What If?

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I’ll confess this is a reposted blog, but I wanted to share it here and also encourage everyone to visit an amazing month of blogging on the theme Love is Love over at Queer Romance Month. My contribution to the effort is shown below, and please do check out the full site to see dozens of other postings by many talented and insightful folks who work in the world of queer romance.

What If?

Every story I write starts with the question “what if?” What if two best friends fell in love? What if a rock star woke up in the same room as her friend who was dead from an overdose? What if a law student walked into class and discovered her teacher was the stranger she’d had sex with the night before? The beauty of fiction is puzzling out what comes next and having control over outcomes, because with every book I write, two women are going to fall in love no matter how much intrigue happens along the way.

My eleventh novel will be released in November. For the “what if” premise for this story, I decided to dip into current events. I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent a large portion of the last year on the edge of my seat watching judge after judge make decisions, each one putting me and many of my friends one step closer to the goal of having our marriages legally recognized in our home states. Since last June, when most of DOMA came toppling down after a good whack from the Supremes, we’ve celebrated dozens of victories in the lower courts as they come to recognize that there’s no good reason to discriminate between my family and the families of my heterosexual friends. But the big decision, the pinnacle of this journey, is yet to come. As I write this, we’re hoping that the Supreme Court sees the writing on the wall and realizes they can’t duck the ultimate issue anymore. I truly believe that we’re going to see a final decision on same-sex marriage in the next year, and it’s going to be one worthy of dancing in the streets.

Courtship 300 DPIThe intense focus on the high court gave me the perfect inspiration for novel eleven, Courtship. What if the president nominated a lesbian to be a Supreme Court justice? Better yet, what if she were nominated to be not just a justice, but Chief Justice, in charge of setting court agendas, head of all the federal courts in the country? What if she faced huge opposition, even from some liberal political operatives because such an appointment could completely derail the president’s entire legislative agenda? What if, in times like ours when moderates are the only safe bet to beat confirmation battles, everyone who could make a difference took a risk to make sure that the person most qualified, the person with the most integrity, got the job?

What if we believe these things can happen? Would our power of positive thinking make it so? Well, I believe, and I think that’s the first step to making real change. In the meantime, I’ll write stories about the world I want to see, where same-sex marriage is just marriage and a young lesbian lawyer’s dream of becoming the Chief Justice of the United States can be realized. What if fiction could inspire fact?

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