I can't even handle how excited I am to have a story being published in the new lesbian erotica collection edited by Sacchi Green. I had the pleasure of meeting Sacchi this year in New York City, as well as getting to hear her read some of her incredibly steamy and evocative writing. This collection, like all of her collections, is going to knock everyone's socks off and I can't wait to read it.
My story "Where There's Smoke" was based on an idea I've had for a long time - I've just been trying to work out the knots in it. I knew I wanted to write a romantic encounter between a drug dealer (only marijuana and I'm from Canada, everyone be cool) and a person with some sort of chronic illness; in my mind there was a lot more of a focus on how pain/illness/health affect one's sexuality, something which would have required many more chapters to really do justice. So the actual medical condition of one of my leading ladies took a back seat to character building generally - which was good, and so much fun to write. I'd love to continue writing these characters and have a bit of a slower-burn novella to show off, but I'll just add that to the long list of plans for queer romance novels. SO MANY QUEER ROMANCE NOVELS. Anyway, here's just a taste of it; first one's free.
“I suppose you should come in.” Miriam stood aside, gesturing with one thin arm through the doorway.
June slid out of her wet boots, hung her coat on the hook by the doorway. She didn’t even try to pretend she wasn’t looking around. She’d never been inside Frank’s cabin, had no idea he’d spruced it up so nice for tourists. It had high ceilings and shiny hardwood floors. A fire was going in the grate in front of a vintage-looking leather couch, artfully draped with a bright wool blanket, and most of the flat surfaces had jarred beeswax candles flickering. June whistled low - then immediately blushed. Christ, this woman probably thought she was some bumpkin who’d never seen fire before.
“It’s nice,” she said to cover her embarrassment.
“It suits my purposes.” Miriam followed her in, looking uncertain. “Do you want - tea or water or anything?”
“I’m good.” June sat down on the couch, laying her messenger bag across her lap. “So what is it? Arthritis? Just your hands or -”
Miriam crossed the room to the small attached kitchen, busying herself with a kettle that needed filling. She looked a bit furtive, like someone used to hiding things.
“Rheumatoid in my hands, chronic pain everywhere else,” she answered, not looking at June. “Gets worse when I’m under stress. The end of my marriage didn’t help.”
“I’m sorry.” June felt suddenly out of her depth. “Is that why you’re here then? Getting away from it all?”
“I suppose so.” Miriam set the kettle boiling, taking two large pottery mugs out of the cupboard. It looked like June was getting tea whether she needed it or not. “Trying to do some work as well. I teach English at VIU.”
Of course she does, June thought. This polished, articulate woman screamed ‘English professor” from the tips of her blonde hair to the toes of her expensive boots.
“The thought of staying in my house, the house where we - it was simply untenable. I had to go somewhere.” Miriam pulled at the sleeves of her sweater. June watched the movements of her hands, nails short but manicured. “So how do we do this?”
Oh, right - business. June had almost forgotten. “Well. I can tell you a little bit about what I’ve got. Or you can tell me what you’re looking for. Have you done this before?”
“In college.” Miriam laughed shyly. It changed her whole face, that laugh. June hadn’t even realized she was pretty until that moment, and now she felt like someone had punched her in the heart.
Confession: I had to ask my partner about lots of pot-smoking details when I was writing this. Even though I'm from Vancouver, Canada where people are basically pelting the stuff at you as you walk down the sidewalk.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out the other blog posts (schedule below) if you're interested in the stories behind the stories. Also be sure to check out the link to the actual Leave a comment, ask a question, tell me about all the queer romance novels on YOUR writing list. Commenters on any of these posts below (and this one!) will be entered in a draw to win an ebook copy of the anthology. Nothing to lose but your innocence.
Blog Tour List and Links
The Night Shift
R. D. Miller
Sweet of My Heart
Emily L. Byrne
Yin and Yang
Where There’s Smoke
Fuck Me Like a Canadian