Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Kayla Bashe – Kayla Bashe is a binational lesbian currently attending Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Liminality Magazine, and various zines, and her short fiction has appeared in the Outliers of Science Fiction anthology, as well as Solarpunk Press, Mirror Dance edited by Megan Arkenberg, and The Future Fire.
Thanks so much, Kayla, for joining me!
Kayla is giving away an ebook copy of her book Graveyard Sparrow – comment on this post for a chance to win.
J. Scott Coatsworth: What fictional speculative fiction character would you like to spend an evening with and why?
Kayla Bashe: Like a lot of lesbians, I’m super in love with Brienne of Tarth. She’s kind, brave, and a total badass. Every feudal warlord needs a handmaiden, as the meme goes, right?
JSC: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
KB: In middle school, I wrote a play about my classmates- they thought it was hilarious, and even showed it to the principal. Afterwards, I started writing poetry and short stories.
JSC: What pets are currently on your keyboard, and what are their names? Pictures?
KB: My family’s dog, Sparkles, always stares at me when I sit down because there’s a chance I might have snacks. I call her the Betty White of dogs. She’s super old, super sassy, and likes to stand in front of the fridge and scream for treats.
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
KB: Quirky, earthy, magical.
JSC: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
KB: For my novel A Scheme of Sorcery (currently agent-shopping!) I hand-embroidered an entire wall hanging. For another project, I spent a week taking a self-study course in germ theory and epidemiology… and promptly convinced myself that I had tuberculosis.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
KB: I actually self-published my first novel when I was thirteen, after completing NaNoWrimo. I did an author signing at my middle school. The characters were thinly veiled copies of my friends and my crush, except faeries.
JSC: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
KB: According to my kindergarten schoolwork, a veterina. That’s a cross between a vet and a ballerina, as everyone surely knows.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
KB: Listen to music, do planks. Write. Complain to friends about my writing. Write a little more. Clean my entire house. Then someone cancels on brunch and I spend the entire day in the library and accidentally crank out a couple thousand words, emerging glassy-eyed and dazed to eat an entire bag of frozen mango.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
KB: I’m working on a novella that combines the tropes of superpowers and a road trip, with some quirky family members and a heroine with a mysterious past. It should be done by (inaudible mumbling in a long-dead language.)
And now for Kayla’s new book: With Roses In Their Hair:
A F/F sci-fantasy retelling of the child ballad Tam Lin. Released as a tribute to the life and works of the late academic “tam-nonlinear.” Content notes for parental abuse, vaguely alien body horror. A story about survival and finding beauty in love and resistance.
“With Roses in Their Hair is a wonderful and swoony sci-fantasy romance. It centers two queer girls I fell hard for, and is about love and revolution and surviving abusive family. “ – Xan West
From her concealment in the shadow of a tall pine, Tamburlaine eyed the young rebel. She shifted her stance, subtly preparing to leap into action. She sensed the movement of wiry muscles in the girl’s small frame.
“Show yourself,” the girl demanded, putting on a determined expression. Tam could have stepped forward, intimidated her into fleeing. Flexed the black carapace of her armor in the burning afternoon sun. But there was something about the girl that interested her- so tiny, yet so unafraid, rooted in the loyalty and love of her strange human organization. A plan she hardly dared to consider coalesced all at once. If she stopped to think, she’d be lost. Tam pulled off her helmet and strode into the open.
Kayla Bashe is a binational lesbian currently attending Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Liminality Magazine, and various zines, and her short fiction has appeared in the Outliers of Science Fiction anthology, as well as Solarpunk Press, Mirror Dance edited by Megan Arkenberg, and The Future Fire.
She is also the author of several queer romance/speculative fiction novellas. Find her on Twitter at @KaylaBashe.