Quinn Ivins has released two books and both have been phenomenal. She is also the newly crowned funniest lesbian on the internet. There isn’t a crown per say, since I made the award up and this is a no budget operation. Quinn, thanks so much for chatting with me!
You’re welcome! Thank you so much for asking me.
Your first book, The Love Factor, is set in the 1990’s and features two women taking on homophobia and statistics. I’m a big fan of the 90s, although, my best friend recently told me I held onto the blue eye shadow a little too long. What do you love so much about the decade that you set the book in it and what were your fashion faux pas during the decade?
I still wear blue eyeshadow. Is that bad? Anyway, I was a teenager in the 1990s, so it’s all about nostalgia for me. Nineties pop culture takes me back to those heady years of discovering and defining my own identity for the first time.
As for fashion… I spent my teenage years attempting to dress “sexy” only to be thwarted by grown-ups at every turn. My school banned spaghetti-strap tops. I begged my mom to let me wear makeup, and she finally bought me a tube of lipstick…that made my lips even lighter. (Well played, Mom.) Hooker boots were “too expensive.” After Clueless came out, I wanted a skintight babydoll tee that said “Whatever” across the boobs. That Christmas, I received a frumpy sweatshirt that said “Whatever.” So close, yet so far.
But when it came to accessories, I went wild. I loved scrunchies, platform flip flops, and eyeball rings (remember those?). I never stopped wearing scrunchies, and I’m delighted that they’re back in style. Ylva, my publisher, allowed me to use a little picture of a scrunchie as a scene divider in The Love Factor, and it makes me so happy.
Worthy of Love is terrific! It features a character with ADHD, which you have been very open about having. When were you diagnosed and how are you managing your symptoms?
I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 30, so I was the same age as my character Bella in Worthy of Love. Until then, nobody suspected I had ADHD because I did well in school. This is common for women. We tend to push ourselves to achieve despite being burnt out and miserable–then the results are interpreted as proof that we don’t need help. Fortunately, a wise psychiatrist suspected ADHD and referred me for psychological testing.
I’ve tried several medications for ADHD, but they all give me unpleasant side effects. I’d like to say that I manage my ADHD with workbooks, systems, meditation, and exercise—all that stuff my psychiatrist recommends—but to be honest, I cope by ignoring vast areas of my life until it’s an emergency. Or to phrase it more positively, I’ve learned to prioritize.
What are you writing now and when it will be released?
I’m working on a book about an unemployed sociologist (Caitlyn) who switches places with her twin sister, a receptionist for an ice queen college president. I’m not sure when it will be released—probably in about a year.
I’m not a twin, but I’ve always loved stories where twins switch places. It’s this fantasy where people think you’re one person, but you’re actually someone else with different knowledge and skills. It creates opportunities to surprise people, or to fall on your face—and both are fun to write about.
Your son is four so he’s at the perfect age where he will do and say anything. What are some of the funniest things he has said or done recently?
Right now we’re servants to the whims of his imaginary friend, Tweak, who demands constant pampering and entertainment. Instead of asking to watch TV my son will shoot me a pointed look and say, “Uh, Tweak’s getting a bit bored just sitting here.” Tweak demands a mug of hot chocolate each day after school, with whipped cream and marshmallows, and she expects her own warm towel when my son gets out of the bath. I also have to sing to her before bed. Sometimes I worry Tweak is spoiled, but it’s easier to just give in.
You are winning parenting and have learned the valuable lesson of bribery to get kids to do what you want. Because you realize how awesome you are with kids, you and your wife have decided to open a daycare. You can hire three other lesfic writers to help you run your new venture. Who are you going to hire and why?
My first pick would be Jae, one of the most talented writers and editors in the FF romance genre. I would not hire her to watch the children per se (although I’m sure she’d be good with them) but rather because working at the same daycare would give me a chance to pick her brain about writing on a regular basis. When our shifts aligned, I would put on a movie for the kids and then show Jae my latest chapter for feedback. Eventually, my writing career would take off, and I could afford to close the daycare.
But in the meantime, I’d bring on Faith Prize as medical staff to treat any injuries caused by lack of supervision. Faith is a legit surgeon in real life, so if the children damage anything internal she can operate on the spot. This will be important because the daycare will be run off the books (to avoid tedious paperwork).
I have some idea of how we will evade legal authorities—such as laundering money through Quinncoin, a cryptocurrency and NFT that I invented—but to ensure success I would bring on Lee Winter to oversee the finances of my illegal business. If you’ve read her brilliant new book, The Awkward Truth, you know she has put a lot of thought into shady accounting practices, so we’ll put that to good use.
I do a lot of things that annoy my partner but can get away with it thanks to my charm and dimples. 😉 What do you do that annoys your wife?
Oh gosh, so many things. It’s like a part-time job. I hoard eggs and shoes. I claim to be psychic, then blame her when it doesn’t work. I threaten to quit my job and spend our savings on purses. I could go on and on, but my latest torment is designing rooms for our future house. My wife favors a “rustic” design with neutral colors (Zzzzzzzzz) while I prefer something colorful and fun. So while we’re saving for the down payment, I’ve been mocking up rooms in Canva as a starting point for our negotiations. Here are a few examples:
She hates my designs, but I plan to use this to my advantage. After seeing what I can do on my own, she should be more likely to compromise when we buy a house for real.
I started watching Hacks after you tweeted about it and now I’m in The Hacks group on FB. I know why it’s so fabulous but for someone who doesn’t watch it, explain why it’s so captivating.
Your Instagram and newsletters are hilarious. My sense of humor comes from childhood shyness and watching old movies since I was too shy for friends. What do you attribute your sense of humor to?
It’s a coping mechanism, mostly. I was an insecure kid (probably because my parents didn’t let me dress like a harlot…j/k) and I spent my teenage years mocking everything around me. These days I’m a lot less judgmental. Instead, I find myself laughing at the absurdity of human existence. Like the fact that we spend our short lives dreading pain and loss that are inevitable. Everything we love is ephemeral, and one day the sun will swallow our remains. It’s depressing but also hilarious. Like, what is this? What the fuck? Lol.
I’ve also learned to laugh when I fail at basic adulting rather than being hard on myself. My cooking hasn’t killed anyone yet—there’s no harm in choosing to be amused rather than critical.
What are some of your favorite lesfic books of the year?
Right now, I’m obsessed with The Awkward Truth by Lee Winter. I also enjoyed Chemistry Lessons by Jae, The Fifth Surgeon by Faith Prize, House of Agnes by Fiona Zedde, Never Say Never by Rachael Sommers, and The Headmistress by Milena McKay.
Quinn, thank you so much for chatting with me. It has been a pleasure and I hope we can do it again!
It was a pleasure! These were great questions. I really appreciate the time you spent personalizing them, which makes it much more interesting. I hope my answers weren’t too weird. Anyway, thanks again!