This time it’s KJ Charles’ turn, take it away…
If you wrote an autobiography, what would its title be and why?
There’s a poem that means a great deal to me. It’s a haiku by a Japanese woman poet named Chiyo-ni, and it goes:
on the ebb tide beach
everything we pick up
As ever with good haiku, it seems absurdly simple and you can think about it for hours. I could talk about it for hours, but suffice to say, I’d call my autobiography The Ebb-Tide Beach. And then nobody would understand why, and the publisher would make soothing noises and change it to KJ Charles: My Struggle or something. So it’s probably best I don’t write one. Anyway, it would basically go: “Born, read books, wrote books, fed cat,” which is not thrilling. (With, I hope, a last chapter by someone else to add, “Died in way that didn’t go viral on the internet.” Cross fingers.)
2) What has your writing/ blogging journey been like from the start until now?
Chancy. I started writing The Magpie Lord without really knowing there was a gay romance genre as such, I hadn’t read romance in a few years. I just wanted a Victorian fantasy romance, and turned out the MCs were gay. Discovering queer romance and returning to reading romance has been wonderful, as has meeting so many interesting people and learning so much. And I adore telling stories, adore having people buy into them and want to know more. There’s no pleasure like that. I’ve been hugely lucky to find a readership for the stories I want to tell, and it’s marvellous.
3) What do you hope to get from UK Meet that’s different from other conferences?
I like the size, for a start, it’s very manageable. And the queer romance genre is pretty close, so it’s amazing to meet so many of the people with whom I’ve interacted on social media, and so many authors I admire. There are a lot of people sharing their knowledge, and of course readers sharing their enthusiasms, which I absolutely love. Also–and this is crucial–there’s a café near the venue that does a bacon and egg sandwich which last year was worth the trip to Bristol by itself. I’m pretty much planning my conference schedule around that.