You may have noticed that we've become rather fond of Jae's books here at Love in Panels. Margrethe reviewed Perfect Rhythm, and I've covered Just for Show and her latest, Paper Love. Naturally, I had some questions! Jae was gracious enough to answer them for us.
You've written lesbian romance across several subgenres - contemporary, historical, paranormal, romantic suspense - but your most recent novels have been contemporary. Is that your favorite subgenre?
I’m not sure I have a favorite genre. As both a reader and a writer, I love lesbian and f/f fiction across almost all subgenres. What all of my books have in common, though, is that there’s always a romance, and it’s always between two strong women.
How has lesbian romance publishing changed in the decade that you've been writing?
In the decade since I published my first novel, the publishing world has changed completely.
Back then, ebooks had only just been introduced—now they by far outsell paperbacks. The advance of ebooks changed how books are published, promoted, and read.
For one thing, self-publishing became popular, so publishers no longer have the role of gatekeepers who decide what is being published and what isn’t. As a result, there’s a lot more diversity in lesbian fiction. Readers get to enjoy stories that are original and unique. But there’s also a lot more heterogeneity when it comes to the quality of available books. That’s not to say that all self-published books are badly written or edited, of course.
With more books being published every year, it’s a lot harder for authors to get any attention, so most authors I know spend more time promoting their books than they did in the past.
Another trend in lesbian fiction has been the growing popularity of audiobooks. Five of my own novels are available as audiobooks, and a sixth one is in production.
It’s going to be interesting to see where we are in another ten years!
Your most recent novel, Paper Love, is set in Germany, but most of your stories have been set in the United States. What's it like writing books set around the world? Do you travel a lot?
As a writer, I’m in the lucky position that I just need a laptop and can work from wherever I am, so I get to travel a lot—for research, for literary conferences, and just for my own enjoyment. I have always enjoyed learning new things and exploring new places—sometimes in person and sometimes just by researching locations from afar.
That said, it was a lot of fun to introduce readers to the city where I live, Freiburg, in Paper Love. I think my love for my hometown really came through, and I’ve been told that Freiburg is almost like a character of its own in Paper Love. [We completely agree.]
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a contemporary romance novel between Sasha, a pansexual six-foot baker, and Ashley, a florist who has decided that staying in the closet is saver than risking her heart. The story is set in a small town in Missouri, and it’s a spin-off to my earlier novel Perfect Rhythm. It’s scheduled for publication with Ylva Publishing in June 2019.
And the last question... what have you read (and loved) lately?
This year, I tried to find more time for reading by attempting to complete a Lesbian Book Bingo card. I haven’t quite finished it yet, but I found a lot of books I enjoyed, among them Ask, Tell by E.J. Noyes and its sequel, Under Your Skin by Lee Winter, Code of Conduct by Cheyenne Blue, and Close to Home by Rachel Spangler.