Check out the interview below, have a watch of the book trailer at the bottom of the post, and make sure to get yourself a copy of Extraction! Excellent queer high fantasy awaits you...
“There is no justice in convenience.”
Rethnali, a newly-minted captain in the long-standing and brutal elvish rebellion, wants to do more than keep her soldiers alive. She wants to turn the tide of the war for her people. When her old captain and mentor, Li, shows up at her camp with orders to go deep into enemy territory, she may have the opportunity to do just that.
But as Rethnali’s mission unfolds, she realizes that she is just a pawn in a larger game. While she tries to protect her soldiers, she forced to decide the course of her future and the future of the elvish rebellion itself. This is a story of lives shaped by hard choices and unforeseen consequences.
Hi! Thanks for having me! My name is B R Sanders, and I’m a genderqueer fantasy writer. I write sci-fi sometimes, too, but mostly fantasy. I live in Denver with my family and two cats. My stories and books tend to be very character focused. In my work, I try to create the kind of stories that I wish I’d had when I was coming to know myself—stories where being queer and trans is normal and ok, or if oppression still exists along those lines, stories where queer and trans people are surviving and thriving anyway.
Can you tell us a little bit about Extraction and where it fits into the Resistance universe?
Yes! I have three novels out in the Aerdh universe, and I have a handy reading guide up on my website here. The three novels are Extraction, Resistance, and Ariah. Chronologically, Resistance happens first, and Extraction broadens some of the threads that started in that book. A couple of the characters readers meet in Resistance get their own story in Extraction. Ariah takes place several decades after Extraction, and closes some of the loops in that story, but really Ariah is a completely different narrative.
What was it like working with a new cast of characters in a familiar world and setting?
By now, they don’t feel like a new cast. They feel like old friends. But it is something that I really love doing, because as much as I really enjoy worldbuilding, I find that it doesn’t really crystallize until you throw characters in the mix. They also help me find new corners of a familiar landscape.
You’ve chosen to highlight Rethnali for this event, but Extraction deals with a number of primary characters. Which character in the Extraction cast do you identify with the most?
Rethnali carries the main narrative thread in Extraction, and she is the POV character who stays consistent throughout the subsequent books. But you’re right that there are multiple POV characters in Extraction! The other two POV characters are also queer. There’s Sellior, the group’s medic, and there’s Vathorem, Rethnali’s second in command who learns some really important things about himself over the course of the book. I identify most with Vathorem. His struggles around others and his constant feelings of overwhelm are very much my own.
On the flipside, which character do you identify with the least/is the hardest to write?
That’s a hard one! I think Sellior might be the character who is least like me. He is just a very different person than me. My characters usually have a core element to their personalities that I can connect to. For Rethnali, who is way more of a go-getter than I am, its her righteous anger. For Vathorem, its his deep knowledge that something about the way his brain works is different than other people. For Sellior…it was not easy to establish that with Sellior. But he has a deep, if brittle, well of kindness I can relate to.
What are some of your strongest influences when it comes to writing epic fantasy?
RIP, Ursula K. Le Guin! She was a massive influence on me. Herman Melville is another really big influence on my writing—the way he created microcosms, like on ships, to really zero in on the dynamics od a small group of people shows up over and over again in my own writing. I also really love the fierce quietness of Sofia Samatar’s writing, and how her stories give voice to the voiceless.
Can you give us an idea of what’s in store for fans and future readers of your work?
Extraction is the first volume in the A Tale of Rebellion series. I’ve scoped out three more books after this one, and I’m really excited about them! Pirates are going to show up. A teaser chapter of the second book in the series, The Incoming Tide, will be available to my Patreon subscribers for those who are interested! Folks can check that out here.