In this episode of Les Do Books Tara chats to author Annette Mori who describes her journey as a reader and writer of lesbian fiction.
Lesfic author Annette Mori joins Tara to talk about:
- how she discovered lesbian fiction
- what it meant to her
- the kinds of books she reaches for
- her thoughts on where the genre is going
please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect
hi I’m Tara and welcome to les do books you can email me at Tara@TheLesbianReview.com with any questions or comments or come join a Facebook group The Lesbian Review Book Club. I’m excited because I’m joined today by Annette More author of fifteen lesbian novels for most recent releases are the book which and artistry zone both of which are available everywhere welcome Annette thank you thank you thank you for having me so you are here to talk about your journey as a reader of lesbian fiction so where did that begin well I’m a little bit older more mature many years on the planet so I was first introduced to Les Vic back in the late 80s back when Nyad Press was really the only option there wasn’t an explosion of books back then and I also lived in pretty small rural areas so whenever we had a chance to go into Seattle or there’s a I don’t know if he’d even still exist now but this big bookstore in Portland Oregon we would go travel to Portland on occasion and Powell’s bookstore and whenever there was a new lesbian book out it was kind of exciting because there wasn’t much out there I can’t I was trying to remember if I could pinpoint what was the first lesbian fiction book I ever read and I think it was Rita May Brown’s Ruby fruit jungle it was either that or curious wine by Katherine Forrest it was one of those two and it might have been close together that I kind of read them both and honestly there were no in my area there were no lesbian book clubs there were no Facebook there was none of that where you could get recommendations from anybody you just kind of had to look at the back of the book or covers or if you had friends who were readers they would tell you about books but that was about it it was pretty slim pickings what was it like finding those books for the first time like what did that do for you finding them and then reading them I distinctly remember curious wine it made such an impact on me because it was such a positive book and hi I’m a book nerd so I read a lot I read a lot you know when I was a kid I used to I wouldn’t go outside and Claire it’s pretty much all my day inside my mom would you know poke at me get outside go play with your sisters sounds like can I just read this book so the first time I read about someone who’s like me yeah it really resonated and I had heard honestly about the well of loneliness and I and I’ve never read that book and I don’t don’t honestly don’t want to read that book because I’ve heard it was so depressing and I I want books with happy endings and curious wine had an happy ending for the two women and that was that was it for me I just kept searching after that for books that would resonate so what were you reading when you first started writing oh wow um well yeah I started writing not too long ago so that was really after the explosion you know Amazon Kindle where you started to get a lot more options out there and I had honestly really started actively seeking out books from everywhere and the one of the things you know of course I heard about Karen call mocker and Susan Maher and I also you know read a lot of Katherine forests books I even Lynn Galli and so I you know what I started looking for though was those sort of books that were out of them even the mainstream lesbian because I there were many out there so I actually found the affinity website and was reading there when hell meets heaven series which was phenomenal interesting different about you know a nun who falls in love with this kind of really sort of badass almost shady spy type kind of person very unusual story so I really started looking for all of those smaller unusual stories and and then I was bored my wife and I were living apart we are living apart again it’s it’s a real bitch to be honest and so I had a whole lot of time I didn’t have a TV don’t watch TV I was reading a lot but even that I didn’t want to spend all my time reading and so I started reading all these different books and I thought I can’t write a book it was allowed her than it than it looked and so when I submitted to affinity because they were some of these sort of different out of the warm kind of books rather than the typical lesbian romance that was really out there more so than any other books of course they said you have promised but you have a lot of work to do so that was that was where it went it was it was as a result of really looking for those out of the out of the norm books that word lesbian themed what were some of the out of the norm ones that really stood out for you some that I would say like were your favorites and something like you still kind of cherish and hang on yeah well I it wasn’t like I stopped but I actually added on my desktop I remember this distinctly Fran hacker ah T’s series and the illusionist series and I remember eagerly awaiting that and that was one of those sort of series that were a little bit out of the norm the other one was oh it was the dykes hudair lesbian adventure club I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them but it’s another sort of really obscure and I would track all their books I think Susan Mars series was another one that I pretty much got the whole run of her series her San Francisco series the one with the a through Z Radcliffe’s Provincetown series so many many of those I would find somebody I liked and then I would just read every single book that they ever wrote but Marianne K Martin she was another one that I found early on and read all of her books yeah I think I already mentioned Lynn golly and of course the wind heaven meets house series by Jam dragon and Erin O’Reilly just different interesting out of the norm stuff that wasn’t really in that you know the the same as Georgia Beers or Karen Kallmaker or some of those really well-known I read them too I just I read everything I have thousands of lesbian fictional books haha well we all have our addictions yeah yeah it truly is an addiction for a while there I think I was reading three to four books a week yeah and then I got kind of busy you know cuz then I’d start writing and of course that takes time so now I read less maybe one to two books a week that’s that’s still a lot for a lot of people huh you’re listening to the lesbian talk show then lesbian talk show calm you have a podcast information so how many books a year do you find that you’re able to write on average or does it kind of depend on the story Wow I know I think it actually depends on my headspace at the time so I’ve gone through periods of time where I’m writing consistently one to 2,000 words a night which means that pretty much I could write three to four books a year or more and then there’s other times where crickets nothing I just choked recently I said I think inspiration has taken a vacation it’s on sabbatical and she’s decided she’s not coming back because yeah I just it’s a different I get in a different headspace or if there’s something that I’m super passionate about I can whip out a book in a month at least the first draft and are you able are you able to still read in let’s pick while you’re writing oh yeah oh yeah because well I have sort of a I’m a bit OCD and and I have a routine and so in the mornings part of my routine is that I work out for an hour in the morning and that gives me time every single day where I can read so then when I get into a book obviously I can’t help but continue so then in the evening I’ll usually after if I’m writing at the time and get my one to two thousand words in after that time then I’ll go back to the book that’s interesting I was just curious because I’ve had a few authors on here talk about how they can’t read they can’t read let’s pick while they’re writing because they’re too worried about like bleed through or anything like that so they might read fanfic or they might read mainstream fiction or or something like that now pretty much you know I have read other mainstream fiction but I have to say that probably in the last maybe three to four years almost everything almost 100% of what I’ve been reading has been less vague and I think it’s because there’s just so many books out there I want to read and not enough time to read them all plus I I want to be supportive of less Vic because Ivan there’s I don’t think there’s enough support out there and I want to support my fellow writers and make sure that I’m reading and I can’t review on Amazon anymore so I do it on Goodreads and uh when I really like something I do my stupid little boutique app reviews that people seem to enjoy it started as a joke and of course a lot of things start as a joke and just take it in Ron I feel like that leads really well into my next question which is because because you are reading so much in the genre how do you feel about the current state of lesbian fiction especially if you compare to where it was when you were first finding those books wow that’s a really good question you know I would say what I what I enjoy most about the current state of lesyk is is the is the number of options out there there’s just so much out there to choose from what’s difficult is sometimes to cull through what what I think are really good solid quality novels and and honestly what’s not not as great I think you know and I and I you know I’ve been really honest about my views about not trashing or saying anything negative about any any other person’s work because it’s just it’s just Maya it would just be my opinion and people feel differently about different books and you know who – I’m I’m a really odd quirky writer myself and I know that a lot of not everybody will resonate to how my style is writing so I would never trash another authors books but I do see that there is there is because of the ability to you know put things on Kindle unlimited pretty much everything’s out there there isn’t there isn’t the quality control if I were being honest so I need to take the time and I don’t always do this and then I kick myself when I pick up a book that that have a really hard time finishing and I always want to finish a book rubbernecking or something I can’t help myself I mean I’m thinking that it’s going to get better or something and there is there’s been only one time when I just simply could not finish a book but I think I need to do a better job of reading like the first chapter or two that will tell me if this is really a worthwhile book to spend some time on because you can’t get those four or five six hours your life back no you can’t well so I used to be like that and I would always finish what I started because it just I don’t know that that was just a part of who I was maybe it’s because I wasn’t allowed to leave the table until dinner is done exactly iein mother Hayley oh yeah totally get it so the lesbian review has a policy that we don’t post negative reviews yeah and so it was really freeing to realize that if I know I’m not going to review this book because I’m not enjoying it because it’s not for me and often it just comes down to like I’m not enjoying it because it’s not for me it doesn’t mean it’s a bad book it just means it’s not my jam and that’s okay I just stop and put it down and move to the next book and it was a revelation just to know that hey I can do this and it’s not it’s not wasteful it’s not personal and it’s just so much better than dragging yourself through a book that you don’t enjoy I know gosh I wish I had that I think I still have that Catholic guilt or something I haven’t been well I did once so maybe I’m on that path to Catholic guilt recovery or something because it is super hard for me to not finish a book because I do I feel guilty I feel like I’m not giving the author a chance but no message me I’ll coach you through it I know you can do it it’ll be the best thing you’ve done for yourself yeah I get those get those six hours back of my life exactly so finally where do you think we’re headed as a genre and what has you excited or encouraged what we’re here’s what I’m not sure if this is where we’re headed or if this is where I’d like us to be headed one of the things that has struck me when I first was reading less vaq I could not find the the only sci-fi you know or urban fantasy or anything like that and there wasn’t a lot of that out there was daughters of choral dawn and I remember reading that and wow what a great book that was where I would like to see let’s fit go and I don’t know if this is going to happen or not but it’s it’s my dream is to expand beyond the traditional romance lesbian trope and that we start to see more books that that challenge social views that challenge looking at differences that challenge the notion that romance is king queen and everything in between more books about not just lesbian characters bisexual characters trans characters questioning characters asexual characters I’d like to see more sci-fi I’d like to see more urban fantasy I’d like to see more books that are on the odd unusual end of things I’d like to see books that challenge politics you know writing and media can have a profound effect and I think it’s our opportunity to put those things out there so that people’s views can get challenged a little bit more than what they currently are that’s why I’d like to see it go and hopefully sneak into mainstream while we’re at it mm-hmm I agree so now where can people find you online if they want to connect with you oh I’m everywhere I have a Twitter account I have a wordpress blog that I do every Friday you can follow me sometimes I get serious most of the time I’m making fun of pretty much everything a Facebook so I think usually it’s Annette Mori is is my Gmail Twitter everything else so just type in a map net more– you’ll find me that is all for this episode thank you so much for joining me in that and sharing your story Thank You Tara for having me very much appreciate it was fun so I’m Tara and you’ve been listening to Les Do Books remember to email me at Tara at thelesbianreview.com with your questions or comments if you’re an author who’s interested in joining me on the show to talk a little less fake you love the trends that have you interested or your journey discovering lesbian fiction please let me know if you’ve enjoyed this episode please check out the show notes where you’ll find a patreon link for the lesbian talk show or visit w-w-w do is content like podcast that nobody else gets access to and you can also join our facebook group the lesbian in your book club to talk about any of the books that you are reading and loving to find this and many other great shows all you need to do is search for the lesbian talk show on iTunes podbean stitcher or Spotify