Please welcome Luna Tibling today to talk a bit about themselves and their new release!
Hi Luna, thank you so much for coming along today! Why have you decided to subject yourself to my nosy questions?
I’ve recently released the first 2 books in my LGBT+ romance series, Beyond the Binary! I’m super excited to share my work, and hope it will speak to fellow members of the community and allies alike.
What started you writing?
I’ve enjoyed writing stories since childhood, and would often start random projects with no idea where they were going. I’ve now realised that my passion is writing wholesome LGBT+ stories that are accessible both to those within the community and without.
Where do you write?
I rent a room in a shared house, so that’s where I usually write, but when the weather is good I like to scribble ideas in the park.
What do you like to read?
I don’t read nearly as much as I write, but one of my favourite authors is Jodi Picoult. The way her complex characters speak frankly to the reader has been a big influence on my work.
What are the three books you’d take to a desert island? Why would you choose them?
This would have to be split between one adult novel, one children’s book and one poetry book:
Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult – this is my favourite of her books. It features a woman who separates from her husband and finds herself falling in love with another woman. Opposing views are presented compellingly and the lesbian relationship is treated with great sensitivity.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss – did you know he wrote this in order to win a bet with his publisher that he could write a whole book using only 50 different words?
The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear – Lear is one of the poets who have inspired me most, along with Lewis Carroll, Hilaire Belloc, Ogden Nash, Edgar Allan Poe, Roald Dahl and Spike Milligan.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I do an exercise routine every morning, and love going for walks, especially when I need inspiration. Besides writing, my main creative outlet is acting; I have been a member of two amateur theatre groups for many years. I also like to play the keyboard, but am not especially good.
I love cats too! Who doesn’t?
Tell me a little bit about your most recent release. What gave you the idea for it? How long did it take to write? What did you enjoy about writing it? What did you hate?
Skylar, the protagonist of the series, has many similarities to me: they are non-binary, in their twenties, suffer from depression and write poetry as a means of coping. I had wanted to write a story about a character like Skylar for several years, but I had no plot to go with the raw concept. It turned out that leaving my job to focus my energy on writing was what I needed to be able to develop the idea.
It took me about four months to write the first two books. It was a great challenge, but very rewarding on a personal level: it has been a pleasure to pour my own experiences into fictional stories that represent the LGBT+ community in a positive light. Although a lot of progress has been made in recent years, we still see too much media that encourages people to see LGBT+ characters as nothing more than objects of desire, novelty or simply comic relief.
I don’t stop at having a non-binary protagonist; Skylar is in a polyamorous relationship with a trans man and a cis man, and their friends include a trans woman who comes out during the story, a pair of queerplatonic partners and an asexual person. Some of these characters haven’t been explored in great depth yet, but will be in future instalments.
How I found myself
The introductory novella to the series, How I Found Myself, is available for free here.
Barry is aggressive, abusive and the most prejudiced individual Skylar has ever met.
Following their dad’s premature death, Skylar had hoped that their mum would find a new boyfriend, but she couldn’t have chosen a worse man: it has been clear to Skylar from the beginning that Barry will not accept them for who they are.
Skylar already struggles to fight against their own depression, but now that Barry is in their life to stay, they face the possibility of alienating themself from their one remaining parent. The best hope Skylar has of overcoming both obstacles is the support from their love life, but it would be impossible to reason with Barry if he knew the nature of the relationship…
The tension and uncertainty increase with each day the issue goes unresolved. Skylar will have to face Barry eventually, but how can they do that, and what will be the consequences?
They certainly won’t be doing it alone.