Rebecca Swartz is an author who I fell in love with from page one of her novel, Falling.
She is a brilliant author and I hope to read many more of her books in the years to come.
A brief description of your writing:
Fast-paced; intense; crisp, engaging dialogue; complex characters
One word to describe your books:
Many readers have called my books “page-turners.” Even though that’s not technically one word, I’m going to go with it.
Who/What inspired you to start writing?
My dad initially, because it was he who inspired my love of words and books. Following that, I would credit Stephen King, whose work I started reading at the age of 14 (Salem’s Lot, The Shining), and who I have always admired and respected, particularly for his character development.
Why lesbian fiction?
I don’t think I write “lesbian fiction” per se, I write fiction whose main characters just happen to be lesbian. The difference in nomenclature (in my opinion) is a result of publishing with a house which only publishes stories about lesbians, hence “lesbian fiction.” If my work were published by a mainstream house, it would not be called “lesbian fiction,” it would be called, simply, “fiction.”
If the question is, why write about lesbians, I suppose I would ask, why not? Lesbians are people, too. I wonder sometimes if anyone asked Richard Adams, “Why rabbits?” (Watership Down) Or William Horwood, “Why moles?” (Duncton Wood) Perhaps they did. And perhaps the answer was, “It’s a good story. Isn’t that what matters?” I’ve been asked if I ever thought of NOT writing about lesbians. To which I responded, “Does anyone ask straight people if they would ever consider not writing about straight people?” I relate much more easily to a strong female lead character (lesbian or not) than to a male any day. I choose to make my lead characters lesbians because that is where my passion lies, but the sexual orientation of a character shouldn’t matter in the face of a good (or great) story.
Sheena’s Comment – To be fair, my site is called The Lesbian Review. If it were called the bunny review I would ask Adams about his rabbits, or if they were lesbian rabbits I would interview him…maybe.
If someone is new to your work, which of your books should she read first?
She or he (I have male readers as well, and I don’t expect that to change) might be better off reading my second novel, Falling, if only because it is better written than the first (though the first is not terrible by any means, and was a finalist in two categories for the Golden Crown Literary Society awards). I am very proud of both books.
What inspired you to write Everything Pales in Comparison?
My first novel, Everything Pales in Comparison, came about mainly because I had this idea of a female cop who saves a woman…and that was it. I had a very clear idea of the two characters, but I didn’t know their stories. I wanted to know their stories, and how they came to fall in love, though they initially seemed so different from each other.
What inspired you to write Falling?
Falling, my second novel, was inspired by two songs: Falling by Alison Moyet, and Ghosts by Kerri Anderson, both which instilled in me a visual image I felt the need to recreate…I actually saw and felt not only what was sung, but I saw two women in vastly different roles and places in these songs. Those were my characters, and most of what I saw, I did write. It was a difficult but utterly rewarding experience.
What inspired you to write Forever?
Forever is a novella, in e-book format, published by Bella Books. It was a story that came about when I was wondering what would happen if you fell in love with your best friend (which I never have). I wrote it very quickly, edited it just as quickly, and in three months it was complete. It then languished for a few years while I decided what to do with it. I “published” it online at a site that is now defunct, and it received a lot of attention, so once I was signed with Bella Books, I edited the story again, and Bella published it as an e-book single.
Other Works In The Lesbian Genre
Your favourite lesbian book (not written by you):
The Blue Place by Nicola Griffith. It was the first lesbian novel I read (and I haven’t read many, to tell the truth) which dealt with two women who were lesbians…and that was all the discussion there was on the subject. There was no angst, there was no coming out story, it was just…a good story featuring a memorable main character.
(For the record, my own work is not my favourite, though I love both and am proud of both.) That’s okay, it is one of my favourites – Sheena
Your favourite lesbian movie:
Imagine Me & You (2005) starring Piper Perabo and Lena Headey. It wasn’t ridiculous like so many lesbian movies are, it didn’t focus on sex, it was completely plausible, touching, and amusing. Also, very well cast, and the acting was superb.
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