We might be edging toward the end of the year with a bit of fall in the air, but being the party animals we are, we’re continuing to celebrate our tenth year of publication. We’re delighted to feature an interview with one of our monthly bloggers, D.M. Domosea, today. Read below for a behind-the-scenes peek at her writing process and creativity.
LSQ: Tell us about how you got involved with LSQ’s blog—how long have you
been a blogger, how did you first learn about LSQ? What made you want to
join the blog?
DM: I’ve been blogging at my own website with consistent infrequency since June 2015 on a variety of subjects, but I don’t know that I’d call myself a “blogger.” Maybe more a chronicler of random nonsense and the ennui of everyday life. Wait, I guess that IS blogging! I’ve also been active since 2014 with my local writing group, the Frederick Writers’ Salon, which is
where I met LSQ’s indefatigable managing blog editor, Anna O’Brien. She announced through our Meetup site in late 2017 that Luna Station was looking for regular blog contributors. My work and life schedule precluded me from taking immediate advantage of the opportunity, but I was fortunate enough the following summer to nab a work-from-home position. That switch gave me back nearly three hours a day previously spent on a horrendous commute. Every writer will tell you that three extra hours is a GIFT. It allowed me to ramp up my writing goals, which included contributing in a regular fashion to an established platform. I honestly couldn’t have found a better fit for my interests and writing personality than Luna Station Quarterly. It thrills the old-school Anne McCaffrey geek in me!
LSQ: Tell us about your monthly column, “The S Word.” What topics and themes
do you explore? How do you curate fresh subject matter? Does any of what you
cover relate to your own writing?
DM: I just wrapped up a year-long thought experiment series called “A World Without Sex,” which imagines what our modern world might look like without human sexual reproduction. The idea evolved from the combination of a blog post I wrote in July 2017 on my site about the continued use of prostitutes in speculative fiction and a non-fiction book idea I’ve been toying with for some time that examines the history of sex and its effect on all facets of modern society. I realized after writing that blog post that it may be difficult for writers to create worlds that aren’t intrinsically patriarchal, because it’s all we’ve ever known. But I think that if we were to conceptually rip away an aspect (sex and sexuality!) that has historically served as both tool and weapon to disproportionately advantage and empower men (especially white cishet men), it could leave space enough to reimagine true-to-the-bone egalitarian and matriarchal worlds. Each month, I focused on a single broad subject—from religion to relationships—so I had no shortage of fresh topics to cover. The “A World Without Sex” series hasn’t directly related to any of my past or current writing projects, but I have an adult rom-com on my shortlist of prospective novels to write that deals with modern gendered perceptions of sex and sexuality. I’m still fine-tuning the details on my next series for “The S Word,” but it will explore the ways women-identifying artists express their geek-love for speculative fiction through their art, be it music, painting, or even performing arts. I hope to feature interviews with various artists, as well as articles that explore unique ways to convey a fondness for science fiction and fantasy.
LSQ: What’s the most challenging aspect about writing your column and why?
What’s the most enjoyable?
DM: From day one, I was keenly aware of the limitations of my own perceptions and experiences when writing the “A World Without Sex” series. I addressed that in my introduction column and invited readers from all backgrounds to share their thoughts on the topic, because I’m always looking to learn more not just about the world I live in but about worlds I don’t live in. I can confidently speak to how a lack of sex in human history might have affected the environment of a small-town, middle-class, mostly hetero, formerly Baptist white girl from the United States, but I can only theorize in the most general way about sexual roles in other communities. My hope is that the column might inspire other female-identifying writers to reimagine their own communities in a sexually-neutered context and apply that to their work. As to the second question, I’ve immensely enjoyed everything I learned in my research for this series, even when it’s information that has angered or outraged me (and there’s been plenty of that!) Funny enough, I also stressed in my introduction column that I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time on research because of the potential time suck. I’d intended to take a strict “as I see it” approach, but as it turns out, the Virgo in me just couldn’t do that. That’s not to say I did extensive, heavy-lifting research on all my topics, but I definitely fell down a rabbit hole on certain subjects (LOL).
LSQ: Can you name some authors you draw inspiration from and tell us why?
DM: Much of my formative fiction experience was shaped by Anne McCaffrey. I haven’t read her work in years, though I was lucky enough to come across her Dragonriders of Pern collection at the thrift store several months ago, so it’s waiting on my bookshelf. I’m curious to see if adult D.M. feels the same way about her writing as teenage D.M. I’ve spent the past four or five years reading heavily in young adult sci-fi and fantasy, because I’d been working on my own epic YA fantasy, and it’s crucial to be well-versed in the categories and genres you write. There’s a tactile lushness and compelling aspect to Laini Taylor’s prose in her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series that I’d love to capture in my own projects. Sabaa Tahir is another current favorite. She knows how to draw in (i.e. torture) readers with beautiful descriptions and heart-wrenching tension. She’s created one of my all-time favorite characters in Helene Aquilla. I’ve also been following Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander saga for close to twenty years now. I’ve been less impressed with her latest novels in the series, but I’ve often been sucked into reading binges with her books. She’s writes in such a finely detailed way that her work has become my model of “immersive writing.”
LSQ: Can you tell us a bit about your own writing? Are you working on any
other writing projects at the moment? If so, can you tell us a bit about
DM: Ooh—humble-brag time! I have projects out the wazoo right now. It’s a self-inflicted pain in the ass, I know, but it’s the good kind of hurt. I’m currently in the query trenches with a middle grade superhero novel, so that’s always fun (not!) I wrapped up and submitted a romance-horror tale to a Scary Stories anthology at the end of August, and I’ve just started work on another short story (think Cats and Dogs meets Freaky Friday) for a pet-focused beach reads anthology produced by Cat and Mouse Press. They’ve included two of my short stories in their most recent anthologies, so I feel like I’m on a roll with them. My writing group is now working on our third anthology, so in addition to contributing my own story (a juicy lesbian Prohibition-era noir), I’ve volunteered to serve as publication manager and lead story wrangler. And of course, I’m never truly happy unless I’ve got a full-length novel in the works. I’m weighing three different projects (including the aforementioned rom-com), trying to determine which holds the most promise and personal interest, all while marinating on deep revisions for the young adult epic fantasy saga that I just can’t let die. The Fourborn Chronicles is the project that brought me back into writing and—almost literally—saved my life during some dark days four years ago. I queried book one unsuccessfully for a year or two before I realized/accepted it had significant pacing and plot issues. But I believe in the story and love the four main characters like they are my own daughters, so I’m committed to doing the work. I know, I know…I have absolutely NO consistency when it comes to genres, format, or target audience. I like to think of myself as a writer-of-all-trades.