Interview with

August "Hannah Abigail" Clarke

*This interview was conducted in mid-2020. As of early 2022 this author's name is August Clarke, you may find future publications under that name.

Transcript and Interview Notes

("N" denotes Nicole, "R" denotes Robin, "H" denotes Hannah Abigail Clarke)

Timestamps are placed at the beginning of each question asked and may be included within sections if section is more than three minutes long.

Major Works Discussed

  • The Scapegracers

Book Recommendations from the Interview

  • Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

  • Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

  • Ruthless Gods (sequel to Wicked Saints) by Emily A. Duncan

  • Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

  • The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

  • A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

Where you can find Clarke

Main Interview, Part 1

Introductions (0:00)

N: Hi, I’m Nicole.

R: And I’m Robin and today on Books That Burn we are interviewing an author, would you please introduce yourself?

H: Yeah. I’m Hannah Abigail Clarke. I use they/them and sometimes he/him and she/her pronouns.

N: And thank you for being with us today. We’re gonna - we’re gonna start out as normal with our spoiler free section. So if anyone uh, is interested in specific book - specific book-related questions about “The Scapegracers” we will get into that in our second half. [sighs] But first…

Can you tell us a little about your book?” (0:35)

R: Can you tell us a little bit about your book?

H: Yeah, so “The Scapegracers” is the first book in a trilogy, and it is about a dirt bag teenager named Sideways...

N: [laughs]

H: ...who’s just a weirdo lesbian who likes the occult and has no friends and is offered $40 to do some magic tricks at a Halloween party, but the popular girls (trademark) and uh, they actually make magic happen, and they make a little coven and then nonsense ensues for uh, a couple hundred pages.

Can you talk a little bit about the way trauma works in your writing?” (1:08)

R: Excellent, so uh, our podcast is about fictional depictions of trauma...

H: ...Uh huh...

R:, right out the gate, can you talk a little bit about the way trauma works in your writing?

H: So, like, even from a world building level, the way I conceptualize relationships with power, um, literally and supernaturally is very much tied up in personal trauma and collective trauma, and cultural trauma, um, Sideways is someone who is dealing with kind of unresolved grief, both from things that have happened in her life and also the grief of being a teenager who’s queer in a rual space and feeling alone, um you know compounding cultural traumas of being a queer person, particularly if you’re in a non-welcoming space can be hard. Yeah

N: Mmhmm.

H: Uh, I - I would not be the first author to connect lowercase p “power” with uppercase P...

N: [laughs]

H: ...“Power”...

R: ...Hmm...

H: any stretch, but I - I think that saying that these things aren’t connected to trauma is, well, there is very much a link there. Pardon my lack of articulation.

“Do you feel that trauma for the sake of trauma is valid for characters to go through?” (2:24)

N: [laughs] So, this is a little bit related to that question, um, but, so with - with power being inherently connected to trauma in - in your world building, do you feel that trauma for the sake of trauma is a valid thing for characters to go through or be put through in stories, or in your world - in your world building does it always need to be plot related? Do you ever just have something happen even if it doesn’t connect to the actual plot?

H: I mean - I - I wonder where those lines are, because Sideways’ life is plot, you know?

N: Mmhmm.

H: Like I - I don’t think I would be inclined personally to write like a - a trauma porn scene where a character is undergoing something just for sake of like creating an emotional response from the audience.

N: Yeah.

H: Um.

R: Mmhmm.

H: Because whatever I do to these characters, is going to...

N: [laughs]

H: ...remain with these characters. Therefore, you know I have to be a little thoughtful...

N: [laughs]

H: ...or a lot thoughtful about what sort of things they encounter, but you know, like there probably could have been instances of casual homophobia in this book that didn’t strictly have to be there for the plot arc to progress the way it does.

N: Right

H: But that’s not what being queer in the midwest is like, you know?

N: Right [laughs].

R: [laughs]

H: Like, it’s just - uh - somewhat - the - the birds outside of my window are being incredibly loud, it’s just somewhat...

N: ...That’s fine...

H:, unpleasant constant low burn trauma that one is constantly undergoing in our culture being a queer person so, you know, like did I just do that to Sideways to do that to Sideways? I don’t know. It just seems like something that would happen to Sideways.

“Has a traumatic event in your books ever changed your perception of a character?” (4:10)

R: Ok. Has, like, a traumatic event in your books ever changed your perception of a character?

H: Um, in what way?

N: Um.

R: Well like, sometimes um, sometimes authors will not - will like, I don’t know like, realize like that they want something to be in it or they’ll - they’ll think something new about the character or go in a different direction, having written some traumatic thing.

N: Or you [sighs] or - or - let’s say you - you write something and you think you know how that character is gonna interact with it or react to it, and then you write it and realize that that’s actually not what’s gonna happen.

H: Well, ooh, it might be part...

R: ...And I’m not...

H: … the way I plan books, that’s - some things sneak up on me, but rarely do they. However...

N: ...Ok...

H: ...there is a thing that happens to Sideways at a certain point in the book, after which point, and throughout the rest of the series, Sideways has an adverse reaction to a thing that reminds her of that thing. Um, which I can bring up again in the spoilery section, but...

R: ...We are absolutely planning to ask you about...

H: [laughs] yeah...

R: ...that in the spoilery section [laughs]

H: [laughs] Oh. Yeah, I - I put Sideways through some shit in this book, uh. But yeah, like...

R: ...Yeah...

H:’s - what - I don't know if it surprises me, but yeah, like if something happens to a character they are gonna - either gonna deal with that or they’re gonna - not deal with that, and that...

R: ...Right...

H: ...matters to who they are and the way they navigate their world.

“How do you decide what a character's reaction to traumatic events is going to be?” (5:48)

N: So, with regards to loudly or not dealing with things, how do you decide what a character’s reaction is gonna be while you’re writing them?

H: Yeah.

N: The - is it purely based off of, like, the personality you’ve given them or is it just - like how do you - how do you kind of quantify and decide that?

H: I mean part of it is reflective of what specifically they’ve experienced, but...

N: Okay.

H: Like, there are two different characters in this book who have somewhat overlapping traumas who deal with it in very different ways, right? Like characters deal with grief very differently in this book, and I think like part of that is just making a cast with dynamic and differentiated personalities, but another part of that I think is that is like, if I’m interested in exploring human affect and reactions to things that are painful, like I find it disingenuous to believe that everyone would have the same response to it. Hell, I don’t have the same response to all of my own stuff.

N: [laughs]

R: Mmhmm.

H: Like...

N: ...Yeah...

H: ...even on a day-to-day basis so giving characters, particularly like really showy, um, kind of affectively charged responses, even though I think perhaps that is something we’re more used to seeing in books, that’s not how everyone responds right?

N: Right.

H: Re - repression exists.

R: Mmhmm.

H: Um, yeah, so I - I don’t know how much I decided to do both, or if that is just how it happened, but it was cognizant on some level.

N: Ok, yeah that makes sense ‘cause there’s definitely - something I - I really - I noticed about this book as I was reading it that’s not true with every book, is that each character, their responses definitely feel individual, um, and - and I’ve read - I’ve read a lot of books where every character does the same thing. Every character represses until somebody says something and they get upset about it and then they’re angry and then it comes out that they’re actually dealing with that other thing, and it’s every character, and it makes it - it doesn’t make it feel disingenuous necessarily, but it does - it definitely makes it feel very predictable, but reading through your book, there was no sense of where like - like I could not assume that I knew how anyone was going to interact with something, which was really cool and it - it made everybody feel very individual, and very - very unique.

H: Aw.

R: I started to get a sense of how Daisy was going to react to a lot of stuff...

H: ...Yeah...

R: ...but that’s because Daisy had a distinct way of reacting that was different from the other characters and it stuck out in a way I could anticipate.

H: [laughs] I love...

R: ...Because it...

H: ...Daisy...

R: ...wasn’t the same as everybody else. [laughs] Yeah.

H: Yeah. She’s...


H: ...a piece of work, and I love her.

“When depicting types of queerness that you do not share, what do you use to guide those depictions?” (9:03)

R: Yeah, so you’d mentioned a little bit um, queerness and midwestern queerness and when you’re depicting types of queerness that you do not share, um, do you check those with members of those communities? Or what do you use to guide those depictions?

H: I mean, part of it is I almost exclusively speak to queer people on my day to day life, so...

N: ...It’s relatable...

H: ...yeah, um, like yeah there - there’s some amount of checking with people who I know in real life and then also checking online resources. There are lots and lots of blogs of human beings who are - are articulating particularities about their way of being a human being, specifically for authors, and also just human beings who have blogs themed around an aspect of their personhood, you know, so one peruses those resources. One speaks to the people they know in real life. I could very feasibly write something wrong, and...

R: ...Mmmhm...

H: ...if that is ever the case, all I can do is listen and try to do better the next time. I think particularly...

R: ...Ok...

H: ...with queerness, like I was writing experiences that I am pretty familiar with in a lived sense. Like I know a lot of gay men, I know a lot of bisexual women, I know - oh, first book. Alright, we’ll leave it there. [laughs] Um.

N: [laughs] Come back to that later...

R: ...Yeah...

H: ...Yeah. Ask me about that after...

N: ...Ok...

H: ...we stop recording, um.

N: Ok. [laughs]

H: Yeah.

N: That sounds good. [laughs]

R: Ok.

H: Yeah, yeah I’ll leave it there.

R: Sure.

“How do you approach incorporating “visible” queerness in your work?” (10:45)

N: How do you actually approach incorporating visible queerness into your work?

H: Oh god. I - I mean, where’s the politic way to start this? I think that one can feasibly write - I’m choosing my words carefully. I think that one can feasibly write uh, let’s say f/f right? Like a - in a way that very much flags characters as being queer and in a way that kinda doesn’t, right? Um, which is to say like, I’m really interested in telling stories about people who are very much aware of their queerness and the fact that that impacts their life...

N: ...Mmhmm...

H: ...and I think you can totally write about characters who are in the alphabet soup who, like it’s really not a part of their life, and that’s fine and I think that those stories are also valuable, but I just don’t see myself writing any. Um, and like again like part of it is my entire social circle essentially is queer, um.

N: Mmhmm.

H: But it’s - you know, like I - I try to be mindful about the way I talk about the of gender strangers to a certain extent, modulated for the fact that Sideways isn’t gonna be perfect.

N: Mmhmm.

R: Mmhmm.

H: Um, there are lots of queer people around Sideways, even when she doesn’t realize it, ‘cause that’s how queer people work, we flock to each other. Um, yeah.

R: Yeah.

“Do you have a thought process on approaching ace or [aro] characters?” (12:20)

N: I have a tangentially related question that isn’t necessarily about this particular book. Um, but purely because I’m curious, um it’s also not one we had on our list, um.

R: Oh, ok.

N: But because you had - you had thought - you had talked about, um, like having queer people that are - are conscious of being that way, um, do you have a thought process on approaching ace or [aro] characters? Only because - I’m - I’m asking because for myself, a - a define - I know this isn’t true of everyone, but a defining piece for me of that thing that kind of made me realize that that was a thing, was realizing that other people do think about this, and that I just don’t. And it’s - and I - I’m just curious because a lot of the media representation and a lot but not all of the book representation that you see out there kinda the defining characteristic of those characters is that - that - is that they’re - they just don’t care, and it’s just not part of their story, and then somebody else asks the - the authors or the publishers or the producers later, and they kinda get a response of, “Oh yeah, this person fits that identity which is why they don’t think about.” Is - is there a - a way that you have kind of, plan or how you think about approaching those characters? Or not really?

H: Ok, for clarity is the question about characters who don’t think about their sexuality or there...

N: Um? No, just characters who are - who are ace or um, who are...

R: ...Aro?

N: ...who are asexual, who are ace or aro?

H: Yeah, I mean I wouldn't claim cognisant representation for ace characters, at least in the first book, um.

N: Mmhmm.

H: Like that’s a thing where if a person wanted to headcannon that, like go the hell ahead but I wouldn’t be able to claim having put any in cognizantly. But, because I’m not ace, I would imagine that I would ask ace people how they wanted me to do it. Yeah, because the process of self discovery might look very different than how it look for me, and did really look a way for me, because I’ve kinda always been queer, the world bestowed that upon me, um, and I - I think that that’s not exclusively the case with ace and aro character either right? Like a lot of people don’t really think about the structure of their gender or the structure of the sexuality until they’re made aware that, “Hey, X thing is an option for you,” and then you’re like, “Oh, shit, there’s language, whoa, cool,” and then they can explore resources related to that thing, right? Like it’s an experience that at least has been regaled to me, um, by people of - a couple of different identity boxes, if we wanna conceptualize it in that very narrow way. Um, but yeah, I would - I would ask because it is outside of my own perview. I’m not ace and so I’d probably ask.

N: Ok.

H: Yeah, like I - I think that there are probably, at least from what I understand, a couple of different queer positionalities one can inhabit where the language might not be immediately obvious, and...

N: ...Mmhmmm...

H: is not brought up with the idea that that can even be like a positionality that one inhabits...

N: ...Mmmm...

H: ...which means that...

N: ...ok...

H: your whole process of like, self-conceptualization as a queer person is just gonna look really different from mine, which means that I would probably ask people.

N: [laughs] Ok.

R: [laughs]

N: That’s fair. That - that makes sense as an answer, um, yeah. Like - like I said I was - I was mostly just curious because um, it - it makes sense to have like, especially the characters you've written, be super cognizant of that part of themselves, but it is definitely something where, like reading your book, my brain went, “Wow, this isn’t how I approach life at all.” [laughs] Yeah, so I was - I was, you know - I was curious ‘cause it’s just different.

H: Yeah, I mean hyper visibility and invisibility are just different edges of the same tool of social creation right?

N: That makes sense, yeah.

H: I just happen to be somebody who was anointed dyke from the window of a truck in...

N: [laughs]

R: [laughs]

H: ...rural Ohio, from the age of twelve onward, you know?

N: Yeah, that makes sense. [meows] Sorry our uh - our senior assistant editor is weighing in her opinion from the hallway. [meows] Um.

H: Oh, that voice.

N: [laughs] Uh, she wants me to go downstairs, because she wants to hang out in the sunshine, but that’s not where my computer is.

H: [laughs]

“What is your approach to incorporating visible characters of color in your work?” (17:20)

R: So, um, pivoting to a different aspect of identity, do you tend to write um, people of color based on a specific background, or color, or what’s - what’s your uh - sorry, give me - I read the wrong question. We’re going to read that one, but not yet.

N: [laughs]

R: Um, uh, what is your approach to incorporating visible color - eh, visible people of color in your work, and what do you do to make it go beyond social coding, or not?

H: I mean, Yates is Black, and Jing is Chinese American, and I - that’s pretty explicit um.

N: Mmhmm.

H: Sideways is white, I think I probably could have done more to make that explicit, um same with Daisy, and that - like if I was writing the book now, as opposed to, god, when I was nineteen...

N: ...Yeah...

H: ...I probably would have done more to make that explicit and not let whiteness be that generic, floating absence, you know again, I try to do research both in person and online, and I try to write compassionately, empathetically, and if I screw up then I’ll listen and try to do better, you know?

N: Yeah.

R: Mmhmm.

H: Yeah.

“Have you ever had a character surprise you with their appearance/identity after you started writing?” (18:38)

R: Have - have you had a character surprise you with their appearance or identity after you started writing?

H: Um, I feel like the way...

N: ...Or - it - this - this could be too, this could be like if they were a headcannon of - of being something specifically in your head and then you got feedback from someone, uh, that they assumed they were white, or they assumed they were something else, that - then you changed to be more explicit. This counts for this question also.

H: Oh, I mean, it might be that - oh my god, if I am trying to flag a character as any given thing and that does not come across...

N: ...Mmhmm…

H: ...and a beta reader tells me like, “This thing is ob[scure] - unclear or ambiguous,” then yeah, I probably will - like if I wanted whatever thing it is to be ambiguous for whatever reason, which it doesn’t really...

N: ...Mmhmm...

H: ...apply to this question, but more broadly, I might try to obscure it more or I’ll just call a character by whatever label, you know.

N: [laughs]

H: I...

N: ...No, that - I think that - that - that definitely does count for this question, even if it’s, you know, not exactly the wording we were asking.

H: Yeah.

R: Yeah.

N: Yeah. That - that definitely counts, um. Yeah, ‘cause I - I know it’s - it’s kind of - yeah, every once in awhile as a reader you - you have a character and you have kind of an image in your head, and then you find out they’re - they’re not quite that image and - and or the author had a different - a different intent or a different picture of them and...

H: ...I mean...

N:, so...

H: ...imagine that a lot of people are gonna picture Sideways differently than how I picture Sideways.

N: Mmm, mmhmm.

H: Most of which I’m cool with, right, like you’re the reader, picture whatever you want but...

N: ...Yeah...

H: ...particularly as the books progress, like, I imagine that I will find myself in the position where people are conceptualizing Sideways as not looking - not flagging herself visually or being flagged visually as a queer person, right? Like Sideways is not the most gender conforming person in the world, spoiler alert for the rest of the series, that’s not gonna change, um.

N: Right.

H: Like if anything, Sideways just gets progressively dykier as the books go on.

R: Hhmm.

N: [laughs]

H: Um, and I imagine that there are gonna be readers who are very used to picturing - I - a certain cis/heterosexual standard of femininity that they’re just gonna automatically put onto Sideways, and...

N: ...Mmhhmm...

H: ...I’m like not the brain police, you can picture whatever you want, it just doesn’t match the text and that can be - vaguely annoying.

R: Mmhmm.

N: Ok.

“What is your approach to incorporating characters with disabilities in your work?” (21:20)

R: What is your approach to incorporating characters with disabilities in your work?

H: Um, I mean like, I could probably have written more visible disability in “Scapegracers”. There’s not a lot of it, um.

N: Mmhmm.

H: Like, characters certainly are mentally ill in “Scapegracers” um.

N: Yeah [laughs]

R: Hmm.

H: Yeah, in so far as physical disability is concerned, I don’t have a lot of visual, like, textual representation, at least in the first book. And yeah, that’s probably something that I could have thought about more thoughtfully when I wrote it, but I’m not gonna invent something here to claim that isn’t actually...

N: ...Oh yeah...

H: ...contextual.

R: Yeah, we wouldn’t...

H: ...Well…

N: ...and...

R: ...Not asking you...

N: ...and...

R: do that.

N: Yeah, no [laughs]. No, well I mean and - and - even - even saying - well I - I would say like even the [meow] - I would say even saying that you know, you - you don’t have as much or you - or you don’t have that approach yet, I mean that - that’s still - what - that still makes sense as an answer, especially - ‘cause you kinda stated before that like - like really everything in the book is about Sideways.

H: Yeah.

N: And so, uh depend - depending on how much she’s interacting with characters that do or don’t have something, as far as disability is concerned, or even how much she’s aware of it, [meow] can make that a very different - very different book.

H: Yeah, I mean like, there’s chronic illness in the book.

N: Yeah

H: Um.

N: Which definitely counts.

R: Yeah.

N: Yeah, for - for this question.

H: I mean, Julien’s HIV positive, like it’s a - it’s a very little line in the first book, but like, there’s a bit where Borris is like, “I’m going to pick up your dad’s medication, do you want anything at the store,” you know, but - the fact that he is HIV positive is kinda like a - at this point of his life, not a super loud facet of him, right? Like it’s - it’s the...

N: ...Mmhmm...

H: ...condition he lives with.

N: Mmhmm.

R: Mmhmm.

H: And therefore doesn’t take up space in Sideways’ mind as being like the most remarkable thing about him, because it’s not.

N: Right.

R: Yeah.

N: That makes sense. [meow] [laughs]. Princess really wants you to know how she feels about this.

H: [laughs]

“Do you consider your character’s body image and/or physical description when depicting them and their traumas and how others treat them?” (23:45)

R: Looking for one last question to put in the spoiler free half.

N: Oh, um.

R: Um.

N: Let’s actually - I’m gonna ask you actually - ask you a question about uh, just your character conception in general.

H: Hmm?

R: Ah yes.

N: Do you consider your characters’ body image or physical description [meow] when you’re depicting them and their traumas or when you’re writing how other characters treat them?

H: Mmm. How so? Their body image in terms of?

N: How like - how they see themselves.

H: Ah.

N: Or, what they physically look like. Either one.

H: Um, I mean Sideways - I don’t know if this [is] quite to the effect of what you’re asking, but Sideways definitely thinks about the fact that she’s physically bigger than the other Scapegracers...

N: ...Mmhhmm...

H: ...from time to time, and I think like, it also could be said that other characters read Sideways as being intimidating physically.

N: Yeah.

H: Um, so part of the way they treat her is very much like, um, influenced by the fact that some of them read her as kind of scary.

N: [laughs]

H: Um, which is both like - actually more than anything it’s the way she carries herself, and...

N: ...Mmhmm...

H: ...the way she dresses and the fact that she’s like, is a weirdo and walks around with a big spell book and reads in class. [laughs]

N: [laughs] Well, and there’s also some scenes - you also have some descriptions of her thinking about them and letting them do things or have - letting them like - like mess with her, touch her and stuff, and she’s like, “You know, I could make them stop, but they’re like, the size of my hand…”

H: ...Mmhmm...

N: “...and I’ll like - I don’t wanna hurt them and there’s,” I don’t know. There's...

H: ...I think...

N: ...It seemed - it - it seems like that might have played into this...

H: ...Yeah...

N: ...too I guess, as a reader?

H: I think she - at least from - from my vantage, Sideways is someone who kind of hyper-inflates the difference between herself, and the other Scapegracers...

N: ...Mmhmm...

H: ...but like, she - I mean Sideways is a dramatic person...

N: [laughs]

H: ...and like, I think she over-inflates the difference between herself as like big, bad, scary, tough Sideways, and like often I think misreads the Scapegracers as being - I mean Sideways has to kind of get over some internalized misogyny in this book...

N: [laughs]

H: ...about like...

R: ...Mmhmm...

H: ...the way she reads them.

N: Yeah.

H: Uh, ‘cause she reads them with a bunch of, like kinda tropey ways we’re taught to read like, of feminine teenage girls, right?

N: Yeah.

R: Mmhmm.

N: Especially with how she thinks about them when she’s just getting to know them and like...

H: ...Mmhmm...

N: like flashing back to her - her own preconceived conceptions, like.

H: Yeah.

N: She’s some very, very stereotypical [distant meowing] uh, thoughts about them.

H: Yeah she does, and she mostly gets over them. There are two more books. Um, yeah like she - she has to deal with her own preconceived notions of who these girls are and what they’re like, and what they mean - what - what them being like, means for her and she’s like, you know, while a lot of the stuff that she thinks about them is very much, like, distorted, they were also not great to her before the book starts.

N: Yeah [laughs].

H: Um, like...

N: ...Yeah...

H: ...some of it is inflected by the fact that they were either complicit in or actively kinda shitty to her, so - which in teenage-brain can kinda sometimes lead to believing stereotypes that were existent and easy to access.

Wrap-Up and Outro: Included in Part 1 and Part 2

Do you have a favorite book written by someone else, and if so what makes it your favorite? (27:48)

R: So for our outro...

H: ...Uhuh?

R: ...uh, items, do you have a favorite book written by someone else and if so what makes it your favorite?

H: [pained sigh] Uh, singular favorite?

R: Well...

N: ...You can have more than one. [laughs]

R: Most recent that comes to your mind. We’re not obliging you to champion this book to the end of time. We just want...

N: [laughs] Yeah...

R: ...what is something that is - I mean I’m someone who has like, a most recent favorite, which...

N: ...Or, it could be the...

R: ...keeps being...

N: ...favorite - yeah. Or - or if you...

R: ...the most recent thing I read.

N: ...have four or five that you just can reread forever and you will love forever, like, we are - we would love to have four to five, or even ten book names to add on here.

H: Um, so ok. First, most recent faves, um. I enjoy “Burn Our Bodies Down” by Rory Power which is also like a lesbian in rural space YA, very creepy, into it a lot. I enjoyed “Cinderella is Dead,” uh, that one’s really fun. Uh, I enjoyed uh, “Girl, Serpent, Thorn,” which I just got. That was a great book. I like “Ruthless Gods” which is a sequel to “Wicked Saints”. I like “Gideon the Ninth” because I’m a lesbian, um which sounds flip but actually it’s really not, um, like it’s probably one of the only books in existence that I can think of that come into my hands anyway, with a butch protagonist, which as a butch person is important, um.

R: Mmhmm.

H: Oh, boy. I’m really excited for “The Year of the Witching”. Hasn’t come out yet, haven’t gotten my hands on a copy yet, but it’s on the top of...

N: ...Soon [laughs]...

H: ...the list. Soon. Um, I liked “[A] Song of Wraith[s] and Ruin” - wraith - wrath and ruin. Um, yeah, I like those a lot.

R: Nice. Yeah.

H: Yeah. Well yeah, I’m just gonna leave it there.

N: Cool.

R: I - my copy of “Cinderella is Dead” had better be in the mail.

N: [laughs]

R: [laughs] Um, waiting for that.

Do you have any queer authors and/or authors of color whose work you’d like to shout-out? (29:54)

N: Um, so, uh, do you have any queer authors or authors of color whose work you’d like to just like shout out or - or recommend to our audience?

H: Everything I just said.

N: Perfect.

R: Ok.

N: Awesome.

R: Excellent.

H: Uh.

What is your favorite non-traumatic thing in any of your books? (30:06)

N: And uh, did we - did we ask about your - your favorite non traumatic thing in your books?

H: Oh.

R: Yes.

H: Favorite non traumatic thing in my books. I really like when they go to the movie theater before the trauma happens.

R: huh.

N: Oh yeah.

H: Uh, yeah. Yeah, I don’t know. Like, horror is - horror movies and horror camp is like weirdly really important to me, um, and I just really like shitty - like you guys might know kinda the theatre I was thinking of.

R: [laughs]

H: Um, ‘cause I was thinking of a particular theatre, uh.

N: I particularly enjoyed the “Do you really care about our I.D.’s? You know…”

R: [laughs]

N: “ don’t…”

H: Yeah.

N: “It’s this town,” like.

H: Yeah.

R: [laughs]

N: That, uh, I’ve had that experience. [laughs]

H: Yeah, um.

N: Yeah?

H: I - I love really intensely, weird little spaces that have their own like, pocket universe energy, and would - which means I really enjoyed that, like I liked the Delacroix House a lot. I also like - it’s - uh, the - the flashback scene, or Sideways like regals information about her mother and getting her spellbook for the first time, is a traumatic scene, but non the less, I really like it. Yeah.

R: Ok.

N: I really enjoyed your descriptions of the snacks.

H: I - snacks are so important...

N: ...In general [laughs].

H: Food is important. I’m a big believer in like, over describing food scenes, under-utilized sensory device, and character beat device, even though Sideways eats meat and I don’t so there were occasionally things that Sideways was really into that I’m like, “This is gross,” um.

N: [laughs]

H: We forgive her.

Where can people find your work? (31:46)

R: So uh, obviously we have uh, the book “The Scapegracers” which... by the time this interview is released the book is out! Go get the book.

H: Wild.

R: Do you have any additional pluggables that you would uh, like. You can say them here and we will also put them in the show notes for the episode.

H: Uh, when is this going up?

R: This is going out on the release date for your book.

H: Oh boy. Um.

N: That’s the plan. [laughs]

R: That’s the plan.

N: Yeah.

H: Oh.

R: If all goes well. Hmm.

H: So - so.

N: We definitely will not release it earlier than that. We can wait if you would like us to.

H: Uh, release date is fine.

N: Ok.

H: I will have events but the events are still being planned.

R: Mmhmm.

H: So.

R: Do you have a website? Because...

H: ...I do...

R: ...that might have the events...

H: ...have a website. Yes.

R: Excellent. What’s that?

H: It’s

N: And where can people find you on social media? Do you have any - do you have a twitter handle you would like to plug?

H: Ah the Twitter. It is @sapphomancer and one could feasibly find my bullshit there, while so inclined to do so.

N: Wonderful. And for our - is it the same as your - it’s the same as your Discord handle.

H: Right.

N: Uh huh.

R: I - I know what it is.

N: I know, but our - our audience does not. Uh, so just for anyone looking it’s f - it’s “sapphomancer” [says each letter individually].

H: Yes, sappho as in lesbian poet, mancer as in doer of magic. Yes.

N: Oh! I didn’t even put that together. That’s - that’s actually really good.

H: Uh.

N: I’m a fan.

H: I’m a parody of myself.

R: I’m over here like, how else would you spell sapphomancer? [laughs]

H: [laughs]

N: Well, there - there are other ways, it could have f’s.

R: It could - it could have. It did not.

H: I suppose it could, yeah. But I could...

R: ...Alright...

H: doing a dialect thing where I put a p in front of the s in sappho.

N: True, and you don’t have to have two pp’s technically.

H: Ah.

N: It could just be ph. There - there’s options.

H: Yeah. Could...

R: ...But, we’ll have...

H: in Greek...

R: ..we’ll have...

N: ...Right...

R: ...those links - we’ll have the - we’ll put that website and Twitter link in our show notes, so if you are partaking in this episode, you can check there, and uh, any last thing you wanna say before we go?

H: Thanks for having me on.

R: Thank you so much for joining us!

H: This was a good time.

N: Good.

R: Good.

N: I’m glad.

R: Excellent.

N: Um.

R: So uh, thank you for...

N: ...thank you for...

R: ...showing up and tuning into another one of our interviews with authors. You can find our regularly scheduled episodes fortnightly uh, at Books That Burn, just everywhere. Uh, you can listen to - you can find more of our episodes in whatever uh, feed you originally found this, and we also have transcripts for some of our episodes. Those are at

H: You know what? I’m sitting here and I realized that we never talked about the burned book character and I’m on a podcast called Books That Burn. Oh Fuck! [laughs].

N: [laughs]

R: [laughs]

N: That’s ok. That will be a…

H: [sighs]

R: ...Do you wanna say…

N: ...a nice little tidbit for uh, our listeners to go read about in your book. [laughs]

R: Yeah! There - there’s a literal burned book character.

H: There’s a little burned book character, my favorite fucking character.

R: [laughs]

N: [laughs] Thank you so much for being with us.

R: Fair.

H: Ok.

N: [laughs] Go ahead and hit stop.

R: [laughs]