Interview with Janet Mason, Author of Loving Artemis

16 Nov 2022

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Loving Artemis, an endearing tale of revolution, love and marriage ?

In many ways I “lesbianized” my youth, with the result that the character that I identified with (Grace) was much more empowered. But the emotional reality of having to flee from her past were and are very real for me. The bulk of Loving Artemis is set in 1977—when the two main characters are in their final year in high school–against the historic backdrop of events that shaped the U.S. Supreme Court’s long overdue decision to legalize same sex marriage.

As one reader wrote, “Loving Artemis captures perfectly the days when teen lesbians felt they were the only ones in the world. More than a coming-of-age story, more than the love story of Artemis and Grace, the novel is also a thoroughly enjoyable journey through the decades.”

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Loving Artemis, an endearing tale of revolution, love and marriage, what would they be?

Artemis’s theme song would be “Born to be Wild” And Grace’s theme song would be “Dark Side of the Moon.”

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I read various genres, mostly literary fiction. Right now, I’m most interested in the form of hybrid fiction and essay.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I review books for BookTube so I’m always reading something. Right now, I’m reading a nonfiction book called “The Undercurrents” by Kristy Bell from Other Press (which is known for its international books). The book is about the history of Berlin which I wouldn’t know about otherwise. I usually always love what Other Press puts out!

Also on my list is “Funny, You Don’t Look Like a Rabbi, a memoir of unorthodox transformation” by Rabbi Linda Targan. I’m looking forward to reading it!

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

There were so many. I would have to say my most favorite was the opening pages where I talk about the Pride march in New York City and what it means to the main character (this is in print and video on my author blog).

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I don’t know that it’s quirky but after a health scare a few years ago I am committed to staying healthy and I do count this to be crucial to my writing practice. I walk every day, practice qigong, and the biggest change was that I went to a healthy plant-based diet.

I feel great and am not done writing (and publishing) yet! In the past, I have always had a cat on my lap and hope to have one again.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them. – HH The Dalai Lama

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Always remember the power of love.


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