The Pride StoryBundle is always packed full of wonderful authors and stories. And who knows better about that than the authors themselves? To entice you to check it out, we contributors are interviewing each other. You can find the full list of contents and purchasing information here: https://storybundle.com/blog/2020pridemonthbundle/
Today’s featured author is Ginn Hale, who has two books in this year’s bundle: The Counterfeit Viscount in the basic bundle, and The Hollow History of Professor Perfectus in the bonus bundle. Ginn Hale lives with her lovely wife and two indolent cats in the Pacific Northwest. Her fantasy and science fiction writing hasgarnered her a Rainbow Award, recognition as a Lambda Literary finalist and a Spectrum Award for best novel.
HRJ:You have two contributions to this year’s Pride StoryBundle: The Counterfeit Viscount in the basic bundle, and The Hollow History of Professor Perfectus in the bonus bundle, which of course is the level everyone will want to buy. While both books are set in a fantastic version of the historic past, they have rather different flavors. Why don’t you tell the readers a little bit about each book?
Ginn Hale: Oh sure, I’d be happy to.
Counterfeit Viscount is a mystery adventure set in the world of Wicked Gentlemen. After selling his soul to thehandsome Prodigal devil—and flashy dresser—Nimble Hobbs, Archiefinds himself in the unenviable position of joining Nimble to investigate the disappearances of several Prodigals. Archie soon realizes that they are up against much worse than absent actresses, debauched drunks, and dreadful poetry recitals. Bullets fly and top hats fall, as secrets are unearthed and a murderer decides to put an end to their inquiries.
The Hollow History of Professor Perfectus on the other hand takes place in the steampunk world of The Long Past. Warring mages have opened up a vast inland sea and released monstrous creatures from the distant past. (And by that I mean dinosaurs from the Cretaceous era!) In Chicago, at the New United Americas Exhibition, a brilliant magician and her beautiful assistant light up stages with the latest automaton. But the secrets both women are hiding test their trust in each other and pit them against one of the most powerful men in the world.
I had a great time doing research for both stories. I came across fascinating slang that I incorporated for Counterfeit Viscount and the women involved in the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 inspired a great deal of The Hollow History of Professor Perfectus.
HRJ: Why is it so important to you to write and support queer fiction?
Ginn Hale: This is an interesting question, isn’t it? It’s so common to require marginalized creators to justify our stories and our identities that I think we often fail to recognize the query itself as an indicator of how much our erasure is normalized. That said, I know that in this case the question comes from a truly good place—one queer person asking another to share what’s powerful, moving, and important about the work we both do.
For me, writing stories about queer characters—especially positive, empowering stories—is my way of sharing hope, strength and validation with other LGBTQ+ people. As a young person I keenly felt the absence of positive queer representation. I had no heroic tropes or flights of fantasy that I could look to and feel strong, safe, or validated. I had no assurances of happy endings or even survival. The few literary figures that reflected people like me were monsters and suicides.
So, I began making up my own stories. And, amateurish as they were, those stories really saved me on days when the rest of the world seemed degrading and desolate.
In the decades since then, I’ve improved my craft but I still write stories about queer characters finding courage and love, having adventures, and experiencing triumph. I try to write the kind of stories I needed, so that they will be there for other people. And I’ve learned that I’m not alone, not as a queer person and not as a queer author.
My books—and all the titles in the Pride StoryBundle—are a small part of a growing body of work that celebrates queer identities across genres and literary traditions. As a reader and an author I love to support my fellow LGBTQ+ writers because the more we honor, applaud, and rejoice in our diversity the richer and better our lives and our literature grows.
HRJ: You are a very prolific author! I think your Goodreads page lists over two dozen books. Maybe you can help guide readers who enjoy your StoryBundle contributions and point them to a starting place to try your other stories.
Ginn Hale: Oh my. That does make me seem like I’m whipping through the manuscripts, doesn’t it? In truth, I’m a very slow writer and quite prone to wandering off and poking around in the woods when I should be completing a chapter. J
The Goodreads page may be a little misleading because the Rifter series was released as a ten-volume serial. Really it’s one very big story about a young ecologist who is transported to another world along with his two best friends and how they change that world and are themselves transformed. It features marsupial weasels, magic keys, witches, talking bones, and no shortage of battles.
My other large fantasy series is the Cadeleonians books: Lord of the White Hell (book 1&2), Champion of the Scarlet Wolf (book 1&2) and Master of Restless Shadows (book 1&2.) This one is an epic fantasy that follows a group of schoolmates as they defeat a curse, are exiled, flee into the heart of a magical war, and take on ancient creatures and spells. Most of all, it’s about growing older and the struggle to remain true to youthful friendships while alliances and people change.
Those two series aside, the majority of my works are novellas, featuring queer characters, mixed levels of technology and geeky bits of environmental fantasy. (I like to think that the two stories in this year’s Pride StoryBundle are among my best. I certainly hope that they bring smiles to the folks who read them.)
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me!
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For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you're feeling generous), you'll get the basic bundle of four books in any ebook format—WORLDWIDE.
If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular books, plus seven more more books, for a total of eleven!
This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub, .mobi) for all books!