Geek of the Week: Queer Sci-Fi and Fantasy Author Kellie Doherty

This week’s Geek of the Week is Kellie Doherty, a writer of queer science fiction and fantasy, who will be releasing her newest high fantasy book, Ink Stains & Ill-Fated Lies, in April 2023. This is the third book in her intertwined standalone series The Broken Chronicles.

Please introduce yourself:

Hi there, my name is Kellie Doherty! I’m a queer science fiction and fantasy author who currently lives in Alaska. I write stories full of adventure, found families, disaster queers, and broken magic, with a dash of romance thrown in. Thus far I’ve written a sci-fi duology that’s like a queer version of Firefly meshed with Star Trek’s the Borg called the Cicatrix Duology, and I’m currently working on book four of an intertwined standalone high fantasy series called the Broken Chronicles. The first four books have their own main characters and quest arcs, successes and failures, and the fifth book will bring them all together.

What do you geek out on?

Such a hard question to answer because I love so many geeky things! I love reading science fiction and fantasy books, especially ones that feature queer characters. (The most recent books I’ve adored include Perception Check by Astrid Knight and Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea by Rebecca Thorne.) I love playing D&D with my friends, as well as gaming in general—I can’t wait for the new Zelda game to come out! And speaking of D&D, my long-running obsession is Critical Role. I’ve loved that nerdy ass D&D game since they first started out on Geek & Sundry and have been a hardcore devoted fan ever since. 

Do you have any children?  (skin, fur, feathers or scales, they all count)

I have two gorgeous fluffy black cats: Raven and Cinder. They’re my writing companions, my fuzzy neck warmers (as Raven likes to lay on my shoulders), and my worldbuilding inspiration. After all, if you can’t think of a name for a particular forest…why not use the names of your pets? Thus, Ravenlock Woods and Cinder Forest were born. 

Marvel or DC? Why?

Marvel, all the way. X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Scarlet Witch, Gamora, all the lovely iterations of Spider-Man…what’s not to love? But honestly, I think I’m more drawn to Marvel simply because that’s what I watched as a kid and so I grew to love them. If I lived in a DC-dominated household, I’d probably be more inclined toward those heroes. (I do have to say that Shazam and Catwoman are both pretty cool.)

Star Wars or Star Trek? and Why?

Star Trek! I enjoy the characters in the Star Trek universe—not to say that Star Wars characters aren’t awesome as well; looking at you two, Princess Leia and Rey—but the exploration of strange new worlds, particularly with the Voyager and the Enterprise crews, will forever hold my heart. Plus, those med bays and high-tech medical equipment? And the sleek spaceships?? Yes please! (While it’s not mentioned, I need to give a shout out to the other “star” show in my life—Stargate, of which I was a HUGE fan of growing up.)

Favorite video game now, or as a kid, or both if you are a long-time gamer.

Zelda, forever and always. I grew up on the Zelda games and play them to this day—Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, Majora’s Mask, Link’s Awakening, Breath of the Wind—and I’m 100% sure I’m going to have blast playing the new one that comes out this May called Kingdom of Tears. 

Were you a geeky kid or did you come into it later in life?

A geeky kid! I was always watching anime, reading manga, and playing video games, then I just carried and cultivated that geeky through my adulthood. I think it helped that my parents were really into geek culture as well so our family nights often revolved around a game of some kind or a geeky TV show/movie.

Have you ever cosplayed as a favorite character?

I have not! I’m not gifted in that way, but I love seeing other people cosplay!

What is your favorite geeky event you’ve attended or would like to go to? 

I would love to attend a con where Critical Role was doing a live show. I almost got to see them in Portland, OR, many years ago but grad school got in the way. (Pesky school!) Seeing them live is going to be a random birthday gift to myself in the future, though, and I honestly can’t wait.

Are you working on anything right now you’d like to share or promote?

I am! I’m launching my newest high fantasy book, the third book in my intertwined standalone series the Broken Chronicles, called Ink Stains & Ill-Fated Lies (April 2023, Desert Palm Press). Curiosity pushes a disgraced wandering scribe named Adaris too deep into an enemies’ hideout and she gets captured for it. She’s forced to conform to their fiery ritualistic ways and use her quill to record their side of history but when she discovers strange, ancient crafting her curiosity twists in ways even she didn’t anticipate. She’s always recorded the heroes stories around her and now it’s finally her turn to be the hero—by any means necessary. It’s got twisted magic, disaster bisexuals, a dash of romance, and a quest for knowledge gone horribly wrong where curiosity might just doom them all. You can find more info on my website, including places to purchase the book.

What fandoms have inspired your writing?

So many fandoms. I harkened my scifi duology to Firefly, because I gleaned so many found-family, motley crew, broken worlds, corrupted men, a-spaceship-that’s-more-like-a-character ideas from that show. A reader also made my day when she said my first mate Cassidy reminded her of Kaylee! I LOVE KAYLEE! I’ve drawn inspiration from Star Trek, Stargate, X-Men, Avatar, and of course Critical Role, among numerous others.

Have you ever cosplayed as a character from one of your books?

Unfortunately, no. But it would be awesome if someone did cosplay as one of my characters so I’m 100% putting that out into the universe. 

What is your best piece of advice for aspiring writers?

Get a critique group! It takes time and effort to find one that really works for you but when you do find a group you mesh well with, cherish it. My writing is so much stronger thanks to my group. I can’t sing their praises enough!

Big thank you to Kellie for answering all our geeky questions! You can find out more on her website and find all her social media links here:

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