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February CSR Discussion Day: Warlords by Sasha Distan



February and we go on! This time we're back in space because... well, I can go to space if I want to two months in a row. Hopefully you enjoyed the scifi fest with me! What did you think about Sasha's story? Share your thoughts below after you enjoy this great interview!

If you were an animal, what would you be?

Is this a trick question? I am a wolf!

What’s one location you’d love to go to research for a story?

The Arctic circle. I want to see the Great Spirits and sit in the snow.

What books have most influenced you as a writer?

I mean the obvious answer is ‘everything I have ever read’…. But for sure the entire series of the Anne McCaffrey DragonRiders of Pern series, which was very formative for me, and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, which remains the pinnacle of comedic satire and no one will ever change me mind on this.
Special shoutouts to The Godeaters by Jessie Hajicek and The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon by Tom Spanbauer.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I loathe writing dialogue and dialogue tags. Working out where to break up speech will always be my most hated thing.

Is your writing process a daily word count goal or more of a burst of inspiration writing flurry?

Writing every day. For me it’s the only way. We try for 2k a day, minimum 1600. mostly it goes well.

What is your favorite story that you’ve written and why?

Recently? Latent Heat (another sheith fic) which is set in omegaverse (a free-to-use, communal AU idea where humans have a secondary gender which marks them as either an Alpha, Beta, or Omega. The specifics of what that means varies from writer to writer though) and deals with Keith having his secondary gender change unexpectedly from a Beta to an Omega. This obviously has unforeseen repercussions on his personal life.

It’s a favourite partly because of how well it resonated with people, and partly because I loved the dynamic I created between Keith and Shiro for this AU. Though it bears no relation to the canon universe, I think the friendship between them is the most true to the actual IP and I’m very proud of that.

Also the sex is hot, and lengthy, and the angst hits really good.

Is science fiction harder to write than fantasy/paranormal stories?

Yes, if only because I tend to want to make the lore more compact before beginning. Fantasy is easier for me personally, but usually because each time I write I’m setting it in the same world, and therefore none of the lore is new to me. For instance I’ve been writing The Best Circle of Hell series on and off since 2003, so each time I go there I’m just adding to it, not reinventing anything.

How did you get inspired to write Warlords?

So someone said on twitter that “enemies to lovers wasn’t REAL enemies to lovers unless one of them had tried to kill the other” and there as lot of discourse about how most enemies-to-lovers plot lines were at best rivals-to-lovers or just actually disagreements which meant nothing in the larger story line.
And I, being me, took that as a challenge.

There’s very little enemies-to-lovers in the sheith fandom, mostly because we all want to see our boys happy and in love and stuff, and I anted something sharp and visceral and who doesn’t love clash of cultures and an arranged marriage between two guys who have literally tried to murder each other ove the past six years?

There was a fandom event – the Big Bang in which artists get paired with writers – coming up and it just seemed like the perfect opportunity. You have to wrote 20K or more to be eligible, and it just all flowed out. My artist was great and we spent a lot of time talking about wardrobe and Keith’s lack of decent attire and Shiro’s unseen gay panic because of it.

Do you have a favorite line or scene in the story?

ALL the fight scenes. But especially the third one where Keith ends up pinning Shiro to the grass and then breaking down when he can’t deal anymore with the fact that he doesn’t want to kill his husband.

Can you share anything special about your new or upcoming works with readers?

So we have lots of events in the fandom, and the next one is sheithletines. Everyone (artists and writers) puts in a wishlist and a ‘no’ list and mods match people up. Everyone gets something and gives something. It’s great fun.

We got our wishlist assignments from the mods recently and mine is exactly my kind of thing. It’s a secret, but since none of you are in the fandom it’s pretty safe to share. I get to write a story with Shiro and Keith in a established relationship, but one of them in a werewolf and hiding it. I’m going to work a bit of praise and petplay kinks in there too and it’s going to be so much fun! (story posts to AO3 in Feb 14th, GA shortly after)

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Great question and answer session I only hope sascha goes back to writing about his wolf family again even finishing and sequeling some of his best.  Though anything he writes I will read and love I just miss them too.

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In online games, thousands of gamers gather at the same time and travel through the virtual world, completing tasks, fighting enemies. Simply put, it's a great way to hang out with friends.


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