Edited by Ekaterina Sedia, Willful Impropriety is a collection of thirteen historical romances from a talented array of YA authors that will make even the most cynic heart swoon; after all, surely there is no historical period more romantic than the Victorian era. Even with the societal pressure for refinement, young hearts cannot be stifled by corsets and ruffles—and indeed, young love is ravenous in Willful Impropriety. Despite the common misperception that Victorians were all prim and repressed, this was a time of great change and societal revolution, all in the name of love. With 13 varied and satisfying romances depicting straight, gay, and LGBTQ couples, this anthology shines a fresh light on historical romance.
Q. What inspires your editing projects?
A. I usually edit anthologies built around the themes that reflect things I find personally interesting, and often those include current fascinations. Victoriana and young adult, for example, are huge genres right now. On one hand, I am always interested in taking something that is everywhere and making it new again, finding the writers who can explore the familiar from the interesting angles. And of course, we want the readers to be able to find the books they want to read and yet to be challenged and delighted that these stories are not the rehash of the same old. It’s challenging, but so worth it.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being an editor?
A. Getting to work with a bunch of great writers, and to be the first one to read their stories, of course!
Q. What is the toughest part of being an editor?
A. Finding the stories that are different and yet go together, to make sure that the writers receive timely feedback, and just putting together a well-rounded anthology. It’s a bit like putting together a puzzle, from the pieces that were never meant to fit together, and yet somehow we have to make it all work.
Q. If you could not be an editor, what would you do/be?
A. Editing and writing are hobbies for me, so I guess I would still keep my current job – a college professor.
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
A. “Red Queen: Running Very Fast to Stay in
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. Tin Drum by Gunther Grass.
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A. I’d have to go with the Red Queen from Through the Looking Glass.
Q. What character from all of your books are you most like?
A. Aunt Eugenia from Heart of Iron, my latest novel
Q. What is your favorite season?
A. Fall. I love sweater weather! Fashion is another one of my obsessions – I even have a fashion blog, which is pretty much all about fair labor, feminism, and cashmere. (http://ekaterinasedia.com/index.php/blog/)
Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. Willful Impropriety is definitely one of the favorites – not only it is beautiful and edgy, it also does a wonderful job conveying the gestalt of the book.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. It’s not so much funny as it was surprising, but I go to steampunk conventions quite a bit, and a lot of people there love Victoriana. Much of the costuming though is very gender-specific, and you would think that people interested in retro-futurism would explore the boundaries of gender expression more – it is “punk”, after all! So it got me thinking, why do people who are so interested in overthrowing the boundaries remain so tethered by this particular one – and in a way, this brought me to this book, to the idea of gender-based transgressiveness in Victorian era.
Q. Are you working on something new?
A. I have just finished editing two anthologies for Prime Books, Circus: Fantasy Under the Big Top and Bloody Fabulous, a book of urban fantasy stories about fashion. There is also a collection of my short stories that is coming out in December, called Moscow but Dreaming.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A. Keep reading!