Inky Inspiration – Radclyffe


As an author, inspiration can come from all things. It could be the line in a song on the radio, a snippet of conversation on the bus, a dream at night but one of the most important sources of inspiration are other authors.

Just like a budding sports star in the academy has that legend they look up to, I think it’s equally relevant to anyone who writes that they have heroes to look up to and learn from.

In this segment, I am going to interview fellow authors who have inspired me, those I have learned from and those who have helped me on my writing journey so far.

 

Radclyffe

Radclyffe is an author, editor and publisher. Radclyffe, a retired surgeon and full time author-publisher, has written over forty novels and one-hundred-plus short stories. She has also edited dozens of anthologies, including the award-winning Erotic Interludes series from Bold Strokes and Best Lesbian Romance 2009-2013. Writing as L. L. Raand, she has authored a paranormal romance series, The Midnight Hunters. An eight time Lambda Literary Award finalist in romance, mystery and erotica (winning in both romance (Distant Shores, Silent Thunder) and erotica (Erotic Interludes 2: Stolen Moments edited with Stacia Seaman and In Deep Waters 2: Cruising the Strip written with Karin Kallmaker), she is also an RWA/FTHRW Lories and RWA/FF&P Prism winner, an inductee of the Saints and Sinners Literary Hall of Fame, and an Independent Publisher’s award (IPPY), an Alice B. Readers’ award, and Benjamin Franklin award winner. In 2014 she received the Dr. James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist award from the Lambda Literary Foundation. She is also the president of Bold Strokes Books, one of the world’s largest independent LGBT publishing companies.

 

Okay, to start at the beginning. What drew you to writing and could you tell us a little about your journey from deciding to write to publication?

My journey started when I learned to read and fell in love with stories. I started writing before I was 10 so I could read stories in which girls were the heroes. I’ve never stopped. When I discovered others liked to read my stories, I began to write more than the one book a year I had been writing and putting away in my desk. First I shared my original fiction as well as X-Files fanfic on my website and other Internet sites, and eventually I began to publish them formally.

On your biography you talk about how important finding a copy of Ann Bannon’s Beebo Brinker was to you. Do you think that authors still have a pivotal role to play in reaching out to readers? Is that something you focus on in your own work?

I know what we write makes a difference in the lives of LGBTQ people because I still receive emails practically daily from readers of all ages telling me so. What better proof could we have of the importance of our work? I write books I hope readers will enjoy and try to address issues of timely interest in my plots.

 

Trauma Alert, one of the First Responders Series novels

You have written over forty novels and so I thought we’d go by series. The First Responder Series is one that you focus on women who serve on the front lines. (My favourite being Firestorm.) What made you decide to write that particular series and which book did you find the most challenging/rewarding?

I have always enjoyed mixing romance with actions scenes, and women as heroes is a theme of mine – this is a natural fit. Taking Fire, the newest, has been the most challenging in terms of the plot complexity and detail – lots of research.

Taking Fire is due out in July 2014, could you tell us a little about the book?

The book is an action-romance much like Above All, Honor or Trauma Alert – although it is one of the rare books I set outside the US (in part). The story begins in the jungles of Somalia and ends in the jungle of Washington, DC J. There is danger, field surgery, the clash between war and humanitarian goals – and of course, passion.

The Honor Series

The Honor Series follows Cameron and Blair, when did the idea for the series come to you? Cameron and Blair evolve over the series becoming more powerful and more targeted, was that something you intended to explore from the beginning? How hard is it to keep the sense of threat heightened in each book?

The first in the series is one of my earliest books and the idea grew out of a my interest in putting strong women at odds. I didn’t plan on a series until several years later and then decided to try a follow-up. Then it just kept growing. I think any series is a challenge in terms of balancing familiar elements reader enjoy with new plotlines to maintain interest.

 

The Provincetown Series

Provincetown Tales is a series that features Reese and Tori can you tell us a little about the series and what drew you to writing about the location?

I have always loved Provincetown, especially in the days when there weren’t many places we could be openly queer. I began this book during Women’s Week one year while I stayed at the small hotel on the harbor in Ptown

 

The Justice Series

The Justice Series follows Rebecca Frye (mostly) What made you interested in writing her story and can you tell us a little about the series and what readers can expect?

This a police procedural with four intertwined romances among the police and their colleagues and lovers. The books were meant to stand alone but the series is best read in order to se the developing relationships as well at the on-going storylines. I think this is my darkest, most intense work and probably the most complex

As LL RAAND you tackle the age old war of Werewolves and Vampires, how much of a challenge was it to write in the genre and yet make it your own creation? Did you enjoy moulding the different species to your own creative vision?

This series is designed to highlight the fear and prejudices the humans (majority) have for those who are “different/other” (the minority). In this series the minority species happen to be preternatural so we have humans against the “others,” while within the Praetern world, various species like Vampires and Fae and Weres fight for power and dominance.

Even with all your series, you still find the time to write a romance or two! Is that something that you enjoy doing as a writer? Which was your favourite romance to write and why?

All my books are romances – even series books have romances within them. I am a romance writer 🙂

Onto editing, Do you enjoy editing the anthologies? You worked with Karin Kallmaker on In Deep Waters, how did the collaboration come about? What other collaborations do you want to explore or have planned?

I do enjoy editing anthologies – I like interacting with authors in a different way than I do as a publisher and I like the structure of writing. This lets me explore all the aspects of craft and meet new authors at the same time. Karin and I decided to do a two volume erotica series while having brunch one October in Ptown. It was great fun and easy to do. With my schedule now I probably will not write in collaboration with anyone else. No time 🙂

 

I think part of a publisher’s responsibility is to support an author’s career on all levels – from marketing and building a readership to enhancing craft. Putting an author’s work in front of readers worldwide is a big part of that, and we work hard to keep our authors and readers connected.

You also happen to be the founder of Bold Strokes Books, was it your vision from the start to grow into one of the largest publishers or has that been an offshoot from your own success?

My vision was to create high quality LGBTQ fiction and provide a structure to promote authors and their work. However, I have always believed “to think small is to stay small,” and that was never my plan.

Has being a publisher and editor made you look at the way you write differently? Do you enjoy the publication process as much as the authorial side?

I have always been aware of the marketplace even before BSB, but I spend a lot more time studying and analysing market trends than I did in the beginning. I love publishing and writing equally—they exercise different parts of my brain.

Radclyffe receiving the Dr. James Duggins Outstanding Mid-career Novelist award at the Lambda Literary Awards in NYC. June 2014

Bold Stokes have some great advantages for their authors and the company work closely with them to help them grow. Is that something that you feel should be more commonplace? Do you feel that strengthens ties with your authors and readers?

I think part of a publisher’s responsibility is to support an author’s career on all levels – from marketing and building a readership to enhancing craft. Putting an author’s work in front of readers worldwide is a big part of that, and we work hard to keep our authors and readers connected.

How do you feel about the eBook/online movement? How do you view the industry evolving as both publisher and author?

The 21st century is a digital world – why wouldn’t books be part of that? I don’t see the advent of digital formats or online retail as fundamentally changing what makes a good book or what authors need to be successful. BSB was the first queer publisher to convert our entire list to include digital formats in 2010 and we now have a digital first divisions in addition to our more conventional print/digital lines.

You have recently started to make your books available on audible.com, what made you decide to make that move and how did you decide on the narrators?

Audible editors were interested in making queer titles available to listeners and the timing was right for us to expand in that direction. Audible assigns the narrators for these works and they’ve been doing a great job.

As a successful author, editor and publisher what advice would you give to those starting out in their careers or starting to pen their very first work?

Take advantage of all the info that’s out there to educate yourself, not just about the craft of writing, but about the business of being an author. And don’t give up.

 

 

 

 

 Quick fire round

  1. What is your strength as a writer? Character development
  2. What is your ‘typical’ writing day? My daily goal is 1250 to 1350 words – I dictate first thing in the morning before I go to the BSB office and edit late in the afternoon after the business day is done.
  3. When readers pick up your books, what would you most like to hear them say? “I stayed up all night reading it”
  4. What would you least like them to do/say? “It was boring”
  5. Who is your literary idol? why? Nora Roberts – excellent writer, savvy business woman, outspoken and opinionated and proud of what she writes.
  6. If you could have written any book, which one would it have been? Gone with the Wind(huge saga, unforgettable characters, sweeping historical, intense love story)
  7. What is your ‘tic’ (word you repeat) word when writing? “Well, …) in dialogue, Gently in narrative.
  8. Favourite word? susurrus
  9. Least favourite word? Drill (in lesbian sex)
  10.  What would you most like to develop in your writing? Multi-layered plots

 

Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate you taking the time to chat!

 

You can find Radclyffe on her site here: http://www.radfic.com/

On Twitter: @RadclyffeBSB

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Radclyffe.BSB

Bold Strokes Home page: http://boldstrokesbooks.com/

You can see Radclyffe’s keynote speech here:

 

Newest releases:

 

Taking Fire – Out TODAY!

Taking Fire – First Responder series book IV

After two years and too many lost troops, Navy medic Max de Milles is ready to go home. Her last tour is up in four days and she will soon be catching a transport to the States. Life is looking good until she gets detailed to evacuate a humanitarian group in south Somalia. 

Rachel Winslow and her Red Cross team are caught in the crossfire during a vicious civil uprising, but she refuses to abandon her team members as the rebels close in on their camp. By the time Max and the Black Hawk arrive, it may already be too late. 

Hunted by extremists, Max and Rachel are forced to work together if they are to survive, and in the process, discover something far more lasting. 

http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/9781626390720B.html

 

 

Honor Guards – Honor Series – Book IV

When you’re the president’s daughter and the closest thing the country has to a first lady, your life is never really your own. When you’re the woman charged to guard the first daughter, and you also happen to be her lover, every moment of every day is filled with challenges—and a mistake could cost you everything. Unbeknownst to either Blair Powell or Secret Service agent Cameron Roberts, they are at the center of a conspiracy that will rock the world when a net of violence and death draws down upon them and the nation. In a journey that begins on the streets of Paris’s Left Bank and culminates in a wild flight for their lives, the president’s daughter and those who are sworn to protect her wage a desperate struggle for survival.

http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/9781933110011B.html

In Pursuit of Justice – The Justice Series – Book III

In the dynamic double sequel to Shield of Justice and A Matter of Trust, Det. Sgt. Rebecca Frye struggles to return to duty after a near fatal shooting. Joining forces with enigmatic computer consultant J.T. Sloan, Rebecca accepts a temporary assignment with a Federal task force investigating an Internet child pornography ring. Rebecca’s obsession with finding her partner’s killer and her involvement in the multi-jurisdictional investigation threaten both her life and her new relationship with Doctor Catherine Rawlings. When Catherine becomes professionally involved and an attempt on the life of a task force member ensues, the pursuit of justice becomes a deadly race against time.

http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/9781602821484B.html

Distant Shores, Silent Thunder – Provincetown Tales – Book III

No matter how much we plan, life—and people—have a way of surprising us.

For Doctor KT O’Bannon, a near-fatal tragedy derails a career and disrupts everything she thought she knew about herself and her future. Battered and nearly broken, she turns for solace to the one woman who knows her best, her ex-lover Doctor Tory King. Their unexpected reunion in Provincetown uncovers old wounds, forges new bonds, and awakens long-buried passions. While Tory’s lover Sheriff Reese Conlon struggles to uncover a deadly drug ring and Officer Bri Parker navigates the torturous path between friendship and desire, Tory and KT—and those who love them—are forced to examine the boundaries of love, friendship, and the ties that transcend time.

http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/9781933110080B.html

Trauma Alert – First Responders Series – Book I

When you spend your life battling death, who has time for love?

Dr. Ali Torveau knows just how fragile life can be—she sees death and tragedy every day in the trauma unit. Battling the dark forces of fate is her life’s work and she doesn’t want or need anything else, certainly nothing as transient as love. Plenty of women try to change her mind, but she never has any trouble saying no. Not until the day firefighter Beau Cross shows up in her ER and sets Ali’s carefully ordered world aflame.

http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/9781602821576B.html

The Midnight Hunt – Midnight Hunters – Book I

Medic Drake McKennan has never been good at following protocol, so she doesn’t think twice about rendering emergency care when a young girl’s life is at stake—even if the girl is in the throes of Were fever and any sane human should know better. It isn’t the bright shining pain of the bite or even the wrenching agonies of the fever that convinces her everything in her life has changed. It’s the way she feels about the blonde with the wolf-gold eyes leaning over her hospital bed when she finally wakes up. Sylvan, the Alpha of the Adirondack Timberwolf Pack—the one female Drake can’t have. And the only one she wants.

http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/9781602821408e.html

A Midnight Hunters novel

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. I love Rad. Kudos for getting an interview with her. Wow!

    Like

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