QSF: How did you get into writing?
Frost: I was a voracious reader as a child/teen and at some point it occurred to me I could write my own stories too. There was no stopping me from then on.
QSF: Is this your first book?
Frost: Most writers have old manuscripts hidden away, stories that didn’t work out or weren’t good enough, but yes I would call this my first proper book. First series, too!
QSF: Tell me a little about it (but don’t give away the plot)!
Frost: The Fox’s Mask is an adventurous fantasy novel based on feudal Japan. Akakiba is a demon-hunting samurai from the Fox clan, whose name is far more literal than people think. Akakiba picks up a human companion named Yuki along his journey, but keeps his true nature a secret for fear that the truth would drive Yuki away. There’s a little something going on between the boys, but it’s an exceeding slow-developing, low-key romance so readers have to be patient!
QSF: Books with transsexual/transgender themes seem few and far between in sci fi and fantasy – it’s great that you have tackled this theme. How did you decide to do so?
Frost: I always wanted to write something about the Japanese fox shifter (kitsune) because they’re completely different from the European concept of the werewolf. While a werewolf is a human able to turn into a wolf, a kitsune is a fox able to take various human shapes, male or female.
From there, it felt logical to me to consider what gender could mean to them and to work that into my worldbuilding. I chose to make a parallel with our reality: in my world, transsexual fox shifters are able to look the gender of their choice, similar to how people today are able to get surgery, but they are not able to change their internal organs far enough to be fertile.
In a culture heavily concerned with reproduction, this is a difficulty for trans individuals. It’s a very small part of my overall plot, but it’s something I wanted to address because it’s not often talked about in genre fiction.
QSF: What other projects are you working on?
Frost: On the editing side, I’ve got a steampunk fantasy set in Meiji-era Japan coming out in early 2016 from Spencer Hill Press. On the writing side, I’m currently working on a funny urban fantasy featuring an interracial lesbian couple.
QSF: Where can someone get a copy of the book?
The entire trilogy (The Fox’s Mask, The Fox’s Quest, and The Fox’s God) is available as ebooks on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and similar retailers: