Today I am interviewing Maya Deane, author of the new fantasy novel, Wrath Goddess Sing!
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DJ: Hi Maya! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Maya Deane: “As I was sitting down to this interview, I heard about the murder of a trans woman and the acquittal of her killer. They had gone out on a date together a month before he killed her; then he tracked her down a month later and broke every bone in her face. At a time like this, when trans women’s lives are under constant peril and what little progress we’ve made is threatened by total annihilation, I think the most salient thing about me is that I am a trans woman, and will live or die with other trans women. In happier times, I might also add that I am a genuinely strange woman, a linguist’s daughter, a poet, obsessed with history, mad for cats, glorious in jewelry, skilled in the ways of food, cunning with makeup, and, no lie, an instructor in meme analysis. But all of that is beside the point when the lives of my sisters can be ended, free of consequences to their murderers, because one man decided to go back and murder his Tinder date and there was at least one transmisogynist on the jury, happy to rebrand the trans panic murder defense as something like ‘fear of mistaken gender identity.’”
DJ: What is Wrath Goddess Sing about?
Maya: Wrath Goddess Sing is about divine anger and love. It is the story of Achilles, a woman like me – and a legendary warrior – who fled to the island of Skyros to live as herself, far from the cruelty of the world outside. But war followed her to Skyros, and the heroes of the Achaians demanded that she fight for them to recover the lost Hittite princess Helen, whom the Achaians viewed as an innocent kidnapping victim cruelly ripped from her husband’s people. Naturally, Achilles had no interest in fighting for her old oppressors, but when her divine mother the Silent One offered her everything to fight – and destroyed the bubble of safety she built for herself on Skyros – Achilles went to war. There she found death – and love.
DJ: What were some of your influences for Wrath Goddess Sing?
Maya: They are innumerable, but I owe a particular debt to Tanith Lee, who taught me that stories can be spells and that love can become more powerful than any god. I also owe a debt to the late Shannon Andrews, who encouraged me to tell the truth and never coddle my readers, and to Alina Boyden, who taught me so much about the way transmisogyny constrains trans women’s lives – and taught me how we must, with absolute resourcefulness and indomitable bloody-mindedness in the face of it all, persist, thrive, grow, and live.Continue reading “Author Interview: Maya Deane”