First Ladylove, an anthology of F/F stories, is available for pre-order now and will go on sale next Monday, September 28th. A few of the authors have answered questions about the stories. Please welcome newcomer Annie Anthony!
Have you visited Ana’s blog or been in Ana’s events before? If so, which ones?
Thank you for hosting me on your blog! This is my first time here, which seems fitting. #FirstLadylove has given me the perfect opportunity for another first!
If you had to describe yourself using two household objects and one food, what would you choose? Why?
Hmmm, great question, incorporating two of my favorite things—home and food.
First, I’d say I’m Yarn: because I’m colorful, creative, and can make things… Or I can get knotted up and create a big, annoying mess… I’m supposed to be honest, right?
Then, I’d pick a Bathtub, a really sexy, oversized soaking tub: I’m not sure this one needs an explanation… why? Water, soaking, relaxation, and hot!
Food… oh, I wish I didn’t have to pick one. But since I do, I’m going to pick something really specific: a baguette. I’m crusty and tough on the outside, light and airy on the inside. I could really go on with this one… I can be sweet or savory, dry or tender… yeah, ‘nuff said, I think. Mmmm, bread…
How did you become involved in First Ladylove?
The brainchild of the project, the amazing author and editor Kate Richards, invited me to contribute alongside some very talented authors like yourself. I was honored to be asked! I almost missed the deadline because my mother fell very ill days before the final draft was due. Kate gave me an extension and I was able to get the story to her before my mother passed. My mom’s illness and passing happened so fast, I think a lot of the heavy issues that were racing around for me at that time fueled my energy for the story. I hope the sincerity and depth of emotion come through for the reader!
Tell us a little about your story.
Fixin’ Biscuits is a story of how work becomes identity; how families are often the people we chose rather than the people we are born to, give birth to, or marry; how isolation can be so profound that it takes an equally profound encounter to break down those walls. The main character’s voice and needs and losses have been part of me and part of my life for so long and it was really a journey of the heart to give Cleary her own story.
What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
In most of the country and the world, same-sex love is still shocking or shunned. I know women personally who have lost families and children after coming out. Many friends of mine spend the holidays alone because it’s too uncomfortable for their families to deal with “the gay thing” at the Thanksgiving table. Whether that “otherness” manifests in how someone looks, who someone loves, or any number of other ways, the reality is that tolerance and acceptance are rare in the majority of places. Fixin’ Biscuits gives Cleary a chance to be “fixed” alongside other people who need fixing as well. My hope is that readers will enjoy the colorful quirky setting and will feel hopeful for their own lives and the “fixes” that are possible.
If you had to summarize your story in one sentence, what would it be?
Not everything broken is unfixable.
Most importantly, what is your position on wooden spoons?
My position? Holding it, for sure. Stirring up, or, you know, whipping up whatever I’m in the mood for…
Blurb for your story:
After a staggering loss, Cleary McDowell becomes mother, daughter, and spouse to the Fixin’ Biscuits diner. Weekly specials, uniforms, and regular customers keep Cleary’s life simple as comfort food… but nowhere near as fulfilling.
Ella Freitag has just made a life-changing decision: one that will take her from inside a booth at Fixin’ Biscuits to behind the counter. Her choices, as well as her secrets, draw Cleary into uncomfortable emotional territory.
When Ella’s secret overlaps with Cleary’s, will their first lesbian romance mean a second chance?
Excerpt from Fixin’ Biscuits:
I dribbled the last of the cream from the stainless steel pitcher into a chipped stoneware mug. Perfect example of adult accountability. I chipped that mug early one morning, nicked the lip against the counter while I was carrying a few too many things on a few too many hands (and fingers, as this mug had been empty and I’d looped the handle over my thumb.) I chipped it, I bought it, so to speak. I kept that mug in a secure place behind the counter and when I take breaks, I drink only from the mug that I damaged. DeeDee would not care, she’d toss the mug and not even dock me for it, but it’s the principle. I sipped from the side of the lip that was smooth, the chip close but not close enough to cut me. I looked at this new-ish girl, tried to see past the tacky lipcolor, way too dark for lips that thin on a face that pale. I noticed a bump in her hair that she hadn’t smoothed when she’d fastened a barrette that held growing-out bangs.
I checked my spoon for water spots and wiped it clear with a fingertip. “I know you’re still fairly new here and maybe don’t know how things work. Fixin’ Biscuits runs on a very regular schedule. I have my schedule, you have yours. DeeDee makes the schedule, we work the schedule. If you want to work your job around your social life, try applying out at the mall.” I took a slow sip of my coffee, letting the impact of my ‘no’ settle in. “I’m off this Sunday. And unless you decide not to show, which of course would cost you your job, you will be working.”
“My grandmother is dying,” she squinted at me. Her voice was angry and her eyes glimmered with what I assumed was disdain. “I have to go visit her in the hospital.”
“Honey, go visit her Saturday night.” I pulled a piece of day old bagel off with my fingers and smeared a thin layer of butter from a foil packet onto the soft-enough center. I put the food in my mouth and swung the stool to right, looking past the toastie girl to the small TV perched above the counter. “I’m off this Sunday. Now will you excuse me? We full-timers need our breaks.”
Annie Anthony is a Chicago native who moved to Los Angeles in 2013. Annie holds an MFA in creative writing and has taught writing at the community college level as well as writing workshops. She loves to crochet and donates much of what she makes to various hospitals. An avid volunteer, Annie has worked with medically fragile children and with nonprofits supporting GLBTQ issues since 2006.
Annie’s lesbian erotic short, Blue Suede Boi, was a finalist for a Goldie in the erotica category. A complete list of publications is current on her blog.
Thank you so much for reading and please keep in touch. Annie loves to connect with readers!
Available for pre-order on Amazon and ARe! Will also be available on iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.