A reader’s perspective through Mary Anne’s book skills!
There are so many wonderful authors out there providing all of us book-a-holics with reading material, and I know I am not the only one thankful for their story and writing talents. I wanted to share other reader’s perspectives on various topics that have been brought up, hopefully with some insight for authors and readers alike and hopefully with some humor as well. This week Mary Anne Frett has agreed to join me by answering some questions. I hope you enjoy them.
Erin: What is the first LesFic story that you read?
Mary Anne: I think it was “Touchwood” by Karin Kallmaker though it may have been “In Every Port”. I know it had to be one of those because when I went to Amazon and asked for Lesbian Fiction Karin’s name was the first one that popped up.
Erin: Have you noticed a difference in LesFic over the past 10 years (or since you started reading LesFic) and if so what differences have you noticed?
Mary Anne: The biggest difference is the amount of authors and books available. You can now find something for almost any taste in books. If you want lesbian vampires you’ve got them.
Erin: How do you think the Indie author has impacted the LesFic genre?
Mary Anne: The new Indie authors have certainly expanded the genre. All the indies who started writing fan-fic, or those women who typed their stories early in the morning or late at night after they finished the jobs that pay the bills, have brought life and energy to the genre. Without new blood we’d be bogged down in the past and the genre would wither and die.
Erin: What LesFic book would you recommend to someone to introduce them to the genre?
Mary Anne: That would depend on the person and their likes and dislikes. I wouldn’t recommend the same book to a twenty something that I would to a woman in her sixties. If the woman liked mysteries I wouldn’t steer her toward romantic comedy. For someone who just wanted a good read with some romance and just a touch of excitement I’d go with “Waking Up Grey” by RE Bradshaw.
Erin: What type of characters (characteristics or appearance) would you like to see more of in LesFic stories?
Mary Anne: I’d love to see more books that reflect the lesbians I know and see in real life. Women who are a bit older and not young, beautiful, brilliant and well off financially. I’m a retired woman with a weight problem and that is not a character I’ve seen. Books are an escape from reality; I get that. But I can count on one hand the number of books with main characters in their sixties or older.
Erin: Do you ever binge on a LesFic series or author and if so which series or author?
Mary Anne: When I discover a new author I have a tendency to binge. I’ve done that a lot in the past. I think the last author I did that with was Sandra Moran but I’ve done it with MacGregor, Hill, Bradshaw, McMan, and Bennett. There are others but those are the ones that come to mind immediately. I do find that if I binge on a series it can be ruined if the books follow a set formula. There is an author I can no longer read at all because I became bored by one of her most popular series of books.
Erin: What LesFic book/story would you like to see made into a movie?
Mary Anne: Chris Paynter’s “Survived By Her Longtime Companion” would make a marvelous movie. It has a fantastic story that spans decades and has two lead couples. It also has that old Hollywood magic.
Erin: Which LesFic book has made you want to travel somewhere and where was it to? And did you actually make the journey?
Mary Anne: So many of the books I read were set in the San Francisco Bay area and I always wanted to visit. I wanted to see Oakland and Berkeley and Noe Valley and last year my wonderful partner Rusty took me to San Francisco. It was just wonderful and to see the places where so many of the books I have read are set was a joy I can’t describe.
Erin: How do you choose your LesFic books?
Mary Anne: I try to keep up with new books by authors I know I already like. I also buzz around Amazon to see what they have on my recommended reading list. I belong to some Facebook groups that are dedicated to LesFic so I hear about some books there and I also get new release letters from a number of publishers and blogs I follow. I am a bit pickier than I used to be. Maybe it’s just there are so many books and so little time.
Erin: Paper books or E-Books?
Mary Anne: E-books only at this point in my life. It’s easier to hold an e-reader and the adjustable fonts make them a godsend to folks with eye problems. I don’t think I’ve bought a paper book in the last six years or so.
Erin: Do you ever judge a book by a cover when choosing a lesfic book?
Mary Anne: I learned a long time ago not to judge a book by the cover. Back in the days when Naiad was the big lesfic publisher had you judged by the cover you would have been flummoxed by the artwork. Having a good cover is wonderful but it isn’t necessary.
Erin: What was the last book you finished?
Mary Anne: Last night I finished “Poppy Jenkins” by Clare Ashton. I thought it was wonderful.
Erin: What is next on your to-read pile?
Mary Anne: Next up is “Bossypants” by Tina Fey. A rare foray out of lesfic. After that it’s “Dear Me” by Robin Alexander.
Erin: If you were stuck on a very comfortable but deserted island for an indefinite amount of time, which three lesfic stories would you bring to entertain yourself?
Mary Anne: The deserted island question is always a tough one for me. If there was a gun to my head I’d say “Touchwood” by Karin Kallmaker, “The Secret Trilogy” by Francine St. Marie (a bit of a cheat I know) and “Sidecar” by Ann McMan. Don’t you think that romance and laughter would be great companions?
Thank you Mary Anne for your thoughtful and fun replies. I hope other readers (and authors) will share their experiences with Mary Anne and me with some comments!