Hey there, BEB faithful!
Today, we've got an exciting feature for you! An interview with Jess Faraday, the mastermind behind the new short story series Blind Eye Books will be releasing. Sit down, strap in, and get ready to walk through what makes Faraday tick--as well as get a sneak peak of what's to come in her short stories!
1. What is the vision for your short story series? Will all the stories revolve around characters in the same word and time period? Or will we visit different words, characters, times, etc?
I was so excited when Blind Eye suggested writing a series of shorts with Constable Simon Pearce. Pearce is a minor character in my novella, The Kissing Gate, which appears in the anthology Blades of Justice. The stories all take place in Britain the late 19th century, and follow the young constable through different cases, while he tries to find his place in Scotland Yard and in the world.
2. You do a fantastic job of layering tension, character, and world building, which is essential when writing short stories. What’s your recipe for keeping that so well balanced?
Outline, outline, outline! When you’re working with multiple storylines, it’s important to know the structure and beats of each one, so that they’re balanced. After that, it’s a matter of composing each scene so that it moves the storylines forward together.
3. Where do you draw your inspiration from when writing stories like the one’s we’ll see in this series?
I love reading about history. The 19th century was a time of explosive growth in science and technology. I enjoy thinking about how new advances changed the way people looked at things and related to each other – and about how despite the differences in the environment and social structure, people are basically the same, with the same struggles, desires and conflicts.
4. What sort of representation can readers expect to see in the series?
The main character, Simon Pearce, is a gay man. Being a low level police officer in 19th century Britain, he’s had to be extremely careful, as it was a crime in that time and place — not to mention the ruin of a career that he’s worked very hard to achieve and maintain. So he doesn’t have a lot of experience beyond paid quickies here and there. He’s an innocent in some ways, but not a virgin or naive. Part of Pearce’s personal arc in these stories is learning how to have a relationship with someone he likes, respects, and enjoys spending time with. There may be a couple of someones. Ultimately, though, part of his story will be figuring out what he wants in this aspect of life, and finding a way to get it.
Pearce was a minor character in my novella The Kissing Gate in Blades of Justice. The major character was Dr. Elizabeth Bell, a lesbian physician who was also a police medical consultant. (She was actually a murder suspect in The Kissing Gate). Pearce read and admired Dr. Bell’s work long before he met her in Blades of Justice, and she and her partner, Alice, will show up in at least one of the stories.
Other minor LGBTQ characters may present themselves as the stories progress — people will have to read to find out!
5. Above all else, what do you hope your readers will get out of reading these stories?
A few hours of entertainment!
And there you have it, faithful. Straight from the horse's mouth, all we Faraday wants if for you to enjoy her stories.
We'll be hyping them more as they release, so keep your eyes on our social media pages! And we'll see you next month!