Podcast

The Writing Process, Editing a Short Story Magazine, and More with Jaecyn Boné: a Spoonie Authors Podcast

Transcript below!

Our first Spoonie Authors Podcast of the year introduces Jaecyn Boné, author of many short stories, co-founder of Limeoncello, and a novelist about to enter the query trenches.

You can find out more about Jaecyn here!

The Spoonie Authors Podcast is part of the Spoonie Authors Network, an initiative dedicated to building community among disabled creatives. Join the community by participating in the Spoonie Authors Chat on Twitter at 1:00 pm EST every Sunday. Just search for the hashtag #SpoonieAuthChat. We look forward to meeting you!

Transcript

Dianna Gunn: Hello, and welcome to the Spoonie Authors Podcast, a podcast where we explore the life and stories of different disabled authors. I’m your host, Dianna Gunn, and joining us today is Jaecyn Boné. Jaecyn Boné is a disabled, queer, Asian American writer, and artist. Their days are filled with daydreams of a magical place called The Fearth, where mermaids, fairies, and pirates abound. They live in Billings, Montana, USA, with their spouse, two-year-old, and newborn baby and maybe a ghost or two. Hello, Jaecyn! 

Jaecyn Boné: Hi, Dianna! 

Dianna: It’s very nice to chatting with you. I’m really excited to talk to you and to learn more about your novel Farzana’s Spite. So, do you want to start by introducing that? 

Jaecyn: Sure, yeah! So, Farzana’s Spite is actually my oldest work in progress. I started the original draft back in 2008, when I was a senior in high school. The idea came to me in a dream; my dream-self was standing at an elevator watching it go out, knowing that it was carrying someone that I love to their doom. I was heartbroken. I have this sudden urge to go be the hero and go save them. And I knew then that that would be the climax scene of the story. I just didn’t have any other part of the story figured out [laughs]. And at that time in my life, I didn’t have a lot of agency, and I wanted that to be the same case for the main character in Farzana’s Spite. It’s basically a fantasized memoir. The events are fabricated, but the relationships between the characters call on real relationships I’ve had in my life. I’m the main character is a Pixie, whose long-lost father shows back up in her life and murders the royal family, thus tossing her life and the workings of the kingdom into chaos. After over a decade of this story marinating in my head, it is finally in the editing stage. I recently got first edits back from my editor, the wonderful Charlie Knight, and I’m ridiculously happy with how the story is coming along. I’m hoping to start submitting it to indie presses early next year.

Dianna: Awesome. That is really exciting. And I wish you luck on the submission process. I know that can be quite a nightmare.

Jaecyn: I’ve heard! [laughs] 

Dianna: So, you also had a story, Color Unknown, published in the CHIMERA anthology by Lost Boys Press, and I absolutely loved it. So, I was wondering if you can share a bit of basics for the listener and also a bit of the inspiration behind this.

Jaecyn: Yeah. So, thank you [laughs], first off!  I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s a story that I wrote for a submission call for a creature lore swap, where basically you mash together two or more mythological or folklore creatures and write a story about it. I knew right away that I wanted to write something that would fit in my Faerth universe, so I thought why not write a merfolk story? The specific mer-fae in my story has Medusa-stare effect with their eyes. The main character Soots is a nonbinary mer-fae cursed with turning other fairies to stone until they meet a water nymph who is colour-blind and unaffected by the curse. I’ve been told by many it’s an emotional, heart-wrenching in story [laugh]. My inspiration for this is that I’ve always been fascinated by merfolk. When I was younger, I wanted to be one when I grew up, and now I just settle for pretty coloured hair. But any chance I get, I’ve worked with stories about merfolk. And the Medusa’s curse made sense to me because my merfolk don’t have hair. They have tendrils on their heads, which kind of look like snakes, and I’m wanting to pay homage to the snake-headed Medusa.

Dianna: Awesome. So, do all merfolk in your world have that ability or is it just Soot?

Jaecyn: It’s just Soots. Soots is just cursed [laughs] unfortunately.

Dianna: Poor thing! So, you mentioned that these stories, and to my understanding, all of the other stories that you’ve been working on are all set in the same world, which means that you’ve got to have a lot of details for this world. So, how do you keep track of it all?

Jaecyn: Originally, Farzana’s Spite was titled A Fairy Tale. So, I actually have a Google doc named A Fairy Tale Notes. It’s thousands of words long and goes really in depth into the culture of the various kingdoms and countries on Faerth. The different religious pantheons, backgrounds for all of the characters, lore on all the creatures and species, and random little notes like how energy works out there. It’s quite a bit messy, but it works for me. It’s also what helped me create the glossary that will be included in all of my novels, including Farzana’s Spite.

Dianna: Awesome, and I thank you on behalf of fantasy fans everywhere for including a glossary, doubly thank you if you actually put pronunciation guides. 

Jaecyn: Oh, I plan to! [laughs]

Dianna: I recently read the Worldbreaker Saga by Kameron Hurley, which was an incredible series, and it had these huge glossaries in the back that were like 30 pages long, but there weren’t pronunciation guides for any other words [Jaecyn cries, “Nooo!”], and I was like, “So my basically still on my own.” [laughter] And what do you actually write on? You write on Google Docs as well?

Jaecyn: I do. I actually do all of my writing on my phone because due to physical disabilities, I’m not able to write on a regular desktop keyboard without being in immense pain. So, I write everything on my phone. And I write everything on Google Docs because it’s available everywhere.

Dianna: Awesome. Yeah. There’s definitely an advantage to having it everywhere. I like Scrivener, but it is really annoying that I have to import notes from my phone separately. 

Jaecyn: Yeah. 

Dianna: So, on top of all of these stories that you are writing, you are also one of the founders of an own voices online literary magazine, Limeoncello, which launched this year. So, can you tell us a bit about magazine and maybe a little bit about your most recent issue?

Jaecyn: Yeah, thank you for mentioning that. Actually. Limeoncello, as you said, is specifically for Own Voices stories for authors who come from marginalized, persecuted, or underrepresented identities. There are seven of us co-founders, and it was so important to all of us, being from various marginalized backgrounds ourselves, that we created something that was for us and by us Publishing has been ruled by white, allocishet, able-bodied, neurotypical people for so long that trying to break into it, when that’s not you, is an excruciating uphill battle. We want to change that little by little, and we’re doing that by creating a space for people like us to have our stories told. Our latest issue, our Fall issue, had the theme of Breaking Chains. And we published four stories, actually, three fiction stories and one nonfiction essay in the theme of Breaking Chains, and I was really excited with the stories that people submitted to us, and I thought they were a really clever way of tackling the theme that we put out there.

Dianna: Also, I didn’t realize that you published nonfiction on there as well.

Jaecyn: Yeah, we specifically say that we publish all genres, and that includes nonfiction. We just don’t usually have a lot of people submit nonfiction, but we do welcome it.

Dianna: Awesome. And how do you split the work of that? So, there are seven of you. Do you have like a designated person who checks the email or and reads the stories? Do you all participate in reading the stories? What’s the process?

Jaecyn: Oh, it’s… I don’t think it’s that complicated. Maybe it is for someone looking in, but basically, me and the other co-editor in chief, Romana, we both manage the email. So, anything that comes through the email, we screen it, we make sure that it actually meets the submission guidelines. If it doesn’t, we email the author back to see if they can fix that, and if they can’t, we put it in the reject pile because it not going to go into the magazine. Everything that is submitted properly or fixed, so that it is now submitted properly, gets put into our Slack—what’s the word? Slack server?

Dianna: It’s a channel on Slack and a server on Discord. [laughter]

Jaecyn: Yeah. So, it goes into our Slack channel and the channel specifically for submissions. And we, everyone except for me and Romana, blind-read (Editor’s note: This means to read anonymous submissions; this transcription is relaying the term used on the podcast.) the stories just because we checked the email, so we know who submitted it. But all the rest of the five editors blind-read the submissions; we don’t know who the author is. We just know what the relevant identities are to the piece, so that we know that its own voices. We read all of the stories and then we vote yes or no on whether we want that story to be in our magazine. And then after we vote on all of them, there’s seven of us, so there’s never a tie, thankfully. After we vote on all of them, then we go back into the ones that we wanted in the magazine and we say, “Okay, is there room for all of these? Do we want all of these, do they work together?” Well, in the theme of the thing of the issue that we’re publishing, so far, we have not rejected anyone that we picked to put into our magazine in the first round, which is really cool, because that means that everyone that we liked, or every story that we liked, got in. Um, after that, we parse out the editing. Every story gets two editing passes. before it goes back to the author by, two different editors. And then we submit the editing to the author for review. And then after they send it back to us, a final editor, which is always an editor in chief, will go over the piece and then put it on to our website. And that’s the basic process!

Dianna: Awesome. And when does when does your next submission period open for writers who might be interested? 

Jaecyn:  Our next submission period is going to be from October 25 to November 21. And the theme is fire.

Dianna: Ooh, fire. 

Jaecyn: Yeah!

Dianna: That’s an exciting theme. Lots to do with that!

Jaecyn: Yeah, gotta keep us warm in the winter. 

Dianna: See, I was thinking more of burning capitalism down [Jaecyn laughs], but I guess that’s just what’s always on my mind, so…

Jaecyn: That would keep me warm! [laughter]

Dianna: So you have your own short stories and your novels and this online literary magazine and you’re a stay-at-home parent, how do you manage all of that and keep a balance of it while also still taking the necessary time to care for your health?

Jaecyn: That balance is really hard. And I’ll admit that when it comes down it, my health and my self-care is always what gets dropped first. To try and combat that, I build routines for myself. I have two different Dungeons and Dragons campaigns that I play with friends on Tuesdays and Fridays because socialization is so important for me to battle my depression. Every Thursday, I have a streaming session with my sibling—we’re watching Guardian right now. And every Saturday, I do a face mask and take a bath, you know, just a little bit of pampering. And every other night of the week, from about 10pm to 1am, I sit down, and I write. I have so many projects right now that it can be a little bit overwhelming, but it’s also great because I never have to wonder what to write next. There’s just a whole list to choose from!

Dianna: Doesn’t that make it more overwhelming sometimes though? Like, how do you choose when you have so many?

Jaecyn: I usually go by deadline, like, which is coming up next. And I’m like, “Okay, this one definitely needs more time because it’s got to be submitted soon.” 

Dianna: Make sense That’s a good system to have. I find it very overwhelming to have more than one fiction project at a time. But then I always have like 18 nonfiction projects, so, I guess I kind of have some progress. I’m only ever reading one book. So, what advice would you give to other disabled people who are looking to write a book and who are potentially daunted by the idea of taking on such a big project?

Jaecyn: Prioritizing your health and well-being is already hard enough when you’re disabled. Like getting out of bed is a momentous task most days and so is writing a book. So just take it one step at a time. It’s okay to take a year to write a book. It’s okay to take 10 years, I’ve been working on Farzana’s Spite since 2008. Go at your own pace because no one benefits from your burnout.

Dianna: Absolutely. I feel like we need that on, like, a throw pillow: No one benefits from your burnout. All right, so that brings us to the end of our interview. It has been really great chatting, and if you just want to give people a rundown of where they can go to find Limeoncello and also find you, that would be great.

Jaecyn: Yes, I have a website you can find out basically everything about me at https://thefaerth.com

Dianna: Awesome, and where is Limeoncello?

Jaecyn: Limeoncello is at https://www.limeoncellomagazine.com. But you can also find it in my bio on my website, if you’re not able to spell that or figure out how to find that. So, it is on my website as well.

Dianna: Awesome. That’s great. And I wish you the best of luck with your magazine and especially with your submission process.

Jaecyn: Thank you so much and thanks for having me.

Dianna: Thank you for listening to this episode of the Spoonie Authors Podcast. This podcast is part of the Spoonie Authors Network, an initiative dedicated to building community among disabled creatives. Join the community by participating in the Spoonie Authors Chat on Twitter at 1:00 pm EST every Sunday. Just search for the hashtag #SpoonieAuthChat. We look forward to meeting you!

Transcribed by https://otter.ai. Edited for clarity by Cait Gordon.

Dianna Gunn: Hello, and welcome to the Spoonie Authors Podcast, a podcast where we explore the life and stories of different disabled authors. I’m your host, Dianna Gunn, and joining us today is Jaecyn Boné. Jaecyn Boné is a disabled, queer, Asian American writer, and artist. Their days are filled with daydreams of a magical place called The Fearth, where mermaids, fairies, and pirates abound. They live in Billings, Montana, USA, with their spouse, two-year-old, and newborn baby and maybe a ghost or two. Hello, Jaecyn! 

Jaecyn Boné: Hi, Dianna! 

Dianna: It’s very nice to chatting with you. I’m really excited to talk to you and to learn more about your novel Farzana’s Spite. So, do you want to start by introducing that? 

Jaecyn: Sure, yeah! So, Farzana’s Spite is actually my oldest work in progress. I started the original draft back in 2008, when I was a senior in high school. The idea came to me in a dream; my dream-self was standing at an elevator watching it go out, knowing that it was carrying someone that I love to their doom. I was heartbroken. I have this sudden urge to go be the hero and go save them. And I knew then that that would be the climax scene of the story. I just didn’t have any other part of the story figured out [laughs]. And at that time in my life, I didn’t have a lot of agency, and I wanted that to be the same case for the main character in Farzana’s Spite. It’s basically a fantasized memoir. The events are fabricated, but the relationships between the characters call on real relationships I’ve had in my life. I’m the main character is a Pixie, whose long-lost father shows back up in her life and murders the royal family, thus tossing her life and the workings of the kingdom into chaos. After over a decade of this story marinating in my head, it is finally in the editing stage. I recently got first edits back from my editor, the wonderful Charlie Knight, and I’m ridiculously happy with how the story is coming along. I’m hoping to start submitting it to indie presses early next year.

Dianna: Awesome. That is really exciting. And I wish you luck on the submission process. I know that can be quite a nightmare.

Jaecyn: I’ve heard! [laughs] 

Dianna: So, you also had a story, Color Unknown, published in the CHIMERA anthology by Lost Boys Press, and I absolutely loved it. So, I was wondering if you can share a bit of basics for the listener and also a bit of the inspiration behind this.

Jaecyn: Yeah. So, thank you [laughs], first off!  I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s a story that I wrote for a submission call for a creature lore swap, where basically you mash together two or more mythological or folklore creatures and write a story about it. I knew right away that I wanted to write something that would fit in my Faerth universe, so I thought why not write a merfolk story? The specific mer-fae in my story has Medusa-stare effect with their eyes. The main character Soots is a nonbinary mer-fae cursed with turning other fairies to stone until they meet a water nymph who is colour-blind and unaffected by the curse. I’ve been told by many it’s an emotional, heart-wrenching in story [laugh]. My inspiration for this is that I’ve always been fascinated by merfolk. When I was younger, I wanted to be one when I grew up, and now I just settle for pretty coloured hair. But any chance I get, I’ve worked with stories about merfolk. And the Medusa’s curse made sense to me because my merfolk don’t have hair. They have tendrils on their heads, which kind of look like snakes, and I’m wanting to pay homage to the snake-headed Medusa.

Dianna: Awesome. So, do all merfolk in your world have that ability or is it just Soot?

Jaecyn: It’s just Soots. Soots is just cursed [laughs] unfortunately.

Dianna: Poor thing! So, you mentioned that these stories, and to my understanding, all of the other stories that you’ve been working on are all set in the same world, which means that you’ve got to have a lot of details for this world. So, how do you keep track of it all?

Jaecyn: Originally, Farzana’s Spite was titled A Fairy Tale. So, I actually have a Google doc named A Fairy Tale Notes. It’s thousands of words long and goes really in depth into the culture of the various kingdoms and countries on Faerth. The different religious pantheons, backgrounds for all of the characters, lore on all the creatures and species, and random little notes like how energy works out there. It’s quite a bit messy, but it works for me. It’s also what helped me create the glossary that will be included in all of my novels, including Farzana’s Spite.

Dianna: Awesome, and I thank you on behalf of fantasy fans everywhere for including a glossary, doubly thank you if you actually put pronunciation guides. 

Jaecyn: Oh, I plan to! [laughs]

Dianna: I recently read the Worldbreaker Saga by Kameron Hurley, which was an incredible series, and it had these huge glossaries in the back that were like 30 pages long, but there weren’t pronunciation guides for any other words [Jaecyn cries, “Nooo!”], and I was like, “So my basically still on my own.” [laughter] And what do you actually write on? You write on Google Docs as well?

Jaecyn: I do. I actually do all of my writing on my phone because due to physical disabilities, I’m not able to write on a regular desktop keyboard without being in immense pain. So, I write everything on my phone. And I write everything on Google Docs because it’s available everywhere.

Dianna: Awesome. Yeah. There’s definitely an advantage to having it everywhere. I like Scrivener, but it is really annoying that I have to import notes from my phone separately. 

Jaecyn: Yeah. 

Dianna: So, on top of all of these stories that you are writing, you are also one of the founders of an own voices online literary magazine, Limeoncello, which launched this year. So, can you tell us a bit about magazine and maybe a little bit about your most recent issue?

Jaecyn: Yeah, thank you for mentioning that. Actually. Limeoncello, as you said, is specifically for Own Voices stories for authors who come from marginalized, persecuted, or underrepresented identities. There are seven of us co-founders, and it was so important to all of us, being from various marginalized backgrounds ourselves, that we created something that was for us and by us Publishing has been ruled by white, allocishet, able-bodied, neurotypical people for so long that trying to break into it, when that’s not you, is an excruciating uphill battle. We want to change that little by little, and we’re doing that by creating a space for people like us to have our stories told. Our latest issue, our Fall issue, had the theme of Breaking Chains. And we published four stories, actually, three fiction stories and one nonfiction essay in the theme of Breaking Chains, and I was really excited with the stories that people submitted to us, and I thought they were a really clever way of tackling the theme that we put out there.

Dianna: Also, I didn’t realize that you published nonfiction on there as well.

Jaecyn: Yeah, we specifically say that we publish all genres, and that includes nonfiction. We just don’t usually have a lot of people submit nonfiction, but we do welcome it.

Dianna: Awesome. And how do you split the work of that? So, there are seven of you. Do you have like a designated person who checks the email or and reads the stories? Do you all participate in reading the stories? What’s the process?

Jaecyn: Oh, it’s… I don’t think it’s that complicated. Maybe it is for someone looking in, but basically, me and the other co-editor in chief, Romana, we both manage the email. So, anything that comes through the email, we screen it, we make sure that it actually meets the submission guidelines. If it doesn’t, we email the author back to see if they can fix that, and if they can’t, we put it in the reject pile because it not going to go into the magazine. Everything that is submitted properly or fixed, so that it is now submitted properly, gets put into our Slack—what’s the word? Slack server?

Dianna: It’s a channel on Slack and a server on Discord. [laughter]

Jaecyn: Yeah. So, it goes into our Slack channel and the channel specifically for submissions. And we, everyone except for me and Romana, blind-read (Editor’s note: This means to read anonymous submissions; this transcription is relaying the term used on the podcast.) the stories just because we checked the email, so we know who submitted it. But all the rest of the five editors blind-read the submissions; we don’t know who the author is. We just know what the relevant identities are to the piece, so that we know that its own voices. We read all of the stories and then we vote yes or no on whether we want that story to be in our magazine. And then after we vote on all of them, there’s seven of us, so there’s never a tie, thankfully. After we vote on all of them, then we go back into the ones that we wanted in the magazine and we say, “Okay, is there room for all of these? Do we want all of these, do they work together?” Well, in the theme of the thing of the issue that we’re publishing, so far, we have not rejected anyone that we picked to put into our magazine in the first round, which is really cool, because that means that everyone that we liked, or every story that we liked, got in. Um, after that, we parse out the editing. Every story gets two editing passes. before it goes back to the author by, two different editors. And then we submit the editing to the author for review. And then after they send it back to us, a final editor, which is always an editor in chief, will go over the piece and then put it on to our website. And that’s the basic process!

Dianna: Awesome. And when does when does your next submission period open for writers who might be interested? 

Jaecyn:  Our next submission period is going to be from October 25 to November 21. And the theme is fire.

Dianna: Ooh, fire. 

Jaecyn: Yeah!

Dianna: That’s an exciting theme. Lots to do with that!

Jaecyn: Yeah, gotta keep us warm in the winter. 

Dianna: See, I was thinking more of burning capitalism down [Jaecyn laughs], but I guess that’s just what’s always on my mind, so…

Jaecyn: That would keep me warm! [laughter]

Dianna: So you have your own short stories and your novels and this online literary magazine and you’re a stay-at-home parent, how do you manage all of that and keep a balance of it while also still taking the necessary time to care for your health?

Jaecyn: That balance is really hard. And I’ll admit that when it comes down it, my health and my self-care is always what gets dropped first. To try and combat that, I build routines for myself. I have two different Dungeons and Dragons campaigns that I play with friends on Tuesdays and Fridays because socialization is so important for me to battle my depression. Every Thursday, I have a streaming session with my sibling—we’re watching Guardian right now. And every Saturday, I do a face mask and take a bath, you know, just a little bit of pampering. And every other night of the week, from about 10pm to 1am, I sit down, and I write. I have so many projects right now that it can be a little bit overwhelming, but it’s also great because I never have to wonder what to write next. There’s just a whole list to choose from!

Dianna: Doesn’t that make it more overwhelming sometimes though? Like, how do you choose when you have so many?

Jaecyn: I usually go by deadline, like, which is coming up next. And I’m like, “Okay, this one definitely needs more time because it’s got to be submitted soon.” 

Dianna: Make sense That’s a good system to have. I find it very overwhelming to have more than one fiction project at a time. But then I always have like 18 nonfiction projects, so, I guess I kind of have some progress. I’m only ever reading one book. So, what advice would you give to other disabled people who are looking to write a book and who are potentially daunted by the idea of taking on such a big project?

Jaecyn: Prioritizing your health and well-being is already hard enough when you’re disabled. Like getting out of bed is a momentous task most days and so is writing a book. So just take it one step at a time. It’s okay to take a year to write a book. It’s okay to take 10 years, I’ve been working on Farzana’s Spite since 2008. Go at your own pace because no one benefits from your burnout.

Dianna: Absolutely. I feel like we need that on, like, a throw pillow: No one benefits from your burnout. All right, so that brings us to the end of our interview. It has been really great chatting, and if you just want to give people a rundown of where they can go to find Limeoncello and also find you, that would be great.

Jaecyn: Yes, I have a website you can find out basically everything about me at https://thefaerth.com

Dianna: Awesome, and where is Limeoncello?

Jaecyn: Limeoncello is at https://www.limeoncellomagazine.com. But you can also find it in my bio on my website, if you’re not able to spell that or figure out how to find that. So, it is on my website as well.

Dianna: Awesome. That’s great. And I wish you the best of luck with your magazine and especially with your submission process.

Jaecyn: Thank you so much and thanks for having me.

Dianna: Thank you for listening to this episode of the Spoonie Authors Podcast. This podcast is part of the Spoonie Authors Network, an initiative dedicated to building community among disabled creatives. Join the community by participating in the Spoonie Authors Chat on Twitter at 1:00 pm EST every Sunday. Just search for the hashtag #SpoonieAuthChat. We look forward to meeting you!

Transcribed by https://otter.ai. Edited for clarity by Cait Gordon.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.