Catherine Maiorisi’s Lesbian Fiction Journey

Tara is joined by lesfic romance and mystery author Catherine Maiorisi. She shares how she discovered lesbian fiction, how she rediscovered it more recently, how she became an author, and what she loves to read these days.

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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 email me at with any questions or comments or come during our Facebook group to lesbian review book club I’m excited because I’m joined today by Catherine Maiorisi see who’s written for lesbian fiction books – or romance and – or thrillers her latest thriller the blood runs cold was recently released by fellow books and it’s code everywhere welcome Katherine hi thanks Tara nice to see you so you are here today to talk about your journey as a reader of lesbian literature so where did that begin it’s a strange beginning because I I was writing actually mysteries and I had never read any romance straight or gay and I had this character in my mysteries Bret Cummings who’s the love interest and she’s very flirtatious and very she’s just you know a really great character but she surprised me in the mysteries because that when I started writing her I thought she was he I originally intended my character to be a straight character which is interesting but I had never read any lesbian fiction other than you know the the well of loneliness you know that kind of thing where the old standards patience and Sarah but I hadn’t read sort of current day modern lesbian romance fiction it turned out when she showed up on the page for the first time it was a she and not he and my character was surprised and so was i but my character was a lesbian she just I just didn’t know it when I started so anyway in order to explore a little bit about the character Bret and get to know her better I decided to write a short story and when I was thinking about what to write a friend of mine who’s a therapist and has this suite of offices told me she said I had this funny experience she walked into her office suite on Monday morning opened the door and there on the floor with his black lace panties clearly somebody had been having fun over the weekend but I tickled me a little bit and I asked her if I could use that in a story and she said yeah and so I opened my story with panties and it turned out that it was a romance maybe the panties had something to do with that but it wasn’t at all in my mind that it would be a romance because I as I said I’m that I had never even read one and I really liked it and so although I hadn’t intended to publish it I saw a notice on lambda literary a call for lesbian romance short stories and so I submitted and it was just picked by for the best lesbian romances of 2014 and it was included in that and that sort of got me started on it I when I got my copy of the book I read the stories in there and I was like oh boy and I started looking around and I I think Georgia Beers was the first less fix that I bought and I really liked it and so I started buying books and I think maybe kg McGregor was the next and went on and on and then so that’s how it happened it was an accident and I got really I really love let’s pick and I love romance now of course lesbian romance and I read it all the time I’m an addict in a way I’m an I’m a reading addict in general I read everything but that’s been added to my genre list I think that’s a problem many of us suffer yeah I know there’s something addictive I don’t know it’s maybe it’s the happy ending and whatever but it’s great see these are the first books that you came across where you’re like the well of loneliness and patience and Sarah how did you how did you find them the well of loneliness you know I as I said I’m I’m a big reader I’ve been since I was a kid I mean I always had a book in my hand when I was a kid and people used to give me books and somebody gave me a box of books and I must have been maybe 12 or 13 maybe 13 and there were lots of mysteries in there and in that box was the well of loneliness and I read it and of course I recognized myself because I already knew in some way that I was a lesbian of course I hadn’t done anything were really giving it you know I hadn’t looked around or thought about doing anything but so that’s where I got that and then for the things like patience and Sarah and some of the others I was very active in the lesbian community in the probably the 70s the early 70s and so I knew what’s her name her last name was Miller who wrote patience and Sarah and so when that came out of course I had to read that and so that’s how I it sort of just happened so you had quite a large gap between I guess when you discovered books with lesbians in them or lesbian fiction or however you’d want to put it to kind of like right now where we have this wealth of choice what was that like for you the gap yeah sure let’s say the gap and then also once you discover this when when you find it’s almost like you know walking into a door and saying hold there’s a whole other library here that I didn’t know existed right well the gap I guess I didn’t notice the gap because I was you know I was war I had a business that I was running and then when I stopped that I was consulting to corporations myself I gave up the business but I continued working and I was very active in other things so you know I was involved in the National Association of Women business owners and I travelled around the country for them I was I was a co-chair of a lesbian and gay Educational Foundation associated with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force these were all in addition to what I was worth you know to working so I didn’t really I read but I didn’t it wasn’t what was feeding me at that time and then of course after I stopped working and I stopped and then I found less thick thick it was really like oh boy this is her you know I found out about GCLs and I went to the conference and then I really exploded in what I read I mean I I found I hadn’t read any Karin Kallmaker and I met her there and I bought one of her books and that was it I was off and running with her and and Roberts and just so many people that I that I met there and and so I felt you know I guess like you know a kid in a candy store as they say to be cliched about it but that’s how it felt I mean I just there’s so many and I feel that today I’m overwhelmed by the number of books out there that I want to read and I keep loading things onto my Kindle because I there’s no room I look over there because that’s where I have the pile of books that are overflowing I have no bookcases left but so I try not to buy paper except for books that I know I want to maybe reread again so but yeah it’s it’s it’s it’s a joyful feeling actually I think that there are so many good writers now when I even you know I started reading I guess was probably around 2014 so it’s not that long but even between then and now I think the quality of the writing that I’m seeing is much better and and so I there’s I can’t it drives me crazy because I get on Facebook and there are 10,000 recommendations and I immediately want to buy them all which of course is not possible right now but so it’s great I love it so what are your some of your favourite genres and even themes within genres like where are some of the things that you love to read the most that’s going to make you you know you just have to buy it even though you try not to buy every book that’s hopeful well I’m not sure that I have a favorite genre I mean I like the I don’t even know what I would call it you know Karin call makers one of my favorites is Karin Kallmaker’s Captain of Industry and it’s you know this I guess career gets in the way of romance kind of thing now I don’t know if that’s a John I don’t think it is but they keep trying to get together you know they come and they break up and they get together and so I guess it’s maybe the the chase not the chase because it’s not a chase but the the dance of finding each other and and I think that’s most romance but I do like the cold mean you know isolated woman who gets warmed up by somebody she meets and slowly cracks the you know the iceberg around her cracks I like that I think but but I don’t really buy by genre i buy if the story sounds interesting to me and if and then I usually read the first couple of pages if I can and if the writing is good then I’ll give it a try and of course you know it’s really too easy with the Kindle these days you know you just open and load load load and go I do know this I’m not gonna show anyone my to be read list on my Kindle because in some parents see yeah I mean just yesterday I bought three books the three I’ve always buy the three new books or four new books that Bella puts out every every month and and then I usually buy in addition to that another one or two of the other books that are not Bella books and then I downloaded a couple from Amazon that weren’t there so you know it’s really it’s an addiction it’s a good one I mean it’s certainly better than drugs yeah there are much worse addictions you could have you’re listening to the lesbian talk show the lesbians all choked on you have of podcast information with there were there any books that you’ve read recently that you’re really excited about and think other people should check out or know about hmm no I’ve been trying to focus on on mysteries recently because of the book coming out and because one of the things that I’d like to do is to have my mysteries cross over into the straight world so I’ve been reading some straight mysteries even though on downloading romances and the mysteries I read I mean I I think for those who like mysteries and Roberts I think it’s still life I thought was really good and Cheryl head has a good mystery and penny nickel berry I’ve been reading those mysteries so I can’t remember the titles but I think that’s the other thing that I’ve noticed is that I think the field or the the genre or the the lesbian less Vic I guess is expanding because there is you know overwhelmingly it’s romance and that’s what people really want but I do see that there are more people writing mysteries and thrillers and things like that so maybe it’s gonna become more balanced maybe readers or because if people are writing it I would assume some people are reading it I don’t know my mysteries have done very well but I didn’t didn’t really think that mysteries were that great were in that great demand and unless fix yeah it’s interesting because when you look at what the companies are publishing it is by and large romance and the readers are by and large talking about romance but there is also a group of readers I often see them in our Facebook group or even just in conversations with other people that you know like I mean I love romance and that’s not really a secret that’s most of what I love you but it is also nice to pick up something else whether it’s a mystery or a sci-fi or general fiction and it’s great to not have to leave the genre to find fiction that’s just as high-quality as as the romances that are available yes I feel that too and you know I’ve expanded I mean I not only did I add romance to my repertoire but I years and years ago I I read science fiction not a lot but some you know Ursula love wind and Joanna Russ and back in the day they were what you read and and then recently I read Fletcher delancy’s Cobb yeah and well the whole thing the whole series and I really really liked it and so that’s it Oh opened me up to some other things and I’ve gotten I’ve even read paranormal and and enjoyed it which I never thought I would that so but as long as it has you know it’s the seeing myself in the characters as long as the characters are lesbian I I can you know it doesn’t matter almost what your honor is and I find what I’m reading right now I’m reading a lot of straight mysteries and I keep her I keep wanting the expecting the characters to be attracting to the other woman and you know it’s sort of frustrating but it doesn’t work that way in the straight world you’re writing your own fan fiction in your head as you go yes that’s what it is yes that’s how fan fiction started people wanted to see themselves in the characters mm-hmm fan fiction so I didn’t even know that existed until I read it must have been I think it was a book of James where there’s a character that in Hollywood who is yes I forget what it’s called but the the the character is sort of written into fanfiction because of the television show she’s on and she had never heard of fan fiction so I had neither I thought oh this is interesting there is a lot of it out there and if you’re ever interested in learning more about it let me know oh yeah you I tend to mostly read Devil Wears Prada fan fiction because it hits a lot of my buttons it does the age gap romance workplace the Ice Queen thing but I can also connect you with Malory lass has been on a few podcasts where she’s just talking about fanfiction she reads much more widely than I do and has some fabulous recommendations I’ll keep that in my right now and work on my reading plate then I can deal with but maybe just keep in mind that if you’re ever watching a TV show or a movie and you see two women talk to each other and you wonder huh could that be a thing it probably is a thing so is there anything you’re excited about for where the genre is headed for where lesbian fiction is going well as I mentioned I think the thing that really excites me is that that I feel like the quality is is really much much better even in the five years I’ve been reading it that that it’s on the par with you know a lot of the writings on the par with what any mainstream book and I think I’m hoping at some point but you know it’s I find it frustrating that people and people being women because women are probably the ones who should be most likely to read lesbian fiction straight women as well as you know don’t won’t read it we’re not in not in great numbers anyway I’m sure there were some who do but but I think the quality thing and and the expansion of of the genres to you know to really include lots of mysteries and thrillers and things like that things beyond romance so that’s that’s really what excites me but you know I’m still excited about romance so I think it’s it’s great that it’s there’s so much of it I’m sorry that I didn’t know about it for so many years but then again you know maybe if I had known about it earlier it wouldn’t have had the impact that it had on me you never know you know you are where you are when you’re there and that’s right now I’m I’m really enjoying it seeing in reflected back so your next book is it going to be not the one that’s just coming out but what you’re working on next is it going to be another mystery or is it going to be another romance I have another romance coming out in the fall I don’t know the exact month yet but it’s written and I have a couple of people beta reading and sensitivity reading and whatever but I’m excited about it it’s a it’s an offshoot sort of of the first romance I wrote matters of the heart was about a a doctor and a woman who’s who is brought in to take care of a woman who’s in who’s has been in an accident and all four of her limbs are in casts and she’s pretty much helpless and there and they end up getting together and one of the minor characters in their one day just appeared to me in my thoughts and I had this vision of her standing there watching the couple together and just that was it my mind was off and running so I wrote so that’s the story it’s her story Renee and she was really you know fairly mine are very minor in the book but she just you know and I learned so much about her as I was writing this which was just fascinating stuff that I never knew that’s the thing about writing you know it’s I find it like it’s so exciting because when I sit down to write I don’t plan or anything I just either I have like that I had that little image in my mind and I started writing from that and as I go along I’m discovering the story and the characters and it’s like wow really it’s it’s fun it’s like it’s like nothing I’ve ever done before I came to writing late so I’m still sort of goggle-eyed about it as you can tell but so you’re a pastor I am I am I do I try every time I sit down I try I think this time I’m gonna I’m gonna outline because you know it’ll be faster and I can’t and you know I’m fairly organized and I do a lot in I mean maybe I outline in my mind I don’t know but I don’t really know like even with the mysteries I don’t know who the killer is I don’t know who the victim is right now of course now I know who my detectives are because they’re my standard characters you know it makes it interesting some people say if you outline then you don’t really want to write the book because you’ve already figured it all out but I don’t know this I’ve never outlined and I doubt as much as I read books about outlining I doubt I ever will so can’t fight your nature oh no so my rent romance is called ready for love and it’ll be out in the fall and right now I’m writing I’m starting on the third mystery and I I have I have a I don’t know what the call I call it general fiction written that Bella has I think they’re trying to figure out where it fits in the world lesbian fiction it’s not a romance but there’s romance in it but I’m excited about that I think that’ll be out in early 2020 I can’t believe I’m saying that mm and then you know I have a romance that’s probably you know I need to rewrite it but I have about half of it written I’m gonna change a lot of it and then 10,000 stories that I have half written so we have a lot to look forward to I hope I’m writing as fast as I can since I started late I want to you know get it all out there while I still can so and it’s frustrating because I I can’t write as fast as I want to and I’m not one of these people that sits down every day and writes X number of words I can’t that’s not how I work just like I can’t outline I can’t seem to do that I either sit down and and write from you know 10 o’clock in the morning till midnight or I don’t sit down you know it’s like I my schedule is whatever it is I would I don’t force it Wow I think that is all for this episode thank you so much Catherine well thank you Tara this has been great and it’s nice to see you in person well thank you so where can people find you online if they want to connect with you my website is WWE and mayor ec com it’s my full name I know it’s a hard one but I didn’t know quite had a you know it’s hard to abbreviate Maori see most people can’t pronounce it and usually as I went through school I could always tell when the team to first in the first week of school could always tell when it was my turn to say year because they’d stop short so the three vowels ma I oh so that’s where captain Maori see calm and I’m on well I’m on Facebook a lot it’s also Catherine mayor Eason my Twitter but I don’t really tweet much I can’t figure that out so it’s not for everybody yeah yeah so so that’s it thanks a lot for this opportunity and listening so I’m Tara and you’ve been listening to Les Deux books remember to email me at Tara at the lesbian with your questions or comments if you’re an author who’s interested in joining me to talk about the lesbian fiction you love the trends to have you interested or your journey as a reader 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 our patrons we’ve got exclusive content like bonus podcasts interviews with authors and other reviewers and nobody else will get access to those you can also join our Facebook group to let you know if you put club to talk about these books anything else you reading and loving to find this and many other great shows all you need to do is search for the lesbian powerful and high students quad beam stitcher or Spotify