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Author Spotlight: Lawrence Hogue

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Today we're featuring one of our newest authors, Lawrence Hogue. This is his first novel with us, but he's no stranger to writing. Today, he's joining us to chat about writing and his current novel, Daring and Decorum.

What inspired you to write your latest story?

I was listening to “The Highwayman” by Loreena McKennitt and thought, “Hmm, what would happen if the highwayman was a woman?” I was also reading a lot of Jane Austen at the time, so it felt right to make “Bess, the landlord’s daughter” more of an Austen heroine.

Is there a character in your work you feel especially connected to? Why?

All three, actually. I should feel most connected to Anthony – he’s a cis man, after all, and so am I. And I know what it’s like to be friend-zoned by a woman in love with another woman. (Which is a great place to be! I’ve got no problem with the friend-zone, and I’ve known many people, both men and women, who’ve been in it. It’s how men react when put in the friend-zone, as Anthony does, that’s the problem). I admire Robin and wish I had the same boldness. But I feel most connected to Elizabeth. Her reticence and reserved manner are all straight from me.

Which author(s) have inspired your writing? In what ways?

In general, Jane Austen. WWJ(ane)D? is always my mantra. But for this book, my biggest influence was Ellen Kushner’s Riverside series (Swordspoint, The Privilege of the Sword, and The Fall of the Kings). Her mix of comedy of manners with swashbuckling and intrigue (what she calls melodrama of manners) is exactly the blend I was going for. Also, she created an alternative Europe for those novels where people are almost expected to be bisexual, which was inspiring as well. Mine is a historical novel, not a fantasy, so I’ve had to try to imagine how people of different sexual orientations might have maneuvered within the constraints of their historical setting. For that, my biggest influence was Emma Donoghue’s Life Mask. Both those authors create breeches parts for their characters in one way or another – and who doesn’t love a good breeches part?

Plotter or pantser?

I can’t imagine being one or the other. I used to think I was a plotty-pantser, but now I think I’m more of a pantsy-plotter.

Musical theater or rock concert?

How can I choose? I spent a lot of time in LA clubs in the early ‘80s, but my wife works in theater. Give me Rent or Tommy and I’m happy. And Fun Home is profound and moving. Everyone should see it while it’s still on tour.

What’s a charity/cause you support?

The Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park, Michigan, a haven for homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth.

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