Fight Like A Girl – Joanne Hall Interview

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Fight Like A Girl, the brand new anthology of short stories written by and about women in science fiction and fantasy is out now! As we mentioned back in March, Fight Like A Girl promises to be a powerful collection of science fiction and fantasy ranging from space operas and near-future factional conflict to medieval warfare and urban fantasy.

I had the chance to talk to the editor and brain behind the anthology, Joanne Hall, and she gave us the low down on what it means to Fight Like A Girl.

FLAG cover 11) Where did the idea for the anthology come from?

The idea for Fight Like A Girl came from a discussion on Twitter about how nice it would be to see an anthology of stories about female strength that was written entirely by women, as women tend to be under-represented in SFF anthologies and there are so many women writing fabulous SFF at the moment.

It was Danie Ware who first suggested it and everyone seemed very keen to pick up the idea and run with it. It literally took a couple of days and we had dozens of people expressing an interest – the whole thing just snowballed, really.

2) What was the process like? Tell us the story of how the anthology went from idea to reality!

Following the initial Twitter discussion, I spoke to Sammy at Kristell Ink to see if, if it came to fruition, we would be interested in publishing it – often good ideas can die on the vine because people aren’t sure how to take the next step beyond “I’ve had a brilliant idea, chaps!” Luckily Sammy was very keen, and from there it was a question of soliciting people that we thought might be interested, and spreading the word that we were open to subs from women (and from anyone identifying as a woman).

We gave our prospective authors 3-4 months to see what they could come up with, and I’m really happy with the range and diversity of the stories – all of our authors have done a brilliant job. Roz and I edited them – Roz came on board after the original editor had to pull out due to ill health. We’ve worked together before (on Airship Shape and Bristol Fashion and Colinthology) and we know we make a good editing team.

3) There are some big names involved, did any you approach them or did they approach you?

A bit of both. Some of them were involved in the initial discussion (Danie, Juliet McKenna, Gaie Sebold, I think), others came on board later. I just asked everyone I could think of and asked them to ask people they knew, so it was really a community effort. And it’s nice that we’ve been able to include some writers who are at the beginning of their careers, too, like Dolly Garland and K R Green.

Fight Like A Girl
Fight Like A Girl

4) It’s more than just stories, though. Tell us about the artwork; how did you find the cover artist?

If I recall correctly Adele Wearing at Fox Spirit suggested we approach Sarah Anne Langton for the cover art, which as you can see is amazing. Sarah Anne has worked with Fox Spirit on their Fox Pockets line, and her concept for the cover was just perfect.

(All the gadgets and clothes Dolly has are scaled, so you could theoretically cut up the cover and dress her up. But only do that if you’re going to buy two copies!)

And it was important to us to have a woman responsible for the cover art too, just to keep that going.

5) What are some of the stories you’d like to highlight for people to look out for?

I couldn’t pick a favourite, they’re all so good. But for the sake of diversity, Sophie Tallis has written a proper space opera, while Julia Knight has written about a pair of duellists in a medieval city, and Kim Lakin Smith has gone cyber-weird. There’s a lot of variety in the anthology!

Art of Forgetting 16) What’s next for you, Jo? Tell us where to find you and your stuff online!

After Fight Like A Girl is launched on April 2nd, I’m going to be working on editing my next novel, The Summer Goddess, which is kind of a stand-alone sequel to The Art Of Forgetting. That’s due to be published by Kristell Ink in Winter 2016/17, so I’m excited for that!

You can follow my progress on my blog at www.hierath.co.uk

or chat to me on Twitter at @hierath77.

Thanks for having me, Joel!

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Joel Cornah
Joel Cornah is an author, journalist, and blogger. He is the author of a number of novels and novellas including; The Sea-Stone Sword, The Spire of Frozen Fire and The Silent Helm, with the upcoming novel The Sky Slayer, expected some time in 2016. He is an editor for The Science-Fiction and Fantasy Network, head of the Doctor Who department, and member of the Tolkien Society. He is a frequent blogger for the Pack of Aces blog, focussing on issues of Asexuality in media, specialising in sci-fi and fantasy.