I was thrilled to ask Mira Ong Chua (they/them) some questions about ROADQUEEN: Eternal Roadtrip to Love, a lesbian fake dating graphic novel that had me laughing out loud. Please enjoy this interview with Mira Ong Chua (Twitter Instagram):
Roadqueen: Eternal Roadtrip to Love takes place in a world in which queer ladies go to school on a mountain via motorbike; this amazing creation is indicative of the story as a whole. It’s every lesbian fever dream I didn’t know I had put to page! How did you make this absolutely perfect thing?
When I embark on a new personal project I try to set a challenge for myself in some way, like working within a new format or genre. For ROADQUEEN, it was writing a story where I’d be forced to draw motorcycles. Everything else was based on that premise.
The story is centered around the fake dating trope – one of my favorites! Vega says that she wants to see if Leo can be a decent lesbian. What, in your opinion, makes a lesbian decent?
I don’t want anyone to worry about that.
Leo’s long-suffering friends were very relatable, as was Leo’s desperate (and often failed) attempts to do right by Vega. You balance a super fun light-hearted romp with very realistic character work. How did you develop this skill?
Practice, probably. I was fortunate to have a day job at the time where one of my responsibilities was writing comedy scripts under tight deadlines. I’d often look back and think “Okay, well, I didn’t like how this part came out, so next time I’ll try this instead…” Once you begin building a body of work, you start understanding the things you’re drawn to.
I can’t imagine this story as a heteronormative romance. What do you think are some hallmarks of queer/lesbian love stories?
Rather than looking for hallmarks, I’d like to see queer love stories expand upon every single style and genre and niche imaginable.
What do you hope your readers take away from the story?
I hope readers have fun. And if they’re inspired to go make something of their own, too, that would be great.
Will we ever get more Leo and Vega, or another story set in this world?
Those characters started it all for me, so in a way I feel like they’re in every story I write. As for more stories set in their world…who knows!
I see that you have a new book out (I’m going to be ordering that immediately!) called Goodbye, Battle Princess Peony. Can you tell us a little about it and where people can buy it?
Goodbye, Battle Princess Peony is a gothic fairytale romance about an otherworldly princess falling into the hands of the villain who has always tormented her. It was funded through Kickstarter earlier this year, and is now available exclusively through my online store. And on October 1 I am launching my next book project: a queer 18+ romcom called Vampire Blood Drive, based on a short comic I did of the same name.