Guest post by lesbian romance author Lucy J. Madison
Lately, I’ve been thinking entirely too much about male, white, patriarchy. I have to admit, back in college, I probably dozed off whenever this topic came up in class. It never really mattered to me because when I was much younger and wrapped up more fully in my own world, I never had to think much about it. I was a Title IX baby. I grew up playing sports, reveling in being a tomboy, and being appreciated for my athletic prowess. Male patriarchy seemed far away from my own personal experiences. I received opportunities, I worked hard and advanced.
I prefer to write stories that help people escape from the real world for a while. I take that role seriously, and intentionally choose not to inject politics into my lesbian romance novels because I know that when I sit down with a romance novel, politics is really the last thing I want to read about.
Furthermore, I’ve never really looked at myself as on the front-lines of any particular political cause or effort. I write stories because I love to, not because I necessarily believe that I must prove some underlying point or highlight a specific message. These are personal preferences for me, and I certainly don’t judge any readers who love reading those types of books or think less of writers who choose to write them.
But with the insanity of our politics right now, and the real fears LGBTQ+ people across this country feel every single day as their rights are being quietly chipped away by this current administration, I’m more cognizant of my job as a romance writer to provide an escape. I am also much more keenly aware of my role as a lesbian writer to tell stories about women who live in a world where male, white, entitlement does not rule the day.
Ruminating on this, I looked back at everything I’ve written over the course of my life from a non-fiction book on women’s basketball to feature film scripts and lesbian romance novels. Not one story depicts characters in a world dominated in any way by men. Without even thinking about it, I have only chosen to tell stories where Wonder Woman’s home of Themyscira not only exists, but it is the rule rather than the exception.
My closest friends know that I am generally the type of person who lives in the moment rather than pondering the past or worrying too much about the future. Lately, I’ve done a great deal of forward and backward thinking. Like so many women, I’ve had my own #MeToo moments. Four of them, actually. The most brutal being a sexual assault when I was in my early twenties. I can’t tell you the time of year or what bed and breakfast it was at, or what day of the week it was. I have no recollection of how I got home, but I know it happened in Saratoga, New York, and I know with 100 percent certainty who did it. I only told one person in all these years. This is the first time I’m speaking about it publicly. It’s still incredibly painful and a memory I’d prefer to keep buried. #IBelieveHer
I write lesbian romance novels because I love to tell stories about two women falling in love. That is my happy place. It is my hopeful place. It is my most treasured space, where my hopes for this life are firmly rooted. Love. The love between women in a world fully open to women where good men do not dominate but co-exist equally. This is why I write. This is what I write. There is power in that. There is power in reading that.
Enter to win an ebook of Lucy J. Madison’s newest novel, A Recipe for Love: a Culinary Romance by commenting! A winner will be announced October 17th!
Piermont, New York. Danika Russo is 55, newly retired from a 30-year career as a mail carrier, and stuck in a rut. After putting her own needs on hold to care for her terminally ill partner and her unloving father, Danika is holed up the childhood home she inherited, a claustrophobic time warp from the 1970s complete with brown Formica and linoleum, and not sure what to do next.
Her best friend Natalie suggests making a list of things she has always wanted to do. Stepping outside her comfort zone, self-deprecating Danika opts for taking an Italian cooking class, not knowing that she will both impress the appreciative chef with her tasting skills and meet a mysterious younger woman there, Finn Gerard, who will capture her heart and teach her the recipe for love. But Finn is withholding a grim secret and, despite her initial passion, appears unable to commit to Danika fully. Will Danika allow herself to let go and fall in love for the first time in her life, even if there are no guarantees? Even if she must learn to let go?
This complex lesbian romance touches on themes of rediscovery and transformation, showing that while love can be the answer, real healing always starts from within.
Lucy Madison’s latest will appeal to fans of fine, well-crafted lesbian fiction and authors like Caren Werlinger. Readers will enjoy a bonus cookbook section at the back, featuring all the recipes mentioned in the book!
About Lucy J. Madison
Lucy J. Madison is a novelist, poet, screenwriter, and ghostwriter. Her short stories, articles, and poems have appeared in dozens of literary magazines and publications nationwide. She resides in shoreline Connecticut and Provincetown, MA. www.lucyjmadison.com Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @lucyjmadison. Catch Lucy in Provincetown at Women’s Week! A Recipe for Love: A Lesbian Culinary Romance, Lucy’s third novel, is available worldwide.