Join us as Amy Stilgenbauer , answers some of our questions. Amy is the author of “The Fire-Eater’s Daughter”.
Release Date: June 23, 2015
About the Anthology
Summer Love is the first collection of short stories published by Duet, the young adult imprint from Interlude Press. These short stories are about the emergence of young love of bonfires and beaches, of the magical in-between time when young lives step from one world to another, and about finding the courage to be who you really are, to follow your heart and live an authentic life. The contributing authors have written stories about both romantic and platonic love featuring characters who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, pansexual and queer/questioning. The authors also represent a spectrum of experience, identity and backgrounds.
SUMMARIES & AUTHOR BIOS
A campaign volunteer is assigned to assist his high school’s Gay Straight Alliance for the Pride Parade, forcing him to face the students he had previously avoided, and the truth about himself.
Author: Rachel Davidson Leigh is a writer, educator, and small town native who tells stories she wishes she could have read as a teen. Beautiful Monsters is her first published work of fiction. She lives in Wisconsin with her family and two dogs who are spoiled out of their tiny minds.
The Willow Weeps for Us
Jack, the young son of a grocer, falls for a charming piano teacher at the dawn of World War II.
Author: Suzey Ingold is a writer, linguist and coffee addict, currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Brought up in a household where children’s books are quoted over the dinner table, literature has always had a strong influence on her life. She enjoys travelling, scented candles and brunch.
The Fire Eater’s Daughter
When a traveling carnival comes back to town, Ruth must choose between caring for her mother and a life with the beautiful and mysterious Constance, the fire eater’s daughter.
Author: Amy Stilgenbauer is a writer and aspiring archivist currently based in southeast Michigan. She is the author of the novelette series, Season of the Witch, as well as the Young Adult novel, The Legend of League Park. When she isn’t writing, Amy enjoys all things bergamot and tries to keep her cats away from her knitting.
Logan just wants a summer where he can be anonymous and fit in without labels, but that all changes when he meets out-and-proud Dave at summer camp.
Author: Ella J. Ash is a lawyer by day and an author by night. She has been a writer in online fan communities since 2006. She also enjoys dance parties with her family and cooking experimental vegetarian cuisine. She lives in Toronto with her partner, three daughters and four tropical fish.
My Best Friend
In a letter to his best friend, a young gay man reminisces about their relationship.
Author: H.J. Coulter lives in Winnepeg, Canada, where she works as a respite worker and studies music, in hopes of one day becoming a musical therapist. My Best Friend is her professional writing debut.
What the Heart Wants
A young student discovers attraction and desire through her experience drawing figures in her summer art class.
Author: Naomi Tajedler was born and raised in Paris, where art has always been a part of her life—including painting, restoring books, and working in auctions. She started writing in online fan communities in 2009.
The Most Handsome
Carter, a Cape Cod boy who recently came out as transgender, meets and falls in love with a college student visiting for the summer.
Author: S.J. Martin lives with his partner and their cranky, rotund cat in Washington D.C. He’s a barista by day and a writer by night. He makes a mean cappuccino and lives for good coffee, good books, and good company. The Most Handsome is his first published story.
Something Like Freedom
A boy finds a safe space from which to imagine a new future after leaving his conservative parents’ home, thanks in part to a new friend.
Author: Caroline Hanlin is a full time statistician, a part time stage manager, and an avid sports fan. She currently resides in Boston, where she enjoys writing during her commute. Something Like Freedom is her first published short story.
On the Shore
A young woman retreats to her parents’ beach house to nurse a broken heart, but instead meets a vivacious girl who helps her find joy again.
Author: Rachel Blackburn is a writer, musician and librarian based in central Ohio. When free from work, she enjoys cuddling with her cats, drinking tea, and baking more cupcakes than necessary. On the Shore is her professional writing debut.
Please keep in mind that as an anthology, not all stories contain all elements listed.
Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Lesbian Romance, M/M Romance, Romance, Trans*, Young Adult, Collection
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Amy Stilgenbauer author of “The Fire-Eater’s Daughter” a short story in the Summer Love anthology.
Hi Amy, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Thanks for having me!
Well, first and foremost, I’m a writer, but also a bit of a hopeless romantic who suffers from occasional bouts of wanderlust. Both of those things inspire my writing a lot. It’d be a lie to say otherwise. Summer Love suits that side of me well. It is a collection of short stories about a myriad of interesting characters navigating that time of life when you’re in between and finding out who you are. In my story, in particular, “The Fire-Eater’s Daughter” we follow a young woman about to take a huge step into adulthood by following her heart.
1) What book do you wish you could have written?
Harry Potter? I mean, who doesn’t wish they could have written Harry Potter? That series had an effect on culture that most of us can only dream of. Otherwise, maybe Persuasion. Growing up, it was never my favorite Austen novel, but I reread it recently and found myself tearing up. Out of nowhere I suddenly deeply identified. I want to be able to speak to someone at the exact right time of their life like Austen did for me.
2) How important are names to you (in your books)? Do you choose names based on liking the way it sounds or meaning? How do you choose your names?
Names are incredibly important to me. I spend a lot of time choosing just the right name for even the most minor of characters. I can be very particular about it too. It has to flow well and sound right for the character, have a meaning that suits the character’s personality, and last, but definitely not least be the right kind of name for the time period, setting, and background of the character. I have been known to check the social security name database and other lists of top 1000 baby names just to make sure a name would be right for a given place and year for a character that has 2 lines. It actually snags my writing sometimes, so I have to force myself to write “[name]” and come back to it.
3) Were you already a great writer? Have you always enjoyed writing?
I don’t know if I’d call myself a great writer. That said, I have always enjoyed writing. Since I was very small I’ve been telling stories. They haven’t all been good. They haven’t all been close to good. I did win a seat-belt safety poetry contest in the 3rd grade though, if that counts for anything.
4) How long have you been writing?
I honestly think you could say forever. The earliest one I remember though was from when I was about six or seven. My sister and I used to make up terrible long running series about the adventures of our stuffed animals and I would compile them into little books. It was varyingly called “Kitty World” and “The Super Six.” I cannot vouch for the quality, but it did kick off a lifetime devotion to the written word.
5) What hobbies do you enjoy?
I have too many hobbies for my own good. I garden. I knit. I hike. I swing dance. I sing when no one other than my voice teacher is listening. I miss my cello. I talk myself out of buying a dulcimer almost daily. I spend hours with language tapes trying to learn three or four different languages in a given week and fail utterly because that is so not how you learn a language. I read a lot. Quite frankly, I just don’t like to be bored, and I like finding new ways to accomplish this goal.
Excerpt: (From Beautiful Monsters)
By Rachel Davidson Leigh
“Glad to see you could join the party,” Terrence deadpans, pressing a rainbow bandana into André’s hand. André grabs a second bandana out of the bag, stuffs one in each of his back pockets, and then goes in for a third.
“Cody was checking out the parade route,” André replies, in a smooth lie. “It turns out we’re still walking six blocks through absolutely nothing and then calling it a day.” Terrence laughs, and, as he turns away, André presses a handkerchief into Cody’s hand. “Use it wisely,” he whispers into Cody’s ear. “You’re one of us now.”
One of us. He’s never been part of an “us.” Cody stares down at the lines on the handkerchief and then at the two patches of color on the back of André’s jeans as he walks toward the arriving cars.
Cody expects panic, but it doesn’t come. Maybe he isn’t ready to be Gay with a capital G, but if “us” can mean being one of these idiots, then maybe he’s ready to have people of his own. As he watches the sharp sway of André’s hips, the heat rising up his neck doesn’t feel like fear. It feels like… clarity, as though the run put everything in perspective and now he can’t stop seeing André in crisp, dazzling color.
Someone presses a sign into his hand and guides him toward the parade staging area with the rest of the crew. Once again, he can’t hear himself think over the din, but it’s different now. At the meeting, and for years before that in the hallways, he felt like an invader locked out by a wall of sound, and now he’s somehow wandered inside.
Rafflecopter Prize: One $25 Interlude Press gift card. Five multi-format Summer Love eBooks.
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Where to find more information:
Twitter: @duetbooks, @interludepress
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