Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a lesbian writer from south central Kentucky. My partner and I have been together more than 16 years. We both had been previously married to me and had two children each. She had two boys and I had two girls. Between the two of us, we have 9 grandchildren. I have written 7 books. One is a full-length young adult lesbian romance, one is a full-length adult lesbian romance, three are short lesbian erotic romances, one is just a short lesbian erotic story, and one story is a full-length murder mystery.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My newest novel is a young adult lesbian drama titled Standing Her Ground. It’s about a young woman who is raped after her parents force her to a pray-away-the-gay event when she came out to them. It was inspired by an article I read a few years ago about “corrective rape” of lesbians in Africa. I’d originally started writing a story about a woman who was raped in South Africa while on a mission down there (and that story will tie into this one and come out later). The story wasn’t taking off like I wanted to and later I was reading another article about a lesbian who had been raped here in the U. S. It got me thinking about the possibility of radical Christian groups possibly encouraging corrective rape here. It would totally be something that would be covered up and most likely not reported, as is the case in this story. Except with Standing Her Ground, my main character ends up pregnant, but chooses not to report the rape, or tell her parents and their church about her son. When they find out my main character, Jodi Nelson started being harassed and she takes steps to stand up to her parents and their church. There’s a lot more to the story, but I don’t want to give away too much.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write every chance I get. My partner and I are raising 3 of my grandchildren and we both work full-time, so it can be a challenge to get in writing time. I usually write first thing in the morning and on my lunch breaks. Sometimes I’ll take a day off and spend the whole day writing, especially if I’m close to finishing a story.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I’m a huge fan of Gerri Hill, who writes lesbian romance and mystery. Julia Watts book, Finding H. F. was what inspired me to write a young adult lesbian romance with a positive ending. I also love to read murder mysteries from Patricia Cornwell, Tess Gerritsen, and Janet Evanovich.
What are you working on now?
I’m almost done with Standing Her Ground. It’s down to the last few chapters and I’ve been vigorously editing it as I’ve gone along. I’m also hiring FirstEditing to go over it as well. One of the chief complaints of previous books was grammatical problems.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I like to used excerpts to promote my books. I think giving the readers a little tease helps. I promote just about every where I think readers of lesbian fiction my be lurking.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write a story that you love and hire a good editor. Don’t give up. If a story seems to stall, put it aside and start a new one. Some stories just aren’t meant to be written, but a lot of stories are.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Stephen King in his book On Writing encourages writers to write every day and read a lot.
What are you reading now?
I’m listening to “Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven” by Fannie Flagg. I’m reading “Just Girls” by Rachel Gold in print, and Taking Flight by Siera Maley on my Kindle app.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I’m going to be reworking my young adult novel, “Suddenly.” The publisher who originally published it is going out of business so the rights are coming back to me. It really needs going over and cleaned up.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
“Artist Way” and “Rainbow Cedar” by Gerri Hill. The Bible and probably a dictionary.