If you are a fan of surreal humour and irreverent wit, then you might l just love the comedic witterings of C H Clepitt.
Author of more than a dozen books, including the ‘bizarre’ and ‘clever’ satirical novel I Wore Heels To The Apocalypse, Clepitt still took the time to answer some of burning questions and talk about her book, My Dream Woman.Queer writer @BadgersTweetToo talks to Niamh Murphy about dream warriors, fixing Shakespeare, and reading The Worst Witch! Tweet This
When your dreams are real there’s nowhere to escape!
Andi is just holding it together. Working two jobs means she doesn’t need to rely on anyone, but doesn’t have much of a life. In her dreams, however, she is a hero: battling monsters and saving innocents. When her dream woman turns out to be very real, Andi’s life begins to spiral out of control.
Step into an exciting urban fantasy that will have you on the edge of your seat. Think The Book of Abisan, only sexier!
So, tell us about your latest book? What inspired you?
I’ve always had an idea buzzing about in my head about dream warriors; people who enter our dreams and protect us from nightmares. I started writing it as a children’s book about five years ago, but I just couldn’t get into it. Then I decided to do it as LesFic instead and I absolutely flew through it, finishing it in a matter of months. I loved writing from Andi (the MC)’s POV, she’s vulnerable and insecure, but also tough and fiercely loyal to her friends and I think the relationship I developed with her helped me to get through it quickly.
I also love the excellent job Natalie Husden did in bringing her to life for the audiobook. There is no better feeling that hearing your characters speak!
That’s very true! It’s strange to hand over to a narrator, but also a wonderful experience.
So what do you think makes a good story?
Personally I think a good story (or at least a story I want to read) has to have fully developed characters and character relationships. You can put them into whatever situation you like as long as they respond plausibly to it, then it works! Also, keep it quick. If you spend three pages describing a tree, you’ve already lost me. It’s a tree, I’ve got it, move along…
I’m not great with too-long descriptions, either!
Do you have a favorite childhood book?
I’m visually impaired, so reading as a child was always a battle. It would make me tired and give me a headache and the boring old books in the school library had such small print that they were virtually impossible for me to read. The first book I read on my own was 101 Dalmatians, and I really enjoyed that and even read the sequel (out of choice!). I also loved The Worst Witch series. Highly underrated that one!
That sounds tough! But those are great books! I can see how they encouraged you to keep reading!
If you could tell your younger (writing) self anything, what would it be?
Ignore the trolls and just write what you want. The people who count and who need to read it will enjoy it.
Absolutely agree with that!
Why do you think we need more LGBTQIA+ representation?
Because it’s still not mainstream! We still don’t get the representation we deserve! Everyone deserves stories about them, and not just warning tales of misery and despair. I went through the whole of academia (and most of non academia too!) with zero queer representation in books, films or TV series! Even now it’s like a subgenre – having its own section, its own shelf. Lots of things that claim to be LGBTQIA+ actually just have one side character, so it gets to claim the label and catfish us into clicking. We, and the younger generations coming up need visible, positive representation. Stop hiding us in the shadows. Stop having a character who is queer, but not showing their queerness for fear of backlash (MCU, I’m looking at you). AND STOP MAKING QUEER PEOPLE MISERABLE CAUTIONARY TALES! I’ll stop now…
I think this is a subject (queerbaiting especially) that we all get quite passionate about! But the more books we make, the better!
Speaking of which, how many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Shhh. We aren’t going to talk about that.
What can we expect from you next?
I’m working on a series called Shakespeare Fixed, where I bring Shakespeare up to date and fix all the annoying bits. I currently have a modern (unashamedly queer) version of Twelfth Night available on Kindle.
I’m also working on a spy story, which may or may not have just veered into scifi…
That sounds like a fantastic adventure! I’d love you to come back and talk about whichever one you finish first!
It’s been a pleasure! Thank you.
About C H Clepitt
C H Clepitt has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of the West of England. As her Bachelor’s Degree was in Drama, and her Master’s Dissertation focused on little known 18th Century playwright Susannah Centlivre, Clepitt’s novels are extremely dialogue driven, and it has often been observed that they would translate well to the screen.
Since graduating in 2007, she gained experience in community and music journalism, before establishing satirical news website, Newsnibbles in 2010. In 2011 she published her book, A Reason to Stay, which follows the adventures of disillusioned retail manager, Stephen, as he is thrust into village life and the world of AmDram. Clepitt’s feminist fantasy, The Book of Abisan not only crosses worlds, but confuses genres, and has been described as a crime drama with magic. She has often said that she doesn’t like the way that choosing a genre forces you to put your book into a specific little box, and instead she prefers to distort the readers’ expectations and keep them guessing. Her 2016 work, I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse does just that, as just like the characters, the readers won’t know what’s going on in this laugh out loud satirical scifi.
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If you enjoyed this, then you’ll want to check out the post on ten authors giving away their work for free!