Interviews and Roundtables:
- Dark Erotica
- Reese Szymanski Interview by DK Ward
- Therese Szymanski Interview for Lynne Jamneck
- Dykelife Questionairre
Reese Szymanski Interview
by DK Ward
Therese Szymanski is an award-winning playwright. She’s also been short-listed for a couple of Lammys and Goldies and a Spectrum, made the Publishing Triangle’s list of Notable Lesbian Books with her first anthology, and was chosen for an Alice B. Reader’s Appreciation Award.
She’s edited five anthologies for Bella After Dark (BAD): Wild Nights: (Mostly) True Stories of Women Loving Women, Back to Basics: A Butch/Femme Anthology, Call of the Dark: Erotic Lesbian Stories of the Supernatural, Fantasy: Untrue Stories of Lesbian Passion and The Perfect Valentine, and done some online teaching. She’s written eight books in the Lammy-finalist Brett Higgins Motor City Thrillers series (in order: When the Dancing Stops, When the Dead Speak, When Some Body Disappears, When Evil Changes Face, When Good Girls Go Bad, When the Corpse Lies, When First We Practice and When It’s All Relative. The first book in her new mystery series, It’s All Smoke & Mirrors, the first Shawn Donnelly Chronicles, came out just late last year. She’s part of the foursome who created (and write) the bestselling/Lammy-finalist Bella After Dark (BAD) New Exploits series, which include Once Upon a Dyke: New Exploits of Fairy Tale Lesbians, Bell, Book and Dyke: New Exploits of Magical Lesbians, Stake Through the Heart: New Exploits of Twilight Lesbians and the forthcoming Tall in the Saddle. She also has a few dozen short works published in a variety of books.
Reese generally works a day job as a writer/editor, and also sidelines as a designer/typesetter and sometimes edits on the side as well. Interestingly enough, in the past two years she’s made money as a copywriter, an editor, a security guard, a newspaper editor, a writer, a graphic designer, production manager of a newspaper, and serving subpoenas. Among other things. She tends to find inspiration for her stories from her everyday life.
What metaphor would best represent Therese and Reese Szymanski individually?
RS: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Therese is who I was, Reese is who I am becoming. Put another way, Capricorns—which I am one of—are supposed to mature backward. I started working full time the summer I was 13. I started playing more as I got older .People in high school didn’t think I could get any more serious than I was at that time. My family called me one name, which I won’t repeat here, then I moved myself to the hyper-serious name of Therese, my given name, and then I’ve evolved to Reese. Granted, I’m still often Therese at my day job, but Reese is the first name I’ve really adopted myself after someone started using it my sophomore year of college, so in a way, it’s the first name I’ve had that’s been of my own choice.
Linda Hill, my current publisher once asked why I didn’t publish under the name Reese. The answer is simple: Barbara Grier, founder and publisher of the Naiad Press, liked Therese Szymanski. She liked the ethnicity and all that of my given name, and she wasn’t a woman any writer said no to.
In the book First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far) by Richard Labonte and Lawrence Schimel, I’ve got an essay called “Words.” In the essay, I discuss how certain words, certain labels, used to be constricting, and then I started finding labels that fit and I evolved into other words and terms, and such labels can provide comfort sometimes—and that’s it’s nice to have some identifiers that fit. Sometimes words can be constraining while at other times they can be a comfort and a way to grow. So my name change is also something like that, but for marketing reasons, I’ve just stuck with the one I started publishing under. I think I’ve only used a pseudonym once, and that was for a negative review for Lambda Book Report. (Amusingly enough, I was on the masthead of the Lambda Book Report for several years and I remember one funny issue where they misspelled my name throughout the entire issue—the masthead was the only place they got it right.)
Oh, btw, Reese is a lot more fun.
I have to admit, while I was cogitating on how to answer this question, I did think about how, in high school, I was interviewing with a senator’s West Point selection committee and they asked me to describe myself with one word. My high-school counselor almost thwapped me when I admitted to her that I chose the word weird. That experience taught me to use the word diverse instead. Needless to say, it was the other senator who nominated me for West Point.
I agree, there is a certain comfort in being able to associate a word to how we feel about ourselves, but one could argue that continuing to label ourselves is why we are still separate from the rest of society, in that we need these labels such as butch, femme, transgender, drag kings & queens, Bois, et cetera to distinguish ourselves even in our own diverse community. And that makes me wonder, is our affiliation with these labels why society has not fully accepted us and continues to resist government efforts to pass antidiscrimination laws, even in the year 2007, and do you think we’re at a point and time where we should try and cast these identifiers off?
RS: Years ago, back when I was working at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), a woman I worked with refused to have anything to do with butch/femme. She said she didn’t like labels. One day I looked at her and said, “Erika, you’re a Jewish lesbian/feminist/activist/vegan, but you don’t like labels?” She actually said, “Yes.” As in she didn’t like labels. Even though she always admitted to a good half dozen or more (like Jewish lesbian/feminist/activist/vegan).
The world is full of labels, no matter what we do. I’ve always been a great believer in taking back words—like dyke—so that those words can no longer be used against me in a bad way.
The world is full of labels—conservative, liberal, Catholic, goth, emo, Black, White, Asian, Polack, het, homo, single, gay, straight, anarchist, disabled, Whedonites, writer, reader—whether we like them or not. Words define us and the world we live in, so I don’t think casting off our own labels in favor of any that would be cast upon us would help matters. Instead it would be giving others the power of words over us.
And, btw, I’m well aware that some of the most labelrific years of our lives are in high school (goth, cheerleader, brain, jock), which might mean something, but still, labels continue to follow us throughout our lives.
Now, I don’t believe in all the political moves we’ve made as a community in the past years, but that’s not the point here. The point of this answer is that I feel we must retain our rights to the words we choose.
Which of your books, short stories or plays best tells us who the writer is?
RS: Different ones tell different parts, and, also, who I am at that moment. One thing most people these days would likely not believe—because I’m so known for sleaze these days—is that my plays were highly political. Also very funny.
I have always used real life for my writing. For instance, my first award-winning play was And Divided We Fall, which was a comedy about gays in the military. It included a brutal fag-bashing. It was a comedy. I wrote it after I came out while in the reserve army and in ROTC.
I did write a coming-out play, Just a Phase (a Sapphic Tale), as well as several one-acts I referred to as sit-coms, because they were so situationally based. A reviewer for the Metro Times went berserk researching Sappho before she saw the show. Apparently it took her a bit to remember that it was me, so she was likely wrong on anything she was figuring, which she actually was. It would’ve been a fairy tale except the protagonists were lesbians so it was a Sapphic tale.
Anyway, on the sit-com thing… A Michigan fisherman was running for office and, on TV, admitted that if his grandson came out as gay, he’d have to beat him to death. I wrote a one-act play called Some Body’s in the Closet in reaction to his statements. I often described it as “Scooby-Doo meets Pat Robertson and the religious wrong.” When it was being produced, we actually Scooby-Dooed it up a bit. The play was quite silly while also being very political.
I have a theory that things can only go so far in one direction before they pop out on the other side. At the time I had a lot of anarchist friends who had lots and lots of rules, which is, obviously, quite contradictory. Thus, when this evil guy pretended to be religious, but wanted to kill gays… well, I took things to the extreme in my play.
I have noticed that it’s become more difficult for me to write Brett Higgins lately because I’ve changed so much from who I was when I started that series. When I first put pen to paper on that series, I was still working in the adult industries in Detroit and still having to do some violent-type work. So Brett was very much based on my employments after college, when I couldn’t find a job in my field.
I publicized my first book reading in a play program for one of my plays (and my plays appealed to both boys and girls), and had, like, 50 women show up to the reading. A few, however, apparently thought my books would be like my plays so, um, didn’t like the first book too much, according to a local lesbian bookseller (she later told me she was sure she could sell those same women some of my later books, though, since I vary so much in my tales and writing).
You’re a pretty prolific writer, so why get into editing?
RS: Heh. You actually don’t know the half of it. I’ve also used my writing to sell millions of dollars of software and raise millions for various charities (and on a lot of other things as well).
The due date on my first call for submissions (for Back to Basics) was like 9/30/01, which was before BSB really started doing anthologies.
Back then, there was mostly a bunch of Alyson anthologies, along with Cleis and maybe a few others. I’d read some of those anthologies and keep running into the same writers, and none of those anthologies left me hot. There’d be some good stuff, but also a lot of bad stuff—and they were increasingly, IMHO, leaning toward trying to push the barrier. They all wanted to be the furthest out there. The one doing the most different stuff and crossing all the limits.
Now, Naiad was still publishing but had stopped putting out anthologies. But their anthologies… Well, I adore Barbara Grier and Donna McBride, the owners of Naiad, and have A LOT to thank them for, but I didn’t like that stories in their so-called erotic anthologies didn’t actually need to be erotic. I also didn’t like that they just used Naiad writers, and so long as you were a Naiad author and wrote a story, it was included.
I wanted to put out a book of bathtub reading. A book of good, hot stories. I also wanted to help develop some new voices and get some new folks into the pool of erotic writing. I spent a few hundred hours on that first anthology, much of which was in up to ten rewrites of a few stories.
But I didn’t believe I was an editor. But then a couple of guys I knew talked me into deciding that I would, at some point, edit an anthology. And, since I knew their capabilities and that they were editing anthologies, I knew I could. They did help me with the pitch, and talked with Alyson about it. Alyson apparently wanted it, but I needed a pass from Bella to pitch it to anyone else, and the woman who was running Bella at the time figured the easiest way to do an anthology was to have me do it, so she asked me to do it for them.
I later heard that some people at Bella did briefly worry that I’d go too out there with the book. Little did they know that one of the things I wanted was to rein things in a bit.
A few years ago someone who was at the York Lesbian Arts Festival (YLAF) told me that everyone she mentioned me to knew my name—but as an editor. She had to keep reminding them of all the books I’ve written. It was nice when the next year the festival asked for me by name.
I have edited one full-length book, mostly to see if I could. I could and did, but I’m not sure if I’m up to that again. I am happy that every book I’ve edited has won or been short-listed for some sort of award.
You’ve said it before, and now, that in some anthologies, the writers were “pushing the barriers and lines” and I’m curious what exactly you mean by that?
RS: I was seeing an increasing trend toward trying to make stories kinkier by increasing the pain and humiliation in the sex acts. BDSM and all its variations are fine, just so long as the book is labeled for it—I believe books should say something about their contents so people can find what’s best for them. I wanted things much more vanilla and story based than SM and pain and humiliation. I mean, I like kinky, but in its place.
I’m afraid of being guilty of hubris when I say that I think I’ve had some fantastic contributors to my anthologies—such that I think those five anthologies are among the strongest in lesbian erotica.
“An increasing trend of kinkier stories”: would that indicate a turn in lesbian fiction? Maybe readers were looking for more of that type of kinkier story? How do you balance what the readership may want vs the story you want to write?
RS: I think this increase is largely due to editors’ and publishers’ ideas. “Cutting edge” sounds cool, so it must be good, right? I don’t have facts and figures on the sales numbers for the kinkier anthologies, but I really feel that the anthologies I’ve put together are just right.
Also, btw, Bella, with its Bella After Dark line, is indeed going toward more erotic stories. Linda Hill, IMHO, is a great businesswoman and terrific marketer. (The imprint came about when a Bella writer was going to use another pseudonym for her more erotic stories, but Linda came up with the idea of using another imprint so that the name-brand recognition would be there, yet there would be greater differentiation with the mainline Bella Books.)
Oh, and I’ve always written the stories I want to write, btw. I mean, I’m pretty sure that my first book, When the Fisting Stops When the Dancing Stops, was the first time fisting was used in a Naiad book. I’m not positive, but it really might have been. Back when that book was published a lot of people wondered how I ended up with Naiad. They loved the book, but just didn’t think it quite fit in with the much tamer and more vanilla Naiad. Of course, I was totally on the shoulders of such women as Robbi Sommers, who got Barbara Grier, I think, to start really publishing erotica. But even then, my first book went through a bunch of readers, several of whom apparently told Naiad that they liked the book but weren’t sure it was Naiad material, before it was accepted.
Just so we’re clear, I love Bella, and I loved Naiad, and I adore Barbara Grier and Donna McBride (and think they ought to win the big GCLS award sometime soon), and I am very, very glad Linda Hill came in to save Bella Books (and I adore her, too. I don’t talk with her very often, but she’s done an amazing job saving Bella and doing some great things in and for lesbian lit. Also, she’s always been great to me and all her writers, IMHO).
Before we go on, I’d like to know your thoughts on lesbians using male derivatives in their fiction when they talk about dildos (using words such as “cock” and “dick”). Why do you think they use those words? And are more stories like that where lesbian fiction is headed?
RS: I’m rather uncomfortable with such words. I’ve gradually started using them a bit myself, I think, just because sometimes not using the most direct word makes things really long or repetitive.
Right after college, I ended up simultaneously managing an adult theatre, an adult store, a GLBT book and gift store and an adult distributorship. That was back in my more political days, and back then, when dildos weren’t so popular, I’d justify them with the fact that with lesbians it would be a woman behind the toy, so a woman’s love, drive and passion, instead of a man’s anatomy, running it. So I’d keep that distinction up. Now I’m more likely to use cock or dick, but… I’m still a bit uncomfortable using such myself. (Not the toys, just the words. ;-)
Where would you take your characters if they suddenly came visiting one day?
RS: My characters are a part of me, so I’ve never subscribed to any theories that involve me taking them anywhere, having lunch with them, or anything else like that.
I might occasionally talk with them or, more likely, act out some part of theirs, but I really don’t think of them as different entities. I’m much more likely to wonder what they’d do in a given situation than wonder what we’d talk about over lunch. “Okay, the cops are chasing me and everything’s gone to hell. What am I gonna do?” So I’ll put myself in their shoes.
I do know that if Brett Higgins ever came calling, I’d try to speak with her calmly and make sure we remained in a public place. (It’s much easier thinking like my new character, Shawn Donnelly, because she’s much more like me—especially the me of now.)
You wrote “Fiction mirrors reality, so you need reality in place to work your magic as a writer” in your short story The Write Stuff, was there any reality to that story?
RS: Wow. I don’t remember saying that. (Not the first time, for the record. The people who wanted to publish my plays mentioned a specific line in one and I was like, “I don’t remember that at all.” I had to look it up.)
That’s a really funny story to be the first one to ask me a specific question about, since it was based on one of a few stories I first penned for gay males. This story did, however, substantially change when I rewrote it as a lesbian piece. The gay male version was a pretty straightforward narrative, whereas “The Write Stuff” included lots of additional short erotic vignettes.
Anyway, I think “The Write Stuff” was mostly built on imagination. There was one vaguely erotic road trip, however, in my past…
What is it about gay males that interest you enough to write stories about them?
RS: If you’re referring to the gay male erotica I’ve written, actually, that was all done on a dare. As for gay men in my other works, well… They’re fun. I’ve had some great friends who are fags. Actually, Brett’s neighbor is my old roommate. His dog was wonderful, so of course he—the dog, Astro—had to be in it as well.
I will admit that one actor struck me so that several of my plays have a character based on him. Alas, I’ve only worked with him twice (two different shows), but…
Nell Stark once said “Reese Szymanski has taught me a great deal about the ins and outs of writing erotica.” Would you share with us those ins and outs?
RS: I’m not sure exactly what she was talking about. I talk about writing a lot, as I did with her. Likely I told her that erotic shorts stories are still stories with a beginning, a middle and an end. They have a narrative flow and must have a strong enough spine to hold everything else together. They also need a heart. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve turned down because they didn’t have all of that, and I’m sure the authors would be surprised to hear that, but a lot of stories are pretty much just this happened, she put that there, I rubbed against it, we did this, that and the other thing and it was just the most amazing thing ever.
It’s like an instruction manual. That’s not really that interesting or fun to read. So I might’ve said something like that.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
RS: I keep writing and writing, whether it be good or crap. You just have to keep at it until you get going again. Now, occasionally there is some banging of my head against a wall or dashing through my apartment with a sword, but usually it’s just determination, plain and simple.
What is it about forensics that interests you so?
RS: I’m a mystery writer. I think mystery writers ought to do their homework and research to try to get the facts right. I’ve heard that some people rely only upon their TV viewing for this—like, they watch CSI for forensics, and… well, whatever other TV shows for law and police procedural—but those shows usually get it wrong. Sometimes they do it deliberately for story purposes, but regardless, I think writers ought to try to know what they’re writing about.
For my day job, I recently had to help a (gasp!) Harlequin writer. She needed some epilepsy med that would react very distinctively with something so that a doctor could see this guy and realize he had epilepsy simply because of the side effects. There was no med that would fit her needs, but we went back and forth and I finally set her up with the Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS). Now, if a Harlequin writer can go to that extent to make sure she gets it right, certainly mystery writers ought to.
Oh, also sometimes studying forensics gives me new ideas. Plus it’s all pretty cool.
Radclyffe recently brought up a good topic in her Sunday Brunch with Rad, where location changes the “sense of the story.” Do you find this true in your own writing? Has there ever been a time where you started writing a story that seemed to change at some point because you worked on it elsewhere? You did mention that you’re seeing Brett differently now as you age and I get that totally, but has scenery ever changed your stories?
RS: Well, of course where a story takes place affects how the story goes and what happens.
Sometimes the setting is very integral to it—like with “Metro Heat,” it starts on the Washington DC Metro—a bit of public transport where you don’t see the driver, have some isolation but feel pretty darned safe, and be trapped with strangers for a while, even if the lights go out.
Brett usually takes place in a gritty Detroit, the Detroit I know. It’s got a lot different feel than the new Shawn series, which takes place more in the suburbs of Detroit, where it’s less gritty. Brett now lives in a suburb and I try to show some of the contrast between where she lives and works with some fun little scenes.
So very different feel due to the settings.
Has there ever been a topic in your books, plays or a short story where you felt it was almost too painful to tackle?
RS: I’m sure there has been, but I can’t remember. I’d guess I just blocked it from my mind. I can say that at one performance of Just a Phase, a bunch of my fam was in the audience and I suddenly remembered the opening quoted my mother a bunch… So I was worried and such about that, but turned out she didn’t remember it at all. (And, although everything’s always about her and she’s extremely egotistical, she didn’t own this, so that’s kinda interesting…)
Keeping with that line of thought, how do you psych yourself up to write an emotional scene?
RS: Beer. Well, that and if I’ve done everything correctly, an emotional scene doesn’t just come out of nowhere, the scene builds to it and either eases me in or catapults me in—regardless, so long as I don’t stop writing just before, it prepares me for it and then I write it. So it’s all in the writing.
Is there a topic you see yourself never broaching in your novels?
When you write your series books, do you make it up as you go along or do you have a strong sense of beginning, middle and end?
RS: Yes. I’m also a big proponent of outlines. I don’t have to stick to them, but they’re very useful when you’re writing a complicated mystery, and they can also help me get through writer’s block—even if a scene isn’t too great, because I’m not at all inspired, I can get through it with the outline and fix it up in the rewrite.
You mentioned in your Amazon Blog you work off (what I believed was) a story board? Is that for everything you write or for one particular genre?
RS: Actually, I’ve got a big white board in my hall, and across from that I have a cork board. I’ve always fought with organization—like having all these tons of notes for current, future and possible projects all over.
I specifically bought the white board to help me through the problems I was having on a book—thinking that I could look at a lot more at once on it than on a piece of paper. It’s also nice because I can walk by and jot notes so they’re all in one place… and I don’t forget. So it’s more of an organizational tool (it also has a list of projects on it). But I tried a lot of different things to help me with this latest Brett and I think the entire problem actually came from the fact that I wrote half of it, then, more than a year later, tried to return to it. I had a lot of starts and stops. And I think that was what made it so tough. From now on, I have to make sure that I don’t stop on a book until I’m done with it.
Plus, I thought it’d be really cool to have a white board of my own in my apartment.
How much influence has Fan Fiction had in lesbian fiction? Do you see a trend blossoming, or has it already bloomed?
RS: I’m not sure. I only found out about fan fiction a couple of years ago, like around 2003—I think, in fact, I learned about it from the GCLS.
So I’m not one to talk about any trends or such. What I can say is that it appears that a lot of online fanfic writers have come into the world of publishing, a lot of them also bringing their readers with them. I can only hope to grab the attention of some of those readers enough so that they might try reading me as well.
Are you a part of the Bella Books staff, or do you just edit (and submit stories to) anthologies for them?
RS: Not a part of their staff. I’m just a writer who sometimes contracts to edit or do other stuff for them. That’s all. I do whatever the boss tells me to.
Tell us about March 29, 2008, and your part in the Second National Walk for Epilepsy in Washington, D.C. What can folks do to help?
RS: There are a few reasons for the second national Walk for Epilepsy, including building awareness of epilepsy and raising money to find treatments and cures.
Epilepsy is the third most common neurological disorder in the United States after Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. It is equal in prevalence to cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease combined. It affects more than 3 million Americans. Yet fewer people know about it then Parkinson’s disease.
It’s interesting to note that a lot of people would never know that someone has epilepsy unless that someone says they do. In a way, it’s kinda like being gay—that a lot of people wouldn’t necessarily know you have it unless you’re way obvious (like me, but still, I once just about had to draw a diagram for a boss), or you tell them. Also, many people think people with epilepsy are possessed by demons, or are contagious, or have something really wrong with them, other than having a condition that sometimes sends electricity spurting through their brains. I recently read where grandmother keeps telling her granddaughter to say, “Demons get out of my head!” The little girl is like 4 years old.
BTW, as long as we’re talking about epilepsy, one thing I’d like to share is something that we work very hard to teach people, and that is to never, ever put anything in the mouth of someone who is having a seizure. It is physically impossible to swallow one’s own tongue. All shoving something in their mouth will do is injure them—like make them break their teeth or jaw.
Patricia Cornwell recently said of her partner, “Being with someone who is smart and gives good advice adds tremendously wonderful elements to your life.” What wonderful elements has your significant other added to your life?
RS: Love. Making me remember the good in each day. Silliness.
Really, it’s great to be with someone as brilliant and talented as Stacia (plus, well… She’s sexy as all hell and phenomenal in bed.) Before her, I’d… Well, this’ll sound like a bad lesfic romance, but I’d pretty much closed myself off. I’d been nonmonotonously with a few people for a bit, and had some ongoing affairs. Through all those breakups I’ve lost some friends, and had some women go completely nutters, but it’s all worth it. It’s nice to be hers and have her be mine, solely and exclusively and down to the flowers and all the sticky sweetness of it.
I can ask Stacia word-type questions and get answers. The right answers. Meanwhile, we silly beautifully together, and this I something supremely underrated. Being silly together.
Plus, I know I can get her true opinion on anything I write, and I can do the same back to her, and that’s great.
I think part of it’s like… Well, for instance, I’ll occasionally do something really nifty with an Excel spreadsheet and then, once I work it out and make it all happen think, “Dad would’ve liked that.” (My father died in 1990.) It’s an afterthought, just this thing that zips through my brain and is forgotten soon after, although it leaves its impression on me.
The way Stacia affects me and my life is like that. It’s this zing-zing-zing throughout my day, with all the little parts adding up. I can’t wait until we live together.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again here and now: You know you’re with the right person when, after an extremely lively discussion on noun/verb agreement, you suddenly say, “By the way, I figured it out, she takes the bullets out of the gun,” and your gf replies, “But how’d she get her hands on the gun in the first place?”
That’s Stacia and I. I topic hop and she can keep up with me, and we do discuss noun/verb agreement, and she did really convince me to go to Forensic University this past year.
She kept me as sane as I am and out of jail and trouble when my brother died. She didn’t even question going to Michigan for the services. She met more of my fam than the last, well, likely half dozen (at least) women who would have referred to me as “girlfriend” did.
But one of the most beautiful things about that… Well, besides that she carried me through half of it (she booked the hotel, the air (including switching my flights around), the car and kept me from going off on folks), was that she also made a lot of it writable. I might have to write about it someday, and that would be because of her.
Oh, and any good lines would be hers, too. (“Faith, faith… yeah, ya gotta have faith ‘cause without faith you ain’t got no faith. And yeah, hope, gotta have hope. Faith and hope.” This comes across best when said in a Polish accent. For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m totally second generation American. That means my grandparents were ALL born in Poland, so lots of relatives have accents. Also, senility runs in the family. Not Alzheimer’s. We’re good Polacks, so it’s senility.)
What are some of the things that make your head go “explodey”? (Yes, I’ve been reading your livejournal
RS: I don’t like stupidity. Thus, I have a lot of problems each day with the newspaper (and loathe talking with my family. 10 people in the entire world still support the Shrub, and I’m related to half of them.)
I can very easily go off on driving things that drive me insane (and make my head go explodey).
Part of me wants to go back to see when I used that word, but that would be kinda contrary.
Name one bad trait of yours you would trade for a good trait?
RS: I can have a short, bad temper and not a lot of patience. I know that’s two, but it’s hard to pick between two such doozies.
What’s the most underrated body part?
RS: The collarbone. Well, on women at least.
How would you make a chicken cordon bleu so the cheese didn’t “glop out onto the plate”?
RS: Not sure if that’s possible. When I said that, I was just stating fact—you cook it and the cheese gets warm and kinda liquidly so when you cut it open, some of the cheese glops out onto the plate. I mean, if it doesn’t, the thing probably isn’t cooked or hot enough. I guess the only way to fix it would be to carve out a cup in the middle of the bottom of the chicken, so it would stay there, but why bother? Plus, you’d be wasting the meat that you carved out.
You can buy all of my books from your local independent/feminist/LGBT or rockin' lesbian bookstore, or any really cool store that might sell books like mine.
Oh, and of course, you can buy it/find out about its availability and such from my terrific publisher, Bella Books.
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