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Elizabeth James: A Sapphic Fiction February Interview

I have to say, I gave a wry smile when I saw the name of Elizabeth James’ ode to LGBTQ+ fertility and pregnancy. The title of ‘The Turkey Baster Diaries’ is a nod to the myth that female couples use turkey basters as a quick way to conceive, when in fact the opposite could not be more true! I really enjoyed interviewing Elizabeth for this event – thank you for joining me, Elizabeth!

So let's start with you telling us a little more about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

I'm a researcher, keen fruit and veg grower, and cajon player with a ukulele band, I live in the NW of England and enjoy watching rugby, and going to the theatre.

How did you become an author?

I started keeping a diary when my wife and I began to have conversations about the desire to start a family, then it took on a life of its own.

Who’s your favourite character that you’ve ever written?

That's tricky to answer as my (one) book (so far) is based on real life.

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?

As I've been writing about my/our tumultuous experiences of trying to start a family, there are times when I have struggled to put emotions into words, and occasions when I have not wanted to write, so I've put the diary to one side, and picked it up at a later date.

What do you consider to be the hardest part of writing?

Just getting on with it if you're not in the mood; but in some ways it's a bit like having a plant, writing needs regular nurturing and attention to come to fruition. Being dyslexic is just part of who I am; writing can be tiring and rewarding, and its important to get proof readers, and to engage in several rounds of revision to ensure the words express your sentiments fully.

And how about the most rewarding?

It's like climbing a mountain, few things come close to the sheer elation of holding your new book in your hand.

I've worked really hard and have a great sense of accomplishment, however many copies it sells.

As a true-life, biographical account, I think it's important to document and share experiences of same sex couples becoming parents for the historical record.

What is one piece of advice you wish you had listened to, either in life or with regards to being an author?

I read widely and took lots of advice. One thing I would say is never underestimate the importance of and time needed for revision and editing, do get feedback on manuscripts and if possible hire a professional proof reader.

You’re putting together a party. Which characters from the Sapphic Fiction genre would you invite?

Oohh, too many to chose from, I'd hold a ball and invite all of them.

Is there anyone you’d like to highlight, while you’re here?

I would like to highlight the fabulous ongoing work of Jae,, and Niamh Murphy in helping to highlight and share Sapphic works and authors.

How can people connect with you?

Here is my book link, and @drlizziejames on X.

Finally a light-hearted one. What ice cream flavours and toppings would you put together in your ultimate sundae?

Coconut, mango, dark chocolate sauce, fresh mint

If you enjoyed this interview, then make sure you’re following my social media accounts (@kblakemanwriter on Twitter and @katherineblakemanwriter on Instagram) to get all the latest updates! And if you want to support my own Sapphic Fiction journey while you’re here, The Summer We’ve Had is available now, and Love You However is coming on March 22nd!



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