Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Karelia Stetz-Waters for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Something True
Author: Karelia Stetz-Waters
Publisher: Hatchette Book Group (Forever Romance)
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Lesbian, Lesbian Romance
Tate Grafton has a tough exterior, but underneath she’s kind, caring, and fiercely loyal. That’s why she first started working at Out in Portland Coffee—it was her way of repaying the shop’s owner for taking her in as a homeless teenager. After nine years of coffee slinging, though, Tate feels like she’s letting life pass her by…until she shares an unforgettable night with a beautiful stranger. When the mysterious woman disappears the next morning, Tate doesn’t even have her name. And when Tate learns that the shop is in trouble, she can’t afford to dwell on her missed connection.
Laura Enfield was only supposed to be in Portland for a few days—just long enough to oversee a simple business deal before joining her conservative father on his latest political campaign. But when the closeted Laura romances an employee of the coffee shop her company is shutting down, things get suddenly complicated. Now, the lies she’s told for years are beginning to unravel, and her biggest secret is about to be exposed. So why can’t she stop thinking about the beautiful barista with the soulful eyes?
As Tate fights to save the shop, Laura finds it harder to fight their growing attraction. But after a lifetime of lies, can Laura finally embrace something true?
We are here today to talk about Something True. What can you tell us about it?
Something True is the story of Tate Graffton and Laura Enfield, two women who have little in common except their love. It wouldn’t be so tough for them except that Laura is about to close down the coffee shop where Tate works, a shop that has been Tate’s home-away-from-home for decades. Now Tate has one week to save the shop and convince Laura to be her girl. But Laura’s father is a conservative politician about to make a bid for the presidency. For Laura, being with Tate — the tough, motorcycle-riding barista — means turning her back on everything her family has worked for. Will she do it?
Something True is a traditional romance with a modern twist, a new millennium You’ve Got Mail and Portland’s version of Tales of the City.
Tell us more about Tate and Laura?
Tate is an out lesbian with a lot of friends but also a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Laura is a real estate developer in the prime of her career. She is also deeply lonely because she has put her father’s political campaign before her own happiness.
One of my favorite passages in the book comes near the end when Laura — who has been somewhat appalled by Tate’s tiny apartment, homespun furnishings, and rickety futon — sees Tate unraveling the edge of a blanket and finally sees Tate for who she really is.
“It wasn’t a blanket, Laura thought. It was an afghan. It was knit. Tate wrapped the yarn around her hand. She would probably reuse it. She would re-knit it, maybe into a sweater or a handbag. It had probably been a handbag, and now it was an afghan, and then it would be a sweater. With stripes. Tate would wear it under her motorcycle jacket in the winter on her way to some ridiculously noble job. You could not buy that kind of integrity.”
What about Something True makes you the most proud?
I am very proud that Something True is the first f/f romance published by Forever Yours, a predominantly heterosexual romance imprint. Don’t get me wrong, I love lesbian presses. I write for one, and I read a lot of lesfic authors. But the fact that a mainstream press accepted a lesbian romance novel, tells me that the homophobic world of my adolescence is disappearing. It also tells me the book is pretty darn good. Forever Yours would not have taken this risk if they didn’t believe in it.
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
Don’t give up. A published writer is just an aspiring writing who kept trying. It took me many years of trying, and then everything worked out almost overnight.
For more advice, check out these blog posts 15 New Years Resolutions for Writers and How to Write Your Novel in 10 Easy (to Impossible) Steps and this video on handling rejection.
If you were having a coffee klatch, name five characters, each from a different book, with whom you’d like to share that special time with.
- Jeanette from Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. (I’ve loved this book since I was a teenager.)
- Mma Precious Ramotswe from Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. (She is so charming!)
- Hans Castorp from Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain. (That’s my mom’s favorite book.)
- Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. (Even a lesbian romance writer wants to meet Mr. Darcy.)
- Aslan, from C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.
If the world were going to end tomorrow, how would you spend your last night on earth?
I would call my friends and tell them how much I loved them. Then I would gather up my wife (and my cat) and go over to my parents house in the woods. We would drink a bottle of good wine, talk, watch the trees, and read poetry. Actually, that’s what we do most weekends.
What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?
I am reading My Education by Susan Choi. (It is fantastic.) Next on my list will probably be a nonfiction work on the container shipping industry. (That’s research for an upcoming book.)
Rapid Fire Time
- Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi.
- Love Story or Thriller? Love story.
- Underwear and socks: folded in the drawer or tossed? Tossed.
- Sausage or Hamburger? Sausage.
- Country or City? Country
- Any Tattoos or piercings? One tattoo. It was peer pressure, but I don’t regret it.
- Handcuffs or Rope? Is silk scarf an option?
- Australia or England? England.
What are you working on? What is next?
I’m working on another Portland-based romance, and after that I’m going to write a thriller about the container shipping industry. I am very lucky to have published four books in the last eighteen months, but that flurry of publishing is due to the fact that it took me a long time to break into the publishing industry. In my aspiring phase, I tried my hand at romance (Something True), young adult (Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before) and thrillers (The Admirer and The Purveyor) all in an attempt to get published. Now that I’ve found publishers and readers in all these genres, I can barely contain my enthusiasm for writing.
About the Author:
Karelia Stetz-Waters is an English professor by day and writer by night (and early morning). She has a BA from Smith College in Comparative Literature and an MA in English from the University of Oregon. Other formative experiences include a childhood spent roaming the Oregon woods and several years spent exploring Portland as a broke 20-something, which is the only way to experience Oregon’s coolest, weirdest city. She lives with her wife, Fay. She teaches at a rural community college which provides ample inspiration for writing, as the college attracts all walks of life, from Sudanese refugees to fresh-out-of-the-closet drag queens. Her interests include large snakes, conjoined twins, corn mazes, lesbians, popular science books on neurology, and any roadside attraction that purports to have the world’s largest ball of twine. Her work includes two thrillers, The Admirer, The Purveyor, one YA novel, Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before, and one romance, Something True. More at www.kareliastetzwaters.com.
Karelia Stetz-Waters has kindly offered 5 lucky commenters eCopies
Locally held contests will end 7 days from original posting date at 8pm CST. Must be 18 or older to enter, void where prohibited.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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