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Pride StoryBundle - Featured Author: A.J. Fitzwater

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 19:00
Cover - Cinrak

The Pride StoryBundle is always packed full of wonderful authors and stories. And who knows better about that than the authors themselves? To entice you to check it out, we contributors are interviewing each other. You can find the full list of contents and purchasing information here:

Today’s featured author is A.J. Fitzwater, whose debut novelThe Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper is included in the bonus bundle. A.J. lives and writes in New Zealand.

HRJ: Your contribution to the StoryBundle, The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper, has a rather striking premise: an elegant, lesbian, capybara pirate. Why don’t you tell the readers a little about how that concept came to you?

A.J. Fitzwater: Cinrak's origin was all about fun. I wrote what I thought at the time would be a one time only story for a competition centered around rodents, mashing up my heart-eyes for capybara and the theme, and Cinrak popped out of my brain blender.  I wanted to do something different and queer with the old rat pirate trope. With their broad chests and chill nature with other species, capybara come across as cool butch house parents. And so the House of Dapper was born.

HRJ: What does centering queer characters in your fiction mean to you personally?

A.J. Fitzwater: Finding the courage to, and pride in, writing queer characters came in parallel to the discovery of courage and pride in myself. When I began writing (again, after a very long time of repressing my joy...oh the layers!), I made an effort to explore different people, to understand and educate myself about the beautiful diversity of the world. It took me a long time to realize I was exploring myidentity, untangling the internalized fear and repression I'd used as a survival technique. While I cringe at some of my early stories, and understandings, it shows growth I'm proud of, and I'm proud to be on a lifelong journey of growth and change. 

HRJ: Cinrak is a very recent release, but you have another brand new book out--I know, because I included it in the new releases segment of my podcast. I suspect fans of the StoryBundle would also be interested in No Man’s Land, though it’s a rather different flavor of story. Why don’t you tell the readers a little about it.

A.J. Fitzwater:Thank you for the signal boost! It's a strange thing to be bringing out two completely different books during a tough time, but the way I've reckoned it, we still need to envision joy, to find the light to move towards. No Man's Land is a queer fantasy novella set in New Zealand during World War 2, and is about two land girls who find each other in the chaos. It goes into the ignored history of the manpowered farming land girls and queer people during war time, and uses shape-shifting magic to explore purpose, body, and identity. It's available from, or on your favourite e-retailer platform. 

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For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you're feeling generous), you'll get the basic bundle of four books in any ebook format—WORLDWIDE.

  • Best Game Ever by R. R. Angell
  • The Counterfeit Viscount by Ginn Hale
  • A Spectral Hue by Craig Laurance Gidney
  • Capricious: The Gender Diverse Pronouns Issue by Andi C. Buchanan

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular books, plus seven more more books, for a total of eleven!

  • Grilled Cheese and Goblins by Nicole Kimberling
  • The Armor of Light by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett
  • Floodtide by Heather Rose Jones
  • The Hollow History of Professor Profectus by Ginn Hale
  • Will Do Magic For Small Change by Andrea Hairston
  • The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper by A.J. Fitzwater
  • Catfish Lullaby by A.C. Wise

This bundle is available only for a limited time via It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub, .mobi) for all books!

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