Sunday, January 22, 2012

Polyamory, Time Travel and Benjamin Franklin

Lesbian sci-fi author Linda North ("The Dreamer, Her Angel, and the Stars" and the upcoming "Deep Merge") and I had an impromptu talk about "Third." I asked if she would mind if I put it here. She said great! So here it is. :-) Linda read "Third" and really enjoyed it.

What got you interested in polyamory? I admit, I find the subject fascinating.
Good question. I am not sure, actually. Zillions of ideas occur to me all the time. I must have some subconscious filtering system to help me decide which ideas to write about.

I remember wondering what my next book would be after "Waiting" was published. I have always wanted to write a book in which one of the leads was a Siamese twin (Ladan and Laleh Bijani inspired me), but I wasn't "feeling" it for that time. Somehow the idea of a three-way relationship popped up in my head. It takes people of tremendous self-confidence and commitment to do a healthy poly relationship, and I think such relationships are quite cool. By the time I finished "Third," I really wanted my own third!

I know a lot of people will think your book is a "sex" book, but it's not. It is a romance about two women, Helen and Yalia, in an established relationship, who have lost that closeness and spark, falling in love with a third woman, Anne. Anne in turn falls in love with both of them. Through their love for Anne and Anne's love for them, Helen and Yalia rediscover each other.

Anne is from another time. What influenced you to go with the time travel element?
Thanks for pointing that out. "Third" definitely is not a sex book, although it has sex scenes. It's about the three women's relationships with the other two women individually as well as the way the "three" relationship works as a whole.

I had a 10k-word short story with Anne and Helen that had the whole time travel thing.

The three-way idea popped up, but I also wanted to expand the short story. I was not sure which way to go (three-way or short-story expansion?) and realized I was having trouble thinking of potential subplots for both ideas. So, light bulb moment -- combine both ideas! :-)

The family Anne is from -- I had done a lot of reading about the family and watched movies, TV shows, etc. so she was one of the first people I thought of when I did that time-travel short story. For that story, I needed to find someone from history who could potentially be a lesbian. And Anne fit quite nicely, especially since she had been involved in a tragic love triangle. "Third" gives Anne the chance at a happy ending in another love triangle.

For you curious readers, I'm gonna type who Anne is, but I'll black out the name. Highlight it if you want to find out who Anne is.
Anne is Anne Boleyn.

I'm being selfish here and encouraging you to do another romance "time travel" story. Bringing a famous woman from the past to the present and pairing her with a modern woman. It doesn't have to be polyamory. I know you would have to research the person and time period she lived in, but you did that so well with Anne and her time that I actually have been reading online history about Anne.
I love time travel stuff, so I would definitely be more than happy to revisit a time-travel storyline. Since I was a kid, I have been in love with time-travel stories, especially the ones with Neanderthals. I also really enjoyed the poly part, so I'd do that again too for sure. Anne's history certainly is fascinating, but there is no denying she died way too soon. I am glad "Third" was able to give her a second chance at life.

Another time traveler in the story is Benjamin Franklin. Why him?
I went to Philadelphia about a year and a half ago on vacation. Philly is basically another word for "Ben Franklin city." Ben is everywhere, and deservedly so. That man had so many accomplishments! He was a statesman, politician, an inventor, a scientist and much more. I did not make a conscious decision to choose him, but the Philly trip probably did it. Ben was a scientist, perfect for my story. He also had an upstanding life of public service, but he also had that slightly (or more than slightly, depending on what you believe) sleazy side. I thought presenting a less-than-ideal side to Benjamin Franklin would be interesting. He's kind of a bad guy in "Third."

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