The writing bug bit her at the age of eleven. For several years, she’s been writing mostly in English.
When she’s not writing, she likes to spend her time reading, indulging her ice cream and office supply addictions, and watching way too many crime shows.
Her collection of short stories Beyond the Trail is a Goldie finalist in the Anthology/Collection (Fiction) category. I asked her to respond to the 6 questions you posed on Facebook – and here are her replies.
1) Who/What is your favorite book/author? Why?
There are too many to name, so I’ll keep this limited to a handful of my favorite lesbian fiction authors and books. At the top of my head, my favorite lesfic authors are: the late L.J. Maas (None So Blind), K.E. Lane (And Playing the Role of Herself), KG MacGregor (the Shaken series), Fletcher DeLancey (Without a Front), Meghan O’Brien (Battle Scars), Gerri Hill, and some of Radclyffe’s early novels.
Why? For me, it’s always about the character development. I prefer books with three-dimensional characters who have some growing to do. While there might be an attraction from the first time they meet, they don’t fall in love at first sight and live their happily ever after. They have some inner conflicts to resolve first, before they deserve their happy end.
2) What has been your most surprising or interesting inspiration for a book?
The ideas for my books come from various sources. Everything can be an inspiration—real-life events (the mouse in my grandmother’s kitchen inspired my short story When the Cat’s Away), interesting phrases I hear and that might make great titles (it happened with Seduction for Beginners), or something I watch on TV.
I wrote my novel Second Nature after watching an episode of Buffy that had a werewolf—a not very realistic one, as I thought. A friend challenged me to do better, so I created the Wrasa, a species of shape-shifters.
3) Writing is emotional and can be isolating. From where do you get your support?
I’m lucky to have very supportive friends and family members. Some of them are writers too, so they understand how crazy a writer’s life can be at times. Others are avid readers, and I recruited them for test reading.
There’s a wonderful community of writers and readers of lesbian fiction out there; you just have to reach out.
4) What does it mean to you to see your work in print and then up for an award?
While I believe in the future of e-books, it’s still very special to actually hold one of my books in my hands as a paperback. Even after seven books, it doesn’t get old. Being able to share my writing with readers all over the world is truly wonderful. Don’t get me wrong; I would continue to write even if no one would read it, but it would be like shouting into an empty room.
I know there are people who don’t attach much meaning to awards, but to me, it’s still a wonderful experience to be up for an award. Writers don’t get much feedback in their day-to-day work. Sure, we get feedback once a book is published, but for long stretches of time, there’s no one who tells us we’re doing great. There’s no boss to praise us or give us a raise for doing a great job. I work very hard on all of my books and so does my team of beta readers, editors, and proofreaders, so being up for an award feels like a recognition for all that hard work, and I’m grateful for that.
5) What is next on your personal bucket list to accomplish (literary or otherwise)?
Actually, I will get to cross some things off my personal bucket list this year.
I started the year fulfilling a life-long dream—becoming a full-time writer, and it’s been incredible (and incredibly busy) so far.
I just published my first novel in German, my native language, and I will get to visit San Francisco (one of the must-see cities on my bucket list) in June. I will do some research for a historical romance novel while I’m there, and then I’ll get to attend the GCLS conference for the first time.
6) What are you working on now and what’s next up for publication?
I just finished the edits for my upcoming novella Departure from the Script, which will be published in July. Its main character is an actress who so far dated only “femmy” fellow actresses, so when she finds herself falling in love with a butch woman, it’s truly a departure from the script for her.
There will be several of my short stories published this summer, including one that’s a mini-sequel to my novel True Nature.
Next, I’ll try collaborating with another writer for the first time. Alison Grey and I will be working on a vampire romance novella titled Good Enough to Eat, scheduled for publication this winter.
Plus I’m doing research for my next novel, Damage Control, a contemporary romance.
So as you can see, I won’t get bored anytime soon.
Huge thanks to Jae for taking part. You can read a full biography and see all her books on her Jae author page.