“HAVE you heard the Avril Lavigne conspiracy theory?”

Kirsty Logan is a rational woman. She isn’t religious. She isn’t superstitious. She doesn’t believe in conspiracies as a rule. But that doesn’t mean that Logan doesn’t find them interesting.

“The Avril Lavigne conspiracy theory is that she died after her first album. She killed herself. And after that it was an imposter.”

“People say her style changed; her clothing style, her music style. They examined photographs and circled bits and say: ‘Look, she’s a different person.’”

Kirsty Logan is a rational woman. It’s just that she is completely obsessed with the unexplained, with the strange. In short, she likes the fact that she lives in a world in which there is a conspiracy theory about Canadian pop stars who sing songs called SK8er Boi.

And that’s why she writes books (four to date, two novels, two books of short stories) about boxers and ballet dancers and selkies and people who turn to stone. You could label her a magic realist writer and you wouldn’t be wrong. Or you could call her a fantasy writer and she wouldn’t demur.

“I’m attracted to it because I think it’s all metaphor,” she says of her interest in fantasy fiction. “To me, a ghost is always a metaphor. A superstition is always a metaphor.”

Wednesday morning in the centre of Glasgow and Logan is sitting sipping tap water. Bobbed hair, glasses, tattoos, a slogan on her necklace that states: “Never read the comments.”

We’re here to talk about her new novel The Gloaming, her second, yes, but we will also touch on ideas of home and identity and bisexuality and fantasy fiction as a vehicle for LGBT themes. Her work and her life encompass all of the above.

Logan is 34, lives quietly in Glasgow (“I like to keep the drama for my work”) with her wife Annie whom she married, appropriately enough for a writer, at the Mitchell Library, and says she is Scottish even though she speaks with a soft English accent.

Accent notwithstanding, she is one of the faces of new Scottish fantasy fiction. In the last few years a number of young Scottish women such as Ever Dundas, Helen Sedgwick and Logan have been using the genre to explore themes – female lives, gender, sexuality – close to their hearts.

The Gloaming is the latest example; a literate, literary, magic realist story about an island where people turn to stone at the end of their days. It’s also a queer love story, a novel about lost children, and about grief and the stain it leaves in its wake. And it’s a novel about the push and pull of the very idea of home, something that Logan herself knows all about.

It took her three attempts over 12 years to write the novel. Characters, settings, plot lines all changed. What stayed in place throughout, she says, was the idea of people turning to stone. “I couldn’t let go of this idea of your home turning to stone. I don’t know about you, but I’m from a small town and that’s what it felt like for me.

“I was born in Cheshire to Scottish parents and Cheshire was a fine place to grow up in, but I never felt it was home. My parents would always tell me: ‘You’re not from here. This isn’t your home. We’ve no family here, we’ve no connections here.’

“When I was 12 we moved back up to Scotland and it felt like coming home. I’ve lived in Glasgow ever since then.”

Whether in Cheshire or Glasgow, one constant was books. “The dining room was just floor-to-ceiling bookcases, completely crammed with books. I would spend hours looking at the spines. I would try and guess what the books were about based on their titles.

“My dad had all the Stephen King books. I was fascinated by them because they had horrible covers, these really lurid eighties covers. I remember the cover of Carrie and it was just her face all drenched in blood and I was fascinated by it. And he also had Crash, by JG Ballard, which I was obsessed with because it had boobs on it. I wasn’t allowed to read that one, but I was obsessed trying to figure what it could be about.”

She was always writing. By 16 Logan even had her own website where she published her “angsty teenage poetry.”

The teenage poet has now become a published author. Even if she wasn’t, she would be writing. “I think if I lived on a desert island and had no hope of rescue I’d still write on the sand or on cave walls to try and make sense of the world.”

But of all the genres she could write, I wonder, why fantasy? “I don’t think it is a choice that I made,” she says. “Even if I tried to write something realistic it just wouldn’t come out that way. Someone would have a little magical mouse in their pocket, some weird thing would happen.

“I genuinely think that’s how I see the world. I sometimes imagine it’s almost like a Google Glass sci-fi thing – maybe it’s because I wear glasses – I look and I almost see an overlay on top of it. There’s this overlay of imagination. It’s not as if I look up and think: ‘Oh, there’s a dragon.’ There’s just little things hiding.”

Then again, she says, a fantasy novel is no good if it doesn’t reflect the real world, she says. “All sci-fi and fantasy is to me social realism with imagination on top of it.

“I got asked recently: ‘Why do you write things that are fantastical and so dark?’ Because to me that is social realism. To write fantasy and magic and beauty and love, but also darkness and loss and sadness. Because I think that’s what the world is. I’m just writing it as I see it.”

And in some ways, Logan says, dig deep enough and all writing is autobiographical to some degree. She has said before that the sudden death of her father at the age of 58 fed into the creation of her first novel, The Gracekeepers. This time around you can maybe find more than an echo of her expat brother in its portrait of the golden child Bee.

And then there’s the politics of the piece, its openness to queer desire. Here’s the thing, I tell Logan. I have a couple of decades on her and when I was growing up my fantasy reading was mainly Robert E Howard’s Conan the Barbarian stories; in other words, hyper-male stories about sex and violence. That was what fantasy was in the 1970s and 1980s.

That would appear to be no longer the case. Logan is proof that the genre is much more inclusive now, much more female in its outlook. More than that, it is now challenging those hypermale narratives.

Logan thinks that change was inevitable. “To me there’s a reason why a lot of fantasy is focused on LGBT issues, feminism, things like that,” she argues. “I think that fantasy is the ideal way to explore identity, really, because, if we’re writing about a mermaid we’re not really writing about this fantastical creature that has no bearings on us as humans.

“Why I’m a bit obsessed by them is that they represent being between two worlds, which for me is something I hugely connect with; growing up in England to Scottish parents and then I move up to Scotland which I consider my home, but I still have an English accent, so I’m not really part of either world.

“I’m bisexual as well and when I was with a guy in the past people would say: ‘Oh, so you’re straight now?’ No, I’m still the same person.

“And now I’m married to a woman people go: ‘Oh, you’re a lesbian now.’ Whatever. You can label it whatever way you want, I don’t care.

“There’s this sense of what’s on the surface reflects your deep identity and I don’t believe that.”

And this, for her, might be the appeal of fantasy fiction. Because it is willing to suggest that everything isn’t reducible. That we are, or can be, each of us, various. There is more on offer than the binaries we so often tie ourselves to.

“It’s also more accessible,” Logan adds, smiling. “If someone said to me I’ve written this very serious social realism about bisexual rights … I’d be like … I mean I’m glad that book exists, but I don’t really want to read it. But if someone says: ‘I’ve written this book about a bisexual mermaid,’ I’m in.”

It’s a vision of variety, of mutivalence, that Logan sees all around her in the people of her generation and younger.

“I don’t know if it’s our age, or a sign of the times, but a lot of my friends who said they were one thing – they said they were straight or they said they were gay. Now, they’re thinking: ‘Well, it depends who I meet.’

“Friends of mine who self-identified as lesbian are now saying: ‘Oh, that guy’s kind of cute. Maybe I could go out with a guy.’ Or vice versa, which I think is great.

“I personally believe everyone’s bisexual to some extent. I think it’s a huge spectrum and we’re all at different points on the spectrum. I think it’s a shame to restrict yourself in that way, to say: ‘I don’t like men, full stop. I would never in a million years find any man in the entire world attractive.’ That is ludicrous to me. You’ve not met all the men. You don’t know.”

When it comes to issues of gender and sexuality does she feel obliged to speak up? “I don’t think I have to,” she says. “But I do. I think even if I wasn’t a writer I wouldn’t be secretive about my life and my romance and why should I? My wife is amazing, why would I ever hide her or deny her? I want everyone to look at her. I think she’s the best.’

“I’m not a massive campaigner. I don’t go on marches or start petitions. But I do live my life completely openly, completely honestly, and write the fiction that I think is true and honest. I’ve never thought to myself: ‘Maybe I should make one of these characters a man, one a woman, and they should fall in love because that would be more mainstream, that would be more marketable.

“That may be true. Maybe I would have a bigger market because more people do identify as straight than LGBT. So, maybe I would have a bigger market if they were heterosexual love stories and not queer love stories. But that’s my way of fighting the fight.

“I try and never label my character’s sexualities, their genders either,” she concludes. “Love is love and people are people.”

Surely, not even Avril Lavigne, nor her imposter, could argue with that.

The Gloaming, by Kirsty Logan, is published on Thursday by Harvill Secker, priced £12.99