Our favorite MM authors a.k.a. castaways are asked, what books, songs and luxury item would they take to a desert island?
This is a new monthly series inspired by LezReviewBooks.com’s ‘Desert Island Books’, which in turn is based on BBC’s ‘Desert Island Discs’.
The rules are fairly simple:
List up to ten books, a playlist and one luxury item that you couldn’t do without on a desert island.
Any type of book can be selected, but I ask that at least half are LGBT+ books. Choices should be justified in a paragraph or two. Any number of songs and any type of music is allowed. The luxury item must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside.
Let’s welcome our December castaway, A.E. Wasp!
DESERT ISLAND BOOKS
Hello and thanks for inviting me to your blog.
I loved doing this. It made me really consider what all my favorite books have in common. What I like about them. And then how I can make sure to bring all of that into my writing.
These are all books that make me think; that inspire my writing. The commonalities are complex characters with real problems and issues and struggles, and deeply complex worlds that I want to live in. Not only do they inspire me, but they give me a playground for me to write my own stories in their world. Fanfiction. Daydreaming is an important activity for creatives.
For Real, Alexis Hall (MM contemporary) – for inspiration for the relationship and character creation. I was stunned when I read this. The characters are so real. You know they have lives outside the story. They exist for themselves, not just the relationship.
Fionavir Tapestry, Guy Gavriel Kaye (Fantasy) – (3 slim books I’m counting as one) for inspiration and the beauty of the language. Takes all the fantasy and fairy tale tropes and archetypes, from King Arthur to fertility gods and sacrifice, and explores them in a way that makes them new. I cry every time.
Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kaye (Fantasy) – how to subvert reader expectations and the beauty of the language. He spends the 1st third of the book establishing the main characters, the conflict, the society. We have a clear sense of who is ‘good’ and who is ‘bad.’ Then he flips the script, we’re in a different POV and it makes us question everything we thought.
The Gone Away World, Nick Harkaway (SF) – an incredible demonstration of hiding things in plain sight. Amazing, deep, thoughtful world-building that never forgets it’s the characters that readers care about no matter how original and creative the world is.
Single Malt, Leyla Rayne (MM Romantic Suspense) It keeps the action movie, no boring parts. Love the characters. Love how she sets up the world. It’s hard to write action that keeps readers engaged. Fight scenes and sex scenes, both difficult to write. Both can be empty words. It’s the set up and the aftermath that count. That’s what readers want to read.
The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies Book 1) (MM Historical UF) – KJ Charles. There are not enough words for me to say how much I love KJ Charles’ works. I’d take all of them if I could. But Magpie Lord and Slippery Creatures – sane thing. Characters I want to be with in a world I want to visit. Economy of writing. No scenes I skip. Nothing unnecessary.
Slippery Creatures, KJ Charles – (MM Historical Romantic Suspense) Complex, broken characters with real character-based barriers to getting together. Trying to figure out how to live in a world that has changed after surviving event that changed them forever. The series gives them 3 books to work out their issues.
The Sumage Solution: (The San Andreas Shifters 1) – weird because I normally dislike shifter novels. I love the subversion of the alpha trope. I love a found family of misfits. It’s probably my favorite trope.
A Curious Beginning (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery Book 1), Deanna Raybourne (MF Romantic Suspense) – An MF couple I love. Both are strong, independent, intelligent, and perfect for each other. The mysteries are original and entertaining. The side characters come to life as much as the main characters.
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson (80s Cyberpunk) – great world-building, prescient. All about language and memes and how knowledge is transferred in a society. According to Wikipedia is covers ‘history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography, memetics, and philosophy.’ They’re not wrong. Plus the hero’s name is literally Hiro Protagonist. He’s a hacker and delivery driver for the mafia. How can you not love that?
Writing down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg. Mixes Buddhism and writing. To remind me that writing is more than a way to make some money.
DESERT ISLAND PLAYLIST:
I can’t narrow anything down to one playlist. How about all my liked songs on Spotify? Generally, I like anything I can sing with lyrics that spark something in me. Singers and Songwriters of the 70s & 80s. Pop punk. Pop in general. Indigo Girls, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett, Billy Joel. Jim Croce.
Do vibrators count? 😀 Assuming I have something to listen to the music on, I’m going to say a big fat notebook and a bunch of pens. Is that one item?
ABOUT A.E. WASP
After time spent raising children, earning several college degrees, and traveling the world with the U.S. State Department, she is returning to her first love – writing.
A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding connection in a world that can seem lonely and magic in a world than can seem all too mundane. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, living with the same hopes and fears we all have. An avid traveler who has lived in big cities and small towns in four different continents, Amy has found that time and distance are no barriers to love. She invites her readers to reach out and share how her characters have touched their lives or how the found families they have gathered around them have shaped their worlds.
Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in Fort Collins, Colorado for who knows how long.
A big thank you to A.E. Wasp for joining us on this month’s Desert Island Castaways!
Hope you enjoyed this post. Don’t forget to check out next month’s Castaway.