Last month, I received the thrilling news that my first novel, A Chapter on Love was acquired by Bold Strokes Books and will be published in 2019! I’m so happy to be part of the Bold Strokes Books team and to be working alongside such talented authors. In the next few months I’ll be editing and polishing the novel to make it the best it can be for my readers.
Here is a preview.
A Chapter on Love – Coming in 2019
Jannika Peterson arrived in Grangeton, New Hampshire, with a broken heart and a new job managing the local bookstore. She has a gift for pairing readers with the perfect books, but her matchmaking skills don’t extend to her love life. Love doesn’t stand a chance against her well-protected heart.
Eighteen years ago, Lee Thompson was Jannika’s summer camp counselor, and Lee has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the unusual name. Still healing from her wife’s sudden death, Lee hopes her new job in a new town will help her to begin a new chapter.
When Jannika and Lee reunite, their instant connection feels like a gift, but neither is ready for a second chance at love. Unable to deny their attraction, will they finally get on the same page when it comes to love?
This is a “jump up and down and twirl around” dream come true for me, as it is for many authors when they hear that publication of their novel is really going to happen. The dream is becoming reality. I’ve always wanted to write fiction. And when I discovered lesbian fiction, I dreamed of someday writing a book that readers would enjoy.
I didn’t discover lesbian fiction until my thirties. There was a wonderful lesbian bookstore in downtown Portsmouth, NH in the 1990s called Artistic Amazon, and I caught sight of the rainbow flag flying outside their door one day. I had recently come out and was hungry for information (pre-google days). I made several trips to that part of Portsmouth and must have walked up and down that street twenty times before I had the courage to walk in.
My local library card catalog gave me Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle, Lisa Alther’s Other Women, and a non-fiction book by Betty Berzon, Permanent Partners. Rural New Hampshire libraries didn’t offer much, and I couldn’t afford a non-resident card from the big city library of Portsmouth. When I walked into this store and saw a large bookcase full of new books and a bottom shelf of used books – fiction – lesbian fiction – lesbian romance and lesbian mysteries, my knees wobbled.
Here they were, stories about women like me. There were more than two or three books out there. There was a community of authors, of books, of people like me.
I sat on the floor at the bottom shelf (knees were still a bit wobbly) of used books and picked Curious Wine by Katherine V. Forrest and Everything You Have by Sandra Scoppetone as a start. Those books changed my life. They gave me hope, gave me confidence, gave me great joy, and comforted me.
I still live in a rural location. I’m amazed at how many people I talk to who don’t know that lesbian fiction exists. I’d love everyone who reads lesbian fiction to suggest titles and authors to your local librarian. They want to know. I’ve talked to librarians who don’t know where to start to develop a collection of lesbian fiction for adults. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Well, if someone would ask for the book I’d get it, but I don’t know where to start.” We know the books and authors we love to read. Let’s tell our librarians.
Most libraries now offer downloadable ebooks and audio books. I’d ask you to offer purchase suggestions for the downloadable eBook and audio book collections of your library as well. If your librarian wants a suggestion of where to start – start with award winning novels, from the Lamda Literary Awards list.
I know that our stories are important as ever. I know they make a difference in the lives of the people who read them. I am thrilled and honored and a bit humbled to be able to call myself an author of lesbian fiction and to offer my stories to readers.
And every so often I break into a twirly dance of joy that A Chapter On Love has found a home at Bold Strokes Books. I can’t wait for 2019 when it’s released into the world!