Day 5 Radclyffe – Following Our Dreams Through Romance

August 5th spotlights LGBTQ romance and invites you to read content from three popular authors within the genre.

Celebrate Romance – Celebrate Life

Celebrating romance is a celebration of life, for what are romances about if not the most important things in life: love, Taking Firefriendship, family, passion, hope, dreams, and desires? Our intimate, most meaningful relationships form the center and foundation of our lives, and through the adventure and challenge and joy of living our lives with those special people, we celebrate all the best things in life. Romances allow us to revisit some of the best moments of our lives—the giddy excitement of falling in love, the wonder of the first kiss, the thrill of spending time with someone who understands us in a way no one else ever has, the amazing experience of sharing our deepest secrets and desires and being accepted. Reading romances fires our imagination, allows us to dream and see our dreams realized, and give us hope that what we want from life is possible.

I began reading romances as a preteen, captured by the images of heroines who held on to their dreams despite social obstacles, fears, the prejudices of others, and sometimes seemingly impenetrable barriers to happiness. Their triumphs became my inspiration. I began writing romances because one of the great powers of romance fiction is allowing readers to find themselves in the characters, to sympathize with their plights, rejoice in their triumph, and believe, as for the heroines, their own dreams are attainable. Through the experiences of our heroes and heroines we seek affirmation that we are not alone in our dreams and desires. In the last half century, romance fiction has diversified, not only in the types of stories we tell, but the kinds of heroes and heroines we portray. Now, two women in love is far from revolutionary, but when I began writing romances in 1980, only a handful of new LGBT novels were published every year. I couldn’t find enough romances that portrayed the reality of my life and the shapes of my dreams to sustain my hunger for these stories. Writing them was one way to fill the void until the next precious romance would appear. Only years later did I begin to publish the stories I had written to keep me company and nourish my soul.

Safe Harbor, the first in the Provincetown Tales, appeared in 2001. My forty-eighth published novel, Taking Fire, was released in July 2014. Every romance I read, every romance I write, is a celebration of life, as each one in their own unique way is a testament to the power of love to overcome hatred, prejudice, and fear. The more we write about our lives, the more we celebrate the love we share—in fiction, in film, in our daily interactions—the stronger we will grow as individuals and as a community. Our fiction is our statement to the world that we are proud of who we are and proud of how we love and proud to tell our stories in our romances. I love reading and writing romance and am proud to be another voice celebrating both this month.

Recommendations:

Fellow romance readers, try Following Grandpa Jess by TJ Baerand Broken in Soft Places by Fiona Zedde

Enjoy!

Want to read more RARM content from prominent LGBQT authors? Find some here.


Questions for the Author:

1 – Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did.

I gave up medicine, sold my house, and my car to be a full-time author and start a publishing company.

2 – Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)

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. I always want to be a doctor when I grew up. Lucky for me, I was able to do that. Now all I want is to write and publish LGBT books – and I am beyond lucky now.

3 – Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

Beebo Brinker by Ann Bannon: I read this first when I was 12 years old, and that was the first time I ever saw mention of one girl loving another girl, physically as well as emotionally. For the first time, I saw myself in the pages of a book.

Radclyffe is generously donating two copies of Taking Fire and one copy of The Midnight Hunt to U.S. readers and two copies of The Midnight Hunt and one copy of Taking Fire to international readers. (All print copies.) U.S. entries, please use the form at the end of this post. International visitors, enter here. 

 


RadclyffeRadclyffe has written over forty-five romance and romantic intrigue novels, dozens of short stories, and, writing as L.L. Raand, has authored a paranormal romance series, The Midnight Hunters. She is 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). A member of the Saints and Sinners Literary Hall of Fame, she is a RWA/FF&P Prism award winner for Secrets in the Stone, a RWA FTHRW Lories and RWA HODRW winner for Firestorm, a RWA Bean Pot winner for Crossroads, and a RWA Laurel Wreath winner for Blood Hunt. In 2014 she was awarded the Dr. James Duggins Outstanding Mid-career Novelist award by the Lambda Literary Foundation. She is also the founder and president of Bold Strokes Books, one of the world’s largest independent LGBTQ publishing companies.

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  • angryreader

    I am sharing this with my daughter! I think she will love finding a new favorite author!

    • Radclyffe

      Wow — what a compliment! Thank you! Rad

  • Wendy C

    Romance is definitely a celebration of life. It is one aspect of life that does not discriminate against who you are or where you come from. Romance is something that we have in common whether you are rich or poor, young or old we all have the desire to be loved for who we are and not what we are. You don’t have to have read a romance to dream of finding that other person that is the “glue to your stamp”. That holds everything that matters to you in the palm of their hand and you know it’s safe. I read once that “We can have our dreams, but miracles take longer”. Romances show us what is possible and gives us the ability to dream by showing us that there can more to life than what we ever expected. What would life be like if we removed romance and where would we be if we stopped dreaming?

    • Radclyffe

      Wendy – I totally agree. Romance is about possibility, where anything can happen. That’s what makes romance novels so affirming. Rad

  • Courtney Cogswell

    I think what I love most about Romance in more recent years is the sheer amount of diversity you can find within the genre. I love that there are romances with heroes and heroines of all types so that nearly everyone can find stories where they can relate. I love a good romance story regardless of who the main characters are but I think it is important that all kinds of love are represented. I might not personally relate with every single book I read, but I can still appreciate a good story with well written, impacting characters. I will definitely check out your books as well as your recommendations, thanks for your post!

    • Radclyffe

      Hi Courtney – thanks! I hope you enjoy any you might read. Rad

  • Tonda Galloway Hargett

    I enjoyed reading your blog and answers. I’m so glad you followed all your dreams!

    • Radclyffe

      Thanks Tonda – I’m so glad we can all share the dream! Rad

  • Thanks so much for being here, Radclyffe, and for sharing your wonderful story with us. xo

    • Radclyffe

      Bobbi: I’m so happy I had a chance to be part of this amazing month 0 thanks so much for inviting me! Rad

  • Jen C

    Excellent blog post. Keep telling great stories!

    • Radclyffe

      Jen:

      Will do 🙂 Rad

  • Patty Vasquez

    I’m so impressed with everything you’ve accomplished and so happy you decided to write about romances and heroines who portray the reality of your life. As our culture and laws change, and by being here today, I hope that others can find your stories and truly understand that love is love.

    • Radclyffe

      Patty: It’s great to see such support for romances of all kinds, as many as there are people in the world! Rad

  • Amazing story! Surely, giving birth to the stories that you would have wanted to read, you have given a lot of help and reassurance to many persons. You have not found your path, you have built it! 🙂

    • Radclyffe

      Marinella: Thanks for the vote of confidence — what a great month to celebrate our love of romances! Rad

  • Allie

    Hooray for Radclyffe and BSB! Thank you for introducing me to so many wonderful authors (my auto-buy list every month is getting out of hand but that’s definitely NOT a complaint!).

    • Radclyffe

      Allie” LOL — thanks for the list, Rad

  • Anna

    I’ve always been a fan of strong female characters – LGBTQ or otherwise! It’s wonderful that you’ve been able to write the stories that you want!

    • Radclyffe

      Anna – me too! Eve Dallas, anyone ? 🙂 Rad

  • Sharon Clark

    When I started reading Lesbian fiction there were only a handful of new books published a year. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was when Boldstrokes came in being as another publisher. I have greatly added to my collection since then 🙂

    • Radclyffe

      Sharon: As always, thanks for the support! Rad

  • Mary McCoy

    Wow, giving up a career in medicine and selling house and car shows great dedication and determination, so glad you have been able to make your dreams come true!

  • rebecca moe

    I love what inspired you to start writing, but wish that books of the past were not so lacking in diversity that it was necessary. I am so glad that the youth of today is growing up with such a wealth of different fictional characters and experiences!

    • Radclyffe

      So am I and well said. Rad

  • Teri

    I seriously believe I would enjoy anything Radclyffe wrote, including a grocery list. A wonderful writer. I can read her novels over and over and still get caught up in them when I read them for the sixth or seventh time.

  • Nicole S

    I’m looking forward to seeing you and your team during Women’s Week. Thanks for all you do!

  • Taylor Washburn

    Radclyffe, I would just like to say that your novels have been kind of a lifering for me lately. I say this because the portions of the lesbian community that I’ve encountered seem to be under the impression that transsexual women are not allowed to be lesbians, or are worthy of consideration as viable partners, which obviously leaves me unable to live out my own romance novel. Being able to get lost in your characters and live vicariously through their stories allows me to at least partially fill that void within my life. Thank you and I wish you all the success your imagination can bring you.

  • Belinda

    I Purchased purchased Safe Harbor two weeks ago on Audible and I just finished listening to book 5. Needless to say…. I am completely addicted and work is much more entertaining. I told my partner today that I MUST OWN THEM ALL.

  • Terry Fountain

    I’m so thankful you took the leap to write and publish. I’ve read just about everything you’ve written, and am looking forward to starting Taking Fire. Your works are marvelous. My imaginative mind thanks you! Here’s to much continued success. Cheers!!

  • Brittany Hill

    I enjoy hearing that a book could inspire you to follow your dreams!! Keep the amazing work!! 🙂

  • Julie Harrison

    Radclyffe is one of my favorite Authors!!! She was the first to introduce me to Lesbian Romance novels!!! I sure hope Im able to win a paperback of Taking Fire for my life partner Angie!!! Her b. day is Saturday!!! 😀

  • Sarah DeShields-Bass

    You bring your stories to life and as a reader that’s something I love. Reese and Tori, Blair and Cameron, Drake and Sylvan….I feel like I personally know them. I always enjoy it when I see a new book by you out or one I haven’t read yet. It takes me on an adventure into their lives.

  • Maz Tucker

    Really enjoyed reading the blog, keep up the great work, we all need a bit of romance in our lives!!!

    • Radclyffe

      We do! rad

  • SmogSydney

    I found the blog above very interesting and enjoy reading romance.

  • Mary Dieterich

    A good romance is a reflection of life. I’m glad there are stories out there for everyone!

  • Stephanie M.

    Thank you for your article. I will add your books (both names) to my TBR list. 🙂

  • Literature, as in life, is full of moments which bring us to tears, laugh out loud, and love with all we are. Romance literature pushes the limits, makes us think deeper, opens our eyes wider to the possibilities that life so often tells us can never be. My first modern Romance was Safe Harbor. Once the fire began, I hungered for more and more. After a few years of voracious reading I knew I too, had stories to be told. Congratulations on a successful endeavor, but even more on following YOUR dreams to fulfillment. May we all realize nothing is impossible. Thanks for your literary contributions for our reading enjoyment and for providing a nurturing environment to LGBTQ readers and writers everywhere. I know one day I will be joining the ranks of those who craft this beautiful art.

  • Pat Bane

    I love Rad’s romances set in Philly. I live here and can see her characters in the settings. All her book’s have strong characters.

  • Karin Anderson

    As for LGBT authors, Tara Lain is my go-to favorite! Her books are mainly M/M, but some are more mixed.

  • Meredith Richardson

    You’re a new author for me and I’m excited to check out your books 🙂

  • PEGGY ALLEN

    So I was reading your bio and what you wrote, and I am like, OMG, I have read this author and loved the books. I am a fan of L.L. Raand. So now I have to do some research on what you have written and grab all the ones I have missed. When I find an author I like, I read all their work.

  • Erlinda Mejia

    There’s joy in diversity. It’s proof that love, romance and HE A is possible for everyone. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.