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Author Interview: Genta Sebastian Chats about Damn You, Butch Charming

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Get ready to learn more about the book Damn You, Butch Charming in this discussion with sapphic author Genta Sebastian.

Join us for an exclusive peek behind the scenes as we quiz Genta Sebastian about Damn You, Butch Charming, writing, reading, and more.

This book is part of the Summer / Vacation Fling category in the 2024 IHS Reading Challenge.

Why did you write Damn You, Butch Charming?

I wrote this specifically for Bella Book’s Anthology, Conference Call. I love a twisty tale, or in this case…a twisty tail.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

Lately, I seem to be Woopsie Daisy, the empress of erotica, writing new levels of steamy lesbian smut. Of course, turn me sideways and I’m Butch Charming, writing swoon-worthy Sapphic romance.

What inspired the idea for Damn You, Butch Charming?

Bella Books asked for stories centered around conferences and I was about to attend the GCLS conference. There are two characters in this story who are regulars at most of the GCLS functions – they’d made such a larger than life impression on me they ended up in the story. Yes, I contacted both, had them read it, and each approve their inclusion. You’ll probably recognize them, if you’re familiar with Golden Crown Literary Society.

What was the biggest challenge writing this book?

Convincing my editor that ‘y’all’ is singular, and that ‘all y’all’ is for addressing more than one person.

What part of Damn You, Butch Charming was the most fun to write?

The sex scene between Woopsie and Stella. I’d never written a femme on femme scene before and I like the way it turned out.

How did you come up with the title for your book?

After I wrote it, I looked for a line that summed it up. This phrase works for both Stella, the publisher, and Myke/Woopsie concerning her alter-ego, Butch Charming.

How much research did you need to do for Damn You, Butch Charming?

LOL – well, I’ve never actually had conference sex, so I put my back into the effort, kept my nose to the grindstone, and finally licked my lack of experience with a wealth of imagination.

If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

No sequel for this short story. Lots of other short stories available, even more in the works.

What is your favorite line from your book?

“Don’t worry about me, cuz. I know how to handle myself in crowds of adoring lesbians.”

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

Well, heck, if time and death are no restraint, I’d love to know Sappho. Maybe read a little of her poetry in its entirety, chat about the pleasure of loving women, meet some of her friends, you know…

What’s your favorite writing snack or drink?

I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but I love to stick gummi-bears along the edges of my laptop screen. They’re pretty, when I need a moment to pull a thought together they’re smiling encouragingly at me, and they remind me of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. *toothy smile* Gummi-bear critics either have good taste, or they taste great.

Do you have any odd writing quirks?

While editing sex scenes, my right hand (holding the mouse) makes clockwise circles. Um, yeah, I noticed it years ago. Still happens.

When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?

When I know I’m sitting down to write this type of scene, a glass of wine (or equivalent) can help me reach that stage. Can’t write it if you’re not feeling it. I also re-read the chapter before it to remind myself what the reader will be feeling at the approach.

If you could be mentored by a famous author (living or not), who would it be?

Shakespeare, because someone that intelligent and talented, who wrote women that well at a time when women weren’t allowed anywhere near the theater, was either incredibly empathic, trans, or passing. And if I’m wrong (only time-travel will tell) then teach me how to do it, please and thank you!

Have you ever cried when writing an emotional scene?

One of the final scenes in A Troublemaker Never Cries (first book of The Troublemaker Series) centers on bereaved parents delivering several suicide notes left for Traf and her troublemakers.

The confused and grieving parents ask those who received them to read them aloud, hoping to understand. The two young lovers, Lucia and Odete, who killed themselves after repeated brutal attacks by bullies, beg their friends for understanding and forgiveness. Traf learns the shy butch considered her a best friend.

Before leaving, the brokenhearted parents beg the outcast troublemakers, the only friends of their daughter, to think of them as their own parents, come to them whenever things look bad, always know they’ll be standing with and never against them, offering to give them all the love they’ll never be able to give their Odete.

It’s a true story I heard first hand. She cried as she told it to me all those years later. I cried as I wrote the scene as I imagined it. And I dare you to read the passage aloud and not sob, now you know it’s based on fact.

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

I read Of Mice and Men when I was eleven and fell in love with the magic of storytelling. I kept reading John Steinbeck, and Cannery Row inspired me to be an author. Every one of his novels centered on ‘small’ characters, everybodies and nobodies, living small lives with large passions, alive and striving for acceptance and love. I’ve never written a story about the rich and famous, even though I also read F. Scott Fitzgerald.

What book do you wish you had written?

I want to write a Sapphic retelling of I Dream of Jeannie. Okay, technically not a book, but c’mon… femme little genie in a bottle with butch hero astronaut. I used to fantasize…

Describe your favorite reading spot.

Quiet, private (not necessarily alone), comfy couch, plenty of snacks, well lit, and warm. That’s about perfect. Either that, or sitting at the counter of any good coffee shop with a big pile of french fries.

Meet Genta Sebastian

I used to be an old soul in a young body, now I’m a young soul in an old body because… life.

Visit Genta’s Website

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