Riley LaShea

Riley-LaSheaRiley LaShea is the author of novels such as Behind The Green Curtain and The Wish List, both novels that Tara has reviewed here.

Tara was so impressed with LaShea’s writing that she ended up adding her work to a List of Top 10 Novels of 2015.

This is what Riley LaShea says about her work


Riley LaShea’s Writing

A brief description of your writing:

6 parts romance

4 parts fantasy

1 part literary

With a twist

I really like a twist.

And, while I enjoy writing a good zinger, I do dabble a lot in darkness.

One word to describe your books

Visceral

Who/What inspired you to start writing?

I honestly couldn’t begin to remember. I did a lot of creative stuff as a kid. And a lot of bizarre stuff. I think the two often overlap. Writing was just part of it. The people around me were ever encouraging, from my parents to my siblings to my teachers. At some point, writing overtook music as my greatest love, and the people around me inspired me with their positive responses.

Why lesbian fiction?

Because I read a lot of hand-me-down books when I was young, and not once did anyone hand me a book with a lesbian character. I didn’t know how much I craved it until I was older.


If someone is new to your work, which of your books should she read first?

Behind the Green Curtain by Riley LasheaBehind the Green Curtain, I think most readers would say.

What inspired you to write Behind the Green Curtain?

I had this scene in my head of two women in a foyer. It came as a random flicker, like ideas often do. These women, they were utterly at odds, yet infuriatingly attracted to each other. I really enjoy the hate-to-love dynamic, and I am always drawn to a mysterious character who behaves in a way we can’t entirely comprehend. Until we finally do.

See our full review here


What inspired you to write Club Storyville?

Club-Storyville-Riley-LaSheaMy partner and I were watching a lot of History Channel specials while we worked. There was one about Storyville, the turn-of-the-century red light district in New Orleans that became naturally integrated due to the jazz presence there and the black and white musicians crossing those invisible lines to play together. I knew it was a story I could only write from my own perspective, and it gave me the chance to write about several things I love – the South, trains, and brassy women – and several I struggle to understand – war, racism, and the social mores that stifle human choice and opportunity.


What inspired you to write Black Forest: Kingdoms Fall?

Black-Forest-by-Riley-LaSheaWe grow up with fairy tales so ingrained in our young lives. We are shaped by them. We are inspired by them. And, if we’re young girls who are never going to be made happy by lying in wait for a prince to save us and carry us off to his castle, we are disheartened by them. I like the idea of fairy tales. I wanted one for girls like me.


What inspired you to write The Innocents?

The-Innocents-by-Riley-LaSheaI am of a firm mind vampires should not sparkle. Seriously though, I don’t understand the rise of the modern vampire. And I am a huge fan of Buffy. But, vampires must have souls? Or be physically incapable of hurting humans? Or drink fake blood? Otherwise, we’re not allowed to like them? Why can’t vampires be vampires? Why can’t they be seductive and dangerous and blood-thirsty, and still be noble and decent and worthy? This book explores the relationship between good and evil, and asks the question, “Who’s the good guy when the people claiming to fight evil are doing the evilest things?”

Plus, of course, Lilith.


What inspired you to write The Wish List?

The-Wish-List-by-Riley-LaSheaI have never met a cheesy holiday tale I didn’t like. So, I wrote one.

Anything else you think readers may find interesting: I’ve been writing screenplays longer than I’ve been writing books. In 2009, I won a prize for “Best Love Story” in Creative Screenwriting’s Expo Screenplay Competition for my screenplay “Love Letters,” which features a lesbian romance.

Check out our review of this book


Other Works In The Lesbian Genre

Your favourite lesbian book (not written by you):

A book I wish more people recognized as a lesbian book is Mirabilis by Susann Cokal. The writing is stunning, the premise truly insane, and the characters are brilliant. Radegonde is one of those mysterious characters I mentioned before. It’s not just my favorite lesbian book, it’s my favorite book period.

Your favourite lesbian movie:

Fingersmith. I know, I know, it’s a book first, but I really, really like the movie.