Today, I’m honored to have A. E. Radley stop by. She recently released Mergers & Acquisitions, which soared into the top ten of Amazon’s lesbian romance best sellers. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of Mergers & Acquisitions and I enjoyed it. This was the first book I’ve read by A. E. Radley, but it won’t be my last. In fact, I loaded another one on my kindle as soon as I finished Mergers. But enough about me.
Here’s A. E. Radley!
A year ago today I read a newspaper article that really upset me. It was a story about British gay icon Christopher Biggins and his insensitive words upon the subject of bisexuality. Now, Biggins, as he is known, is a sixty-year-old white man, a species not necessarily known for their tact, diplomacy and openness. But Biggins has always been known as a kind, bubbly, flamboyant man. Almost cuddly. A friend of everyone.
So, when he was quoted as saying “the worst type, I’m afraid to say, are the bisexuals. What it is, is people not wanting to admit they’re gay. Be honest: that’s what you’ve got to be” it hurt. A lot. I grew up watching this man on children’s television. He was gay and proud, well-spoken and kind. But suddenly he was also biphobic.
This bi-erasure, both within and outside of the LGBT community, and comments about “choosing a side” or “being honest with yourself” are damaging and extremely hurtful for bi people. Unfortunately, these are also very common comments that all bisexuals are sick of hearing. But hearing this comment from a gay icon hammered home the fact that the bi community are still receiving more scorn from the LG community than we are from the straight community.
This highlighted a trend I was seeing at the time. I had recently published my first novel, Flight SQA016, which focused on the romantic story of two women. As such, it was plonked into the category of lesfic aka lesbian fiction. I don’t personally like the term lesfic, I use it as it’s the most recognised term for my genre. I prefer a term I coined myself, lesbific, but even this is problematic.
You see, while Flight SQA016 focuses on the story of two women, one of those women is a bisexual. And I, the author, am also a bisexual. I didn’t think this would be much of an issue, we’re all allies under the LGBTQ umbrella, right? Wrong. Or so I discovered.
Suddenly I was being attacked by lesbian authors, told that I shouldn’t be writing in the lesfic category and that I should be in the bisexual fiction category. But my story focused on a tale of women loving women, just because one identified as a bisexual that didn’t mean the book was bisexual in nature.
Of course this wasn’t the first time I heard this. There’s a small but persistence thread of people who claim that lesbian fiction must be written by lesbians for lesbians. I think this is wrong. What about bisexuals? Or trans? They have just as much right to be writing a woman loving woman story as anyone else.
My, sometimes unpopular opinion, is that story is king. I don’t care if a good story has been written by a lesbian, bisexual, man, or woman. I’m reading a story for entertainment and enjoyment. I don’t expect people who write murder mysteries to have murdered people in the name of research. I’d like the characters to be realistic but this can be achieved through research and good writing skills.
Demanding that your lesbian fiction is written by lesbians is depriving yourself of good fiction. And, in some cases, it’s showing your prejudice.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Kate Kennedy prides herself on running the very best advertising agency in Europe. One day, her top client asks her to work on a lucrative project with the notoriously fastidious Georgina Masters, of the American agency Mastery. The temporary merger causes a fiery clash of cultures and personalities. Especially when Georgina sets her romantic sights on Kate’s young intern, Sophie.
A. E. RADLEY
She describes herself as a Wife. Traveller. Tea Drinker. Biscuit Eater. Animal Lover. Master Pragmatist. Annoying Procrastinator. Theme Park Fan. Movie Buff.
When not writing or working, Radley indulges in her third passion of buying unnecessary cat accessories on a popular online store for her two ungrateful strays whom she has threatened to return for the last seven years.
Thanks for stopping by today.