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“Late Nights at Full Moon Records” harnesses supernatural secrets and nostalgia in found family tale

by Priya Saxena

Sarah Edmonds’s Late Nights at Full Moon Records is a novella following Lane, a young adult in desperate need of a job after his parents have disowned him for being trans.

Lane is hired by Full Moon Records, a small town Pennsylvania record store owned by Dawn and Gayle, a lesbian couple in their 70s. Dawn and Gayle are kind and welcoming, but they have mysterious scars and some strange rules, and Lane soon stumbles across their supernatural secret.

BoC had the opportunity to interview Sarah Edmonds about Late Nights at Full Moon Records, on sale now from Thirty West Publishing House.

Pssst…if you want to read more from this awesome author, check out Sarah Edmonds’s story “Devour Me” in Decoded Pride Issue #3, available from Decoded Pride. Use the code “Edmonds24” to get $10 off the whole issue of 30 gloriously queer and trans stories and comics before September 1.

The cover of Late Nights at Full Moon Records by Sara Edmonds shows a car in a simple line drawing with a person lying on the back, a full moon above.

Lane, the protagonist, is a trans man who faces significant discrimination due to transphobia. When we meet him, he is homeless and desperate for a job. The story very effectively shows how the constant threat of transphobia weighs on Lane and affects his every decision. What were you determined to express about the impact transphobia has on trans people?

I think that the one thing I was most determined to show was how insidious and harmful transphobia can be to every aspect of a person’s life. It was important to me that there are no outright or active moments of someone being vocally transphobic towards Lane in the story. We get references to past experiences, but the majority of his interactions with others are positive and, aside from select conversation with Dawn and Gayle, his identity as a trans man is hardly ever commented upon when he’s interacting with other people. I have found that when people talk or think about transphobia it’s often in terms of very obvious acts of hatred and violence. I wanted Lane’s experience to show that even when those more obvious acts of violence are not present, there are still deeper levels of harm that occur and that can significantly hinder someone’s access to a safe and joyful life.

It can be difficult for independent record stores to survive in this current time. The popularity of streaming services means there is less incentive for customers to visit a music store. Yet record stores persist in many places, bolstered by the community that forms around them. What is your own history with record stores? What did you find appealing about setting this story in a record store?

Above all else, I wanted this story to feel nostalgic. I wanted to play into an almost pulpy vibe for the setting and to make it feel like this little bubble, timeless and somewhat removed from the rest of town. It’s a safe space for Lane and I think the independent record store helps to keep the physical setting somewhat removed from the rest of the town that’s been so harsh to him.

Personally, there are a few record stores still open in my hometown and I’ve always loved the eclectic clientele they attract, especially as more contemporary artists continue to release special vinyl editions of their work. A record store, to me, feels like this unique space where people join together and can really stop and appreciate music on a more physical level. In truth, if I hadn’t thought of the title of this book before fleshing out some of the details, there’s a very high chance that the story would have been set in a comic book store. I think both types of venues capture this sense of nostalgia, appreciation for art (musical or visual), while still persisting and inspiring new generations even with the advance of streaming services and digital media, more broadly. They feel timeless and, in their own way, like little rebellions keeping physical media alive and I think that keeps in the spirit of the story overall.

I rarely see elderly queer couples represented in fiction, so it was a nice change of pace to read a story in which a lesbian couple in their 70s plays an integral role. Having the young, untethered Lane work with the stable and assured Dawn and Gayle creates an interesting juxtaposition. What were you interested in exploring when having this young queer character interact with an older queer couple?

Dawn and Gayle were actually the starting point for this story, far before Lane became a character—let alone the main character. The original focus was very much about exploring elderly characters within the horror genre, specifically with such a physical monster as the werewolf. However, when looking for a character to filter the story through, Lane created this foil to them that I think adds another layer to it. Specifically in regard to the juxtaposition of a stable older queer couple and a less stable younger queer character, I wanted to focus on this need for community. So many queer people from past generations have been lost to violence, neglect, and the harm of living in a society that does not support and accept them. I wanted to show that elderly queer people can have—and deserve to have—fulfilled, stable, and joyous lives. Having that, for Lane, is important considering he starts out in this very hopeless place. He doesn’t have queer role models, he doesn’t have a loving community. Finding Dawn and Gayle, two elderly queer women, is so important to allow him hope for his future and his sense of self-worth and respect. Given the importance of queer women in the care and well-being of the queer community—thinking specifically of all of the queer women who helped care for and support queer men during the AIDs crisis—I wanted to pay respect to older queer women and all they’ve done for the community by celebrating these characters as a couple who have had, and continue to have, a beautiful life together.

Werewolves often have a lot of queer subtext in popular culture, and the werewolf condition can especially resonate with trans people. The uncontrollable body horror of the werewolf transformation can be likened to the trauma of having to undergo the wrong puberty. This story definitely seems to be playing with these themes, although the werewolves themselves are not trans. How did you seek to address trans themes using werewolves in this story?

As a professor, I actually teach a class that focuses on queerness in horror and we talk a lot about the physical discomfort, “horror,” and also bliss of changing the body. There’s definitely a parallel between the pain of transformation and the painful disconnect Lane feels with his body. More than the physical, perhaps, is I think the distance that comes from both. When Lane goes to the YMCA to shower and change, there’s this very uncomfortable moment of secrecy that I think is paralleled (in a more extreme way) by the secrecy between Dawn, Gayle, and Lane. This secrecy builds between them and it’s the fear that Lane will find them monstrous that keeps them from opening up (which is a fear that, in a different way, I think can feel familiar to anyone considering coming out).

Beyond the pain and “horror” of the transformations, though, it was important to me for them to end up in this state of beauty. So much of queerness in horror, in general, goes beyond just exploring how certain people are “othered” by society. It helps us understand that society creates the other and that it’s society that imposes labels such as “wrong” or “monstrous” upon those they don’t understand. Building community amidst that, recognizing the beauty in spite of that, is an integral part of building the heart of the horror genre. With the werewolf element of this story, there is trauma in the transformation, in the breaking from society and it’s “rules,” but what Dawn and Gayle fear Lane will find monstrous he actually finds beautiful. I wanted his understanding of who they are, of how happy they are in themselves, to go beyond the scary stereotypes that we often find in monster stories. I wanted his appreciation for them to show how he could feel about himself. That no matter what society says or how others see him, there is beauty in who he is.

Several songs and musicians are name-dropped in this story: Janis Ian, Cat Power, Kay Gardner. The music that a character enjoys or is familiar with can tell us so much about them. What were your thoughts behind what the music tastes of these characters would be and which particular musicians would speak to them the most? 

I have to admit, the music in the story probably took the most research for me. I specifically wanted to include artists who were women and/or queer just because I thought it would set the tone for the record store itself and the type of space Dawn and Gayle wanted to curate. Beyond that, I wanted to include music that played into the season; the story takes place around Halloween—again, just playing into the camp of it—so I was looking for songs that invoke a bit of an eerie feeling. Songs about yearning, about mystery, and songs that are a bit softer and more chill in style felt fitting for Dawn and Gayle’s mellow-but-mysterious dynamic. I think finding music that’s both a bit soft, a bit eerie, and that’s unapologetic about focusing on desire and fear of that desire really seemed to fit not just the space but also some of the conflict that Lane feels in not allowing himself to want and hope for better for himself.

If readers want to learn more about you and your comic work, where can they find you online?

The best place to connect with me is probably through social media (either Instagram or Twitter both @SarahEEdmonds) but you can find a full list of my work (primarily prose and film) on my website and some of my blog writing and editorial work at You can also find my novella, Late Nights at Full Moon Records available through Thirty West Publishing House!

A headshot of author Sarah Edmonds shows them looking at the camera, wearing glasses. They have short dark hair and light skin.

Sarah Edmonds is a queer author and filmmaker from southeastern Pennsylvania who currently serves as video poetry editor for the West Trade Review and as Editor-in-Chief of For Page & Screen Magazine. Their writing and films explore need for queer community and the reclamation of queer joy across various forms of speculative fiction.

Priya Saxena (she/her or they/them) is a writer and critic based in New York City who enjoys reading queer comics and watching campy television. You can follow them on Twitter at @lettersofpriya.