Queer exposure in mass media is generally challenging on a day, exactly what takes place when the guide release is happening, well, today? writers use revenue being carry on informing stories, however when standard emergency takes precedence over reading, how do queer authors obtain information out over the planet?

Kristen Lepionka

writes mysteries and

Leah Johnson

pencils younger xxx fiction, but both are here, queer, and excited with their brand new publications. I asked every one of them about their newest tasks, Zoom parties, and why queer feminine stories tend to be more essential than in the past.

GO Magazine: Tell me somewhat about your self.

Kristen Lepionka:

I’m author of the

Roxane Weary secret series

. I reside in Columbus, Kansas with Joanna, my partner of virtually ten years, and the two kitties. My personal guides tend to be emerge Columbus, also.  While I’m perhaps not writing, I’m most likely carrying out work as an independent visual developer, doing crossword puzzles, or preparing my after that crafty job.

Leah Johnson:

We state frequently that i am an eternal Midwesterner moonlighting as a brand new Yorker because i shall never be able to shake the small-ish community girl in me. And I also think that looks a great deal during my authorship as well. Really, its essentially my entire brand! We discuss black women from Indiana trying to navigate battle and sex while slipping in deep love with themselves and dropping in love — complete stop.

GO: let me know concerning your publication.


“Once You Get This Much”

[available for preorder July 8th] will be the last guide from inside the Roxane Weary private investigator mystery show. Roxane is actually chosen to look inside relatively accidental loss of a middle-aged class nurse on a hiking path. The examination contributes to a missing distressed teenager, a church with a troubling number of power over its users’ schedules, a charismatic feminine technology business person who is running for Congress, and a person who does indeedn’t want Roxane to put the parts with each other. In describing the book to friends, I keep finding myself personally stating that it is more about religion, politics, and other rude party subjects.


“You Should See myself in a Crown,”

currently available almost everywhere]

is a queer YA rom-com about a woman named Liz Lighty whoever objective is to find off the woman little (and small-minded) hometown and visit university. But once this lady financial aid drops through, Liz has got to manage for prom queen for all the possibility to win the grant that’s attached to the top. All of that would be tough sufficient naturally, but then Liz fulfills the woman in town, who in addition is actually the woman competitors for prom king, and has to find out just how to hold her newfound crush from damaging the woman chance at winning the battle. It is heavy on the joy together with relationship, but also the importance of those relationships that change your life in addition to techniques familial ties — both discovered household and blood — can hold you with each other whenever you feel you are dropping apart.

GO: exactly why do you determine to create stories about queer characters?


I determine as bi, and I also desire to write publications about individuals like me and like the people i understand. There are lack of mystery/crime books with well-drawn queer characters (something which is evolving, though not fast sufficient for my flavor!), so it is extremely important if you ask me to be able to create intricate LGBTQ+ people in my personal guides. Great fiction should reflect reality, specially crime books, which have been discussing personal issues.


I didn’t come-out until my adulthood — I didn’t also see the next where being anything except that right ended up being an alternative — but I can merely picture exactly what permission might have been approved in my experience therefore a great many other young ones if we’d seen more different representation on shelves. If publications indicate to us something and can be feasible, subsequently we truly need many stories to offer readers decorative mirrors. Needs the mirrors my guides offer to reflect the sum of exactly what complex, breathtaking, incredible, disorganized life of possibility every child is deserving of.

GO: your own book is unveiling in the middle of a pandemic, whenever in-person occasions are extremely minimal, or maybe more typically, limited totally. Exactly what are you performing to obtain the term out?


Even though in-person events are particularly a lot up in the air nowadays, i have been taking pleasure in performing some Zoom events. The energy differs from the others needless to say but it’s a fun solution to manage to get in touch with folks in an extremely strange time. I additionally co-host a podcast,

Unlikeable Female Characters

, basically another way of reaching folks.


I have been lucky for the reason that

most of the occasions I found myself about to do

haven’t been terminated, just moved on the web. It has been unexpected to learn, however, that virtual events are simply just as tiring as an in-person occasion — if not more therefore! Just because i am filming from my childhood bed room with my Glee poster for the back ground doesn’t mean that I’m not nonetheless attempting to arrive and engage in in the same way. (the only real difference is actually I’m frequently wearing pajama shorts.)

GO: Do you actually feel queer publications are especially crucial nowadays?


Queer publications are always essential! Today, things are frustrating across-the-board, and queer-identifying individuals are currently at a larger chance of having loneliness, separation, despair, etc. guides aren’t a secret cure at all, but witnessing yourself reflected on the pages of a manuscript you might be checking out often helps create someone feel much less by yourself. Although it feels like globally has actually ended during all this, it’s gotn’t, and each story is a way to achieve someone.


Once we’re achieving this interview, black colored people nationally can be found in mourning. George Floyd. Tony McDade. Breonna Taylor. Ahmad Arbery. The list goes on. We are dropping the friends and family, however, how we’ve always missing black colored folks in this nation: to racism, to sexism, to homophobia. Everything to state, the work of reminding black colored young children that they are worthy of everyday lives without pain and assault never ever stops. The job of reminding black queer children that even yet in a nation that will not shield them that they are cared for and observed never ever prevents.

For me personally, plus in these guides, battle and sex are inextricably linked. In order extended as both my personal blackness and my queerness is a threat for this country, and folks in positions of power, we’ll hold putting these tales of black colored joy and success out to the globe. Its all i am aware how exactly to carry out, you realize? A small share to unraveling programs being probably planning to just take my whole life time to unravel. Ebony queer pleasure is actually a radical act, so these pages tend to be my revolution.

To get more throughout the writers, follow




on Instagram, and Leah on