Thirteen Questions with Daisy Fairchild
Daisy Fairchild is the author of Tasting Much Sweeter Than Wine, a wlw fantasy story set in the magical valley of Eden’s Hollow. She is working on a piece for Space Fruit Press’ upcoming anthology and we sat down with her recently to talk about her influences, her routines and how she approaches writing.
SFP: What’s the last book you read and loved?
Daisy Fairchild: Oh boy, Catherine Fletcher’s Sticks and Stones was SO good! Such a vibe in that – I’m really excited to see more work from her! I’ve also been reading more Naomi Novik recently, and just having a blast with her stuff! Really loved Uprooted.
SFP: Do you have any writing rituals?
DF: I like to do it on the couch, in my sweatpants, with one of those generic lo-fi playlists on in the background! I’m terrible at sitting at a desk, and I absolutely can’t write before at least noon, no matter how much I try!
SFP: What is the first book that made you cry?
DF: The first book that made me cry? Wow, I have no idea! Maybe Bridge to Terabithia? I think that traumatized a bunch of us in the 80’s and 90’s, right? I will say my favorite stealth tearjerker book is one called The Cat Who Went To Heaven – wonderful book, but the ending will sucker punch you in the best way!
SFP: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
DF: That’s a tough question for a romance writer! The genre is all about delivering satisfaction, right? You don’t want to be formulaic, but you do want to hit your beats in a way that your audience can appreciate. There’s a flow to it, and that’s important. But you also want to stand out – you want your work to be memorable (in a good way!), to be original enough that it grabs your readers and engages them, and then sticks with them afterward! So I’m going to cheat, and just say both!
SFP: What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
DF: Augusta Connor and I are besties! I know she loves her historical stories, but I happen to know she’s writing another sports romance, and I am here for it. All of the SFP authors are my buddies, though! We’ve got a nice little writing chat going, and we like to toss ideas around. I find it really helpful to know what other folks are working on, and what they find interesting in my own work! It always makes me more excited about my own stuff if someone else is excited about it, too.
SFP: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
DF: Well, with Eden’s Hollow I am very much trying to build a body of work that’s full of connections. Eden’s Hollow is such a special little world, and I’m so excited to tell more stories set there! I want it to feel really lived in, you know? I want readers to be able to imagine themselves there, too.
SFP: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot?
DF: What is it Nick Offerman calls it? Your ‘inner beast’, I think? Ummmm I’d say mine is a fox! Cute, clever, and gets too easily into trouble!
SFP: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
DF: Too many!! I do keep a spreadsheet, but I’m forever finding stray bits and pieces abandoned in my email drafts and on scraps of paper. When I’m grabbed by an idea, I try to just run with it without overthinking, so that results in lots and lots of half-finished chunks of things lying around and cluttering up my space!
SFP: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of a different gender/sexuality/ethnicity/background than you?
DF: Ooh, good one! I think just trying to be representative without playing into stereotypes? Which, of course, is all about research and respect and sensitivity readers. It’s important to me, and to all the SFP authors, that we create a more diverse range of stories and characters than what is reflected just within our own experiences. But that means writing things that you may not have direct personal experience with, and you want to do that carefully. And we’re not always going to get it right! But one of the press’ mission statements that we try to embody as authors is to be respectful of other humans in everything we do.
SFP: How do you select the names of your characters?
DF: Hahaha I started keeping lists of names I liked when I was like, a grade schooler! I was a nerd, y’all. So I have a lot of names just kind of floating around that I like, and so while I definitely take things like age and background and setting into account, at some point it’s just Vibes, yanno?
SFP: What is your favorite childhood book?
DF: Favorite??? Childhood’s so big, though! My favorite from when I was three is different from when I was thirteen! I’m not going to answer this, lol, but I will say that I had, at one point as a teenager, read every single Anne McCaffrey book in print. So take from that what you will!
SFP: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
DF: Well, it depends on the length, of course! Just to write it, mmmm maybe a couple months to draft something in the 50k neighborhood? But then if you include editing and all the finishing steps and so on, probably something like six months to a year? I’m bad at estimating things like this!
SFP: What do you hope readers take away from your writing?
DF: Feeeeeeeelinggggsss!!! I want them to feel things, lots of things, big things! And I want those feelings to stay with them, feeding that little spot in our hearts that really good stories feed.