This week, we have for you an interview with a debut author whose book comes out in three days time (yes, there is still time to preorder! You know you want to). We spoke with L. D. Lapinski about their favourite genres, how they get inspiration, and what recent reads they’d recommend.
So, have a read!
You can, of course, also follow them on twitter.
Let’s start at the beginning. How did you first get into writing?
I’ve always written things, ever since I was very small! I used to make ‘books’ of my own at the table, and had an ongoing series of stories about a frog named Pip, who would have adventures in her aeroplane. I later studied writing at university, and have never really stopped scribbling my whole life.
What are your favourite genres to read and write?
I’ve always been a fan of fantasy, and magic that happens in the ‘real world’ especially. I love the whole escapism of reading and writing about other worlds and possibilities. Science fiction, too, so long as it’s not painting a too depressing picture of the future. Difficult, I know, but I do like my stories to have a bit of hope in them.
And are there any genres or tropes you wouldn’t write?
I don’t have any great desire to write anything contemporary right now, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t ever do! I also don’t think I could write about a real historical event because I don’t really enjoy doing a lot of research.
How do you get inspiration for your books?
By soaking up other people’s art, and stories. I think all writers start off as readers, but there’s so much to be said for other forms of storytelling, be it TV, film, or video games. I have a real soft spot for RPGs that are story-heavy, like Detroit: Become Human, or Life is Strange. I’d really like to see more of those in the future.
Do you have a writing playlist? And if you do, does it focus more on the lyrics or melodies, vibe of the songs?
I’ve got a playlist for Book Two, but all the songs on it are a bit of a giveaway for what the book involves! I usually prefer to write in the quiet, which is proving a bit of a challenge in the current circumstance whilst we’re all trapped in the house, so I’ve been listening to the Hadestown cast recording on a loop.
What’s your writing process? At what point do you let other people read your drafts and who are they?
I sent the first draft of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency to a friend in 500-word chunks, like Charles Dickens or someone! That’s just because I was bursting to tell someone the story, it isn’t my usual style at all. I usually write a first draft quite quickly because it’s my favourite stage of the writing process, and take longer to go through edits. And I’ve been much more precious about Strangeworlds Book Two, there’s a lot in there I want to keep top secret for now.
Which three authors would you say influenced your writing the most?
And for something that is also very important to us & what we put a lot of emphasis on when blogging. What does ownvoices LGBT representation mean to you?
It’s an incredibly important aspect of inclusive publishing, and absolutely something that should be taken into account when looking for art (not just books!) to consume. I will always love reading about characters who haven’t lived my experience, but there is something so special about seeing yourself on the page, particularly whilst you’re young. That isn’t to say that cisgender or straight authors shouldn’t write books with LGBT rep, but the stories that belong to LGBT people should be told by them first, in all instances.
Rec us some great LGBT books you’ve read recently! One can never have enough recommendations!
I am obsessed with Pet by Akwaeke Emezi, right now. I wish there was another story with the characters, I just want more of it. I’m going to reread it very soon. I’m also a huge fan of Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper, and I can’t wait for her next novel Loveless. I’ve also got Kat Dunn’s Dangerous Remedy on my kindle waiting for a moment of quiet so I can savour it.
What’s one piece of advice you would like to give your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to be slightly weird. Writing what people expect, what you think is normal, is actually a bit boring – write what you want to write, what you want to read, no matter what you may worry anyone else might think about it!
If you could have dinner with one member of the LGBT community, dead or alive, who would it be?
Having carefully considered this answer, I’ve decided to go with Freddie Mercury. Can you imagine how much fun that evening would be?!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
L. D. Lapinski lives just outside Sherwood Forest with their family, a lot of books, and a cat called Hector. L.D. first wrote a book when they were seven; it was made of lined paper and sellotape, and it was about a frog who owned an aeroplane.