Debut Bella Books authors Karen Legasy and Cade Haddock Strong on the amazing connections they’ve made and hope to make with other authors and readers of lesbian fiction.
Until it was announced that our books, The Schuyler House and My Forever Hero, would be released on the same date, we were complete strangers living in different countries. As debut authors it was so delightful to make a connection with another first-timer. Our stories are as different as are our lives, but when we chatted for the first time it was as though we’d known each for years. We shared our excitement, questions, information and anxiety over having our first novels published. Our common love of writing and passion for creating lesbian stories quickly linked us together as we navigate our experiences of getting published.
As we share a toast to each other and our debut Bella Books novels, we’ll always have that extra connection. We’re so glad the editorial team at Bella Books decided that The Schuyler House and My Forever Hero would be released together. And alongside Gerri Hill’s The Secret Pond no less. How incredibly inspiring!
A fringe benefit of being an author is making connections with other like-minded people. We’ve read lesbian books for many years and to now have a Bella Books published novel of our own allows us to connect with authors in a new way. As neophytes in the world of getting published, there’s nothing like reaching out to those much more experienced and benefiting from their wisdom. To have our first book released alongside the latest from Gerri Hill is a true honor, as has been getting advice from the likes of Karin Kallmaker, Genevieve Fortin and KG MacGregor. And linking with E.J. Noyes, who lives in Australia, is outright cool!
One of the reasons we were so excited when Bella Books accepted our novels for publication was that we’d be joining their team. A team that has been incredibly welcoming and supportive and is just an all-around remarkable community of women.
We’re also looking forward to making connections with other authors of lesbian fiction because we’re all in this together. It’s great to see so many publishers offering a variety of new stories each month.
The most important connection we hope to make is with readers. We want to create lesbian stories that provide both an escape and an opportunity to relish in the joy of reading about women who love women.
Readers are so integral to any writer’s life. We can’t wait to hear from our readers and build upon this interdependence. As lesbians, we are human first and can be as different as night and day. But the one thing we do have in common is a love of women. Lesbian stories depicting different takes on life are vital to our culture.
When we think of the connections between authors and readers, we can’t help thinking of the L-Word chart. Anyone who reads a book is linked to the author, and then to others who read the same book. Authors are linked to each other by their readers, and through their own love of reading. What a great way to connect!
The Schuyler House and My Forever Hero are available for pre-order now on bellabooks.com, and will be released this Thursday, November 16th.