It was way back in March of last year when author and overall cool person KC Luck made a March Madness bracket in the iReadIndies Facebook group spotlighting some of the greatest sapphic tropes. Many readers voted on their favorite one, and after several long days, the winner was finally declared.
Guess what trope won?
Anne Hagan initiated a discussion within a group of authors around the same time, looking to bring together a big, Sapphic, shared universe boxed set project. Most of the authors were intently monitoring the results of the bracket and they began discussing how they could give readers what they desired most.
The readers wanted stories about ice queens. They considered creating multiple characters in the same world, but that would mean pitting ice queens against each other and against groups of people…Until they had a brilliant idea. They would write stories of two ice queens, starting off as enemies, then being forced to collaborate, and ultimately finding their happily ever after.
At first, thirteen authors said they wanted in. Ten of those ultimately committed to writing a 40,000ish word novella each for a boxed set project. Most thought it would be great fun to create two such similar characters.
They divided up additional tropes like age gap, second chance, and, of course, enemies to lovers, and came up with an overall premise; Conferences full of training seminars lead by presenters from the fictitious International Institute for Women in major cities where our queens could meet. They talked about including a lot of diversity. They plotted all sorts of goodies!
Guess what? The writing was not fun. The authors give kudos to Lee Winter and all of the other sapphic fiction authors who do high level ice queens so well. It’s truly hard work writing two very strong willed, opinionated, powerful, independent women in the same story…and then having them fall for each other.
Authors dropped out of the project for various reasons, but a few did because they just couldn’t write a two ice queen dynamic.
Three authors saw the project through to the end, suffering their own bumps, bruises, and rewrites along the way; Barbara Winkes, Alysia D. Evans, and Anne Hagan.
Barbara’s story is based in lovely Quebec City, Canada. Alysia and Anne’s stories share a made up large city venue and a couple of scenes, but their books are drastically different. Alysia’s ‘city’ has a decidedly UK harbor city feel, while Anne’s is based on areas in and around Baltimore Maryland in the United States and the Inner Harbor area there.
Barbara, Alysia, and Anne give you the anthology, ‘Queen Vs. Queen!’ It’s on pre-order now, releasing March 21st, 2023.
Buckle up! It’s going to be a bumpy ride!