Thank you so much for sitting down with us for PRIDE month!
So, tell us a little bit about you. How did you get into writing?
Hello everyone! I’m Chris Bannor. I’m a pansexual writer from Southern California with the pronouns of she/her. I write speculative fiction with LGBTQIA+ characters. Growing up I loved science fiction and fantasy. I’ve always had an active imagination and I would immerse myself in the worlds of my favorite writers and television shows. And that never really changed. The difference now is that I get to make those worlds myself.
I always had stories in my head, but never really believed I had the gift of storytelling. Even though I dabbled with some writing I didn’t let myself take it seriously. A few years ago, though a writer friend dragged me along to a writing group with her. It was a little bit like coming home, finding a piece of myself that I didn’t realize I was missing. As stressful as it can be, as crazy as it sometimes is with deadlines looming, I can’t imagine my life without writing now.
What piece of writing are you most proud of and why?
I remember seeing the call for Eerie River’s LGBTQIA+ dark fantasy anthology and knowing I had to be in it. I hadn’t written fantasy in a while so it was a step away from the horror and sci-fi I’d been writing. I fell in love with the characters, even knowing what I was going to put them through! All I have to do is look at the book and I still get a thrill that I was a part of it!
As an author do you intentionally try to represent LGBTQIA2S characters in your stories?
When I began writing I didn’t write LGBTQIA+ characters on purpose. Those were the characters that came to the forefront for me though. As I’ve grown more as a writer it has become more intentional. Inclusion is the one theme that shows up in my work over and over again.
What books did you read as a child that inspired you to become an Author?
I was always a reader, but the first book that I have a strong memory of is reading the Hobbit when I was twelve. That book opened my eyes to the world of fantasy. Right after that I found my mom’s old Shakespeare book and started reading that.
What are your favorite genres to read and write?
I love fantasy and science fiction. I know that there is world-building in every story we write, but there is something about the creative space in these larger worlds that calls to me. Given a choice, I’ll steal away into a fantasy novel. Oddly enough, I naturally tend towards science fiction when I’m writing. I don’t write hard science fiction, but I love the exploratory nature of searching the stars and flying through space.
For horror authors: Do you have a best revenge story that you have written? i.e. have you tortured your boss? Killed your MIL?
I think the best revenge story I’ve written is in an upcoming anthology from Eerie River. I was invited to write a story for this particular anthology and just had so much fun exploring this shared world with the other authors. As for what I did to the characters? I pulled from my very large extended family to populate my world (I love my family, I really do, but it was fun to tweak them into their evil counterparts!).
Any advice for young authors beginning their author journey?
Write your stories and tell your tales. Remember that there are no hard and fast rules. What works for one person won’t work for the next, no matter how similar their circumstances/stories may be. So, use your voice to tell your story your way.
Do you feel an obligation to speak for or represent the LGBTQIA2S+ community through your writing?
I don’t know that I would call it an obligation. I am honored and humbled to be able to tell my stories in the way I do. Whether it’s writing a children’s story with gay parents, a fantasy with a polyamorous trio, or a science fiction with same-sex lovers, I get to tell my stories in markets that I used to think would be beyond me.
Tell us about the first piece of writing you had published and how that impacted you?
I admit that I am a bit of a self-saboteur. When I decided to write I was sure I wasn’t good enough, and I decided to prove it by submitting a drabble for publication. To my surprise, it was accepted. In my next effort to sabotage myself, I decided I had to submit a short story to a paying anthology. Once again, I was shocked to get accepted. That acceptance was one of the biggest ones for me. It was for Zombie Pirates Publishing’s anthology Clockwork Dragon. After that, I had to admit to myself that someone out there liked me :P
It’s almost cliche that authors live on black coffee and hard liquor. What are you drinking right now? Strawberry Acai Lemonade. I tried something new :P
Has anything surprised you about the indie author community; good or bad?
I was absolutely surprised by how warm and friendly everyone was. I really came into it thinking that other writers would be rivals. I was so wrong about that. The first thing I learned in the writing community was that we are all here to lift each other up. It’s been a blessing and an inspiration in so many ways.
If you could live in any ‘book world’ what one would it be and why? Middle Earth. I would show up at Elrond’s door and just never leave.
Follow Chris everywhere!
Chris Bannor is a speculative fiction writer who lives in Southern California. Chris learned her love of genre stories from her mother at an early age and has never veered far from that path. Chris has published multiple serialized novels in Kindle Vella. She has also been published in anthologies by Queer Sci-Fi, DreamForge Magazine, Zombie Pirate Publishing, No Bad Books Press, and Eerie River Publishing. Her stories range from horror and science fiction, to romance, fantasy, and steampunk.
When Chris isn’t writing, she enjoys movie marathons, binge-watching TV shows, musical theater, and road trips with her family. Otherwise, she is a general homebody who lives with her two teenagers, a cat, and a dog. You can follow Chris by signing up for her newsletter on her website at www.ChrisBannor.com
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