"All the Hidden Paths" by Foz Meadows is a sequel to "A Strange and Stubborn Endurance" that shows what happens after you come out.
What was your inspiration behind your most recent book?
"All the Hidden Paths" is a direct sequel to "A Strange and Stubborn Endurance"; I'd initially thought ASASE would be a stand-alone, but once I got to the end, I realised there was more I wanted to do with the characters, so in that sense, the inspiration is very literally "oh shit, I'm not done here!" But thematically, it's also a book about what happens after you come out, with a constant throughline about identity, autonomy and consent.
What does "Reading Rainbow" mean to you?
Be gay, do crime! Where "crime" means "engaging with and creating a plurality of queer works to reflect the full eclectic variety of the human experience, in joyful defiance of those who'd rather we didn't exist."
Why do you feel representation of a variety of people is so important when it comes to writing books?
Because a variety of people exists! At this point, I feel like the answer should be self-evident in the question, and yet there are still people out here arguing, in so many words, that it's pushing some nefarious agenda just to, like, write books featuring more than one or two types of very real person. Particularly in SFF, a genre that is literally defined by the presence of the unusual, the oddball and the fantastic, the idea that you could have a talking manticore but not trans people using magic to reshape their bodies is just. Bizarre, to me. Like, come on now.
Tell us a little more about the book and why you decided to write it.
As an author, I really love sequels, because once you've done the heavy lifting of establishing the setting and the characters, you can really focus on playing with them - and, of course, you get to explore the consequences of what you did the first time around, which is my other favourite thing. When I was a tiny child, whenever my mother finished reading me a bedtime story, I'd look up at her and ask, "What happens next?", which I think says a lot about how I process narrative on a base level, and as "All the Hidden Paths" is very much a book about What Happens Next, I'm very proud of it.
What can fans expect from your book?
Feelings! Court intrigue! Angst! Queer characters! A thematic meditation on consent!
What's up next for you in the bookish world?
I've got a queer SFF novella, "Finding Echoes", coming out with Neon Hemlock in January 2024 that I'm very excited about; otherwise, I'm working on another queer fantasy novel, but it doesn't have a home yet, so we'll have to wait and see where it ends up!