Andrew J. Peters likes retold stories with a subversive twist. He is the author of The Seventh Pleiade (Bold Strokes Books), about the legend of Atlantis, and the paranormal e-novelette series Werecat (Vagabondage Press). A former Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow, Andrew has written short fiction for many publications. He lives in New York City with his partner Genaro and their cat Chloë.
What do you write?
I'm primarily a fantasy author who works with myths and legends and retells the story from a queer perspective.
Currently, my two main projects are a series of books about the legend of Atlantis and another series about feline shifters that is coming out in e-novelettes.
"The Seventh Pleiade" is the first book in the Atlantis series. The latter series "Werecat" tells the story of a twenty-two year old college drop-out Jacks Dowd. Jacks goes on spring break to Montréal, hooks up with a handsome drifter and takes a free fall into the world of feline shifters. There are three installments so far: "The Rearing," "The Glaring," and a third untitled which is coming out in late 2014.
I also write contemporary short fiction every now and then.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Amherst, New York, which is a quiet little suburban town adjacent to the city of Buffalo. The public schools were great and encouraged my creativity.
I think it was in fifth or sixth grade when we had an assignment to create our own children's book, from writing an original storyline, to doing the illustrations, to designing a cover and doing the binding. I was a shy, introverted kid. Retreating into my imagination was right up my alley. I wrote mystery novels and stage plays (and even a quite embarrassing musical that was a rip-off of "Annie"). One of my fondest memories was having my elementary school principal invite me to read installments of one of my stories over the PA system during lunch period. I felt really supported in writing throughout my childhood.
But another influence of growing up in that tidy suburban enclave is that I recognized myself as an outsider pretty early on. I knew I was gay, and that was something I just couldn't be in Amherst in the 1980s, unless I was willing to be shunned by friends and trouble my parents with serious worries. I didn't have that confidence, and that led to more escapism through writing. Later, when I came out in college and moved to the New York City area, I was drawn to writing the kind of stories that I would have liked to have read as a kid.
On a dare from his older brother, a boy goes out after dark to an abandoned, wooded lot steeped in horror-style urban legends.
"Mike's Pond" is a very short fictionalized memoir about coming of age in Amherst, New York in the 1980s.