Erin Dutton’s Lesfic Journey, Including the Rise of E-Books

Tara and author Erin Dutton (Wavering Convictions) talk about Erin Dutton’s Lesfic Journey, including the Rise of E-Books. What’s it like to finally find ‘your shelf’? How does a breakup turn into a book of your own? More broadly, how has technology changed lesbian fiction? Along the way they rummage through their favourite tropes and Tara tries (and fails) to not fangirl out. Enjoy!

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Transcript for today’s show

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 last ebooks today I’m joined by Erin Dutton who’s going to share her journey with lesbian fiction Erin is the author of 14 lesbian romances the latest is wavering convictions and it’s out everywhere from bold strokes books welcome Erin oh thank you thank you for having me so how did you first discover lesbian fiction do you remember what that first book was so I don’t remember the exact first book but I had always been a reader and I was the kind of kid who wrote stories in school I actually learned to type on a typewriter I’m that old and so I would write stories like during class and then type them up at home but it wasn’t until after I moved to Nashville in 1998 that I discovered the gay bookstore which I call it a gay bookstore because that’s exactly what it was there was one or two shelves of lesbian fiction maybe a movie or two and the rest was all stuff for the guys and rainbow stickers rainbow jewelry and that was that was what it was back then so the exact book I read fast so it’s hard for me to remember the first exact book but there were you know the authors at that time for me were Radcliffe Karen call maker Cherry Hill and Frankie J Jones those are the kind of ones that stand out so Midas touch by Frankie J Jones was an early title for me and I think the first Radcliffe book I ever read gosh it might have been the might have been one of the honor books but I don’t really remember I read fast and so at that time I was like I was there every couple of weeks just to see if they had something new one that one shows what did it mean to you to find that shelf I mean it was amazing I think it’s probably similar to a lot of people’s experience because I as always being a reader and I loved romance I was reading straight romance at that time and again I was in the library devouring everything I could find but none of the stories spoke to who I was and when I first moved to Nashville was kind of the time that I was trying to figure out how to come out to my family I had known for myself for a while but somehow I felt like it was going to be easier to come out to them from a thousand miles away then living under their roof so having those characters to connect with was so important at that time mm-hmm so when did you start writing and what were you kind of reading around that time was there anyone that inspired you to get started so I started writing in 2005 like seriously trying to write lesbian fiction in 2005 I had just come out of a breakup so I had like all this kind of new free time on my hands and you know so I started just kind of started writing a sort of therapy from that maybe and then I sorta told myself and to friends so that I could be accountable that I was going to try to make this into something that was novel-length and held a story together and once I had done that that I would you know submit to a publisher and see what happened it was kind of trying a new direction some big changes mm-hmm so I was reading again I was reading Radcliffe at a time I was reading Kim Baldwin this was I think just a couple of years after rad started both strokes and so when I was trying to decide who to submit to I went to my bookshelf and you know at that time there was no ebooks so I actually had a book show and kind of looked at what publishers were publishing the stuff that I like to read and the stuff that I wanted to write and then I sought out their publishing guidelines and both strokes was at the top of the list they were the first ones I submitted to and 2006 I signed the contract with them for my first book so and it was kind of happily ever after after that it really wasn’t me make it sound easier than it was at the time but I mean I I recently had a conversation with read in p-town where I we talked about this and I still remember that first conversation with her I had sent in I had sent in a manuscript at the time and she emailed me and said she wanted to have a talk a conversation about it and she and she called me and we talked on the phone and maybe part of the reason I remember is because my parents were in town from New York when I had that conversation so I kind of got to share that excitement of a new direction with them so so are there anything how about this so you said you loved to read romance are there are any particular like themes or tropes or like what’s your auto buy let’s get what’s gonna get you to read a book right away I said I I really am attracted to the whole the fake relationship trope and I don’t know why because it’s either done well or it’s done horribly and so I’m either I either love her I’m disappointed but for some reason that would always get to me I’m like who is it gonna be one of the good ones you know that one will get me I write a lot of first responders romance so I do like to read those as well that one’s always a hopefully this is a good one mm-hmm and I’d like the friends to Lover’s as well I like that there’s there’s built in history there so you can already kind of feel that they have this you know past I like that I like that’s you it also has that really interesting tension from is this gonna be the best thing we ever did or is it gonna blow up our friendship right right and then there’s you know and I have friends who kind of ended up really good friends for a long time after trying a relationship and it didn’t work and then sometimes it like you said it just kind of blows up a friendship and you it feels like there’s more at stake there than just uh well we met a month ago and maybe it didn’t work out you know mm-hmm and more at stake actually been even with the enemies two lovers because I mean so what if it doesn’t work out they were enemy Thanks exactly that’s a good one too though there’s so many that I think it’s it obviously if there’s an author that you can rely on then you’re gonna read you’re gonna try whatever they write but with new authors I do think it’s reading the blurbs and kind of figuring out if that’s a trope that you like yeah I feel the same way about the fake relationships and I think it’s actually been a really good year or two for people who like that yeah that theme and some like new newer offers doing some fun things with it like casting Lacey did you read that I did that was a good one those two women like I don’t know I couldn’t put that one down I sometimes wanted to shake them because I was like what are you doing but she just did that tension really well so yeah you’re listening to the lesbian talk-show the lesbians or choke on your hub of podcast information so you’ve been a part of the less fix your honor for quite a while yeah and so you’ve probably seen quite a lot of change happening in the last you know almost 15 years how do you feel about that change that’s happened and where we’re heading as a genre I think it’s really an exciting time for the genre you know like I said when I started even when I started writing we didn’t there were no ebooks and I kind of remember the point where that started to change in those early contracts I remember you know there were ebook clauses in there but I remember having a conversation being told well you know we’re gonna sit we’re gonna be doing ebooks but it’s really just gonna be a small percentage of the sales and you know we’re gonna see where it goes and I mean if you look at where that’s grown to now and there’s so many people I go to some pride events here in the south and the summer with Steve Jackson Lee and Donna Ford and we give people who come in to the to the tent and they’re like well I love books but honestly I’m totally digital now so you know they’re not buying books from us on the spot but we’re kind of searing them toward the ebooks and the kind of specials that you can find in in that area so it’s it’s interesting that technology has changed so much and audiobooks are kind of starting to you know move in a different direction there’s there’s more to choose from there with with audible and everything like that so do you have a like have you been given a sense from bold strokes about how you sell in digital versus physical books digital is for me personally digital is out selling print books right now I mean and I you know I have been given a sense we get royalty statements I have the numbers to look at and kind of compare and it is kind of always interesting to look at that too because even just comparing book to book you can kind of see trends you know my second book fully involved was my first firefighter romance and it’s still top three every quarter for me so yeah I mean it’s it’s crazy but and and that’s usually it’s gonna be mostly e-book sales at this point or a lot I would I mean I don’t have the numbers in front of me but I would I would say it’s at least 60 30 ebooks how did for the love of cake – um for the love of cake did well then you know what that’s another trope I kind of like the whole reality-competition type because I love to watch those TV shows so that was a fun one to write because the research was like telling my wife that I just have to watch the Food Network for hours in order to do research for my book was kind of interesting but it did well and it still does well and that was my that ones ebook and audiobook and print so yes I thought I thought the audio was it was like mostly what I like AJ Ferrero she has like a super likable voice but I don’t know I think I like that book so much I’m gonna fangirl at you for a moment I guess so I like that book so much because it has that reality show thing but it also brings in the celebrity thing because some reality shows like there aren’t really necessarily celebrities but I like that it brought that in and it brought him the age gap thing and single mom saying like it just got it yeah yeah and that was kind of it there was the age gap thing was not something I had really done before and you know I don’t write I don’t tend to write a lot of celebrities I probably looking at my characters they’re more kind of like everyday people I guess so it was it was a different kind of thing to write it was fun mm-hmm so there any books that you’ve read recently or in like the last six months or whatever that have had you excited that you think other people might want to check out so right now I’m reading three let me see make sure I say it right three reasons to say yes by a Jami Clevenger really good book I’m ver i’m almost done I’m actually probably gonna finish it today it’s really good and she actually just won goldie for it I believe so that’s a good one gosh there’s so many because like I said I read fast there’s not a limit to like a lane you get whatever it recently so I can and for people who are interested there’s actually a follow up to that that’s just by the time this Podcast is out it will be out I forget what it’s called but if you go on The Bella books website it’s going to be Jaime Clevenger’s latest one and it’s a follow up on the two best friends in that book I think their names are Kate and Mo yes it’s their book where they get together I didn’t know she there was gonna be a follow up that’s exciting so now I have something else to put on my route to read list you know I tend to have like kind of reliable other authors that I know I can go to for good books Aurora Rey never disappoints and she writes a lot of those she at her p-town series is so so good and I love p-town so it’s kind of like it feels like reading that series feels like you’re on vacation a little bit because it’s places that I’m familiar with and that’s a good series that I’ve read recently and kind of like sort of out of my normal realm of what I read grey willows did a furies series have you read that no it’s a trilogy um and it’s kind of like a fantasy it’s very cool it was a very interesting read for me and it’s not something non normal I don’t read a lot of fantasy but it’s weird because every time I do venture to that I love it because I also really love dejection Lee’s dragon horse trilogy so the few times I’ve sort of let myself venture that way I’ve found something really interesting I haven’t read that one yet either although I read most of D Jackson these contemporaries and like she’s a fantastic writer yeah yeah I mean if you I would give it give the first one a shot because I really like I said I don’t read a lot of fantasy so it’s not really my thing but I loved it mm-hmm alright so where can people find you online if they want to connect with you probably mostly I’m on Facebook I do have Twitter on my phone so you know I’m on there I do I check that as often as I can but Facebook is where I’m most accessible I think that is all for this episode thank you so much Erin for joining me thank you I’m Tara and you’ve been listening to lies to books you can email me at Tara at the lesbian with your questions or comments or if you’re an author who’s interested in joining me on this show to talk about the less Vic you love or the trends that have you interested 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 to our visit slash the lesbian talk show our patrons get exclusive content like bonus podcasts and author interviews up no one else gets access to to find this and many other great shows all you need to do is search for the lesbian talk show on iTunes podrían stitcher or Spotify