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Author Interview: Carol Anne Douglas Chats about Lancelot and Guinevere

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Get ready to learn more about the book Lancelot and Guinevere in this discussion with sapphic author Carol Anne Douglas.

Join us for an exclusive peek behind the scenes as we quiz Carol Anne Douglas about Lancelot and Guinevere, writing, reading, and more.

This book is part of the Royal Romance category in the 2024 IHS Reading Challenge.

Why did you write Lancelot and Guinevere?

I’ve always found the love story between Lancelot and Guinevere to be the most compelling part of the Arthurian legends. For a long time, I wanted to write about that with Lancelot as a woman. This book is the sequel to Lancelot: Her Story, where their love story begins.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

Lancelot is my favorite character. She has PTSD from many sources, including previous battles. In this book she has to struggle with that. I have also had some difficult traumas to deal with.

What was the biggest challenge writing this book?

Writing the story with some of the sadness at the end of the usual retelling but with a good outcome for Lancelot and Guinevere.

What part of Lancelot and Guinevere was the most fun to write?

The parts about Drian, a woman disguised as a man who is not as privileged as Lancelot and who has made a living as a harper.

How much research did you need to do for Lancelot and Guinevere?

Years and years studying the Arthurian legends. Many developments in the book are based on them, with a twist.

What is your writing process like?

I’m a pantser. I know where I’m going, but I jump around. I like to write about the episode that inspires me on a particular day.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?

Barbara Kingsolver. She writes literary fiction and I try to do that, even in fantasies like Lancelot and Guinevere. She writes about nature, and I bring that to my books also.

What has helped or hindered you most when writing a book?

Working as an editor for my paying job took too much time from my writing. Fortunately, I’m now retired, but I wasn’t when writing this book.

What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

As soon as I think of a book, I’m already there.

Have you ever cried when writing an emotional scene?

Yes. Killing one of my favorite characters because that’s what happens in the Arthurian legends and I felt I needed to be true to the legends in that way.

What type of books do you enjoy reading the most?

Literary fiction. I’ve always been drawn by that because I want to understand the world. But the Arthurian legends have also always been compelling perhaps because I went to Catholic schools and feel that I already lived in the Middle Ages.

Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?

Almost every book I ever read, starting with books with animals clothed like people.

What books have you read more than once in your life?

The Anne of Green Gables series, Little Women, all of Jane Austen, Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda, Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, all of Sherlock Holmes, all of Louise Penny, all of Virginia Woolf…. too many books to count. If I find characters and a story compelling, I’ll probably read it again.

Meet Carol Anne Douglas

Carol Anne Douglas worked on the feminist news journal off our backs for 35 years. Her lesbian novels are Lancelot: Her Story and Lancelot and Guinevere, in which Lancelot is a woman in disguise and a lesbian; Sister Matthew and Sister Rose: Novices in Love, set in a convent in 1962; and Choosing Yellowstone, about a longtime lesbian couple. All are available from Amazon and Bella Books in print and ebook. She lives in DC and winters in a lesbian community in Florida. She loves nature.

Visit Carol Anne’s Website

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