I'm excited to welcome L.J. Hamlin to Queering Up Your Bookshelf to talk to us about queer and disability rep, and her new holiday story, Foxy Boxing Day, now available from Ninestar Press!
1. What is your writing origin story?
Nothing truly unique to me, I have dyslexia, but my mum and dad would read to me and my mum taught me to read and I loved it from the start. But often as I grew up I noticed the characters weren't like me, even before I knew I was bisexual and demi romantic and disabled.
2. What inspires your writing and how do you keep that inspiration alive?
It's more a case of what doesn't inspire me, everything leads to ideas, but what really keeps me going is the few readers that have told me they enjoyed my books.
3. What does representation mean to you and how does it feature in your writing?
Representation means a lot to me. I write romance and in that genre people like me are hard to find, but when I get glimpses of it they make me feel seen and I want to do that for others.
4. What is the most important thing to you personally when writing characters with disabilities?
To be authentic and honest, to not try and inspire, we're people not a viral feel good video to make non-disabled people feel good about their lives. I try to show all the things we can have, like love if we want it.
5. What is your favorite thing about writing queer holiday stories?
For as long as I remember I've seen het holiday romances, and when I found queer ones I was so excited to have that too, and it gave me permission to write the stories in my head, I love the freedom of these stories, the joy in them.
6. What is your best piece of writing advice?
Never give up, even if you need a break for your mental or physical health, you can always come back to it.
7. What is the hardest lesson you learned while writing?
People will tear your writing apart. You have to pick yourself up and keep going.
8. What do you hope readers will take away from your work?
Some happiness, feeling seen.
9. What is a great queer book you’ve read recently?
Peter Darling by Austin Chant is a fantastic book that comes to mind. Darkling by Brooklyn Ray as well, both are very diverse and written well.
10. What are you currently working on? What’s next for you?
What’s next for you? I'm currently working on an m/m book about a demon and a witch, I'm loving writing it. And my next project is an f/f victorian witches story. I hope to keep publishing and hopefully reach more people.