Today we have author E.M. Hamill with us, talking about her writing process, her novel Dalí, and so much more. If you’re into LGBTQ+ Sci-Fi, make sure to read this interview!
I’m always on the lookout for queer books to read and share with you all. Starting with author E.M. Hamill, the next few weeks are going to be all about talented authors and their contributions to increase the number of LGBTQ+ books available in the literary world.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi! I’m Lisa, and I write as E.M. Hamill for my adult projects, and Elisabeth Hamill for my YA books. I am a lifelong addict of science fiction and fantasy.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was six or seven when I rewrote myself into Charlotte’s Web! Fanfic for the win, lol. In seventh grade, we got to emboss our yearbooks with our names and anything else we wanted. Mine said “Famous Author”. Still trying to live the dream!
Are there other authors who’ve inspired you and your work?
So, so many. Ursula LeGuin. Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Guy Gavriel Kay. Robert Heinlein. JRR Tolkien. Madeleine L’Engle. Lloyd Alexander. Basically, everybody I’ve ever read has contributed in some way to my love of reading and writing fantasy and science fiction.
Tell us a bit about your writing process.
It’s very disjointed, unfortunately. I’m a full-time nurse and I write on lunch breaks, evenings, weekends, whenever I can sit with my laptop. I start with an idea or a single scene and just start writing in that flow of consciousness mode. Everything goes from there. Then, I edit obsessively! It’s bite-sized writing opportunities.
I have to ask. Have you ever experienced writer’s block? Is there any particular thing you do to deal with it?
Keep pushing. Eventually, that wall breaks and things start pouring out my head into the keyboard again. If it’s really bad, I’ll work on something completely different or read a new book, then go back to it.
Tell us about Dalí. What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Dalí Tamareia is a third-gender human in Earth’s distant future, someone who was destined for a career as an Ambassador for the human race. But when we meet them, they’re in deep, dysfunctional grief over the loss of their spouses, and looking for a passive suicide. They’re swept into a conspiracy plot and offered a deep undercover mission by a covert galactic agency to rescue other third-gender humans who are endangered, and it gives them a purpose again. It’s a space opera, spy adventure thriller; Dalí is kind of 007 and Mata Hari all at once! I’m hoping it will appeal to genderqueer readers as much as traditional sci-fi fans.
Do you have any opinions about the current state of LGBTQ+ literature?
Oh, my gosh, have you read some of the stuff coming out of NineStar, my publisher, lately? The literature side of the scale is just teeming with amazing books: fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, thriller, horror…there’s nothing wrong with the romance angle, but there are so many compelling stories we can tell that cross all genres. I was recently chatting with a group on Twitter under the tag #BiSciFi (Bi Rep=My Rep!) and we were talking about how we want to see ALL the tropes with a bi slant!
Is there any advice you’d like to give aspiring authors?
Don’t stop writing. The more you write, the better you get. Learn from other authors. Find critique partners who are simultaneously merciless and supportive, who write in the same genre you write. Hire a professional editor, not your friend who was “really good in English class”. They know what they’re doing and they make your work so much better.
What’s your opinion about indie and traditional publishing?
I’d still love to be traditionally published, but I’ve learned so much about the industry as an indie author. The two independent presses I’ve worked with have been nothing short of professional. Marketing is a huge amount of work and getting the word out as an indie author is difficult when you don’t have the number of contacts a traditional publisher can access, but keep at it. I’m learning more about the business every day.
Are there any upcoming works/projects you want to share with our readers?
I’ll be making my first foray into self-publishing in a couple of months with an adult urban fantasy called Nectar and Ambrosia. It’s a snarky look at the formerly divine. I’m also starting to flesh out another adventure for Dalí and their crewmates!
I’ll be posting my review of Dalí by this weekend if not sooner. So, keep an eye out for that!
Have you already read Dalí by E.M. Hamill? What did you think of it? Let us know.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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