In this episode of On the Shelf January 2019 we explore what’s new with The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast with Heather Rose Jones
Your monthly update on what the Lesbian Historic Motif Project has been doing.
In this episode we talk about
- A few minor format changes for the podcast
- Call for submissions for the 2019 LHMP audio short story series. See here for details.
- Recent and upcoming publications covered on the blog: India and Asia, 17-18th century topics
- This month’s interview guest To Be Announced
- New and forthcoming fiction:
- Ebanks, K.C. Violets (Amazon digital)
- Grace, Marion Hattie’s Homestead: The Other Legend (in two parts) (Leafgate Publishing)
- Autumn, Esther J. The Duelist and Her Lover – A Historical Lesbian Adventure Romance (Amazon digital)
- An Irish Heart (Amazon digital)
- Blackwood, C.M. Madam Tellier’s Lover (Amazon digital)
- Blackwood, C.M. The Grey Rider (Amazon digital)
- Nichols, Emma Madeleine (Amazon digital)
- Glick, Steven Love’s Refrain: A Victorian Ghost Story (self-published)
- Zielinsky, Lara Book’s Pass (LZ Media)
- Temper CA (Miami University Press)
- Ask Sappho: Why are cross-time themes so popular in lesbian historical fiction, and what are some of the common types?
- A transcript of this podcast is available here.
Listen to this episode here
Links to the Lesbian Historic Motif Project Online
please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect
[Music] this is Heather Rose Jones with the lesbian historic motif podcast this weekly podcast looks at lesbian themes in history and literature and historic research into gender and sexuality we talk about current historical fiction with queer female characters including fantastic versions of the past and have interviews with authors who write those stories and in months when we have a fifth show we’re proud to present new original lesbian historical fiction for your enjoyment welcome to on the shelf for January 2019 this podcast has now been running for twenty nine months and 86 episodes I’m planning to do something special in April I think it’s April for my math is correct for the 100th episode I don’t know exactly what yet but maybe you listeners have some suggestions to consider it would be lovely to be able to include listener feedback about what your favorite episodes have been or how the podcast and blog have changed how you think about love between women and history at the beginning of the year is a good time to think about format changes last year I introduced the quarterly fiction episodes where we present original audio short stories I’m continuing that series for a second year and submissions are currently open I’ll be accepting stories for consideration through the entire month of January so if this is the first you’ve heard of the series you still have time to give it a try we pay professional rates of six cents a word four stories up to five thousand words see the link in the show notes for the detailed call for submissions which has the full description of what we’re looking for in the way of lesbian historical fiction I’m making another minor change in format this year when I expanded to a weekly show back in 2017 I set up a rotating schedule with this on the shelf round up an author interview a book appreciation show and then a historic essay I’m keeping the on the Shelf and essay shows as they are but I’m going to loosen up a bit for the other two shows in addition to author interviews I’ll include interviews with publishers book reviewers historians and other interesting people who are relevant to the field and while the book appreciation show will continue to include book love from our interview subjects I’m planning to open it up to more people who are simply enthusiastic readers of lesbian relevant historical fiction if you think this describes you and you’d like to come on to the show to talk about some of your favorite reads please drop me a note it doesn’t have to be your all-time favorites it could be your favorites in a particular setting or with a particular theme I expect to be doing more shows of my own topical favorites as well so what’s new on the blog in the latter part of December and into January I’ve been reviewing a series of publications about same-sex history in India or Jan in Asia to go along with Grammy commands poignant story at the mouth that ran last week before that at the beginning of December I finished up with a mini series of articles on eighteenth-century topics from the Journal of the history of sexuality to finish up January I’ll be continuing with articles from that source with a couple of items on 17th century topics only one new book purchased this month though as I’m recording this I have a week of vacation in which I might do some online shopping the new book is an edition of della Riviere Manley’s the New Atlantis about which more when I discussed this month’s essay I’m also being very tempted by a new book by Thomas a Abercrombie titled passing to America Antonio ney Maria ETA’s transgressive transatlantic life in the twilight of the Spanish Empire from Penn State University Press said around 1800 in South America this is a biography of a person whose life intersects trans masculine and gender passing themes it’s a bit pricey though so I’m still thinking at the time I’m writing this I don’t have an interview guest pinned down yet I confess that this was one of the reasons I’m loosening up the format plans for the podcast well I have a lovely shopping list of people I’d like to interview and tentative plans with a number of them actually getting the interviews recorded can be a logistical tangle especially around the holidays and especially when much of my creative focus is currently on revisions of my novel flood-tide so rather than hold to the strict plan regarding interviews I’m officially allowing myself more freedom to fill the episodes with what I have to hand I do plan to include a joint movie review of the favorite with another historic movie fan at some point beyond that we’ll see when they come up with the January essay is reading and discussion of some extended extracts from della Riviere Manley’s the New Atlantis which I mentioned in last month’s essay on Queen Anne this is a fascinating political and social satire that includes the envisioning of an all-female cabal in an invented society on the island of Atlantis which is something of a Romana cleft for upper-class circles of late 17th century England while the original purpose of the work was satirical and the portraits are not always flattering it depicts how a woman of that time might envision the lives of women with same sex interests what books are coming out this month or have come out recently and haven’t been previously mentioned this month’s roundup is nearly all self-published works many of them fairly short there is nothing that jumps out at me to recommend strongly but maybe some of these will hit your sweet spot in November we had violets from Casey Ebanks published through Amazon Digital set in 1950s Nashville when Rose Brown moves to Nashville with her family after an incident in her hometown she resolves to never end up in the same position again but with the beautiful Peggy in her school and mysterious violets appearing in her locker she may just end up right back where she started the online blurb for Hattie’s homestead the other legend by Mary Ann grace from leaf gate publishing is really long and gives away a lot of the plot so rather than my usual practice of quoting the original I’ve condensed it down a bit the book is published in two parts and the links in the show notes are only two the first volume in 1904 Hattie is in her last year of finishing school and hates it she’d rather be a pioneer a marriage proposal takes her to homestead in New Mexico Territory but when she falls ill Rosalinda enters her life as her caretaker they find an attraction to each other that neither fully understands or dares to express how do Hattie and Rosalinda survive in a town where they once were loved and accepted but are now endangered by their feelings for each other in part two Hattie and Russell Linda continued the struggle to find a way to share their love in their lives unforeseen catastrophes are on the horizon and they’ll need help but who can they turn to this next short story appears to have a historical setting though the blurb an excerpt don’t give any specifics of the time and place the title is the Duelist and her lover a historical lesbian adventure romance by Esther J autumn from Amazon digital always steady and reliable Agnes was prepared for anything that threatens her idyllic if somewhat boring life she couldn’t have possibly prepared for Kay rushing in to break up a sword duel turned to slaughter Agnes ends up rescuing a young woman Kay as she helps hide K and patch up her wounds they form an unexpected bond only will Kay’s mysterious pass get in the way of their tentative relationship capable of wiggling her way out of any situation the daredevil K has weathered most of life’s storms on her own while her new stiff companion Agnes offers endless possibilities for teasing she impresses came more with every step as they rushed from the pan into the fire while Kay’s heart be able to resist and fly away as she always has the next book is listed as a December publication but I’m not certain it’s actually new the author has several new historical releases listed on Amazon that seemed to have been released previously in a different edition this is an Irish heart by CM Blackwood from Amazon digital this is the story of Katherine O’Brien who comes of age in English occupied World War 1 Ireland it’s 1914 and Kate is a young woman with a violent father and an uncertain future things start to fall into place though when she meets Theodora Alistair a woman with whom she finds love and for the first time a real home but when Thea is taken by the English during a trip to Dublin Kate is left alone to navigate through additional loss and betrayal she comes nearer than she ever wanted to her country’s hot politics and suffers the consequences and yet through all of these hardships the hope of one day finding Thea never leaves her heart the other two releases or re releases from the same author are madam tell ears lover set in turn-of-the-century New Orleans and the grey writer which claims to be set during the Norman conquest of England but looks like it might be better considered as a secondary world fantasy up links to them in the show notes to post-war France comes in for romance in madellaine by Emmel Nicholls from Amazon Digital madellaine isn’t like other grieving war widows Claudette isn’t like other young French women as their lives collide Madeleine and Claude will discover a depth of connection and desire they never knew could exist can their love flourish in post-world War to France or will their paths derail their future if you like your novels with strong leading ladies smoldering chemistry in an epic love story the twists and turns then you’ll love Emma Nichols latest lesbian mence one of the perennial problems with tracking down book release information for works that fall outside the romance or less Vic publishing communities is how koi the cover copy can be about exactly what goes on in the book this month’s example is loves refrain a Victorian ghost story self-published by Stephen Glick a ghost from the past a chance meeting in the present a terrifying seance Charlotte Stanton’s perfect married life is turned upside down when a secret love she buried long ago hauntingly returns still the question remains are the supernatural events intruding upon Charlotte’s life happening only in her mind if she headed down a slow curving path toward madness set in Boston’s Gilded Age and accompanied by period drawings and silhouettes Love’s refrain explores one woman’s search for love and the power of the past emancipate the present now if you’re looking for a trophy Western short story it looks like books passed by Lara szalinski published by LC media might fit your interests drifter Emmeline Soul stumbles into a conflict between the brothel owner Reina Suarez and the townspeople of books pass a lesbian romance set in post-civil war American West and the only actual January publication currently on my spreadsheet is tempor California by Paul Scoon a Z published by Miami University Press which looks to be something of a family saga story with a bit of a cross time feel joy temper grew up wandering the woods of Temper California a gold rush town her family helped establish in the 1840s when she returns to temper for her grandfather’s funeral she discovers that the stories she’s long traded on about her hippie upbringing have little to do with reality her struggles to face who she once was and what she now desires forced her to confront family secrets and long suppressed memories in a novella both familial and romantic contemporary and historical if you know of any historical fiction with lesbian relevance that’s coming out in February or anything already out that I’ve managed to miss please do drop the podcast and email or comment on the blog and tell me about it at this point I haven’t found any February publications and I’d hate to leave this segment of show empty the lesbian talk-show relies on support the support of you our listeners the support of those who like and review our show one their favorite podcast app the support of our patrons on patreon and the support of our sponsors we hope you’ll continue to enjoy and support the lesbian talk-show the bein of listener questions for the asks fo segment is still sadly empty so once again you have to put up with me rambling about some topic I find interesting I’ve been putting together a database of lesbian interest historical fiction that some day I hope to make available in a user searchable form one part of the project is identifying themes and tropes that people might want to search for and one fascinating pattern I’ve found that I’d like to talk about is the number of stories that involve some sort of cross time connection I’ve been trying to develop a terminology for these ideally one that corresponds to terms other people use all of these approaches have the effect of telling a story that follows events in more than one point in time and that makes connections between the different time periods either directly in the story or in the readers understanding sometimes the framework is an entirely historical story sometimes it involves non-physical connections between people and different times such as past life memories dream states or a sort of astral projection and sometimes it involves physical time travel of the protagonist or some other major character Wikipedia has a great survey of time travel motifs in fiction but it doesn’t include my first category which I’ve taken to calling the cross time story although other people use that term in a number of different ways in describing plots when I described the book as a cross time story I mean that it involves two different sets of events at different times where a meaningful connection is made that supports the theme of the story often this involves a modern protagonist researching past events that then change her understanding of her own life or even simply her understanding of the past some examples of this motif are Sandra Moran’s letters never sent where a woman discovers a packet of never mailed letters written by her mother which changes her understanding for mother’s life another good recent example is Robin Tally’s pulp which just came out a couple months ago where high school is researching an author of lesbian pulp novels and we get both lives depicted several of care and Jay were lingers books have crossed time motifs though often with supernatural elements as well the traditional definition of a time slip story is any story involving time travel where the focus isn’t on the mechanism of the travel and the character has no control over the process this is more or less how I used it although I expanded a little to include psychic connections across time for me a time slip story involves two timelines just as in the cross time category but where the protagonist is somehow present in consciousness in both times this might involve remembering a past life it could involve a connection with the ghost or other lingering psychic remnant of the past or it could involve the character being projected into the past to experience events in real time when Justine Saracen isn’t writing World War two novels she’s usually writing stories with this type of time slip element such as in Sarah’s son of God Catherine friend’s spark is another example where a modern woman’s consciousness is exchanged with that Volman in Tudor England although this might also fall in the time travel group as the mechanism of the exchange is a significant plot element when the connection is purely psychological and indeed can be read as being a purely internal experience of the character this category can sit at the edge of being a realistic story if we consider the character to be imagining things and being a fantasy story oh now time-travel stories are necessarily either fantasy or science fiction depending on how they treat the mechanism of travel catherine friend also has a good example of plain old time-travel motif in the series starting with the spanish pearl where a modern woman bodily travels into the past has adventures there and then moves back and forth between times as part of the ongoing plot a recent book that uses time travel themes is Jane Fletcher’s Isle of broken years although I hope saying so isn’t a spoiler and there’s a novella stories in the process of coming out from tor comm that clearly falls in the time-travel category Alice Payne arrives by Kate Hartfield soon to be followed by the second in the series Alice Payne rides what is the appeal of cross time and time slips stories when writing lesbian characters and historical fiction I can only speculate but one thing these themes provide for the reader is a way to bridge the gap between our contemporary understanding of sexuality and gender and the sometimes very different understandings of those concepts in the past we are shown how the protagonist grapples with integrating those different concepts or sometimes it’s as simple as dodging the question of how a woman in history would understand same-sex desire by putting a modern character into the role someone who shares the same understanding as the reader for the cross time stories involving a character researching the past it can sometimes recapitulate the author’s process of discovering and exploring same-sex themes in history a way of sharing the delight in making those connections on a personal level whatever the reasons cross time time slip and time-travel stories make up a significant proportion of the lesbian historical siping cataloguing let me know if you enjoy lesbian stories that play with time what some of your favorites are I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of the lesbian historic motif podcast if you want to follow up on anything we’ve covered see the show notes for links and to contact me with questions book announcements or topic suggestions if you enjoyed this podcast please read it and subscribe on itunes stitcher or pod bean and consider supporting our patreon and if you’re on facebook check out the lesbian talk show chat group [Music] you [Music] English (auto-generated)