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 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 August castaway, Amanda Meuwissen
DESERT ISLAND BOOKS
I am going to start with some of my favorite books that sparked feelings of LGBTQ+ even if they weren’t technically or wholly that, as they are some of my favorites that inspired me the most when I was younger:
I mean, this is a no brainer, as it is my #1 favorite book, and its current incarnation through Amazon Prime has pushed through the undertones of LGBTQ+ to be more obvious overtones than ever before, with a new season coming that might go even further. As a fan, I will always remember how much Crowley and Aziraphale as godfathers to the antichrist was one of my favorite couples and always will be, and I love the new joy that has been infused into this fandom. It remains of the few books I can read over and over again, especially specific passages, like when Crowley and Aziraphale get drunk together.
2. Memnoch the Devil
Now, I’m a huge fan of Anne Rice’s original Vampire Chronicles, which is the first five books, and Memnoch is the last. I love them all to varying degree, and I have a great story about how I wanted to see the Interview with a Vampire movie as a child, my mom said no, and so I saved my allowance for weeks to buy the hardcover book, to which she then caved and let me see the movie. To this day, it’s still one of my favorite films, another that skirts the LGBTQ+ line, despite Rice having backtracked on the intention of that over the years. I love that world, I love Lestat, and the final book has him going to Heaven and Hell and had me falling in love with him all over again.
3. Invisible Monsters
This is a Chuck Palahniuk book and certainly filled with LGBTQ+ elements, though not what would normally draw me. I’m a huge fan of Fight Club, and like the author himself, I prefer the movie version, mostly because of the ending, but this book is one I don’t see talked about as much, and it just really resonated with me. It has that same Fight Club-like moment where the truth of what’s going on dawns on you right before the text actually reveals it, and it explores ideas of how much pressure we put on ourselves to look and be like how we (and others) think we should be. It’s highly recommended, and a book I think helped me with finding the right ways to express some of my inner demons in writing.
Now for a few recent titles that inspired me to begin the two new series I’m working on, Tales from the Gemstone Kingdoms, which just kicked off with The Prince and the Ice King, and Moonlight Prophecies, which kicked off with By the Red Moonlight.
I wasn’t sure if I would ever dive into a series again, like my older trilogy, the Incubus Saga, but friend and fellow author K.L. Hiers has been releasing the Sucker for Love Mysteries, dragged me along for the exciting ride, and caused much fresh inspiration.
4. Acsquidentally In Love
This kicks off your foray into a brand-new world of eldritch horror worship and magic in a way Lovecraft would definitely not approve of—in the best possible way. The old gods are gone, asleep, and considered myth by many, but they are poised for a comeback in a way that explores tentacle sexy times in glorious creative detail and true love that can only be found through fate and mystic helping hands. The initial love story that draws you into this world is so much fun and sets the stage for more to come, teasing at a much larger world and larger mysteries ahead.
5. Kraken My Heart
Book 2 is a departure from the main couple and excitingly spends most of the story in a completely different world. While not tentacle filled, there are some other amazing creatures and a fang-toothed MC that makes the lovemaking and mystery just as exciting and unique as book 1. Getting transported to another world built on this universe so impressively, and I loved getting to know some different characters apart from those we initially met. The humor and heat are still very much present.
6. Head Over Tentacles
Here we return to the couple from book 1 and to an incredible degree, because we get a wedding and a look at an established relationship that honestly usually doesn’t do it for me. I prefer falling in love stories, always, but I just loved this couple so much, I couldn’t wait to return to them and see what was going to happen to them next. We get some nice callbacks to book 2, so you see how they connect, and a very exciting tease of what’s to come.
7. Nautilus Than Perfect
It’s difficult for me to choose a favorite couple in this series so far, though the couple from books 1 and 3 are clearly the main focus. Here we meet a new couple like in book 2, who really steals the spotlight beautifully for me. We get a POC, also pictured on the cover, which doesn’t happen nearly often enough, especially in M/M romance, and his partner is a pudgy redhead with body issues who was so damn endearing, I want to read (and likely write) more body worship of all body types more often myself. There are additional gods, more tentacles, and new mysteries to be found, all wrapped in some of the hottest sex scenes I’ve read, with such incredible humor, I can’t put these books down.
I think where the inspiration really comes from for me is having books that truly can stand alone but also connect to a larger plotline that brings characters and storylines together in a way that will make faithful readers of all the books squeal. That’s what I’m going for as well, and this series remains a wonderful treat for my muse as I work on my two series.
DESERT ISLAND PLAYLIST:
On that note, I figured a song per book would make a great playlist, in order as the first 7, plus a few extras of recent favorite songs for you to enjoy. Without further ado…
Finally, though I realize it might seem bland, I truly can’t live without my laptop as a luxury item (and an unending source of electricity so it never loses power) because the one thing I can’t live without is my ability to write. Sure, sure, a notebook could work too, but I can type faster than I handwrite—it’s the only way to keep up with the thoughts that pour from my brain. I don’t need the internet, just Microsoft Word and all my current files to reread when I need inspiration for what to write next.
ABOUT AMANDA MEUWISSEN
Amanda is a life-long geek and regularly attends local comic conventions for fun and to meet with fans, where she will often be seen in costume as one of her favorite fictional characters. A published author since 2012, she manages a private author group on Facebook sharing exclusive news, images, and fun, and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband, John, and their cat, Helga.
A big thank you to Amanda Meuwissen 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.