We’ve already discussed my favorite couples & queer fantasy MCs, and we’re chatting why I want even more queer fantasy MCs next week, but I’ve also been dropping short stories every week (here’s one for sister witches and sycamore girls!), and I thought it’d be fun to combine the two. All of my books feature queer MCs, and pretty much all of the supporting cast is also queer, so I’ve got a lot of favorite moments to choose from, though I also definitely compiled this list very fast because there are definitely some standout moments to me. To help ground this post a little, too, here’s a run-down on the stories I’m talking about:
- Sister witches is about three witch best friends who accidentally summon a demon into the heart of Salem, and then even more accidentally make him part of their family. Henley & Theo are the MCs.
- Vampire detective is literally what it sounds like. Andrew Levi is an ancient vampire working as a detective in Boston, though none of those things are applicable in the version of his story I’m writing right now, which details his 2000 year history.
- Space thieves is actually going to be featured at the end of the month, and it’s about four orphan misfit best friends who spend their entire youth as thieves until they’ve graduated from a space academy, and they’ve got to turn their wily ways to getting creative with science. Soraya is the MC, but we’re talking about Dejan, one of her thief friends.
- Researcher & librarian is a story set in the 30s when Freddie (researcher) goes to Portugal to really dig deep into his research on the occult, and Hugo (librarian) begrudgingly helps him until, whoops, he’s in love.
- Saintsverse is my only high fantasy ever, and it’s about a gang of smugglers saving those with magic from the church. Landon is one of many MCs.
And yes! They’re all queer! And here are all the best moments from them:
Luciana in that dress.
Y’all. In the second sister witches, right at the beginning, there’s been a lot of chaos, and I’m reintroducing the characters, so it’s a bit slow, and I wanted to spotlight Henley & Luciana right away. Which, uh, by right away, I apparently mean about ten chapters in, but whatever, there are so many POVs in that book, and I always give each character two chapters, so it took me a while to get to where I wanted to be with Henley. Anyway. After some drama in the beginning, Henley has a date with Luciana, and MY GOODNESS. Ya girl was like turn on a godsdamn fan holy shit while I was writing that scene. First of all–SOMEHOW IT GETS BETTER FROM HERE, HOW–Henley shows up on a motorcycle wearing leather pants and a flimsy shirt, and Henley’s already hot as hell, jeeznus, but then Luciana?? Henley literally almost crashes her bike when she catches just a glimpse of Luciana in this black bodycon dress that just WELL THEN. It’s based on the dress above, and the scene where Henley sees her is just–here, have it:
Henley felt her breath catch, felt everything from the day smoke away. Luciana was in a black cotton bodycon with a high neck and long sleeves. The hem settled around her mid-thigh, and beneath were black lace tights that ended in fucking stilettos. They were deep red with spikes trailing down the heel, and Henley felt something tighten and loosen simultaneously inside of her. She closed the distance between them, fire in every step, caught Luciana by the hips, and pulled her close. “Damn,” she said against Luciana’s lips before Henley kissed her. It was a hard, needy thing, and could very easily turn into something else, so Luciana broke away from it after a moment.
There were a lot of things that I wanted to do at the end of the sister witches trilogy. This story has been in my brain for the last four years, and I’ve always known the overall arc of the story. I didn’t exactly know how it was going to end, but I knew, pretty much from the start, who was going to make it out alive and what, generally, the end was going to look like. I also knew that I definitely wanted eighteen endings in the style of Tolkien, and I wanted to wrap up each storyline as neatly as possible. The last seven or so chapters of SW3, then, are pretty sweet and over the top, and I just love them. One of the things I definitely wanted to do, though, was Pride. It’s unlikely I’m going to be able to include a Pride celebration in any of my other books, and it’s such a perfect setting for this book. I had such an amazing time creating the Pride celebration at the end of SW3, and it’s just the queerest thing I’ve ever written, and I wish I could share a snippet, but it’s literally an entire chapter, BUT!
By the time Diana Ross was blasting across the apartment, everyone was at the table, getting ready. Adelaide painstakingly highlighted Theodore’s overwhelming freckles with rainbow ones, slowly dotting them from temple to temple, sweeping across his cheeks and nose, her smile growing larger with each new color. Finn was in a pair of rainbow booty shorts that were incredibly distracting, and he kept leaping away from the table to dance when a new song came on.
It’s so not even the best part, but it’s something.
Andrew’s first love literally being Alexander the Great.
This could be a spoiler, but I’m very much not quiet about the fact that Andrew was in love with Alexander, and even if you only ever read vampire detective and not Andrew’s origin story, he talks about Alexander enough that it’s not a secret. But, like. Please tell me something gayer than his first love literally being Alexander the Great, are you kidding me. When I was first deciding how old I wanted Andrew to be, I already had it in my head that he had a thing with Alexander after some offhand comment that someone made when I wasn’t paying attention, and then it just sort of made sense that not only did he have a thing, but Alexander was The Love of his life, not just The First. They absolutely break my heart, though, and it’s just so fitting for Andrew to be hopelessly in love with a godsdamn famous emperor.
Dejan’s “holy shit I like EVERYONE” moment.
Truthfully, I haven’t written this scene yet, but I’m so hyped for it. Much like many of my early characters, Dejan was originally straight (why) until I actually got down to the business of writing space thieves, and that changed in a single chapter? I’m just not good at writing straight characters, and I’m not sure why I kept trying back in the day. (Landon, in the next one, was also originally straight, and it was weirdddddd.) But the second that I realized Dejan was bi, I knew immediately how that was going to play out. Space thieves is told in three timelines–when they’re orphans and just meeting, when they’re in school together, and when they’re actively in space saving lives and being psychos–and I can so see in my brain, in the middle timeline, Dejan just having this holy shit moment as he’s looking around at his friends and realizing he doesn’t only find Veda attractive, but Ilyas, too. It’s going to be great.
Just Landon in general.
I wanted to say lol, what? BUT WHERE IS THE LIE. There’s a chapter somewhere in Saintsverse of Miles & Madison both thinking about Landon’s romantic past and how quiet he is now because ya boy definitely got around, but with his current (and forever) love interest, Ezra, he’s almost unbearably soft. Like, Landon & Ezra are just so gentle and sad and wonderful together, and I love them to pieces, but Landon is also very sexually active in the past, and it’s hilarious to me every time I think of him now. At least a third of every single one of his chapters is him sighing/pining over Ezra, to the point where I’m sure it is a little annoying, but I don’t care! I love openly & proudly gay Landon! He is a delight to write!
Little to no homophobia.
I’m almost able to say none at all, but there’s some mentioned homophobia in sister witches. Ileana, one of the witches from the second coven, mentions that her girlfriend, Kiran, doesn’t speak to her parents because they don’t accept that she’s a lesbian. And Diego, Ileana’s boss & best friend, has issues with his brother because Diego is ace, and his brother is not okay with that. And, like, there’s homophobia in researcher & librarian because it takes place in the 30s, and it was literally impossible for me to avoid it while staying true to the times, but the community around the characters in that are mostly queer, so it was more just this is a thing in the world rather than outright. But, other than those small instances, it doesn’t exist. It 100% definitely will never exist in Saintsverse, but one of my very first posts this month was about why homophobia in fantasy is stupid, so you can read about why there. But I don’t like writing about homophobia, for obvious reasons, so I just don’t include it in my stories. I’m here for queer joy and nothing less.
Freddie “on his knees” because of the Joanina.
Okay, this only makes sense if you actually read it. First, there’s Freddie’s aunt:
Their aunt smiled when she held Freddie at arm’s length and said, “I would ask you to visit with your sister, but I fear that you will take one look at your library and be on your knees. Come with her as often as you are able to tear your heart away.”
And then there’s Freddie:
Freddie was going straight to hell one day, and though he’d accepted that a long time, he hoped Hugo Santiago would be headed in the same direction just so he could keep looking at him. Hugo was exactly what his aunt meant when she said the Joanina was going to bring him to his knees.
“That sounds a bit improbable,” Florence remarked when he said as much to her, and, well, Freddie had to concede that maybe it wasn’t exactly what his aunt had meant, but if she ever laid eyes on Hugo, she’d likely agree.
I MEAN. This is one of my proudest moments in all of my writing, I was howling when I wrote this part, and I will forever shout about it because it’s just too damn good.
The queer community in researcher & librarian.
I mentioned this earlier, but the cast of characters in researcher & librarian is mostly queer, and they sort of gravitate toward each other without really realizing it. My favorite of them is Raul, though, because he’s in a straight-appearing relationship, but both he & his wife are queer of some orientation, I’m not 100%, and they end up welcoming a third into their marriage. It’s just wonderful, and it happens so subtly in the background, but I think it’s also such a perfect example of the queer community in this book. Because yes, our MCs are queer, and we’re mostly focused on Freddie & Hugo’s relationship, Florence’s general disdain with all romance, and the side romance between Irene & Amelia. But there’s a lot going on around them, too, and as the cast of characters grows toward the end of the first book and becomes something much larger in the second, I started to uncover the layers and layers of how each character was queer, and it just made me so happy. I think a very real life thing is that queer people do gravitate toward one another, often without knowing, and thus, I had to hand off a little monologue to Florence:
Florence reached a hand over, and Vicente instinctively unstuck one of theirs from the glass to twine it with hers. “I’m always amazed at how like calls to like,” she said as she, too, turned her gaze up to the blue sky. “If you think about it, we’ve surrounded ourselves with more queer people than not, which is just incredible considering we didn’t know that they were queer when we made their acquaintance. But I think something in us did know because why else were we drawn to one another? How is the Joanina filled with people who don’t bat an eye at Freddie and Hugo? How did we come to this point, where we were waiting for a wedding, of all things, between a gay man and a lesbian woman so that we might be able to actually celebrate our love? How did Raul know to seek you out? And that’s not even to think of all the people that we’re not certain of because you can’t convince me that Nerea is heterosexual or that Alejandro hasn’t at least considered men before.” Florence gave Vicente’s hand a squeeze, dropping her head back over in time for them to look at her. “I’m glad you’re here,” she said, “It feels like you were meant to be. Even if you do make me do absolutely horrible things.”
Theo’s type being the bad boy, but literally falling for a ray of sunshine.
In the third(?) sister witches–yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s the third, toward the middle–Theo ends up in Boston for reasons that I can’t disclose, and he meets Rafael, Andrew’s last lover (he’s got nine in total).
He was in a pair of faded jeans and an oversized tan sweater rolled up over his Mediterranean arms that remained bracketed at either side of him like pillars—one wrapped tightly around the bannister, the other curled into a loose fist at his side. His jaw looked made for cutting glass, his cheekbones casting shadows across his face in the low light. His curly hair was rifled across his forehead like he’d just rolled out of someone else’s bed, and Theodore had no idea if he was friend or foe, just that he’d definitely bang him.
It was kind of like being in the same room as Diego.
Really, Theodore clearly had a type for boys he shouldn’t go after, but at least he had the frame of mind to realize that and instead sway wildly in the other direction.
Theo’s type is so obvious all the time, and even Finn & Henley comment on it at one point, right after they’ve met Andrew for the first time. Henley’s like “how hot does he think Andrew is?” and Finn just cackles because Theo is such an open book, and it’s hilarious. The thing, though, is that Finn is almost literally sunshine embodied, and Theo just thinks he’s the bee’s knees. Like, 10/10 will drool over people like Andrew, Diego, and Rafael, but will chaotically stumble ass over tea kettle just because Finn smiles at him, AND IT’S GREAT.
THE GOTH WEDDING
At the end of SW3, my CP, Chelsea, said that she had a very specific ending in mind that she wanted, and while I didn’t do that–though she did like where it ended–I did put in that ending one chapter before the actual ending, and it was definitely the hella goth wedding between Henley & Luciana. Zero percent chance I was ever going to end sister witches with anything but that wedding, which I knew was happening from the very first chapter I ever wrote. It’s so goth, though, and it just makes me want to dance giddily over it because ugh, Henley’s dress is black, and there’s an until death neon sign over their table, and it’s AT NIGHT, and I just love their wedding so much. I don’t want to at all tell you how much time I spent planning it because it’s probably the same amount of time that I spent working out the technical details of the final climax, and uhhhhh, the wedding is one chapter, and the climax is, like, six? ANYWAY.
This is all to say that I hope someday, when my books are published, you read them and love them in all their queer glory!