On September 8, the Asian-inspired epic fantasy The Bone Shard Daughter was released into the world. I sat down with the author, Andrea Stewart, to discuss her debut, diversity in the fantasy genre, and writing established queer relationships.

Beyond Queer Tropes

The Bone Shard Daughter follows a cast of characters in an empire on the edge of revolution, where an emperor drains the life force of his citizens to power monstrous, magical constructs made of bone.

Two of these characters include an established sapphic couple. These two women have class differences between them, which they now have to deal with for the first time as the coming changes in society affect their relationship.

“There’s still a lot of story within the framework of an established relationship,” Andrea shared.

She wanted to write a story with LGBTQ characters that wasn’t a tragedy, and that wasn’t focused on coming out. “Everybody has more to their life,” she said with a laugh.

Diversity Enriches the Genre

Andrea is excited about the increase of diversity in the fantasy genre, and wants to see even more of it.

“I know when I was a kid,” she said, “it was always the straight, white male protagonist. And that was the first stuff that I started to write, because I thought that’s all there was. I didn’t really see a lot that was reflective of who I was, but I thought that there wasn’t necessarily a place for that.”

Fantasy, in particular, is a genre that has so much room for imagination and creativity; there’s no reason to use the same narrow patterns over and over again.

“I think bringing in more diversity just enriches the genre,” she said.

The Goals of the Book

Andrea’s ultimate goals with The Bone Shard Daughter included that it be reflective of her background, and that it include a biracial main character. Beyond that, she wanted to create an immersive fantasy world that people could escape into. She wanted it to be a fun and engaging story that also made people think.

I don’t know about you, but all of that sounds right up my alley. I can’t wait to get my hands on this latest epic debut.

Watch the entire interview:

The Bone Shard Daughter is available wherever you get your books.

You can keep up with Andrea on Twitter, Instagram, and on her website.