If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I love doing collaborations. A few months ago, I interviewed Chloe Keto (author of Ransom To Love and now Even Fairy Godmothers Need Help, its festive companion novella) on my newsletter, then on my blog. Now, I’ve done the same with Sabrina Kane, author of the sweet and steamy Carlsbad Lesbian Village and Cornish Lesbian romance series! My newsletter subscribers got to see this interview first, and now I’m sharing it with everyone. Because… there’s just two days to go until the dual release of our next Cornwall-based lesbian fiction books! On Saturday, January 14th, you will all be treated to Sabrina Kane’s What To Do Outside Of Tremont, the third instalment of her Cornish Lesbian series, as well as The Summer We’ve Had, my standalone lesfic novel about a woman with depression and a woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder! Two vastly different books, but both set in sunny Cornwall, and both stories everyone will love!
Here goes: an interview with Sabrina Kane. Read to the end for news from us both!
So, Sabrina... what made you decide to sit down and write a book in the first place?
Ooh, this is a good story!
I’m lucky enough to have a white-collar job that sent people to work from home once the pandemic struck the USA hard in March 2020. So, suddenly, I—like everyone else—had all this extra time.
Back then, I used to read a lot, and one day, I was considering re-reading (again) my favourite book, Landing, by Emma Donoghue. But then I thought, “Let me see if I can find other books featuring lesbian main characters.” That’s when I discovered that—holy cow—there was this whole genre of fiction out there devoted to lesbians! So, I started reading a lot of these books.
Anyway, a few months later, I started thinking to myself, “Hey, I could probably write one of these!” I’ve always been a good writer. The next thing I knew, I was coming up with the story of how two women, named Megan and Vanessa (because I’ve always loved those names) could meet here in Carlsbad. I was even sounding out bits of dialog between them in my head, and then writing those conversations down.
Eventually, I decided to try to turn those ideas into a proper story by writing it as a book.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I am such a pantser when it comes to writing! This means I do not rigorously outline each book before starting it. In fact, when I start writing a book, I don’t even know how it will end—except happily. I also don’t even know most of the stuff that the characters will go through over the course of the story.
What I do know, however, is how my characters will meet. That bit I come up with before starting to write each book.
The rest of the story just simply comes to me as I write. However, very often I will take walks around Carlsbad, by myself, and think about my story. Walking helps me come up with ideas, which I then type into my phone.
As for how I develop my characters…
I always try to make sure that I don’t have too many of one particular type of woman. Okay fine, I have a lot of tall women in my Carlsbad books (plenty of people have pointed that out, LOL), but I do have a number of shorter ladies in the series. I also try to mix things up when it comes to hair colour and types of jobs, hobbies, personality quirks, etc.
One thing I always do when developing my characters, however, is make sure the reader knows that each woman in one of my books is intelligent, driven, independent and hard-working. Just like a woman shouldn’t need a man to get by, she also shouldn’t need another woman to get by. My characters can stand on their own and make their own way in the world.
As for the comments that the women in my books seem to fit a particular mould, my response is that I base a lot of my characters on what I see around me here in Southern California. I’m tall and athletic, my girlfriend is tall and athletic, and most of our friends are tall and athletic.
When I go grocery shopping or to the beach or to restaurants, many of the women I see doing the same things I’m doing are super-fit and toned and wear skin-tight clothing. That’s Southern California!
Which of your characters do you relate to the most and why?
I relate the most to Megan Baldwin, from “Nothing but a Fling.”
Like Megan, I work in the Information Technology sector, and have obtained a management role at a young age. Also, like Megan, I am an artist; in fact, many of pictures I described in the book as having been drawn by Megan, were drawn by me in real life.
What was your hardest scene to write, and why?
Ariel and Lani saying goodbye in Tahiti! I just imagined being in any one of their shoes, and it was me saying goodbye to a woman I really connected with, but was unsure of ever seeing again.
I was actually dreading having to write that scene, because I knew it was going to be part of their story. I was so relieved when I was done with it!
Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?
Definitely “Landing” by Emma Donoghue.
Whom do you trust for objective and constructive criticism of your work?
What books have you read more than once in your life?
Just some of them…
“Landing” by Emma Donoghue
“The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck
“Germinal” by Emile Zola
“Pride & Prejudice” by Jane Austen
“Beloved” by Toni Morrison
“Below Mercury” by Mark Anson
“Inked with a Kiss” by Jennie Davids
Is there a particular genre you would love to write but only under a pseudonym?
I would really love to tackle full-on erotica using a pseudonym! Oh my god! I would have so much fun with that!
I’m talking about erotic lesbian stories that are just all sex, of the type that I would hesitate to put in one of my other books.
Does anyone in your family read your books?
I warned my parents that my first book ended up having a lot of sex in it.
As it turned out, I ended up having that conversation with them individually, on separate days. My Mom shrugged and said, “If that’s what your core audience wants, then give it to them. That’s business. I probably won’t read it, though, but I’m proud of you for actually writing a book.”
My Dad—the smartass from New York City—said, “I love you to death so don’t take this the wrong way, but I’d rather poke a sharp stick in my eye than read a sex scene my daughter wrote.” I keep meaning to work my Dad’s answer into one of my books, but I keep forgetting! LOL.
Others in my family know I have written lesfic novels, but if they’ve read them, they haven’t told me.
Has your own writing ever made you cry?
Yes! And it was two connected books!
The scene when Ariel and Lani say goodbye to one another in Tahiti, in “Seven Days to Forever,” made me bawl!
Then, the scenes leading up to Megan and Vanessa’s wedding in “Starting Forever in Paradise” really got to me also! And then the final scene when they talk about returning to Tahiti as old women…just picturing that made me a sobbing mess!
Do you have anything else to announce...?
Allow me to announce what is coming from Sabrina Kane Inc in sunny Carlsbad in 2023!
Naturally, I will be continuing the Carlsbad Village Lesbian Romance Series! In fact, expect a special treat related to that series coming in early 2023!
Also…I will be starting another new series! What’s more, the bonus epilogue in Cornwall 3 will be the introduction to this new series, so be sure to read it! It’s an epilogue unlike any you’ve ever read in lesbian romance!
As a beta reader who has already read the aforementioned epilogue, I can testify for that!
Did you enjoy this interview? Would you like to read interviews with other lesfic authors, like Melissa Tereze, Roslyn Sinclair, Clare Ashton and Jae?
You’re in luck, because I’ve started something called Sapphic Fiction February! Every day of February, on my blog, I will be posting an interview quite like this one, with a bunch of wonderful Sapphic fiction authors! Not just the four mentioned above, but Carolyn Elizabeth, Adrian J. Smith, Emily Hayes, and more. (And a sequel to Chloe Keto’s last interview.) To be kept informed, make sure you’re following my Twitter (@kblakemanwriter) or my Instagram (@katherineblakemanwriter), and keep an eye out for these interviews every day of February!