After some late night internet connectivity wrangling, we finally have today’s interview post ready for you! Today (or back in August, if you want accuracy), we’re speaking with Chloe Spencer, the author of sci fi thriller Duality (among others). So get yourself a cuppa and settle in!
And don’t forget to follow her on Twitter!
Let’s start at the beginning. How did you first get into writing?
When I was a little kid, I remember taking a ton of printer paper— like half a ream at least—and making a newspaper with crayons. I had only written one or two stories, and my parents were understandably a bit ticked that I had wasted so much paper. To cheer me up though, my Dad showed me how to use the keyboard to type. The computer was my space to write as much or as little as I wanted to without restriction. And that kind of freedom motivated me to write and channel all my creativity.
What are your favourite genres to read and write, and are there any genres or tropes you wouldn’t write?
Sci-fi/fantasy, urban fantasy, realistic/contemporary fiction, and I’m also breaking into horror. I think the only genre I would be scared to jump into writing is historical fiction! So many details to balance all at once, and you have to worry about making it authentic for that era on top of everything else.
How do you get inspiration for your books and what’s your writing process? At what point do you let other people read your drafts and who are they?
A lot of inspiration comes from my life, or films or shows that I have watched. I’m currently working on the story beats for a wlw YA novel that I was inspired by a film I saw covered on Dead Meat! But I have also crafted entire stories around songs, or find motivation in music.
My best friends read my drafts all the time. I generally will let them read my stories when I have written an exciting or sexy scene that I’m proud of. I might invite them to read the first draft multiple times!
Which three authors would you say influenced your writing the most?
Terry Moore from the Strangers in Paradise comic series— he has been such an inspiration for dialogue, emotion, and characterization. The masterful Benjamin Alire Sáenz, whose prose is poetic and beautiful but doesn’t interrupt the flow of the story. And this is a bit of a wild card, but Michelle Paver, who is behind The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. I grew up reading her books, and they are this amazing blend of fantasy, ancient history, and heart wrenching drama.
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?
To me, ownvoices LGBT rep means putting queer people at the forefront of their stories in a world that has consistently co-opted them for their own hapless (and sometimes destructive!) attempts at diversity. Ownvoices isn’t just about representation; it’s a reclamation or restoration of power.
What’s one piece of advice you would like to give your younger self?
Don’t give up on your dreams, even if it takes you a long time to achieve them.
If (when!) your book(s) were to be made into movies, who would you like to direct them?
For my sci-fi/fantasy stories, I would love for Nia DaCosta to direct. She’s behind the upcoming Candyman remake and she’s also working on the upcoming Captain Marvel. I think she’s brilliant, and would be just the person to adapt those stories. For my stories that are more contemporary and realistic, I would love Alice Wu. She’s behind The Half of It, which broke my heart in tiny little pieces and put it back together. She’s got that kind of nuance and emotional intelligence that can really take a drama to the next level.
If you could have dinner with one member of the LGBT community, dead or alive, who would it be?
I would love to sit down with Dana Terrace. She is the bisexual showrunner behind Disney’s Owl House, and she has just been smashing the glass ceiling with a sledgehammer. She is so talented and has had such a fascinating career.
Which of your characters would you most want to fight a zombie apocalypse with?
Hands down, it would be Melody from Duality. She’s level headed, would keep me grounded during a crisis, and she’s a total badass. She has innate survival skills and doesn’t crack under pressure, but she would also know how to make me laugh when I’m stressed out.
Is there a famous franchise or simply a movie/TV show you’d like to be able to write for?
Oh, so many! But I’ll share the weirdest one: I would personally love to reboot the show Whatever Happened To… Robot Jones, because I think it was so far ahead of its time, and it would be interesting to adapt the story to modern society. I would also love to write for Sex Education, Euphoria, and Umbrella Academy.
Do you have any secret non canon ships in your books you wish people would write fics for?
I can’t think of any, actually! But I would love to see what other people come up with. I also LOVE fanart. It instantly makes my day better.
Rec us some great LGBT books you’ve read recently!
It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan, Like A Love Story by Abdi Nazemian, How To Be Remy Cameron and Running with Lions by Julian Winters. For comics fans, I really recommend Lumberjanes and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me. I haven’t started reading this one yet, but I’m really excited to sit down with Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron. It is honestly the most original retelling of Cinderella that I’ve seen in a long time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chloe Spencer is formerly the video lead and writer for GameLuster, and the creator of the YouTube series 1Game1Minute. She also runs Cross X Comix and writes 5 different comics, including Star Guardians, Boystory, and Copper Junction. She is also the creator of the award winning RPG Grunge. Currently, she’s pursuing her MFA in Film and Television at the Savannah College of Art and Design.