Please welcome Lesbian fiction, and thriller writer TT Banks to #IndieSpotlight! Let's explore inspiration for book themes, the strength of community and the planning phase behind the finished novel. I just finished reading Post-Mortem and loved it! Dr. R.J. Cherry is my favorite kind of strong character, flawed, brilliant and slightly rebellious.
What drove your interest to talk, research and write about police procedure, forensics and to include a brilliant, female coroner?
All of the books in the Sapphic Sphere Collection are centered around lesbian characters that are connected through their careers. The first book in the collection, Breaking Protocol, is about a detective, the second about a coroner, the third about an EMT, and the fourth will be about a firefighter….
Where it goes from there, only time will tell! I briefly introduce each new main character in the previous book, linking the books through personal and professional connections that the characters have with one another.
I grew up reading Sue Grafton and Kathy Reichs and when I got a bit older I dove into Janet Evanovich and Sandra Brown. I think that these writers impacted me the most – their books all center around strong, intelligent, and occasionally comical, female characters.
I like emphasizing the strength of my main characters as well as their weaknesses. The vulnerability in the characters are what make them real and likeable to me (and hopefully the readers).
Post-Mortem’s Dr. R.J. Cherry was a lot of fun to write. She’s strong, detail-oriented (maybe to a fault), smart, a bit cocky at times, but also totally lost when it comes to her love life. I think that many people can empathize with that problem. *insert winky face emoji*
When you begin a new novel do you have a brutal crime in mind? Or does that important plot point reveal itself through character motivation for control, passion or (eek) bloody revenge?
I am a massive planner. I’ve let other writers look at my outlines and I’m not sure if they are totally mortified at the amount of planning or if they are shocked with the ridiculous details (I sometimes even add dialogue).
That being said, I do tend to have a crime in mind; however, I never fully outline the climax or end of the book. I have an idea of who is going to live and die, but let the characters dictate how that happens. I know if my killer is going to die at the end, but how that occurs I can never be certain until I get there. Sometimes, you’ve just got to go with what’s readily available in the scene – a lamp, a knife, a gun – something handy and sometimes, something very brutal.
I am aware that you’ve just started a new group and # on Twitter. How is that going and what do hope to achieve?
Yes! The group is called #QueerIndie. It is a group of writers who don’t necessarily write in the same genres, but are uniting to promote and encourage queer representation in indie literature. Our motto is to “Write the Rainbow.” Our books might not be centered on the LGBTQIA+ relationships, but they are there – loud and proud. Our alliance wants every voice to have a place and every book to have a home. Queer Indie is a mixed bag of LGBTQIA+ people and allies.
As a lesbian, I find it very important for the LGBTQIA+ community to have representation in the world of literature and art. There are so many people still muted by society - and the more visibility and the more stories that we can share, the more likely it will be that everyone can live their own truth.
Growing up, the only stories I ever got to read or see involving anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community always seemed to end tragically. There were no fairytale happy endings. That’s why I write what I do. Because, deep down… we all want that.
We all want our happily ever after, and that can take whatever damn form you want it to.
TT Banks Author Bio:
TT Banks currently lives outside of Bangor, Maine (the land of Stephen King). She is a self-published author in the LGBTQ fiction category, and a founding member of Queer Indie - an alliance of queer writers. You can connect with these writers on Twitter, and in-person at the 2020 BookCon event in New York.
Her published books are all part of the Sapphic Sphere Collection which is currently three books strong and growing. Current titles include Breaking Protocol, Post-Mortem, and Dead on Arrival.
She describes her books as being lesbian fiction/romantic thrillers, filled with sass, humor, suspense, murder, mayhem, lust, love, and of course… lesbians.
Author Website https://www.ttbanksbooks.com
Queer Indie https://queerindie.com/
Breaking Protocol: https://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Protocol-TT-Banks-ebook/dp/B07VH5M21N
Chapter 1 Reading of Dead On Arrival: https://twitter.com/TTBanks5/status/1246284271255519232
"We all want our happily ever after, and that can take whatever damn form you want it to."
I love it and totally agree TT! I honestly didn't know about the devastating message of LGBTQIA+ characters having an unhappy ending in books. We all deserve happiness and acceptance in real-life and in the stories that we read. I'm honored to have you join me here to share a tiny look into your awesome books, and some insight into your writer's life. Please check out the links, share this post with your friends and on social media. Thank you so much for connecting with TT!
If you would like to be part of Indie Spotlight please send an elevator pitch and short bio to www.bibianakrall.com/contact
You do not have to be published to talk about being a writer or your creative challenges. Thanks for your interest! Until next time find your Peace, Love, Hustle, then Read or Write. Xox Bibiana www.bibianakrall.com Books, Short Stories, Blog, Writing Podcast, and Book Trailers