Why do I write?

Writing from the heart is what I’ve always done. Join me for my inaugural blog over at Women and Words for reflections on my writing and how life shapes the words I put on the page.

Women and Words

I don’t remember exactly when I started writing. I only know that I cannot remember not needing to write. Maybe it was because I was a shy kid who felt like she didn’t belong anywhere exactly. Books and reading were a great escape. My mother’s aunt nurtured that connection to books and I loved getting swept away in an epic story. Then one day she bought me a package of stationary and a beautiful pen. “Write,” she said. So I began, clumsily at first, filling the pages with bad poetry about adolescent angst. What was amazing about the experience was that once I began, I couldn’t stop. If reading was a source of comfort and happiness, then writing—putting my own words on the page—felt like mainlining a drug.images-1

The outside world had given me plenty of reasons to doubt myself. I struggled with a fledgling awareness of my differentness

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Rebound is coming!

Sapphire Books 2014
Sapphire Books 2014

Women’s basketball star Conner Maguire has the world by the tail. She’s at the top of her game, in demand, and life is good. One day the unthinkable happens and her world is ripped apart. That split second event forces Conner to re-evaluate her entire existence. A beautiful warrior with a shattered heart and incomparable spirit may be the key to conquering her fears, if Conner can open her heart enough to see the world from a new perspective.

Blog Hop: The next big thing

Hi gang! Wow it’s great to be back. I’ll have a longer post with a few announcements coming in the next couple of days, explaining what’s been going on in LM’s world and reconnecting with my peeps. (That’s you!) But for now, my good friend Cheyne Curry, fabulous author and film maker, tagged me in her blog hop tour. Thanks Cheyne! Today’s topic is the next big thing. For me, that’s a story near and dear to my heart. Read on…

 

What is the working title of your book?

My current WIP is Rebound
Where did the idea come from for the book?

The story came to me from watching a few simply amazing people in my life who have flourished despite adversity that they’ve experienced. So, I used their examples as a starting point for the story and let my own creativity take over from there.
What genre does your book fall under?

Lesbian Romance/ Drama
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I get asked this question from time to time with my other stories. I suppose it’s fun for folks to imagine what actors might be cast to play various characters in stories they enjoy. For me, I prefer to stick to writing. My characters are composites of people and experiences I’ve had throughout my life, so that would make it difficult for me to decide. I’d love to hear readers’ picks though. LOL

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A twist of fate can alter our entire reality and force us to dig deep in search of our authentic self.
What is the longer synopsis of your book?

I haven’t written a complete synopsis, but here’s a bit to give you an idea:

Conner Maguire has it all. She’s a professional athlete on top of her game, with a gorgeous partner, and all the trappings of fame. A twist of fate changes everything, leaving Conner alone to rebuild her world and even her identity. Coach Shawn Tyler isn’t cutting Conner any slack. She’s challenging, frustrating, and beautiful. Shawn might hold the key to Conner’s future, if they each can get past their individual pride long enough to open their hearts to new possibilities.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Rebound will be published by Sapphire Books in 2013.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It’s still a work in progress.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?

This seems to be related to the question above. I was inspired to write this story by the incredibly talented and strong individuals in my life who rise above any challenge, despite being differently-abled. I think all of us wonder if we would have what it takes to overcome a sudden injury that completely alters our physical or mental reality. Most of us are stronger than we know. The key is understanding the truth that nearly all of what the outside world sees is not who we really are. But human nature usually prevents revealing our truest selves unless something rocks our world, good or bad. This story explores that phenomenon.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

While not a sequel to Faithful Service, Silent Hearts and Tactical Pursuit, Rebound tells the story of Conner, Mac McKinley’s young cousin. Readers first met Conner in Tactical Pursuit.

 

Next Wednesday check out these author’s blogs to find out about their Next Big Thing. I’m tagging Isabella, Jett Abbott, and Linda Kay Silva.

Cover up—Book Covers and our everyday lives.

Do we judge books by their covers? Is that good or bad?

My upcoming novel, Tactical Pursuit, is equal parts action and romance. When I thought about a cover to best represent the story, I knew immediately that I wanted to depict three things: Danger. Excitement. Sexy. My publisher agreed and I think the cover turned out fabulous. Check it out and tell me if you agree:

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But when I posted the cover, not everyone was thrilled. That’s okay, I respect everone’s opinion, and differences make for great discussions. A few folks lamented that I was pushing the sex and not the “quality” of the story. My response? The cover represents both. Remember, I wanted danger, excitement, and sexy. Is there some rule in lesbian fiction that says if I have a sexy cover I’m somehow demeaning my work? I guess that’s the rub for me. Are we still bowing to outside forces and ridiculous messages asserting that as lesbians we are only interested in sex? What the messages are really saying is that we have no right to outwardly acknowledge our sexuality. We should hide that side of us for fear of offending straight folks. Whatever.

Writing is entertainment, plain and simple. Those of you who have read my work know that I try to tackle some pretty deep subjects, but I do it in the context of the personal lives of my characters, including their romantic sides. I’m a pop fiction writer, after all. Do I have to sacrifice one side of the story for another? For me the answer is no. Will all of my stories contain sexual content? I don’t know. For now they do, because I’m committed to showing my characters as whole, complete, humans without apology. I’ve said before that this is why I choose to write in this genre. I write for the lesbian community, and I want to engage and entertain my audience.

My author buddy, Isabella, is known for pushing the envelope with her book covers, and we’ve talked about this issue many times. We want to engage readers with our stories, but first we have to get your attention, right? Isn’t that what a cover is for? I’d argue that Isabella has the sexy cover thing down, and it’s working for her, from what I can see. Talk about dangerous and sexy. Here’s her latest cover:

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So, here are a few questions for you, lesbian fiction fans: How important is a cover when you’re looking for a book? Will a cover like Tactical Pursuit or American Yakuza catch your attention to make you want to know what the book is about? Is this kind of edgier cover art something that will increase sales, and thereby introduce more readers to lesbian fiction overall? That’s the real goal, isn’t it? Selling books increases readership, which in turn raises the profile of our craft, and hopefully opens a few more minds. So, if my cover catches a reader’s attention and then they see Isabella’s book, and then that leads them deeper into the lesfic listings to discover other lesbian authors, excellent. I think whatever expands the horizon can only be a good thing for us all.

I’d love to hear what you think. Thanks for reading.

~LM