common mistakes in lesbian fiction

Some readers on lesfic_unbound are participating in the fifty books challenge to see if they can read fifty (lesbian fiction) novels in 2010. I just finished my number 36, and there are a few mistakes I see over and over again. I’m not saying that you’ll find these mistakes just in lesbian fiction. I’m also not saying that I never committed any of these mistakes (I wish!). But they’re what I most often notice in lesbian fiction and what pulls me out of the story for a moment, so they’re on my list of things to look for when I …

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It takes a village…

Writing is, by its very nature, a solitary process. I know writers who prefer it that way. I don’t. One of the things I like most about writing in English is that it allows me to interact with other writers, readers, beta readers, editors, publishers, etc. Creative writing is less common in Germany (yep, we’re still the land of Goethe and Schiller), and we don’t have large fanfiction fandoms that can help writers learn their craft. When I was writing in German, I had a “fan club,” but no one who pointed out ways to improve my novel and my …

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Award news

I just found out that Second Nature has won a Lesbian Fiction Readers’ Choice Award.  It has been voted one of the top 5 favorite speculative fiction/SF/fantasy books of 2009. I didn’t even know this award existed! But I think it’s great that readers can vote on their favorite fiction. I joined the group and found many of my favorites of 2009 on the awards list — and other books that I had missed and will put on my ever-growing reading list. Also, the Golden Crown Literary Society has shortlisted Next of Kin in the category romantic suspense. Congrats to …

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Puzzled by reader feedback

Recently, I’ve been puzzled by some of the feedback from readers that I got. But before I start explaining, let me say that this is not about a writer whining about negative or critical feedback. I appreciate constructive criticism, and I try to learn from it. In fact, if sites such as Amazon provided e-mail addresses I’d contact readers who pointed out flaws in my books and ask them to test read my works in progress. So let me explain what’s so puzzling about the feedback I got. I stumbled across a review of Conflict of Interest on Amazon. One …

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Setting of my historical romance “Hidden Truths”

My work in progress, Hidden Truths, is set in 1868. The first chapter takes place in Boston, where we meet Hendrika Aaldenberg, who is called “Rika.” In case anyone is wondering: no, that’s not a German name. Her family is Dutch. I got one of my test readers, who is Dutch, to pronounce the name for me. (Thanks, M.!)   In 1868, the Great Boston Fire hadn’t yet happened. Gas streetlights lined the cobblestone-paved streets. Horse-drawn streetcars ran on rails. During the Civil War, women had started doing some of the work that had formerly been done by men. For …

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Featured Author

I’m one of the featured authors of the April issue of JAW (Just About Write). Take a look. By the way, you can’t tell, but I’m wearing my “Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel” T-shirt in that photo :-) So it seems I come with a disclaimer. Jae

Hidden Truths

Welcome! I thought I’d try my hand at blogging and share a bit about writing in general and my writing process in particular. I just celebrated my birthday by finishing the first draft of my current novel, Hidden Truths. It’s a sequel to Backwards to Oregon, which was published in 2007 with L-Book. While Backwards to Oregon took place on the Oregon Trail in 1851, Hidden Truths is set on the Hamiltons’ ranch in Oregon in 1868. It’s the era after the Civil War and right before the first transcontinental railroad connected the Atlantic and the Pacific states. A lot …

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