Welcome to episode 71 of the Lesbian Book Club, where I interview five lesbian fiction authors and asks them how their 2021 is going in this Summer Special. What a year it’s been so far, right? The five authors are: Erica Lee, Rachel Spangler, Natasha West, Melissa Lenhardt and Quinn Ivins. Expect accents a-go-go, lofty goals and lesbian fiction galore!
I also do a run-down of the Amazon Lesbian Fiction charts in the US & UK, and share the news that Before You Say I Do won a Goldie. Yay! Also, there’s the first chapter of my Hot London Nights audiobook included as an end bonus. I hope you enjoy the podcast!
Big London Dreams was my 19th lesbian romance novel, but the first one set in any other time but the present day. Writing an historical novel scared me at first, but then I decided to do what scared me. I gave myself extra time to do the research and editing, and a little bit more to get over my publishing nerves. Now I’ve done it, what are my key takeaways?
Continue reading » “Writing Historical Fiction”
The wait is nearly over: just one week until my new lesbian romance hits the shelves! July 28th is the date when the ebook and paperback will be on sale, so mark your calendar! If you can’t wait that long for the story of Eunice and Joan in late 1950s London, here are the first two chapters to get you in the mood. When you’ve read them, why not pre-order straight away to ensure you can read on come July 28th….
Continue reading » “Big London Dreams: Sneak Peek!”
“Write what you know.” It’s the first advice given to new writers, but it’s invariably bad advice if you take it literally. Write what you know doesn’t mean your story has to be a carbon copy of your life. Nobody wants to read that, trust me.
On the contrary, ‘write what you know’ means you have to examine what you know, and also what you can research or learn. Because once you research or learn something, then you know it. Write what you know means you can literally write about anything, so long as you prepare.
Write what you know it also about experience and emotion. So yes, write about your dad’s red Ford Cortina estate with the traffic-light air freshener. Write about the fear of walking into your first gay bar. Write about the gut-wrenching pain you felt when that first woman broke your heart. But also, write about women from 1958, as I am in my upcoming lesbian romance, Big London Dreams. I wasn’t alive then, but I know how it feels to kiss a woman for the first time. To dance with a woman. I can put a magnifying glass on those emotions to hold the reader in the story, then shade in the period details once I’ve researched them.
Don’t be scared to write eras you haven’t lived, jobs you’ve never done, a gender you’ve never lived. Do the research, put yourself in the character’s shoes and truly feel their life. Then you can write what you know, because you know.
My upcoming lesbian romance is very personal to me, even though I wasn’t born in the 1950s. It’s close to my heart because my parents met and dated in 1950s London, and my mum grew up on the White City estate in west London, where the book is partly set. My first historical romance charts the illicit affair between Joan Hart and Eunice Humphries. Like my mum, both work in a clothing factory as machinists. Everything else is conjured up from my imagination, but the fact there’s a sprinkling of my mum’s life in it made this book a real treat to write… Continue reading » “Big London Dreams: On Location”
You can do a whole lot in seven years. Eat 364 tins of baked beans. Have nine kids. Drink 2,555 pots of nuclear-strength coffee. Watch all of Grey’s Anatomy. Or, you could do what I did and write 18 novels.
I started out slow, with one novel, then another. In the first three years part-time, I eeked out five books. Then something clicked, and I’ve written three novels a year since 2017. It’s taken hard work, discipline and a whole lot of love to get here. Along the way, I’ve learned so much. But every day, I’m working for myself and doing my dream job. I can’t ask for more! What have I learned in the last 84 months? Read on to find out… Continue reading » “Seven Years As An Author: Ten Things I’ve Learned”
It’s January! It’s 2021! I want to run up to this new year and give it a kiss, but I can’t. Social distancing and all that. So while this fresh start feels like groundhog day, I’m banking on there being light at the end of the tunnel. With that in mind, 2021 is all about keeping the faith and writing some books. Ready to read my plans? Here they are… Continue reading » “My Goals For 2021”