A few weeks ago, I googled lesfic authors and found a fantastic blog post and page dedicated to lesfic. I reached out to the author and asked her to share about her thoughts on lesbian fiction for I Heart Lesfic. And she agreed!
Lesbian Fiction Has Come a Long Way Baby! by Anne Hagan
I found lesbian fiction the way so many of us did; by way of fan fiction. I was on my computer one evening, looking for the answer to a question I had about a television show. I found LiveJournal which was, twelve years ago, to fan fiction what Wattpad is today to original short stories and serial fiction. LiveJournal (LJ) didn’t have the answer I was looking for. Frankly, I can’t even remember what the question was anymore, so lost did I get in the stories. It was an insatiable reader’s dream come true. So much of it was what was called ‘alt fiction’ or ‘femslash’ then. It was a revelation.
There were so many shows LJ writers created stories for. I read them all, then went in search of more. That’s when I found the Academy of Bards, The Athenaeum, and Passion and Perfection; sites devoted entirely to the femslash I loved. I was reading short stories and novella length works by authors like Kim Baldwin and Mavis Applewater on those sites.
Kim was the first author I personally knew to publish a lesfic book in paper form, Hunter’s Pursuit. I still have my autographed copy. Lesfic authors publishing in the light of day was, of course, going on before Kim Baldwin published but for me, that was another door opening. I started an LGBT fiction review blog then that I ran for three years and then eBooks really took off and I became overwhelmed with requests for reviews. I had a day job and other commitments. I folded the site.
In June of 2016, I was looking around online for lists of lesbian authors. There are lots of top ten book lists out there for every genre imaginable but few authors lists that would let readers find new to them authors. Frustrated, I decided to create one. I planned to do a list of the top fifty lesbian fiction authors currently publishing.
How do you pick just fifty? By the time my post was ready to publish, I contained the names and website links of 153 lesbian fiction authors. I posted the link to my article on a few lesfic Facebook groups and sent out a couple of tweets about it. That’s when the internet exploded.
My blog post got thousands of hits. Authors and readers commented on the post and emailed me directly, offering up additional names to be added. I researched those and added them to the original list in the post. As the list passed 200 and then 250 names, that got to be unwieldy. Too, readers were clamoring for me to identify the authors by genre.
I did a second post and then a third. I got more and more names to add. When the list went over 300 names, I knew I had to create something that would be easier to add to and maintain. Thus, a dedicated page for the list, housed on my website, was born.
The list is far from complete. There are tons of lesbian fiction authors out there writing away in near obscurity. They don’t have websites. They haven’t claimed their author profile on Goodreads. They’re online existence relies entirely on their publisher’s website or what they do on sites like Wattpad and on social media. Still, it’s the best resource out there for names and links and for a basic idea of the genres an author writes in. Too, it’s a living breathing document. I add to it frequently. It’s the most popular page on my website.
Check it out. Find some new to you authors. Don’t see an author who should be listed? Please comment on the page or email me and let me know. I’ll get them added. This is a resource for us, by us, to use to find our writers for, I hope, many years to come.
Anne’s latest release: Loving Blue in Red States: Jackson Hole Wyoming
I want to thank Anne for this wonderful and insightful guest post. Also, her list of authors is a fab resource. I encourage all of you to pop over and explore.