Hello, friends! Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to E.H. Timms, the author of Holding Onto Day, Birthday Landscapes as many other shorter stories and poems!
E H Timms won the BBC Wildlife Young Poet of the Year award, hasn’t managed to stop writing since, and now lives in South West England with a computer tethered to one elbow and far too many books.
We were lucky enough to reveal the cover for Holding Onto Day and interview one of the main characters in 2019, and now we’re interviewing the creator herself as they promote their upcoming release, Create My Own Perfection!
Emma Stone, medusa, is the groundskeeper for Olson College of Extensive Education, a place where everyone is welcome, from the mythical to the magical. When her selkie best friend loses her skin in Fresher’s week, the race is on to find it before someone uses it against her.
The search brings Emma face to face with her oldest enemy – and forces her to confront the worst nightmares of her past. (Goodreads / Storygraph) Goodreads
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi, I’m E.H. Timms, E.H. for short. I’m an aroace genderqueer writer, mostly of SFF, my pronouns are they/them and she/her, and I’m here today to talk about my ownvoices aroace retelling of Medusa!
What first interested you in the story of Medusa?
Medusa has fascinated me for a very long time. Something about the way that her power is at once deadly yet manageable resonates with me. I don’t remember what initially drew me to her, but almost eight years ago now, I had to do a lot of research into medusas and gorgons for a non-fiction piece I was writing. A lot of what I learned at that time lingered around in the back of my head and eventually Create My Own Perfection crystalised out of it.
How does Medusa being aroace affect her story?
Surprisingly little, in fact. At its heart, the story of Medusa is about a man (Poseidon) who wants a woman (Medusa) who is not interested in him, and the layers of support and blame that wind about them as a result. So while Emma’s, my medusa’s, motivations are influenced by her being aroace, the actual core of the story remains the same.
If you were to list 3 things that influenced Create My Own Perfection, what would they be?
First, and perhaps most importantly, I wanted to see myself on the page. As someone who is both aroace and something of an introverted loner, I am all too aware that my existence is considered a Bad Trope where aromantic or asexual representation is concerned. But I’m still here, and I’m still queer, and I know I’m not the only one. I try to write a wide variety of representation in my stories, but this one is for me and those like me, because we exist and deserve to both see ourselves and to be seen in good rep as well as bad.
Second, I tapped into some of my early experiences as a queer teenager. Growing up under Section 28 (a law that forbade teachers, librarians, and other government employees from ‘promoting’ queerness) I had neither labels, nor support when I was harassed. Create My Own Perfection allowed me to give Emma the support I should have had, and didn’t.
Which feeds into my third thing: Back in 2019, I ended up in a conversation on twitter, looking for books where allo allies support and backup their aspec friends, and not finding any, ended up writing it myself.
What authors are auto-buys for you?
I don’t really have any. There are certain common tropes and themes that I’m just not up for reading, so even with authors that I generally like and enjoy, I’m going to be scanning the blurbs and reviews for clues to whether it’s a book I want to read or not rather than buying automatically.