If anyone deserves the title “Renaissance Woman”, it’s Racheline Maltese. From theater and writing to data analysis and fencing – she manages to do it all and somehow keep sane. Plucked from the world of fanfiction writing where she was vocal in her love for Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner, she made the perfect choice for Tremontaine producer and guest writer. You can read more from her on how herding all the lovely, tea-drinking author-cats happened in her behind-the-scenes post but for now, it’s time to sit down and get to know the amazing and formidable Racheline.
In a city that never was, sex, scandal, and swordplay combine in a melodrama of manners that returns readers to the beloved world of Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint! A Duchess whose beauty is matched only by her cunning; a passionate young Scholar with dreams beyond his reach; a Foreign spy in a playground of swordplay and secrets; and a Genius on the brink of scientific revolution—when long-buried lies threaten to come to light, the stakes are high, and more than lives may be lost. Mind your manners and enjoy the chocolate in a dance of sparkling wit and political intrigue.
Released in weekly episodes, Tremontaine began October 28th and is written by Ellen Kushner, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Malinda Lo, Joel Derfner, Racheline Maltese, and Patty Bryant.
Read it or learn more at Serial Box.com!
Can you describe your most recent project in one sentence?
A contemporary royal romance (co-written with Erin McRae) featuring a supporting character best described as a gender-queer royal Wednesday Addams.
Where are you a local?
Born-and-raised NY’er. I live across from a historic cemetery that I spend a lot of time in, so I guess I’m a local there.
Who would be the 5 people (alive, dead, or fictional) at your dream dinner party?
This question always freaks me out. If I say real living people, it’s practically a guarantee I will wind up in some hideously awkward social interaction with them inside of six months. So, the dead: Angelica Schuyler, Mary MacLane, La Maupin, Fritz Lang, Orson Welles.
First Love: Book edition. What was it and when? (i.e. what book made you love reading?)
The Vampire Lestat when I was thirteen. It was the first thing I read where being really emotional was a feature and not a bug. That mattered desperately when I was thirteen.
You now have a time machine – to where and when do you go?
Regency England because I could probably fake not being from elsewhen decently – at least if I were dressed as a man since I can ride a horse, fence, dance, and play cards all with reasonable levels of competence. I know sensible people would say I should be aiming for the future, because at least the future has penicillin, but I’m too into dystopian novels to feel particularly confident of that.
If you could have one magic spell up your sleeve, what would it be?
The one where I can set things on fire with my eyes for sure.
If your soul was manifested outside of your body in the form of an animal (like in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series), what would it be?
Probably some sort of bird. They’re small and strange; I’m small and strange. It’s win-win.
Racheline Maltese is a performer and storyteller focused on themes of loss, desire, and fame. With Erin McRae she co-writes the Love in Los Angeles LGBTQ+ contemporary romance series from Torquere Press and the Love’s Labours contemporary gay romance series from Dreamspinner Press. From tentacle monsters that rule the New York City subways to lesbian werewolf bodyguards in 19th century Rome, her short fiction is about the practical problems caused by fantastical events. Racheline also writes plays and poetry, and her non-fiction on all things pop-culture has been widely published. @Racheline_M.