It’s been a while since I questioned any lesbians, life happened then lockdown happened, but lesbians still exist, and therefore, we need to know more about them. Just a quick reminder that this rather lovely interview segment came out of me requesting “own voices queer fiction” and having a man offer me his “questioning lesbians”. After I’d dealt with the throw up that was in my mouth, I decided to question some lesbians, and find out exactly what’s occuring.
Just as a side note, the title of these interviews and the questions are intended to be humorous. The theme is about women loving women in fiction writing. I am not gatekeeping the sexuality of anyone I interview, and if you write own voices queer fiction with WLW as main characters (doesn’t have to be romance) then you can take part in questioning lesbians. And if you don’t, but would like me to send you over some probing questions, then get in touch!
So, without further ado, let’s get to today’s questionable lesbians…
Brey Willows is a longtime editor and writer. When she and her wife aren’t running a social enterprise working with marginalised communities on writing projects, she’s editing other people’s writing or doing her own. She lives in the middle of England with her wife and spends entirely too much time exploring castles and ancient ruins while bemoaning the rain.
So, we’re locked down, no castles for the foreseeable future, and here in the UK, that means politely queuing at 1 metre distance from everyone in the Co-Op and tutting at people who hoard toilet paper. But it also means, time for writing! So, tell me about the book you brought today!
Changing Course was so much fun to write. To create a world and its inhabitants is surreal and so rewarding. I’m a little in love with both main characters. They come from such intensely different backgrounds but manage to find their way to one another anyway.
Yes, world building makes you feel powerful, I love writing sci fi and fantasy. Tell me, what inspired this story?
The challenge to create a whole new world, and to explore how the women in it fit together despite their vast differences.
If your book were an animal, what would it be?
A brontosaurus. Gentle, big, and otherworldly looking.
Based on many (one) conversations I have had with men in the pub, I understand that all lesbians are questioning something. Tell me about your fictional lesbians, what do they question?
Everything! Mostly their purpose in life; why they’re here and how to live their best life. And how to stay alive.
The men were right! I don’t know why I doubted. It’s why they’re in charge. Hopefully they won’t judge me for doing my own research in this interview series. So, what about non lesbians? What do they question?
I play with big issues: does religion matter? Who gets a say in who gets saved from climate change and who doesn’t? What elements of society can be changed if someone just gave a damn? Is destiny a thing? Or do you have a say? Big questions the main characters debate with one another and with others.
And speaking of big questions, what’s your favourite sandwich?
Peanut butter and black cherry jam. The best thing ever.
I just don’t get the whole peanut butter thing… but that’s why I’m doing these interviews, to get other perspectives. Tell me who or what inspires you.
My wife and our often odd conversations, my dreams, and the question ‘what if?’
Whilst we’re on the serious stuff, dogs or cats?
Both, but no time for either.
And what about pet couture? Are you pro?
What on earth is that? Don’t they have fur?
So have I, but you don’t see me wandering around naked, do you? Anyway, what about bisexuals, do they have twice the questions lesbians do?
Twice the chance for complication
So, if you could question any lesbian, who would you choose and what would you ask?
I would ask Portia de Rossi how being out affected her career and emotional state, and how she juggles mental health with being in the public eye. (I’d ask Stephen Fry the same thing)
Who would you like to see next on Questioning Lesbians?
Emerging authors just starting out.
And finally, hit me with your top 3 recommended Lesfic reads
Death in Time by Robyn Nyx (love the unique way she brings the trilogy to a close and I’m in lust with her strong characters), Secrets in the Stone by Radclyffe (love the sweet butch character and her deep vulnerability along with the light mystical element), and Jeannie Levig’s A Wish Upon a Star (what a beautiful story about older characters and a fabulous autistic child).