LGBT+ Author Spotlight: Finn McLellan

4 minute read
LGBT+ Author Spotlight: Finn McLellan
LGBT+ Author Spotlight features interviews by queer indie authors on the Writing While Queer blog. If you'd like to feature your words and written works: click this link
Author Spotlight: Finn McLellan Support 🌈 📚: https://saranadosfiction.com/
 

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?

Sure! I'm a writer (obviously!), a LARPer, a prop-maker, a fencer, and an all-around geek, living in a historic city in the northern UK. I'm also autistic (which possibly explains the slightly hilarious collection of hobbies in that previous sentence), transmasc, disabled and very much not straight. Oh, and I used to be a fire-juggler (and still would be, if I had the space to practice more).

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A WRITER? WAS IT ALWAYS YOUR PASSION?

Pretty much, yes - I've been writing stories since I could write, even if most of those early efforts were... more enthusiastic than comprehensible, let's say. My ability to set time aside to write has obviously fluctuated a lot through the years, but there's never been a time when I wasn't getting at least some words down on paper or having at least a few plotlines buzzing around in the back of my brain.

WHAT'S YOUR WRITING PROCESS LIKE? ANY RITUALS YOU'D WANT TO SHARE? PANTSER/PLOTTER?

I'm definitely more on the pantser side of things, even if I'm slowly coming round to the idea that chapter outlines are sometimes helpful (especially when you're trying to sync up multiple intersecting POVs/storylines).

As for rituals, the main one I have is actually borrowed from Seanan McGuire: using a d20 to measure wordcount. Mine sits in front of my monitor, next to a clay dragon and a collection of minatures - every day I'm writing, I start it at 1 and then tick it up by one for every 100 words I write. Having a visual indicator of how much progress I've made is surprisingly helpful, especially on days when writing more than a sentence feels like wading through glue.

Process-wise, I'm very much someone who goes with the flow of the story: I like writing in order, and a lot of the time when I'm discovery-drafting I'll only have a vague idea of what's coming next until I get to that particular scene.

ARE YOU WORKING ON A WIP RIGHT NOW? FILL US IN!

So I actually have two WIPs on the go right now, though one of them's on something of an indefinite hiatus at the moment (mostly because my life outside of writing's a wee bit too chaotic for me to be in the right headspace to work on it).

The stalled WIP is called SEVENTH SON, and it's the most tropey YA fantasy you ever did see - deliberately so, because it's meant to be very much a comfort read. It's about a band of mercenaries heading off on a quest to find a magical artefact, seen through the eyes of the trans farmboy who winds up getting pulled into their adventure after setting off from home to seek his fortune.

The other WIP, and the one which I'm currently working on, is a trilogy of gaslamp fantasy books set in a fog-shrouded snowbound city clinging to the side of a caldera: BLOOD ON THE SNOW, SILVER IN THE ASHES, and FIRE IN THE SKY (collectively ARGENTUM IN AQUA). The plot revolves around a shadow war between two secret societies, with our ragtag crew of heroes slowly discovering that the stakes of said war are significantly higher than they first thought.

I'm very much leaning into the Gothic side of gaslamp with ARGENTUM, since it's one of my favourite genres, so we're talking vampires and werewolves and all that good stuff - our main characters are also all magicians, so I get to play around with making up whole piles of scholarly tomes and academic correspondence for them to get their hands on as they try to figure out ways to solve their problems.

DO YOU HAVE ANY BOOKS/AUTHORS THAT YOU WOULD RECOMMEND TO OTHERS?

Oh so many. But, if you make me choose, I'll say Seanan McGuire, T Kingfisher, Diana Wynne Jones, and Terry Pratchett.

WHY DO YOU WRITE WHAT YOU DO? DO YOU HAVE A GOAL, IS IT FOR FUN, OR OTHERWISE?

I'd be lying if I said it wasn't mostly for fun, but I'll admit that there's also a core of 'sod you, folks like me can absolutely be the heroes' that runs through a lot of my work - there's a reason that there're transmasc protagonists in both SEVENTH SON and ARGENTUM, after all!

IS THERE ANYTHING RAD YOU'D LIKE TO PROMOTE?

I think I pretty much answered this one up above, but if you read the descriptions of either of those WIPs and thought they sounded interesting or worth a look, you can read both of them on my website right now, and it won't cost you a penny (or dime, or local equivalent).

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