Happy Saturday, ya’ll! It’s the start of Pride Month, too, and #QWriters is going to be running over on Twitter all month long! Be sure to check it out!
Today I’m joined by Lexington Wilks for my second #QWritersTalk and the first one of Pride Month!
Introduce yourself to us! (Who are you, what you do, pronouns, random facts if you care to share any):
My name is Lexington Wilks. My pronouns are she/they. I’m a freelance writer and researcher, and I also run my own blog “Aspiring Adult”. I have a wicked sweet tooth, I’m left-handed, and I’ve spent far too much time in my life writing fanfic. I put the u in colour, but the z in realize.
What are you working on right now?
I’m polishing a manuscript about two young queer women (one lesbian, one bi+) and their relationship. It’s a longer off-shoot using the characters from my inQluded piece. I’m also working on an advice column of sorts; I haven’t decided what medium it will appear in yet. I think I’ll start it on my blog. “Let’s Ask Lex” (or something to that effect) will be an advice column for questioning & queer people who require validation or a safe space to ease their fears/concerns.
I loved your short fiction piece! Short but super sweet, and shows a lot in just a few words! How did this idea come to you?
Thank you! I’m a lesbian, so I understand the emotion that I created between the two characters (Harry and Maria), and the butterflies fluttering in your belly when you don’t really want to admit you’re in love with someone (even if it’s completely obvious —haha). I was thinking long and hard about representation, and I wanted to write Lesbians that frankly (i) weren’t white, (ii) weren’t sexualized and (iii) didn’t behave for the benefit of the male gaze.
Tell us about your work with @inQluded and how you came to work with them.
I did work previously for Color Bloq (@clrblq on Twitter; formerly @efniksdotcom) as part of their youth internship “The Workshop @ EFNIKS Daily”. The eic at the time retweeted a link for @inQluded and out of curiosity, I clicked the link. I read about their mission and I found that it aligned with my principles of creating a space for Queer Youth of Colour.
What do you hope to accomplish through your non-fiction work?
I live in a place that (put diplomatically) isn’t the most open-minded. I hope my non-fiction work will dispell the myths inculcated by the religious culture of this country. I hope to usher in a culture of critical thinking (that isn’t to say the two are mutually exclusive) and celebration of the natural diversity of humanity.
How/where do you usually get inspiration from for fiction and non-fiction pieces?
I write what I would like to read, particularly for fiction. As unspecific as it is, life inspires my writing.
What advice do you have for other writers starting out?
Keep an open mind.
What appears to work might not work in reality, and being badly published is worse than not being published at all.
Take your time and fall in love with your writing. (Even if it’s absolutely shit — it probably isn’t, stop being so hard on yourself — somebody needs it.)
Any information on upcoming works you can share?
I’m doing a documentary on the impact of Comprehensive Sex Ed (or rather, the lack thereof) on the ideas of consent, relationships, and identity within Grenada, as part of the Caribbean Institute of Gender and Development Studies program (CIGAD) at the University of the West Indies, Cavehill.
What kind of fiction and non-fiction would you like to read more of?
I love to read a narrative that roots for the underdog. In fiction, specifically: Bring on the lesbians! Generally, I like a bit of struggle; it doesn’t have to be some momentous quest, it could just be a ficlet about choosing the right pair of laces. I also can’t speak highly enough of authentic emotional introspection in a character. In non-fiction: something that leaves me feeling like I’ve been punched in the gut, in awe of how this author has moulded words to suit them.
Share some recommendations for the above!
Fiction: A Silhouette Against Armageddon by John Wiswell – no lesbians, but plenty struggle. It’s about a gay skeleton who’s trying to find his way back to his lover. Non-fiction: Because Abuse and Trauma Will Not Keep Me From Intimacy and Love by Loni Amor My Rapist Apologized by Michelle Alexander
Last but not least, give us links to where we can find and support you!
Thanks for joining me today Lexington!