Bethany C Morrow is an author of speculative fiction, from contemporary fantasy to science fiction, though saying so pretty much guarantees her next work will be neither. A contrarian by nature, she was born in sunny California, and ran away to the apparently arctic wilds of the Northeast, following a stint abroad. It doesn’t matter where she lives, though; she’ll just conjure up someplace new anyway. You can find her work where books are sold, and on Indiebound!

What is your book about?

A Song Below Water is about two sister-friends living in a somewhat alternate Portland, OR, where magical creatures are just part of keeping PDX weird. In this world, sirens are exclusively Black women and so the power in their voices is feared and despised. Sirens are also wholly separate from mermaids in this world, but one of the sisters does cosplay a mermaid at a renaissance faire!

What was your inspiration for your book?

The real world misogynoir I experience and witness, and the real life magic of Black sisterhood.

If you were a mermaid, what color scheme would you want your tail/outfit/hair/accessories to be?

What I love about scales is how many colors reflect, so I don’t feel like I have to make any hard decisions! I need teals, and purples, and a sherbet-y rose!

What are the kinds of stories you want to write?

I write stories about Black women, always, at the core. Whether it’s contemporary fantasy, speculative literary, science fiction, or historical. I write for us.

How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

Bold to assume there’s a rest of my life. Hahaha. I’m a mom of a very suspiciously docile 15 year old, who will probably reveal himself to be an alien studying mankind. He’s not horribly convincing as a teenager, but I respect the constancy. 

Any advice for up and coming writers?

Find your network! Find the people who value what you do, and don’t make you explain yourself. Be concerned enough with your own craft growth that criticism is distinct from opposition in your mind, because you’re going to need to discern between them sometimes.