Reading F/F: A Beginner’s Guide

At RT 17, Bold Strokes Books editorial and marketing consultant Ruth Sternglatz will moderate the panel Writing F/F: What Sells? The discussion will offer insight into what exactly readers of F/F romance are looking for. If you're as impatient for RT17 to begin as we are, you probably want this information right now. We totally understand. That's why we asked Ruth to tell us a bit about her panel and to share some books by the participating authors. Take it away, Ruth!

Do you like stories about women who live without apology? Do you want to write about strong women—doctors, mothers, teachers, soldiers, wives, lovers—chasing dreams and breaking hearts and having their hearts broken, wishing for love, hot for sex, finding HEA or HFN?

And can you imagine a romance without a man?

There’s loads of F/F across every genre of fiction and every sub-genre of romance and erotica. Mainstream authors write F/F. Like Emma Donoghue, the award-winning author of Room. Check out Landing, her contemporary F/F romance between a flight attendant and a museum archivist. Or bestselling crime writer Laurie R. King, who has five F/F crime novels featuring lesbian Detective Kate Martinelli. Start with the Edgar Award winning first, A Grave Talent.

Here are some suggestions to begin your exploration of F/F romance and erotica, and—bonus!—get to know the bestselling authors who’ll join us at RT for Writing F/F: What Sells?

  • Trauma Alert (First Responders Series) by Radclyffe: A contemporary romance between a trauma surgeon and a firefighter. The surgeon avoids love as inevitably transient because her one truth is the fragility of life, but she may have met her match in a woman who runs toward the flames. There’s plenty of action, both between the sheets (no fading to black here) and in the ER.
  • Courtship by Carsen Taite: Romantic legal intrigue, set in Washington, DC. Sparks fly and passion flares when Addison Riley, the first woman to be nominated as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, meets Julia Scott, the political operative assigned to shepherd her through the confirmation hearings. And that’s before the threats on Addison’s life begin.
  • The Soho Loft Romances (Kiss the Girl, Just Three Words, Ready or Not) by Melissa Brayden: Four women become BFFs as NYU undergrads, then stay in NYC and open an advertising agency together. And then one by one by…two, they meet Ms. Unexpectedly Right and fall in love. The path of love may not be smooth, but it’s always sweet and buoyed by friends.
  • The Puppy Love Romances (Rescued Heart, Run to You, Dare to Stay) by Georgia Beers: Three contemporary romances centered around an animal shelter in upstate New York. Each novel follows one staff member—the intake/adoption director, the bookkeeper, the owner—on her quest for romance. Even when she thinks she doesn’t want to fall in love.
  • Girls on Campus ed. Sandy Lowe and Stacia Seaman: A crash-course in F/F erotica, featuring nineteen erotic stories in a range of styles and voices set on and off campus. 

Registration for the 2017 RT Booklovers Convention in Atlanta is now open! If more RT17 tips is what you came for, we've got you covered