Here at Ladylit Publishing we are extremely proud to present Harper Bliss’ very first full-length novel At the Water’s Edge, which is also Ladylit’s very first full-length novel. To celebrate this important milestone, we asked Harper a few questions about her book.
Hi Harper, congratulations on At the Water’s Edge. This is your first full-length novel, why did you decide to write longer work?
Thank you! I wanted to write a longer story for two reasons. First, because readers are always asking me for longer works and I do live to please them. 😉 Second, because the story in At the Water’s Edge needed time to unfold and the characters needed more time to develop. I knew from the start that a novella wouldn’t do.
The subject matter is also quite different from what we’re used to from you. What compelled you to go that more serious route?
It didn’t feel as though I had a lot of choice in the matter. This was really a story that ‘picked me’ (to say it with a big cliché.) The themes the book deals with also beg a more serious approach than what I’m used to writing (e.g. in French Kissing, which also deals with serious subjects but, perhaps, in a different tone—more tongue-in-cheek.) In At the Water’s Edge the drama needed to come from the characters and what they’re going through internally, instead of from plot twists and conspiracies to bring down politicians and such things.
The author’s note at the end of the book indicates that the subject is pretty close to your heart and has touched you personally. Can you tell us how much of you there is in Ella?
Ella’s story is not my story, but I can certainly sympathise with a lot of the emotions she goes through. Just like Ella, I’ve struggled with depression throughout my life, and creating a character that has gone through much of the same as I have, was a fine balancing act because where do you draw the line? To answer your question more directly: there’s quite a bit of me in Ella.
That being said, I like to believe I have some of Kay in me also (and vice versa.) (And, just like Ella, I also have a massive crush on Kay.)
You seem to be undergoing a bit of a re-branding, from lesbian erotica writer to lesbian fiction writer. Does this mean we have to say goodbye to the hot lady loving scenes we’ve come to expect from you?
No, of course not. As long as I write romance, I will be writing love scenes. I believe I can’t help myself. At the Water’s Edge has three such scenes as well, and—off the top of my head—I think the orgasm count is six. 😉
I did think it was necessary to ‘re-brand’ myself because, despite a few hot scenes (that serve the story well, I hope), At the Water’s Edge decidedly is not erotica. It’s not only romance either, as it deals with other themes like depression, redemption, healing and family.
I do hope to write more of these kinds of stories, which doesn’t mean I won’t be writing erotica any more (because you never forget your first love!)
What are you working on right now and what can we expect in the coming weeks/months?
I’m currently writing the second season of my serial French Kissing. The ladies seem to have gotten themselves into quite a spot of bother again. But my first release after At the Water’s Edge will be a novelette called Piano Lessons. It features a threesome and cougars and, well, the piano is of lesser importance, really. I’ve also decided to develop my novelette As Years Go By into a novel. But first, I’m going on holiday. I’ve written more than 300.000 words of highly dramatic lesbian fiction already this year, and my brain needs a break.
Here is the blurb
After a traumatic event that has left her in deep need of healing, Ella Goodman returns to her hometown in Oregon. While staying at her family’s cabin at the West Waters lake resort, she finds an unexpected friend in level-headed owner Kay Brody. But Ella’s sole objective is to restore the broken ties with her family, and she has no time for distractions like falling in love. The healing process is confrontational and difficult though, and she is soon forced to realize that people like Kay only come along once in a lifetime.