Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Hi, my name is Barrett and I write lesbian fiction.
I’m delighted to be part of the group stepping up to show my appreciation to the writers, editors, publishers, reviewers, and most of all the readers of this small genre known as lesbian fiction.
As usual, I’ve been a bit of a late bloomer. The joy of reading was never a reality until someone discovered I needed reading glasses and then… I embraced reading with both fists. I had no particular favorites, but read everything I could and like many of you, had entire walls filled with books.
It was only about 10 years ago that I happened on lesbian fiction… Well, except “Ruby Fruit Jungle” and I think everybody read that. And about that time over a lovely bottle of wine, a friend and I tossed around the idea of a medical mystery. Skip ahead. I started writing at that time and continued intermittently for 10 years. It was at that time that another friend introduced me to NaNoWriMo.
After wrangling 20 separate characters, half a dozen subplots, and an epic manuscript, I decided to take a break and write a simple romance with two characters. Ha! That was around 2009.
I wrote the book but those crafty little characters were not finished with me. I wrote book two… Not done. Book three came about and I was sure I was finished. Not so much. When I got through half of book four, I decided these characters needed to see the light of day.
Skip a head. A dozen beta readers, a wonderful Life Coach, a critique partner, and an editor helped me polish up the first book. I signed up for my first Golden Crown Literary Society Conference, tucked a dozen presentation packets under my arm, and headed off for Florida.
It was an incredible experience. I met scores of wonderful readers and writers; pitched my book to five different publishers, listened as two experienced writers critiqued my first five chapters, and receive love and support from dozens of women I had never met before.
Fairy tale Ending? Not quite. I received my requisite rejections and after each, went back to fine tune the book. It was discouraging but I kept working. In the wise words of someone from my local writer’s group, “Never Quit, Never Surrender.”
In April, 2011 I sold my first book to Affinity eBooks, NZ, Ltd. The eBook was released in July the print book in August and shortly thereafter, I signed a contract for the rest of the series.
I never cease to be amazed at the generosity of the women I have encountered along the way. Georgia Beers shared a quote once from Katherine V. Forrest, “We’re a sisterhood, we’re here to help each other.”
And it’s true.
Now for my shameless pitch…
If you’re not yet familiar with Damaged in Service, the cliff-notes version of the saga, reads like this…
Zeke Cabot is a seasoned and well-regarded special agent with the FBI’s Chicago Field office. Toward the end of her tour, she endured a grueling two-month undercover investigation to locate a serial killer. Events during that assignment affected her physically, mentally, and emotionally.
An extended medical leave/vacation finds her in the central mountains of New Mexico.
Anne Reynolds, a once sought after highly skilled surgical nurse, is now a shamed divorcee following a highly publicized scandal involving her husband and the city government.
The paths of these two women cross several times before either of them recognizes the underlying chemistry.
Once they connect, the inevitable questions, self-doubts, and teasing begins. They’re both mature enough to recognize the possibilities—both good and bad.
Just as they take the cautious first steps at romance, Zeke’s professional demons reappear, threatening not only their romance, but also their lives. Unanswered questions and a call to return to Chicago leave both women confused.
Book Two, Defying Gravity, begins in Chicago . . .
Someone wants something from Zeke, and is coming after her. Her only recourse is to review loose ends from her closed case in an effort to find whoever is after her and what they want.
On the romance front, both Zeke and Anne acknowledge their mutual attraction and ultimate desire to be together. So, when Zeke finally returns to New Mexico, she and Anne navigate the first steps of a shared life.
Of course, new love, new jobs, coming to terms with a new sexuality, emotional family crises, and the continued specter of danger throws Zeke and Anne off balance time and again.
Beyond that, the sometimes silent, always lurking reality of Zeke’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) keeps her physically and emotionally on quaking ground. Anne knows it. Zeke knows it. Yet, it remains the chain-smoking elephant in the room.
And yes, print and eBooks are available through http://affinityebooks.com, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Thanks for inviting me to the party Katie and KT.