Lesbian Author Ruth Perkinson Talks Literary Ahead of Business Alliance Event
On Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. the Richmond Business Alliance will sponsor a Book Signing – Meet & Greet at Art Works Richmond to “Celebrate the Written Words of Richmond’s Gay Authors Ruth Perkinson & B. MacGregor.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ruth—a good friend and my writing mentor—in advance of the event.
Ruth’s responses reflect her personality…warm, funny, and thoughtful.
1. Do you consider yourself a “gay writer?” Why or why not?
Just a writer. To pigeonhole myself into saying I am a “gay writer” is like saying, I am a “gay typist,” or I am a “gay driver,” or I am a “gay painter.” I write about gay themes but not all of my writing is gay themed. So, “writer” is fine. Nice writer is better. Prolific writer would make my toes curl.
2. What are some of the stand-outs in gay literature? Both classic and current?
Classic: Anything Walt Whitman…hmmm. Was he a gay poet or just a poet. See, here we go again.
Current: Ruth Perkinson, silly. I concur with Ruth. If you haven’t read her work, I highly recommend them all, especially Piper’s Someday or The Mystic Market.
3. Is there a lesbian literary sensibility?
You mean quality over the romantic Harlequin romance type stuff? I think it is out there, but you will have to ask a short, dusty dyke at the library in Provincetown to give you a decent list.
4. Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
Inspiration comes from the dark shadows of your life and then seeing something play out similarly in a show like “Orange is the New Black.”
5. What 5 gay novels and/or non-fiction works have inspired you?
1. To Kill a Mockingbird – it has our first tomboy hero of the twentieth century.
2. Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris
3. Six of One – Rita Mae Brown
4. Rubyfruit Jungle – Rita Mae Brown
5. The Power of Intention - Wayne Dyer (no gay here but good)
6. What is the state of LGBT fiction today?
What I hope for is that one day we can drop the LGBT part of it and just get on with it. A story is a story regardless of the sexuality. If it is good enough, it will get to be where it is supposed to be.
7. What is your writing process?
Like I tell my writers in my writers’ group, you have to go at it five minutes a day, five days a week. In a year, you have bulldozed a book. Then get an editor.
8. What is currently on your nightstand?
9. What advice would you give a new LGBT author in terms of writing, publishing, etc…?
Get your draft done. Then edit it to be the best you know it can be. Do your research. Read the genre you want to write in. Join a writers’ group. Don’t ever stop – never, ever, ever! When you go to publish…self or otherwise, know in your heart that the book you are delivering to your audience is a “10.” If you don’t think it’s great, then neither will they.
10. What else would you like the readers to know about you?
I think readers need to know that I don’t necessarily read just LGBT books. I am all over the map in terms of genre. I love to read. I love to write. The most important thing readers need to know is that if they, too, want to write, then it CAN and will happen. There are too many crestfallen writers out there who think they aren’t good enough. I think that is a miscarriage of writerly justice. Everyone has a story. If they want to write and create a book badly enough, they can. My first book took me twenty years, but I wanted it BAD…real BAD!
Julie Harthill Clayton is an out and proud bisexual with a passion for reading, writing . . . and NOT arithmetic. Her work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Internet Review of Books, Curve Magazine, Lambda Literary and more. She is working on her first novel - Two Tickets to Freedom - a semi-autobiographical queer coming-of-age tale. A paralegal by day, Julie spends her free time knitting, writing, and reading anything she can get her hands on. She lives in Richmond with her partner, local artist David Turner, and their mischievous and loving hunting dog, Max.
This month the Richmond Business Alliance is OUT for networking with a social twist and some delicious Italian bites. Join us at Nota Bene. Known for their delicious wood-fired pizzas and now offering a full menu of Italian entrees and antipasti. The bar menu includes Old World Wines, local beers, and a tight list of [...]May 17, 2017
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