As part of the Queer Ya Scrabble event we got to interview author Saruuh Kelsey! Find letter hidden in this post (it will be in green), and you’ll be one step closer to solving our anagram and having a chance to win a FABULOUS box of books.  🙂
Saruuh Kelsey

Saruuh Kelsey

Saruuh Kelsey is the author of several novels for young adults, including the free Lux Guardians series and The Legend Mirror series. Her latest releases include THE BEAST OF CALLAIRE, the first novel of a new YA fantasy series, and a collection of diverse fairy tales in LOVE IN THE GILDED AGE. 

Thank you so much for joining us on GayYA, Saruuh! First off, can you tell us a little about yourself and your publication history?


Saruuh: I’m happy to be here! I’m a twenty-something from Yorkshire in the UK, and I’ve been writing books for three years now. My first series (The Lux Guardians) focuses on a band of teenagers surviving a post-apocalyptic dystopia. I also write The Legend Mirror series, which follows teenage mythologicals through the trials of romance and a war between the Gods.
The Beast of Callaire involves a blend of mythologies from a variety of cultures – how did you come up with the idea for such a richly textured world?
S: I wanted to explore mythologies I’d never come across in fiction before, so I did a lot of digging and reading and I found some amazing myths from all across the world (and discovered African mythology was my favourite.) Those stories all came together to form the world of The Beast of Callaire.


The Beast of Callaire (Smashwords Edition, 2014)

The Beast of Callaire (Smashwords Edition, 2014)

Diversity is clearly very important to you as a writer. Do you think that self-publishing has allowed you more space for diversity, particularly with regard to LGBT+ characters? If so, do you think that such diversity has positively or negatively impacted sales or your relationship with your audience?
S: Self-publishing has allowed me a certain freedom to write whatever characters I want, and to have many diverse characters in one series without worries of being asked to remove them or change their sexuality/race/gender (I’m sure most publishers don’t do this, but I’ve heard horror stories that have stuck with me.) As for sales, I can’t say if diversity has had an impact because I’ve never sold a book without diverse main characters, but I do think that has affected my audience – in a positive way. I’ve had readers say they picked up my books because of a gay or POC character, but nobody has said they disliked my books because of LGBT+ characters. I feel lucky in that way.


In addition to writing, you do a lot of reading and reviewing – is there any recent queer YA you’d particularly recommend?


S: I’m currently reading Robin Talley’s Lies We Tell Ourselves. I’ve not read very much but it’s already remarkable.
Doesn’t The Beast of Callaire sound incredible? You can win a copy in GayYA’s Queer YA Scrabble prize pack! Just find all the letters hidden in the next six posts (the letters will be in green) and unscramble them to solve the anagram! Enter to win here.
The giveaway closes on June 8th, and winners will be notified on the 9th. The giveaway is open to the United Kingdom, Ireland, United States of America, Canada, Mexico, and anywhere in continental Europe except Russia. Unfortunately, do to the prohibitive cost of shipping, the giveaway and auctions are not open to countries in Africa, South America, Asia or Australia.


You can find more about Saruuh and her books at, or on twitter as @luxguardians