Describe your workspace.
I live in a one-bedroom apartment, so I don’t have a dedicated office for writing in or anything. I do have a nice big desk that looms in one corner of my living room, and that’s usually where I park the computer. Unfortunately, my boycat is pretty sure that any time I’m using the computer I’m a good napping surface, and does his best to lie directly on my arms and look desperately in need of attention. He’s looming over the keyboard as I write this, actually, a malevolent little cloud of fuzz and recrimination.
Since I’m a sucker for feline emotional manipulation, this means I sometimes have to flee to neutral territory to get anything done. There’s a really great nerdy coffeehouse in my neighborhood, the kind of place where the décor is all Firefly-inspired and the specialty drinks are all sff literary references, so that’s my writing home-away-from-home. I can haul my laptop over there, get a Muad’Dib latte, and let the Spice expand my consciousness while I work on getting some words down.
What would you do if you weren’t an author?
I’ve seen a quote from an interview with J.K. Rowling somewhere where she was asked this question and her answer was, “Be depressed.” And I think that’s definitely one of the leading contenders. Not being able to write something, whether it’s publishable fiction or not, just sounds like torture to me. At points where my clinical depression has been at its worst, I’ve lost the ability to get words out, and it’s an utterly miserable feeling.
If I had never started writing fiction? I don’t know. Maybe I would have learned to draw instead. Maybe I would have gotten serious about playing music instead of just dabbling (I can play guitar just well enough to accompany my voice, which makes me one of the least musical of my immediate family). I can’t imagine not having some kind of creative outlet. I don’t think I’d be me anymore without one.
Have you ever written to music? What music do you write best to?
Yes, wow, all the time. My answer to the traditional “Where do you get your ideas?” is “my ipod” a ridiculous fraction of the time. Each story will have its own key song(s), which can be awesome for getting me in the mood but can also backfire if I’m listening to my whole library on shuffle. “Ooh, I should be working on the femme bounty hunter thing. —Wait, but the urban dystopia one sounds like such fun! Oh hang on...”
Longer works tend to have longer soundtracks, but a shorter piece can be sparked out of a single song. For “Resurrection Man,” my piece in Bump in the Night, the song that went with it was “The Proximity of Death (Blue-Eyed Boy)” by Jordan Reyne. It has this beautiful, stripped rawness that got under my skin and wouldn’t leave my imagination alone. I kept turning it over in my head, trying to figure out what story I needed to tell about this beautiful blue-eyed dead boy.
What genre do you mostly write and what appeals to you most about your genre?
I am a spec fic fiend. I write both sci fi and fantasy and adore them; they’ve always been my home base as both a writer and a reader. The thing I find most exciting about them is the way they provide an opportunity to suspend the rules we take for granted—not just things like “magic isn’t real” or “faster than light travel isn’t possible” but the ones like “a normal romantic relationship involves two people of opposite genders.” When you build your own world, you have this tremendous opportunity to define normal however you want, for better or worse. There’s a huge amount of... is it arrogant if I say there’s power in that? A crucial part of changing the conditions we live in is being able to imagine them being different, and the best spec fic participates in that. It asks us “what if?” about ourselves and our assumptions.
How hard is the editing process?
I actually really like it. I mean, it probably helps that I have this service submission streak a mile wide—a good editor is like a good dom, able to take her writer’s already-good performance and make it better. The editor is there to point out what I’ve forgotten and to catch me when I try to get away with being lazy. A good editor isn’t mean, because that’s not constructive, but she’s demanding, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference at first when you’re not used to the process. It feels great when you get through it, though. This warm, fuzzy endorphin glow. Yum.
Laylah Hunter is a third-gendered butch queer who writes true stories about imaginary people in worlds that never were. Most of hir work deals with queer characters, erotic themes, and the search for happy endings in unfavorable circumstances. Hir mild-mannered alter ego lives in Seattle, at the mercy of the requisite cats and cultivating the requisite caffeine habit, and dreams of a day when telling stories will pay all the bills. Connect with Laylah online at hir website, on Twitter, or on Goodreads.
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Bump in the Night edited by Rachel Haimowitz
Paperback: 170 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing; first edition (October 14, 2013)
Amazon: Bump in the Night
Amazon Kindle: Bump in the Night
Turn off the lights . . . and turn on your darkest fantasies.
Demon pacts. Ghostly possessions. Monsters lurking in the depths. The things that go bump in the night frighten us, but they also intrigue us. Fascinate us. Even turn us on.
Join us as fan favorites Ally Blue and Kari Gregg bring over-amorous aquatic beasts to life with their mythic twists on the Siren and the monster in the lake. Erotic horror pros Heidi Belleau, Sam Schooler, and Brien Michaels show us just how sexy scary can be with a pair of demon deals destined to curl your toes and set your heart thrashing. And literary masters Laylah Hunter and Peter Hansen weave haunting worlds where ghosts and dead lovers can touch our hearts (and other, naughtier places too . . .) and teach us lessons from beyond the grave.
By turns exciting, evocative, and exquisitely explicit, the stories in Bump in the Night are sure to scratch your sexy paranormal itch. Explore your wildest fantasies with us in this collection of dark erotic tales.
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