I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m so happy to bring you a fellow Canadian. Multi-published author Giselle Renarde is here.
Welcome Giselle, it is a pleasure to have you here today.
Thanks for having me!
For those readers who are new to you and your work, please tell them a little about yourself.
I’ve been writing full-time for over a year now, after a few years of writing “on the side.” Apart from the cabin fever aspect of working from home, I absolutely love my career. My tagline is “Canada just got hotter!” so that gives a hint as to where I live. I do a lot of volunteer work and frequent the theatre, opera, symphony, and other arts events around the city.
As for the writing itself, I write erotica. Sometimes it’s romantic, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s hetero, sometimes it’s lesbian, it’s ménage, it’s bisexual. I don’t limit myself.
Your stories are varied when it comes to genre. One thing I noticed is that you also write transgender characters. Something that is rarely seen in fiction. What inspired you to write transgender characters in your story?
I’m an ally-advocate of the trans community, owing in part to the fact that my girlfriend identifies as a male-to-female transsexual. In my experience with trans erotica, there’s a lot of it out there but what’s out there lacks heart. I write erotica in a variety of genres incorporating a broad variety of transgender characters–everything from lesbian romance to cross-dressing BDSM to sci-fi!
I make a point of writing across genres because I want to make my trans fiction appealing to as broad a range of readers as possible. A lot of people “get” what it means to be lesbian or gay or bi, but they’re stumped or wary or even afraid of trans folk. In my work, I really want to humanize my transgender characters. They’re not circus freaks and sex toys. They’re people like my life partner–real people with fears and hearts and quirks of their own.
For those who don’t quite understand, I like to put it this way: Are you a woman? If you woke up tomorrow morning with a penis, would you still be a woman? If you woke up with a beard and a hairy chest but inside you were YOU, would still be a woman? That’s how life feels when you’re transsexual. It’s YOU in a body that isn’t you.
Where do you see yourself as an author in the next few years?
I’ve noticed myself becoming a little more garrulous over the years (must be a product of living and working alone LOL), so in the next few years readers will notice longer works on the market in addition to my short stories.
What are you currently reading?
Re-reading “The Well of Loneliness,” classic lesbian literary fiction.
Being a published author what is the one big misconception you think that people have about writers/authors?
I’m not sure…I think I fit the image of the reclusive author pretty well: highly hermetic, glued to her computer day and night, surrounded by legions of cats. The only misconception I can think of is the idea that writing is easy. It’s fun, for the most part, but it ain’t easy! Oh, and perhaps another misconception would be that once a manuscript is completed, the book is “done.” Hardly! Editing can be a brutal process.
As a published author you get to see the backstage aspect of what goes into getting published and everything an author goes through to be out there. What is one thing that has surprised you about the publishing industry?
I’ve been truly astonished by the helpfulness I’ve encountered throughout my career. Authors of romance and erotica are, by and large, the friendliest, most helpful people I know. When I started out in this industry four or five years ago, I anticipated a cut-throat environment where every author is interested in their own sales and their own promotions. That’s not at all how this world operates. Everybody is so sweet and supportive!
What are you currently working on now? Anything you can give the readers a sneak peak of?
I started a piece of fluff, and it turned out to be…well, not so fluffy. “Stacy’s Dad Has Got It Going On” is about an academically driven college girl (named Savannah, by the way!) who ends up falling for her roommate’s father. If that’s not enough drama for you…well, more drama is yet to develop.
Have you ever based a character on yourself or someone you know?
I’ve based characters on just about everyone I know—even my mother! My girlfriend is convinced that every lesbian couple I write is in fact she and I, and there might be a certain amount of truth in that. Many characters are based on people I see on the subway. I overhear snippets of people’s conversations and make up backstories for them, and strangers become characters.
(By the way, the character based on my mother is Deborah, Helena’s blackberry-toting workaholic best friend in “Only Angels.” So, there’s a tidbit of Giselle Renarde trivia for you!)
What message would you like readers to walk away with after reading your books?
As you mentioned earlier, my work is varied. I hope readers can finish any given story acknowledging that there are all kinds of people in this world with all kinds of attractions, and they’re all valid expressions of our sexuality and our humanity.
Where can readers go to find more info about you and your books?
Visit me online at my Donuts & Desires blog: http://donutsdesires.blogspot.com or my website: http://www.GiselleRenarde.webs.com or follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/GiselleRenarde
Twitter’s about the best way in the world to learn way more than you want to know about me, so I highly encourage it!