Q&A On Gender Issues – Part 3
Posted by Dominick
Lately there are a lot of blogposts published and discussions on Twitter going on about gender issues in the world of fantasy authors. Despite the modern times we live in, there are still a lot of prejudices about fantasy books written by a female author. So I decided to ask some of those female authors their opinion about this matter. These authors are Francis Knight, Elspeth Cooper, Anne Lyle, Teresa Frohock and Courtney Schafer and their responses are wonderful. I asked them five questions and below you’ll find their great answers.
Since the complete post was getting a bit too big to publish in one piece, I decided to break up the whole thing in three parts. Today, for part three, you get to read the authors’ answers to my final question.
For part 1, click here.
For part 2, click here.
F.I.: To conclude this Q & A: Is there something you would like to say to the fantasy community on this matter? Feel free to express your opinion.
Francis: Keep doing what (many of) you are doing – the discussions on gender, being open minded, checking your own preconceptions. Trying books due to the premise or the writing style, not the name on the front. I see it happening all over, and it’s a good thing. And remember kids, just because you like a book by a female author doesn’t mean that you’re disparaging books by male authors – this is not an either/or question!
Anne: I’d just like to ask bloggers of both sexes to look at your own review list and see if there’s an unconscious bias towards male authors – and maybe seek out a few more women writers in your favourite sub-genre. I know women who write everything from epic fantasy to gritty urban fantasy (without a sparkly vampire in sight) to Warhammer 40k tie-in fiction, so there’s no excuse!
Courtney: Take a look at your shelves, and your assumptions. When you choose a book, or pass one over as uninteresting, ask yourself why. And if you find yourself thinking that old chestnut of “I don’t read female-authored fantasy because not many women write fantasy”…then please, give one of these ladies a try: Carol Berg, Robin Hobb, Elizabeth Bear, Martha Wells, N.K. Jemisin, Patricia McKillip, C.J. Cherryh, Sherwood Smith, Jacqueline Carey, Rachel Aaron, Janny Wurts, Michelle Sagara/West, Kate Elliott, Emma Bull, Tanith Lee, Judith Tarr, Teresa Frohock, Anne Lyle, Helen Lowe, Elspeth Cooper, Stina Leicht, Betsy Dornbusch, Evie Manieri, Sarah Monette, Kari Sperring, Francis Knight, Erin Hoffman, Amanda Downum, Gail Z. Martin, Trudi Canavan, Rowena Cory Daniells…I could go on even further, but this post would grow to gargantuan length.
Teresa: Honestly, I think I’ve taken more than enough time on your blog. Thank you for asking me. I enjoyed talking about gender and the experiment a little more. Of course, I’ll be peeking at the comments too, so if anyone has a question, I’ll be happy to answer if I can.
F.I.: Thank you for your wonderful answers, ladies. It was fun doing this Q & A. You gave us a lot to think about.
As for you, readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these three posts as much as I had putting them together. My plan was to write a personal conclusion to all of this, but I think that the answers of these five wonderful ladies are speaking for themselves and don’t need explanation. Below you’ll find a small bio and picture of each of these wonderful authors. Be sure to check their books and websites. You’ll find the links to their sites on the right side of this blog.
Thank you for reading.
Francis Knight was born and lives in Sussex, England. When not living in her own head, she enjoys SF&F geekery, WWE geekery, teaching her children Monty Python quotes, and boldly going and seeking out new civilizations. Her first novel ‘Fade to Black’, the first installment in the Rojan Dizon trilogy is released by Orbit on 26 February 2013, while book 2 ‘Before The Fall’ is also already finished.
Elspeth Cooper was born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne in the north east of England, and worked in IT for 21 years before ill-health forced her to retire and become a full-time writer. She is a sword owner, a tea-drinker and an unashamed cat person. Elspeth currently lives in Northumberland with her husband and two cats in a house full of books. She has currently two books published: ‘Songs Of The Earth’ and ‘Trinity Rising’, both published by Gollancz.
Anne Lyle was born in Nottinghamshire in a town that used to be in the middle of Sherwood Forest (before the woodlands shrank) and grew up obsessed with Robin Hood and other swashbuckling heroes. Anne always loved writing, but when she was younger she was more easily distracted by other activities (boyfriends and tabletop RPGs, for the most part!), so it’s only in the past ten years that she’s really applied herself to finishing novels and getting them published. She has currently two published novels: The Alchemist Of Souls, being the first part of the Night’s Masque series. The second book in that series, The Merchant Of Dreams, was released on 18 December 2012.
Teresa Frohock learned to escape to other worlds through the fiction collection of her local library. Although Teresa has been reading fantasy and science fiction since she was twelve, her fascination with the grotesque extends back into childhood. She was raised in North Carolina, lived in Virginia and South Carolina before returning to the Piedmont, where she currently resides with her husband and daughter. Teresa has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying. She has currently one book published: Miserere (book 1 of the Katharoi).
Courtney Schafer is the author of adventure fantasy novels The Whitefire Crossing and The Tainted City, the first two books in the Shattered Sigil trilogy. She’s working on the third and final novel right now, The Labyrinth of Flame, and she’s pretty darn excited about it. You can call the novels adventure fantasy because they hover on the boundary between epic fantasy and sword-and-sorcery, not quite one or the other. (For one thing, the books have plenty of magic, murder, intrigue, and even mountaineering, but no swords!). Courtney lives with her husband and son in the climber’s paradise of Boulder, Colorado, where they take full advantage of all the mountains have to offer.
About DominickHusband, father, author and fantasy-freak
Posted on 27/02/2013, in Books, Interview, Miscellaneous and tagged Anne Lyle, Courtney Schafer, Elspeth Cooper, female authors, Francis Knight, gender issues, prejudices, teresa frohock. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.