Sunday, July 17, 2016

Welcome Calista Lynne and her debut novel, We Awaken! Calista talks More Happy Endings, Please!

Join me in welcoming Calista Lynne and her debut novel, We Awaken, to my blog! It's an honor to have you here, Calista! 

Calista talks about a very important subject today: how LGBTQIA youth are represented in our media. Sadly, much literature and media features LGBTQIA protagonists in unhappy endings. Calista and I share a heartfelt desire to not only write happy endings for our readers, but to give readers hope for a happy ending of their own. 

Find We Awaken at Harmony Ink Press
Add We Awaken to your Goodreads list!

More Happy Endings, Please 
On girls loving girls in the media

Girls are great. Girls loving one another is, therefore, fantastic as well. You’d think the world would catch on to how incorporating ladies in same sex relationships into media would be a good thing, but so far we’ve been disappointed. When writing my novel I made sure to give my LGBTQ characters a happy ending, but those are shockingly rare to find these days. So let’s discuss lesbians in literature and how they deserve so much better than they are given. 

Sappho of Lesbos was born 600 years before Jesus was supposed to have been walking around and she knew how to get girls going. Although most of this poet’s work is lost, her name and home are where we get the words sapphic and lesbian from. She must be feeling truly honored in the afterlife. Her poetry wasn’t shy about expressing love of the female form and all my lady loving ladies should be grateful to her for leading the way, even if the path from there hasn’t been the smoothest. Apart from her, lesbianism has been such a taboo subject that blatant expression of it in writing is basically nonexistent in literature until the seventies. 

Old school “lesbian” novels were aimed at young adults and portray homosexuality as being just a phase or something that only ends tragically. You could say fear tactics were used to try and spook young gays into straightness.


Eventually the state of LGBTQ literature improved, but tropes without happy endings for lesbians lives on, especially on television. Gay characters die so frequently on shows that it’s become a cliche unto itself. This is referred to as "Bury Your Gays." The number of lesbians ladies who have died on television is far into the triple digits and, plainly stated, I can’t think of any who are allowed a happily ever after. Writers can’t keep treating members of the LGBTQ community like they’re incidental characters and disposable people. People do not aspire to be what they can not see. So how is a young lesbian, who may already feel ostracized, supposed to hope for a happy ending for herself when so few examples exist... anywhere?

I’d say literature is a bit kinder to gay characters in this regard but there is still a distinct lack of representation. Tipping the Velvet features a slew of lesbians characters and is a popular novel, from which several adaptations have been produced. Comics and graphic novels are also a shockingly great place to find LGBTQ characters, although many of these also have a dismal ending. Apart from Fun Home which tells a fantastic story of Alison Bechdel’s life, off the top of my head, I only know that V for Vendetta and Sandman both have lesbian characters. 

An onslaught of gay male characters have filled young adult literature of late, which is all well and good. Looking at my bookshelves now, I see Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Carry On, Hero, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. All of these novels have at least one gay protagonist and a moderately cheery ending. My hope is that these novels will pave the way for other parts of the LGBTQ community to receive their share of representation. Shelves full of young girls who aren’t afraid to love other girls and ride off into the sunset together would be a personal dream come true. Maybe then, lesbians of the world will be able to dream of one day having it all.

My upcoming novel features two female, asexual protagonists in a same sex relationship and I did made it as cheery and delightful as I would have wanted such a novel to be when I was growing up. Writing your own happy ending is fully within your power and I commend those who do it!

Thank you for joining me today and I'd love to hear your thoughts on creating your own happy endings!

Calista Lynne

Thank you for joining me today, Calista! Leave a question or comment below! Calista will answer your questions and may help you create a happy ending of your own!

About We Awaken

Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.

But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.

Find We Awaken at Harmony Ink PressAmazon, and Barnes & Noble!
Add We Awaken to your Goodreads list!

About Calista Lynne

Calista Lynne grew up on the American East Coast and currently studies in London. She writes because it always seemed to make more sense than mathematics, yet has much trouble adjusting to the lack of Oxford commas represented in literature across the pond (in the US). Look for her near the caffeinated beverages.

Find Calista on her blog, on Twitter @CalistaWrites, on Tumblr, and on Goodreads!

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