An Interview with Eliza Andrews (and RA Marshall)

I’m talking today with author Eliza Andrews who writes contemporary lesbian fiction books that have strong dramatic themes with romantic subplots. Welcome Eliza!

Eliza: Thanks!

Anne: Now, in all honesty, I met Eliza Andrews for the first time  as R.A. Marshall, a writer of young adult (YA) fiction which some of, incidentally, has queer – mostly questioning lesbian – themes, but not all of it.

Eliza Andrews RA Marshall PhotoEliza uses this caricature of herself for all of her pen names. Isn’t she cute?! Now, don’t fret that she’s not a real person. This caricature image is close to the way she actually looks but just slightly on the young side…just slightly…

Her first lesfic book, To Have Loved & Lost, a sometimes dark and gritty NA romance, was a #1 best-seller in several Amazon categories for about three consecutive weeks, and it has over 170 positive reviews on Amazon.

To Have Loved and Lost Cover

When two people’s lives are spiraling out of control, can coming together pull both of them back up?

Alexis Woods knows who she is — or at least, she thought she did. She’s number 17, point guard, MVP, all-star, co-captain of the Lady Raiders NCAA Division I women’s basketball team. But there’s a darkness growing inside of her, a darkness that started the night her beloved died in her arms, and if she doesn’t turn things around soon, the darkness just might swallow her whole.

Graham Griffin knows a thing or two about darkness. That’s been her zip code ever since the car accident that took her boyfriend’s life — the car accident she caused. When she meets Alex, she sees a reflection of her own sorrow. And she can’t help but want to fix it.

Eliza Andrews’ Writing in Progress:

Paradise Anne: So that’s where you were and you’ve just recently released  what you’re calling a ‘short lesbian romance’ (71 pages), Paradise, that seems to be doing well.

Readers can click the link above or the image to the left to get that for only $.99 at Amazon or free via Kindle Unlimited.

All of that said, please give us a little overview of what you’re working on right now.

Eliza: I’m trying hard to finish my novel Anika Takes the Long Way Home Up Soul Mountain. It’s a follow-up to, To Have Loved & Lost (THL&L), which came out at the beginning of November 2016.

Anika is more of a spin-off than a sequel; it follows one of the side characters from THL&L into the future, about fifteen years after the end of the events in THL&L  (two years after the Epilogue). I should’ve finished Anika’s story back in February or March, but then my life took an unexpected turn, so life has sort of derailed writing for the past few months.  It’s ironic, because Anika is a story about someone’s mid-life crisis, so I find it fitting that my own life would become stressful and weird at the same time as writing a story about someone else’s crisis.

Note: Sign up for Eliza’s email list and you can get the first four chapters of her work in progress, Anika Takes the Long Way Home free. 

Anne:  What do your plans for future projects include?

Eliza: Once Anika’s story is finished, I have to finish a young adult trilogy (under her R.A. Marshall pen name), but after that, I want to get to work on a novel I’m currently calling Apart.  It’s another book about tragedy and grief (like THL&L) — don’t know why this keeps coming up in my work! — but this time, the reader isn’t going to know exactly what the main character is grieving until about halfway through the novel.

Anne: That’s interesting. Sort of a suspense novel, then.

Eliza: Yes. I kind of know how I want Apart to “feel”; it should be a little like that unsettling feeling of walking down the stairs into the basement in the dark while you fumble for the light switch.  You’re not “scared,” exactly, but you’re not comfortable, either.  Have you heard the podcast S-Town?  I want this book to feel a little like that.

Anne: I haven’t heard of it but I’ll definitely check it out. (Note – Here’s a link for anyone interested: https://stownpodcast.org/)

Eliza: The other thing about Apart is that it’s my “ode to the South.”  I grew up in small-town Georgia and have spent most of my adult life in Atlanta and the Carolinas.  It’s an uncomfortable thing to be an obviously gay woman in the South, but at the same time, there’s something about the deep South — the way it sounds, the way it smells, the cadence of people’s speech — that I just can’t quite resist.  I’d like bring some of that out in Apart.

Anne: I agree with you. I find the southern U.S. states intensely interesting myself. I spent some time in South Carolina and Georgia with the military. It was the southern states and the way of life there, their extreme conservatism, their values and their quirks and so forth that prompted my Loving Blue in Red States short story series. There are, of course, lots of ‘red states’ to cover so I’m trying to make myself skip around the country and not just dwell in the south.

Anne: But, enough about me. Please tell us about your other work. Have you written any other stories that are set in the South?

Eliza: One of my two young adult trilogies (Guardians of the Portal, written as R.A. Marshall) is set in rural Arkansas, in the Ozark Mountains.  Arkansas is South-ish, though the Ozark Mountains are sort of their own thing.  But the kids in the story are working class, small-town kids — the type of people I went to high school with myself.  My dad’s family is from that part of the country, so it felt natural to write.

Also, To Have Loved & Lost is roughly set in North Carolina, but the location doesn’t really come across in that story.  It could be anywhere.

The Writing Process for Eliza Andrews:

Anne: Talk to me about how you write…how you go from a blank screen to a full novel.

Eliza: When I first started writing, I wrote by intuition alone but, I have to confess, I hardly knew what I was doing. When I look back on my first novel, I grimace and think, Learning curve!

Anne: I am so with you on that! Unfortunately, mine is the first book in a nine (soon to be ten) book series…I just give it away.

Eliza: Now I understand how we are hard-wired as Westerners — and maybe just as humans — to hear and process stories in a certain way.  We actually *want* familiar archetypes, and, to a certain extent, tropes.  These days, I try to plot pretty thoroughly. It makes the writing itself much easier.

With that being said, I still find that my characters take the story in directions I didn’t always expect or plan for.  So although I make a thorough outline at the beginning, once I actually sit at the computer and begin to write, sometimes things happen that I didn’t plan.  That’s kind of fun, though — makes me feel like it’s my characters’ story, and I’m just following along behind them.

Anne:  Do you have any strange writing habits you’re willing to share with us?

Eliza: Not really. I’m pretty vanilla. I will say that I like to be outside as much as possible — my version of hell would be working in a windowless office cubicle — but mainly I just sit down with my laptop and start typing away.

I will say this:  Showering, walking, and driving are probably the three best places for me to get inspiration and tease out story ideas.  I’ve plotted entire novels on road trips before!

Anne:  Do you write full-time or part-time?

Eliza: Now THAT is a good question!  I used to write only part-time, but I quit my job recently, not because I wanted to write full-time, but for other reasons. So I’m giving myself the next six months to really make a go at writing full-time.  My results over the next few months will determine whether or not I write full-time or part-time going forward.

Anne: Every writer’s dream! I wish you the best of luck.

Eliza Andrews On her writing influences:

Anne:  What is your favorite childhood book?

Eliza: I can only pick one?  I’m sure that if I thought about it, I could come up with dozens, but the one that made me want to write was Robert A. Heinlein’s Tunnel in the Sky.  (See what a sci-fi nerd I am?)  It’s a sort of obscure book, so briefly:  A group of young inter-planetary rangers gets sent to a wild, inhospitable planet for their final exam, but something goes wrong and instead of being retrieved in only a week, they are left out there to survive on their own for MONTHS.

I liked this book so much that I read it two or three times, and I didn’t want it to end, so I started writing my own sequel, just so I could keep reading the story.  I was about ten when I wrote my “sequel,” but I probably wrote maybe fifteen or twenty pages before I got tired of it and gave up.  Not bad for a fifth grader.

Anne: Take it from me, you have to be careful putting that sort of information out there. Fans have a way of latching onto that and clamoring for it. You might want to either think about giving that a shot again or bribing me to completely delete this answer and pretend we never talked about it…

Questions for Eliza, just for fun:

Anne:  What’s the funniest movie you’ve ever seen?

Airplane Movie Widescreen DVDEliza: Airplane.

“Excuse me, stewardess?  I speak jive.”

Anne: An oldie but a goodie and, with that, we’re both showing our age.

Anne: What’s your favorite TV show of all time and why?

Eliza: It would come down to three:  Twin Peaks, Lost, and The Walking Dead.  For Lost and The Walking Dead, the reason is character development!  No other shows that I can think of develop their characters like those.  As for Twin Peaks, it’s just a weird, quirky show.  I love the blend of the real and the supernatural, and I can hardly think of a character on television better than Special Agent Dale Cooper.

Anne: I’m totally down with the whole zombie thing of The Walking Dead. With Twin Peaks, I’m assuming you’re talking about the old version of the show first, and foremost. There is a Twin Peaks remake out there that just kicked off in the last few weeks on Showtime.

Anne: Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares you’re willing to share with us?

Eliza: When Glee was still on and Cory Monteith was still alive (RIP), I used to dream that I was Finn Hudson. *Shrug* Maybe I shouldn’t admit that.  I also dream about the zombie apocalypse with some regularity, because I am a Walking Dead addict.

Anne: See what watching all of that zombie stuff does to you?!

All the links you need for Eliza Andrews (and RA Marshall!):

Author Page on Amazon:

Eliza Andrews: https://www.amazon.com/Eliza-Andrews/e/B01N08ZF8P

R. A. Marshall: https://www.amazon.com/R.-A.-Marshall/e/B00JNZPXP0/

Author Website:

Eliza Andrews: http://authorelizaandrews.com

R. A. Marshall: http://ninja-writer.com/

Author Facebook:

Eliza Andrews: http://facebook.com/authorelizaandrews

R. A. Marshall: https://www.facebook.com/ra.marshall

Please check her work out at either of her websites or both. Sign up to receive email from her and you’ll get access to free excerpts and more.

Thanks for joining us today and, as always, thanks for reading!

 

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Loving Blue in Red States: Perryville Missouri

The fourth short story in the Loving Blue in Red States series, Perryville Missouri is now out. ‘Perryville’ is the story of two women, one younger, one middle aged, whose first meeting takes place in the darkness of a miles long cave. Things only get more complicated from there.

For a limited time, it is exclusive to Amazon and free via Kindle Unlimited.

The blurb for Perryville:

What happens in a cave…

LBRS Perryville Missouri Cover Bethany French is a geologist with the Missouri Geological Survey. She loves her job and she’s good at it. She gets to explore caves and other land forms for a living. The only thing missing from her life is a partner to share it all with. She had one until she decided she needed to move out of St. Louis, south, to be closer to the territory she was assigned to cover. The forty-minute drive into the city proved to be more than her ex was willing to put up with. She craved the bright lights and the constant stream of social opportunities the city provided. Good riddance Bethany thought. She liked having a partner but, now in her late thirties, she didn’t want to start all over. She figured at her age, she was just better off alone.

Renn Sowell has two doctorates; a formal one in ceramic engineering and one in cover and concealment earned over years of keeping secrets from her ultra conservative, white nationalist father. It’s bad enough in his eyes that she’s a scientist rather than a housewife and a mother; her coming out as a lesbian might just send him over the edge. The 26-year-old can’t keep a girlfriend in her life for long because she doesn’t dare do anything to upset the delicate balance she works so hard to maintain.

The Two women keep meeting in the most unlikely circumstances. They couldn’t be more different either…at least, that’s what they think. Will they find common ground in the light of day?

Perryville Missouri is the fourth short story in the Loving Blue in Red States series by Anne Hagan. It was preceded by, Sweetwater Texas, Birmingham Alabama and Jackson Hole Wyoming. Look for other short stories and novellas to come out in this series in the future.

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Lesfic Author Niamh Murphy on the Hot Seat

This week, I’d like to welcome to the blog, British lesbian fiction author Niamh Murphy for a little question and answer session. Welcome Niamh!

Niamh Murphy

Niamh: Hello. It’s great to be here!

Anne: That’s Niamh to the left (and some secret person she’s standing behind that she cut out of the picture to maintain her privacy…perhaps? Shhh!).

Anne: Your story is a fascinating one. You’ve been writing fantastical things since you were very young, all the while battling through M.E. (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrom). I admire your drive and your perseverance.

Anne: (Niamh and I actually got to talking about more personal things later in our interview but this question fit better here) – If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be?

Niamh: Sleep. I struggled with M.E. for several years and still have problems on occasion with the chronic fatigue that accompanies the syndrome. I feel that I have slept enough and I would really love an extra eight hours a day to work on my writing!

Anne: Tell us a little bit about the books you have out right now.

Niamh: I have two novels, a short novella, and an anthology. They are all very different.

Magic and Romance coverAnne: Niamh is being very modest. Her anthology, Magic and Romance, contains some of the many lesfic short stories she has written in multiple genres. You can currently get it free for the Kindle at Amazon. Follow her on Wattpad where she has even more of her short stories.

My two novels, Escape to Pirate Island and Mask of the Highwaywoman, are set at very similar times in the past and I did consider having some Easter eggs present in the second book that would link into the first. But in the end, that didn’t fit the story and so I decided against it.

I like to have a few in-jokes now and then, references to things I think some people might notice. For example, in Escape to Pirate Island, I have quoted a few characters from Pirates of the Caribbean so any fan of that movie franchise should be able to spot those little hidden Easter eggs!

Anne: That’s a neat idea. It sounds like your books pretty much stand alone then as separate stories. Any plans to do sequels to those or to do a series?

Niamh: I would like to write a trilogy, and also a series of books set in the same world but for now each of my books do stand alone.

Escape to Pirate Island book CoverAnne: We sort of glossed right over it so I want to put in here that Escape to Pirate Island is Niamh’s most recent book. It was released on May 26th. It’s available from Amazon in paperback and for the Kindle. And Niamh, I love the cover!

Niamh: Thank you.

Anne: With your background in history and archaeology, I imagine you’re a stickler for story research…or are you?

Niamh: It varies. For Escape to Pirate Island I did a lot of research into women pirates and stories of women serving aboard ships. A lot of people think the idea is nonsense but the evidence of historical accounts of women serving and court documents of women whose gender was revealed, show that there were many women who disguised themselves as men and were eventually discovered or revealed themselves (sometimes after many years). I often wonder how many women remained hidden.

I also looked into daily life aboard ship, rules around privateering and how pirates self-governed, and the geography of the Spanish Main, making sure I researched the deserted islands and understood some basic survival.

But I always made sure that the story led the research and not the other way around. I have often read novels where historical facts have been awkwardly shoehorned into the story and this always bothers me. My story is a fun romp through a piratical adventure, so, I wanted just enough history to help the reader suspend their disbelief but no more.

Anne: That’s fascinating. So, let me backtrack a bit and ask, where did your love of storytelling come from?

Niamh: My Dad would read a chapter of a book to me every night before bedtime, without fail. He gave me my love of the fantasy genre and read all the Narnia books to me, as well as the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, even though I was a little too young for them at the time. He even gave me my first copy of Harry Potter long before it became the phenomenon it is today.

Anne: What was your favorite series of all of those?

Niamh: I think it would have to be the Narnia series. I love the fantasy, the magic, the portal to another dimension, and I always loved the white witch and the many forms she appeared in over the series. I used to love the sense that even the smallest children can make a difference and at the heart of the stories is often the idea of redemption.

I love the whole series but there was always something a little darker about The Silver Chair which greatly appealed to me and is something I’m going to explore in greater depth in a series I’m currently ruminating on.

Anne: Can you tell us what you’re working on right now and what you have planned for the future?

 Niamh: I am between projects. After I published Escape to Pirate Island, I was all set to go onto a new project about mermaids. But now I am not so sure. A completely different project is calling out to me and I think I’m going to have to follow the call which means my next project is going to be another historical romantic adventure; this time involving Knights and tournaments, castles and pitched battles, evil kings and beautiful princesses!

I have more ideas that I can write, but I would like to do a series of revolving around Knights and Queens. I also have plans to work on a fantasy series about a young rogue mage. I have a mermaid story on the back burner, as well as a burning desire to write a murder mystery.

Anne: Ah, my first love. murder mysteries! You should so write one!

Anne: Anyway, I think most prolific writers have more ideas than they can write. I’m curious; ballpark number? How many unfinished or half-done works do you think you have floating around out there?

Niamh: The last count was seventy-two but I have expanded since then and some of those stories are the first parts of a series. If I never have another idea, then I still have enough to keep me going for a whole career!

Anne: Wow! I thought I was bad…not saying that’s bad in a horrible way, mind you. I have enough ideas already laid out to keep my nose to the grindstone for the next two or more years but there are always new things filtering in. However, 72…or more…is a lot!

Niamh: I really want to focus on my productivity over the next twelve months and try to put more hours into writing so that I can start to finish some of these stories that I am so eager to get my teeth into!

Anne: So then, who do you find yourself turning to for writing and publishing advice over and over? Are there any writers or any particular blogs you follow?

Niamh: Definitely ‘The Creative Penn’. Joanna Penn is excellent and the website acts as a great resource for writers at all levels of their career and stages of their projects.

Anne: I agree. Her blog is never not useful, especially for indie authors. I love the top end guests she gets on there too who share loads of free information that’s immediately useful. You can listen to the podcasts with them or read the transcripts on her blog. She’s also one of the few bloggers out there who has recommended things that I’ve actually bought. So many of the people out there supposedly trying to help authors have written one book or one course and it’s all about book marketing. They don’t have a clue how to write fiction or how to market it.

Picking Back Up On the more personal side with Niamh Murphy:

Anne: Can you tell us, is there something you absolutely hate doing?

Niamh: Housework.

Anne: Uggh! Me too.

Niamh: It just seems to be so relentless! Where did all this laundry come from? Why do I have so many cups and how did they ALL get dirty!? And dust? I made the effort of dusting once, I shouldn’t have to do it again!

Anne: I’m right there with you on the dusting. I’m quite short. I only dust as high as I can see, when I do it at all. I tend to avoid it because my wife is terribly allergic. I can certainly sympathize.

Anne: I digress. Let me ask, if you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Niamh: Telepathy.

Anne: Oh, good one.

Niamh: As long as I could pick and choose whose mind to read and when I think it would be an incredibly useful tool. Not only could I make sure I was never fooled or deceived, it would enable me to always understand other people’s points of view. But the snag would be that no one could ever know: who wants to hang around with someone that can read their most personal of thoughts at any moment?

Anne: Good point. And really, what’s the fun of having a superpower like that if you can’t show it off?

Anne: What music do you like to listen to?

Niamh: I tend to listen to Ludovico Einaudi on Spotify. His piano pieces are just breathtakingly beautiful and help me to focus rather than distracting me from my writing.

Anne: Mmm! I’m also a fan of piano music. I’ll have to look him up. (Note: I did. Excellent pianist. I found this short, powerful video of him playing on YouTube)

Anne: Do you have a favorite conference to attend?

Niamh: I’ve never been to a conference! This will be my very first year attending L-Fest. I have an author spot and I will be a doing a ten-minute reading from one of my books. I am petrified!

Anne: Don’t worry; the nerves are normal. Even the pros get them. If it makes you feel any better, I’ll be attending my first literary conference this year as well. I’m doing the GCLS con in Chicago where I’m reading from one of my books – only five minutes though – but I’m also on a panel discussion about lesbian themed murder and mayhem books. I imagine I’ll get at least another five minutes on the hot seat there. I’ve gotten up and spoken to audiences before but not about something so personal as my creative work. I always feel a little nervous.

L Fest BannerIf you want to meet Niamh Murphy in person at L-Fest, the premier lesbian arts event in Great Britain going on July 21st to the 24th,  you can get all the info you need here: L Fest. You’ll have to post your reading time for your fans, Niamh.

Anne: That’s all for today. You can use the following links to learn more about Niamh Murphy, like her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and, most of all, buy her amazing books!

Connect with Niamh Murphy:

Website: http://www.authorniamh.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNiamh/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorNiamh

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/AuthorNiamh 

 

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Where I Interview Lesfic Author EA Kafkalas

Hi everyone! Anne here. I have a special treat for you today. Instead of reading about me rambling on about whatever it is I happen to be working on – or whatever I’m procrastinating about working on – I have an interview for you that I did with lesfic novelist (and playwright) E.A. Kafkalas. She interviewed me last week. Now it’s her turn to be in the hot seat.

E.A. KafkalasThat’s E.A. over there, to the left. I ‘borrowed’ that picture from her Goodreads profile. Such a nice smile, don’t you think?

A couple of things to know about her before we get started:

1. She’s multi-talented. She not only writes plays, as I mentioned above, but she’s acted in them, directed them and produced them.

2. E.A. is also a mixed media artist. She likes to work with clay and acrylics.

3. Perhaps, most importantly, we’re both originally from Pennsylvania! I thought that was pretty sweet. She lives in New York state now and I live in Ohio…can’t have everything…

Anyway, without further ado, the interview:

The Work of EA Kafkalas:

Anne: So E.A., can you tell us, what writing projects are you working on at the present?

Frankie and Petra Book Cover KafkalasE.A.: I’m working on a sequel to Frankie & Petra, and a new book with the working title, The Cure. I love to read a good series of books. But, when I write, I like to write stand alone books. My fans have requested a sequel to Frankie & Petra, and it was so fun writing them that I am giving it a whirl.

 Anne: So then what do your plans for future writing projects include?

E.A.: I’m thinking that The Cure, may turn into a series. Other than that, I take one thing at a time.

Anne: You’ll have to give us the blurb for The Cure when you have one figured out. Inquiring minds want to know!

Anne: Okay, so you’ve mentioned to me previously that you’ve worked with some other writers. Can you tell us who?

E.A.: I belong to a writing group run by Marie White Small, the author of Stony Kill. A writer’s group is a great place to (have people) read your work and get solid, constructive feedback.

Anne: You’ve used some interesting names for your characters. Can you talk to us about how you come up with names and is choosing a character name an important part of your whole writing process?

E.A.: Names are important to me. I research the meaning of the name, and try to fit it to the character. I also have to like the way it sounds, and if it’s going to be part of a pairing, I need to like the sound of the two names together. I used to use a baby book to research names, but now I just use the internet.

Anne: I just have to tell you, out of curiosity, I looked up the name ‘Petra’ from your book Frankie and Petra. I found out it’s the feminine form of the name Peter but, perhaps more importantly to you, it’s derived from the Greek word ‘Petros’ which means stone or rock; very fitting for a police detective, I think.

Anne: If you could have written any book, what book would you pick?

E.A.: The Harry Potter series.

Anne: Oh my, don’t we all?! And, funny to me that you chose a series.

When EA Reads:

Anne: Let’s switch gears now and talk about the things you’ve read. What is the first book that you read that made you cry?

E.A.: Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden and I don’t normally cry when reading. The next book was The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I was sitting on a beach blubbering like an idiot. That was a sight.

Anne: I looked those books up after my chat with EA because aI hadn’t heard of either one. The Art of Racing in the Rain has definite appeal to me, sad or not,  since it’s written entirely through the eyes of a dog.

Anne: If you could be a character in any novel you’ve ever read, who would you be and why?

E.A.: Harold in Harold and the Purple Crayon because, even though it’s not my favorite color, I like purple, and I like the idea of drawing your own universe as you need things.

Anne: That does sound pretty cool. I admit to not having heard of that one either so I might just have to check it out.

The Personal Side of EA Kafkalas:

This is where I ask EA all the stuff you really want to know!

Anne: EA, If you could live anywhere on this planet, and take everything that you love with you, where would you choose to live?

E.A.: The Greek Isles; I love the water.

If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?

E.A.: You Can’t Make This Shit Up.

Anne: LOL! Now, if Hollywood made a movie about your life story, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?

E.A.: Ellen Paige

Anne: LOL! I should have guessed. I loved her in Juno. I think she’d make a great EA.

Anne:  If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptations of your books who would you want to play them?

E.A.: Great question. Every author likes to dream about this, but I’d prefer that other people tried to cast them based on their perception of the characters.

Anne: Interesting; but what if you had to do it?

E.A.: If I had to, I could come up with a bunch of pairings. But off the top of my head I’d say Piper Perabo (Kate) and Sara Shahi (Allie) in The Second Heat. Brooke Elliot (Frankie) and Stana Katic (Petra) in Frankie & Petra. Anne Hathaway (Alex), Ilsa Fisher (Mindy), and James Marsden (Simon) in Soul Mistakes. Jennifer Lawrence (Nikki) and Rachel McAdams (Quinn) in Out of Grief.

Anne: Lots of good choices there and, for the record, let me just say that I’m totally down with Piper Perabo as Kate.

What is your favorite quote?

E.A.: “And this too shall pass.”

Anne: I’m not sure of the origin of that one but it’s something my mom likes to say too.

 Anne: You have to wear a t-shirt with one word or one symbol on it for the rest of your life. What do you choose?

E.A.: I pretty much already do this. I wear a Superman t-shirt or hoodie almost every day.

Anne: If I came over to your house and I looked in your refrigerator, what would I find?

E.A.: Fruits and Vegetables and lots of different hot sauces.

Anne: Alrighty then, so then, to carry that a little further, let’s say you’re making dinner for a very special guest. What would you cook?

E.A.: Before I went plant based, I would have made Chicken Cherubi, which my mother said I make better than the chef who created it. But now, I would totally make something with Jackfruit.

Anne: What one thing (modern convenience) could you not live without?

E.A.: The bathroom.

Anne: I’m going to have to go with that as the best answer to that question, ever! So many people name kitchen appliances or they say television…You’ve brought things to the most basic level and hit upon something we’d all sorely miss if we didn’t have it; indoor bathrooms with plumbing.

Anne: So, switching things up a bit now. One of my favorite things to ask everyone is about costumes. My wife and I own and operate a haunted house Halloween attraction so I’m always curious; what is the best thing you have every dressed up as for Halloween?

E.A.: King Arthur. Both times I did, people didn’t recognize me.

Anne: Another interesting answer that was not what I was expecting, at all. Nothing scary or funny for you, eh?

That’s all we have time for today. Thank you E.A. for being such a good sport!

Connect with EA Kafkalas and Get Her Books:

E.A.’s books can all be found (and purchased for download or in paperback) at her website: eakafkalas.com, or on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/EA-Kafkalas/e/B00NUN4IXE/ 

Like EA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eakoutbooks/

Follow EA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/eakafkalas

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E.A. Kafkalas Interviews Me on Goodreads

Hey all, I’m hard at work writing the third cozy mystery for the Morelville Cozies series, The Conjuring Comedienne, but I did take a few minutes out of my day the other day to have a Facetime chat with my fellow lesfic author, the multi-artistically talented, E.A. Kafkalas. Actually, we interviewed each other.

E.A. KafkalasE,A. (that’s her on the left) got the jump on me, so to speak, and posted her interview with me first. You can read it on her blog at Goodreads and maybe find out a few things about me that you don’t already know. You can cetainly find out why I write the books I write and just how I do it.

Enjoy the interview and look for the details I managed to pry out of E.A. when it was my turn to ask the questions. Watch for that here in the very near future. And please, give her books a look while you’re hanging out over at Goodreads too. She does lesfic (of course) but there’s romance, mystery, sci-fi and more…sometimes all rolled into one.

E.A.’s Interview of Anne Hagan

Check out E.A.’s website (and get her books!) here: E.A. Kafkalas

P.S.: Does anyone know what the logo on E.A.’s shirt means? She tells me she usually wears a Superman shirt or a Superman hoodie. Is this some sort of superhero symbology I know nothing about? If you know, please enlighten me…and don’t ell E.A. I asked. We wouldn’t want her thinking I know nothing about superheroes, now would we?

 

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Loving Blue in Red States: Jackson Hole Wyoming

The third short story in the Loving Blue in Red States series, Jackson Hole Wyoming is now out. ‘Jackson Hole’ is a fictional account of two over 40 leads who aren’t looking for love at all. Both women are just trying to pass the time doing the same thing: playing roles in Jackson Hole’s long-running wild west Shootout show that plays in the streets of downtown Jackson (Hole), Wyoming six nights a week, all summer long, for the throngs of visitors that converge on the otherwise small town from the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

For a limited time, it is exclusive to Amazon and free via Kindle Unlimited.

The blurb for Jackson Hole:

LBRS Series Jackson Hole Wyoming CoverA long-running wild west show brings two women with rocky histories together in an all-out, shootout.

 Liz Ventura is a semi-retired saddle and tack shop owner who just wants to get out of the house, out among people. Friends in community theater convince her to try out for a part in the summer long Jackson Hole Shootout show and she makes the cut. She was even willing to play understudy to the show’s female lead. After all, she thought, Trudy had been playing the role forever and relished it. What could possibly go wrong?

Jessica ‘Jess’ Davenport is a six-year veteran of the show. It’s been the only steady thing in her life for most of those years as she struggled with loss and the effects of addiction. She’s incensed when she finds out the director just handed Trudy’s role to a newcomer to the show; incensed that she wasn’t even considered. When she confronts Liz, sparks fly.

 Both women are living in the past. Can a Shootout show help them find a future together?

Jackson Hole Wyoming is the third short story in the Loving Blue in Red States series by Anne Hagan. It was preceded by, Sweetwater Texas and Birmingham Alabama. Look for other short stories and novellas to come out in this series in the future.

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Loving Blue in Red States – Birmingham Alabama

The second short story in the Loving Blue in Red States series, Birmingham Alabama is now out. ‘Birmingham’ has a new adult focus featuring the story of early twenty-something lesbians, Isabella and Aslyn as they navigate the issues of race, feminism, homophobia, education and career in the cradle of the 1960s era Civil Rights Movement. For a limited time, it is exclusive to Amazon and free via Kindle Unlimited.

The blurb for Birmingham Alabama:

LBRS Series Birmingham Alabama CoverWhat’s out there for a young, bi-racial, lesbian woman in Birmingham, Alabama, the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement?

 Isabella is young, in love and she thinks she has it all. As a mechanic trained in high school, where being a female in the classroom was accepted, to doing the same job in the Air National Guard where it is too and getting her tuition to aviation tech school paid for by the Guard, she’ s got it made…or does she? She figures she’s well on her way to working on jets like she’s always wanted to and living the life she’s dreamed of. Her boss in her day job at the Air Base sees things a little differently, however, and he’s just waiting for her to screw up.

Aslyn makes no apologies for being black, out and proud. Nursing is her chosen vocation but women’s rights are her passion. She sees Birmingham as a city on the brink of an all new civil rights movements and she wants to be right in the middle of it all. Her family disagrees with that, with her sexual preference and especially with her choice of a girlfriend.

Will a riot ruin it all for the two young lovers?

“That’s not what Birmingham stands for.” ~ Sondra Williams

Birmingham Alabama is the second story in the Loving Blue in Red States series by Anne Hagan. It was preceded by, Sweetwater Texas. Look for other short stories and novellas to come out in this series in the future.

Get Birmingham Alabama now, at Amazon for the Kindle and free via Kindle Unlimited.

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Quick Updates on The Turkey Tussle and Loving Blue

Hey all, I’m hard at work over here in Ohio on an all new lesfic romance mini-series that kicks off real soon…maybe even tomorrow. It’s called, Loving Blue in Red States. Please stay tuned for that. And, if you’re on my mailing list, watch for a chance to get the first story free. Not on the list? Now’s your chance. Check out the annoying popup that should be covering most of your screen about now if you’re reading this on the website or you can fill in the signup box in the sidebar on the right.

In the meantime, I made a little change. I just couldn’t wrap my head around how bad the cover for the 9th Morelville Mystery, The Turkey Tussle was. It just looked washed out, and not in a good way. It was too flat. Here’s the change.

The Turkey Tussle Book CoverPretty basic isn’t it? But, guess what? It screams the story in a way the original cover did not. I like it so much better and I hope you do too.

If you haven’t read The Turkey Tussle yet, give it a shot. You’ll get a little of Faye’s family history and you’ll get to spend some time with most of the usual cast of characters from Morelville and its surrounds.

Enjoy!

~~~

Now, as for my other project, I’d like to introduce the:

Loving Blue in Red States series

It’s a lesfic romance, short story series that kicks off with a story set in Sweetwater, Texas. What a great name for a place for a romance to be set, eh?

Sweetwater is going to drop on Amazon exclusively for the Kindle and Kindle Unlimited (for now) any second now. Get on the newsletter bandwagon if you want to get it free. Here’s the blurb:

LBRS Series Book Cover - TexasWhat’s it like to live and love blue in ruby red west-central Texas?

Emmie Warren is a middle school teacher who is just trying not to rock the boat until she can finish her Master’s Degree and find the courage to move herself and her son away from sleepy Sweetwater to diverse, vibrant Austin, the only place in Texas where she ever felt free to be herself. She’s been hiding her truth for years. She doesn’t see any reason to change before she can make a clean break of things and start over.

Cass Prater is a brash cowgirl who lives life out loud, wherever she lives. She clashes with Emmie the minute they meet. It’s a battle of wills from there, on. She’s as determined to show Emmie she can have it all: her family, a mate and a job that she loves, right there, in the heart of Texas.

Sweetwater Texas is the first story in the Loving Blue in Red States series by Anne Hagan. Look for other short stories and novellas to come out in this series in the future.

 

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Healing Embrace the Sequel to Broken Women is Out

Just call me a slacker! I know I’ve been promising the release of Healing Embrace, the sequel to Broken Women (but stand alone novel) since October or thereabout. Life gets in the way sometimes. It’s out now. Right now, as of today. You can get it immediately at Amazon, Kobo and Inktera. Other outlets are being added by the hour.

Over the next few days, watch for it at Apple (iBooks), Barnes & Noble (Nook), GooglePlay (Android devices), Page Foundry, Tolino, Scribd, the Smashwords Store and just about everywhere you buy your eBooks. New outlets are being added all the time.

If you enjoy your lesfic romance novels in paperback form, You’ll have to wait two more weeks or so…not long. The print edition is in the works.

The synopsis for Healing Embrace (just in case you’ve never seen it before):

Healing Embrace CoverBarb and Janet were a couple…and then they weren’t. What now?

They started a tentative relationship that led to sex a little too soon. Both shied away but their friends knew the two women belonged together. Their friends conspired to put them together in a neutral place where they could talk it out and it worked.

They talked. They started slow, with actually dating the second time around…but now what? They’ve both been shattered by love lost. They’re both wary of getting deeply involved again. It doesn’t help matters any when Barb’s focus gets drawn away from her own happiness to tend to the needs of others.

Janet tries to be understanding of Barb’s need to be there for her family. She knows she loves the fiercely independent blonde but she’s not so sure they belong together in a committed, long-term sort of way, especially when her attempts to lend a hand from time to time seem to bring out more ire than gratefulness.

Barb’s dad and his health problems have her feeling years older than she already is. When she looks at the only slightly younger Janet, she sees the exuberance and inexperience of youth. She loves the curvy cop with her heart on her sleeve but she’s afraid the younger woman too often leaps before she considers all of the consequences.

What will it take to convince the two women that their personalities complement each other and that they’re a good match?

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Finally: The Turkey Tussle is Here!

I know; I’ve been ‘slacking’ for months! I’m happy to say, at long last, the 9th Morelville Mystery, The Turkey Tussle, is finally here. This latest installment of my lesfic romantic mystery series continues the saga of Mel and Dana and the Crane and Rossi families and their assorted friends and neighbors in an all new…mess.

What’s The Turkey Tussle all About?

This one’s going to take you back and forth in time as Dana unearths an unsolved murder in village lore that directly involved her mother-in-law Faye’s family before Faye ever married Jesse. If you’ve been following along at home with Dana’s entry into the Crane family, you know it hasn’t always been a smooth transition…especially when it comes to Faye. Will Dana’s efforts to solve a cold case make it even worse for her? You’ll have to read the book and see.

Here’s the ‘official’ synopsis:

The old-fashioned country village of Morelville Holds a secret; a secret that could tear Faye’s family apart.

The Turkey Tussle Book CoverFaye Crane has the perfect life as a homemaker, farmer’s wife and grandmother…or she did until her daughter-in-law Dana went and stirred up a mysterious murder, never resolved and long buried in the Lafferty family lore – before Faye ever became a Crane. Now she’s been reminded of some startling questions about her families past that she’s not sure she wants to know the answers to.

Dana knows to tread lightly around Faye. Their relationship is far from perfect but she just can’t help herself. She’s certainly intrigued by the unsolved case. The down to earth, gentle residents of the village are more than happy to fill her in on all of the old gossip too. She even gets an education in oil drilling and backroom poker along her way to trying to clear the Lafferty family name and bring some closure to her mother-in-law. The question is, can she figure it all out? And, if she does, will the Lafferty’s and the Crane’s be better off or far worse?

This book is great together with Books 1-8 of The Morelville Mysteries series to get all the Dana and Sheriff Mel (and their extended families) back story but it can also be read as a stand-alone mystery.

The Turkey Tussle is available at Amazon as a Kindle eBook and, for a limited time, free via Kindle Unlimited at: The Turkey Tussle: The Morelville Mysteries – Book 9

 

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