Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown was the first lesbian centered book that I ever read. At the time, I was in my early teens, and the 80s decade was just getting underway. My raging teenage hormones brought the realization that I wasn’t like other girls; because I really liked other girls. Not an easy thing to discover growing up in a small conservative Midwestern town during the early 80s. Needless to say, my coming out had been a painful and lonely experience. Books like Rubyfruit Jungle and Katherine V. Forrest’s Curious Wine were a salve to the wounds I suffered during my coming out. They made me feel less lonely living outside of the box of the straight existence that I was supposed to live within. They made me feel validated and hopeful. It’s why I’ll always love the lesbian romance genre. It’s why I’ll always be a fan of the greats like Karin Kallmaker, Georgia Beers, K.G. MacGregor and Maryanne K. Martin, just to name a few.
In recent years, our genre has exploded with so many amazing and wonderful new authors. That explosion has led to the inevitable broadening of the scope of stories that we tell. There simply isn’t room for all of us to stay within the confines of writing lesbian romance. While lesbian romance will always have a place on my bookshelf, as an author and reader, I find myself drawn toward the outside of the genre’s edges. Not because I don’t like romance. To the contrary, I love romance. I’m a romantic at heart, and a happy-ending-kind-of-girl.
But, real life is different. With all of the problems that we face from violence, to poverty, to war, to a dangerously changing planet, there is so much to say. In addition to being a romantic, I’m also an idealist. I believe that if we’re willing to talk to each other, to pull back the layers of a problem and examine it with an open mind, we can find solutions. That is the premise of my writing. That is the kind of change or discussion I hope to spark with my stories. It’s why I’m so proud of my latest novel, Blowback.
But, it can be a little lonely writing outside of the edges. Blowback is without question outside of the edges of the lesbian romance genre. While the story features a lesbian protagonist in a long-term relationship, it explores the subject of gun violence. The protagonist’s sexuality is secondary to exploring the subject of guns. However, her sexuality is important in that it shows a wider audience that same-sex couples deal with the same kinds of things as straight couples. We have money problems, family issues to manage and sometimes struggle to make time for our partners in a busy world of jobs, responsibilities and worries. As for the subject of guns, facts and statistics about the ease with which guns move among us and the too often resulting violence give the story its structure. Reviewers have said that while the story was not an easy journey, it was a journey worth taking.
While the story was not an easy story to write, it was, without question, a story worth writing. For those who are nervous about trying a story outside the comfortable edges of lesbian romance, I invite you to come along with me. We’ll go together, I promise to stay by your side during the journey. What better way to take on the tough subjects of our time than together.
The audiobook version will soon be available at http://www.audible.com/. I couldn’t be more pleased with the narrator, Erin Bennett, http://erinbennettvo.com/, and production by BeeAudio, http://www.beeaudio.com/. Erin brings Blowback to life in a way that truly elevates the story.
If you’re still on the fence over whether to give Blowback a try, below are excerpts from reviews.
- “Blowback is intended to spark conversation and debate. I hope it will succeed in doing so. It’s also enjoyable and gripping fiction.”
- “An exceptional book. One of those books you can’t put down.”
- “High marks for a gutsy book.”
- “While taking on a difficult subject, her approach is neither heavy-handed nor simplistic.”
- “Blowback is a thought provoking novel that casts an important light on the complicated issue of gun control.”
- “The main character, Meghan, grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go. I couldn’t get her out of my head.”
- “As a gun owner, it made me think.”
- “But what the book should do is make you think, question, discuss. And I suspect that is the highest compliment Ms Prescott would ask for.”
- “Kudos to Bev Prescott for having the courage to write this story. While many characters populate this tale, the story revolves around the travels of a gun and it’s eventual owner. She presents both sides of the gun debate with thoughtful fairness.”
- “Blowback is the most assured offering from Bev Prescott yet, never has her writing been more crisp and driven. I literally could not put it down.”
- “As anyone knows I am not an advocate of strict gun control and believe that everyone should have the right to defend and protect themselves and their families. This book really and truly made me think though.”
- “It gripped me from the cover until the end.”
- “I won’t lie to you, Blowback isn’t always easy to read. Anything that makes us reexamine ourselves can be difficult to take. Especially when it’s so steeped in realism. But I will tell you this: Blowback is worth reading – every, single word.”