Radclyffe is one of the most beloved lesbian writers. Just check out the Lesbian Life favorite book list
and her name comes up more than any other author. She writes lesbian romance, short fiction, and paranormal romance series, Night Hunt
under the pen name L.L. Rand. She is also the editor of Best Lesbian Romance
series for Cleis Press. She’s won the Lambda Literary Award, Prism Award and Independent Publisher’s Award. She is also the founder of Bold Stroke Books
, a LGBT publishing house.
Radclyffe answered a few questions for Lesbian Life about what makes a good story, her writing process and what her fans can expect from her in the future.
Lesbian Life: What makes a good romance story?
A good story is a good story--probably the most important element is compelling characters, characters with whom the reader can identify, who stand out in one's memory. In a romance, the other critical element is the emotional attachment between the characters--what draws them together, what challenges them to grow, and what allows them to form a unique and passionate bond. When I evaluate a romance story, I am looking for believable characters who share a vivid, passionate, physical and emotional connection.
You’re quite a prolific writer, having published more than 35 novels, and won dozens of awards. Yet, I know you started your career as a surgeon. How did you make the transition from doctor to writer?
I began writing for personal pleasure over 30 years ago. At the time, I was early in my medical training and never gave any thought to being a professional writer. Like most writers, I wrote what I loved to read, which meant I wrote romances. Almost by accident, I fell into writing with a group of writers on the Internet and sharing my work. That eventually led to publishing some of my early works with several small independent lesbian publishers. The more I wrote and published, the more interested I became in the entire process, until I felt that I wanted to do this work full-time. In 2004 I retired from surgery to found Bold Strokes Books.
Why found a publishing house?
As I noted previously, when I first began publishing, I published with several small independent lesbian publishing houses and became very interested in the process of publishing. As I began to work with editors and graphic artists and talked to other authors about publishing, I found this was something I enjoyed doing. I enjoy working with teams, I love books and everything about them, and I love our fiction, which I believe is critical to supporting and affirming the LGBT community. Publishing was a natural extension all of these interests.
I read that you don’t actually type out your stories, that you use voice recognition software and speak the stories aloud. Why do you do it this way?
I dictate the first draft of all my books for the simple reason that I can't type very quickly (actually, I can't type at all, and like many people, have just adjusted to the "two-finger typing method"). However, after dictating thousands of patient notes and operative reports, it's easy for me to dictate the first draft. Then the dictation software transcribes what I've dictated into a Word document that I can read on the computer and edit on-screen. It's purely a method of writing efficiently for me.
What’s new with Radclyffe?
I am currently accepting submissions for two more anthologies--Best Lesbian Romance 2013
and a lesbian couples anthology looking at love and passion after the honeymoon. I'll be editing these for Cleis Press. Personally, I have three new releases with Bold Strokes Books this year--the third in my paranormal romance series, Night Hunt written as L.L. Rand, Oath of Honor
in July, and Crossroads, in November
. The last two are Radclyffe romances.