It’s been a while now since I got an ARC of Roller Girl, the third book in a series called Lake Lovelace, and had a pleasant surprise when I realized this was a great F/F adult book with steamy times and a nice found family vibe related to sports. Today, I chatted with the author, Vanessa North, and got some interesting answers about her research and even about a new F/F story coming soon to share with readers!
Q1: Roller Girl was the first F/F book in the Lake Lovelace series. How did you feel making this transition?
I don’t think it was a difficult transition at all for me as a writer–Tina was an integral part of the Lake Lovelace community from the first book, and her story was plotted concurrently with the second book, so it was really just a matter of figuring out her character’s vulnerabilities and strengths and exploring them.
Q2: Did you do any research about roller derby to write this book? Or was this something you were used to already?
I did a LOT of roller derby research. One of my dear friends skates for the Boulder County Bombers in Colorado, so she gave me an extended (hour long) interview over g-chat which became the basis for a lot of Tina’s experiences in training. I also watched loads of bouts and videos on youtube, subscribed to roller derby blogs, etc. One thing i think is fascinating is how many women my age (40) and older play derby, because it’s such a rough sport. But when we were kids, before cell phones and internet, our parents would drop us off at the roller rink for a day, so roller skating has been a part of our lives in a way it isn’t for younger generations. I’ve grown to love the sport–though I’m a little chicken to play it myself.
Q3: Do you have any favorite scene from this book?
Any scene with Tina and Ben together made me cry like a baby writing it–their friendship is just so pure–but I think my favorite was when Thomas asks Tina to sign their skates after the bout. It was a really emotional moment for Tina and Thomas both, and it was a feel-good part of a story that has a lot to do with finding community and family.
Q4: Do you have any F/F stories coming up soon?
I have an F/F (bi/pan) romance coming out next summer/early fall with Riptide called Off Limits. It stars a punk singer and a socialite who on paper should not be good for each other at all, but when they’re together, nothing else matters. It’s sexy and messy and a lot of fun too.
Q5: What do you think is the hardest part of being an author?
The hardest part for me is self-motivating when I’m working through shit in my personal life like health problems, anxiety and depression, financial struggles, etc. (and that’s not even touching on the current political landscape here in the US). There are days when I have to force myself to work through what feels like a black cloud of baggage even to get a few hundred words–but that’s part of the job, and luckily the romance community is super supportive of each other, and I have a great group of people who help hold each other accountable every day.
Q6: What is something you’d like to see more of in femslash stories?
Everything! I’d love to read an epic fantasy like Ginn Hale’s The Rifter with female characters. I’d really love to see more F/F stories coming out from *more* publishers. We’re seeing M/M stories from the big 5, but not F/F, and I’d like to see that change. Niche publishers are an amazing and vital part of the publishing landscape, but I’m greedy, I think F/F readers and writers deserve it all. 🙂
About the Author:
Vanessa North is a writer of queer romance, a mother to twin boys, and a knitter of strange and wonderful things. She is the author of the Lambda Literary Award finalist Blueberry Boys and the Lake Lovelace series from Riptide Publishing. She once dedicated a book to Twitter, because she’s classy like that–follow her there and everywhere to be treated to photos of her oversized puppy, Ziggy Stardust.
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