Man to folktales, and why she chose to use and rework a familiar fairy tale and different mythologies in her debut novel.

Chen, Amber — “Using Fiction to Empower Girls in STEM”
Of Jade and Dragons author Amber Chen discussed fictional representation of girls and women in STEM and incorporating this into her YA fantasy novel (and recommended a few SFF books with girls in STEM or girls wreaking havoc in male-dominated worlds!).

Dimova, Genoveva — “Female mentors in fantasy”
The Witch’s Compendium of Monsters author Genoveva Dimova wrote about being drawn to older women in mentorship roles, writing one in Foul Days and Monstrous Nights, and older female representation in media.

Leow, Amy — “Villains, Grey Areas, and What Women Can and Cannot Be”
The Scarlet Throne author Amy Leow discussed her love of unhinged, messy women and shared about creating her debut novel’s protagonist to be an evil, irredeemable character.

Mills, Samantha — “The WIP of Theseus”
The Wings Upon Her Back author Samantha Mills wrote about the heart of story and some questions about change and transformation that made their way into her debut novel.

Mohamed, Premee — “Speculative War and Writing What You Cannot Know”
The Siege of Burning Grass author Premee Mohamed shared about how she keeps writing fiction involving war and why she chooses to explore it in speculative settings.

Samotin, Laura R. — “Writing Found Families With Two-Dimensional Characters”
The Sins on Their Bones author Laura R. Samotin wrote about one of her favorite tropes and how she made her cast of characters well-rounded when incorporating it into her novel.

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