Never Give Up

by PJ Trebelhorn

I started writing “True Confessions” when I was 18 because in 1983 there wasn’t a lot of lesbian fiction out there that I could find, and I wanted to write a story about people I could relate to. Lynn and Jessie became like friends to me, and I spent the next 23 years writing that book, but I never finished it. I would write, and then rewrite, and then rewrite some more, and then I would put it away for a months at a time. And then I would rewrite again. I really wanted to finish it, but I think there was a big part of me that was afraid to type The End on that story, because then I would have to actually do something with it.

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2005, and sitting at home alone during the day was driving me nuts. My partner bought me a new laptop for my birthday the next year, with the expectation that I would write. Not wanting to let her down, I finally finished Lynn and Jessie’s story, which over the years had changed immensely, but I was still afraid of sending it out to a publisher. So over the next year, I wrote three other novels, and began sending them to Bold Strokes Books, but was rejected twice before I finally decided to send in “True Confessions”. I was disappointed when I received the rejection for that one, and I didn’t write at all for a few months after that.

When National Novel Writing Month came along in November of 2008, I sat myself down and started writingFrom This Moment On”. I finished it in 6 weeks, and when Radclyffe accepted that manuscript for publication, I was beyond ecstatic. I’ll never forget the feeling of holding that first book in my hand. It was a lifelong dream come true, because I wrote my first short story when I was 7 years old.

But having “True Confessions” finally published—after spending the past 28 years working on it—is the best feeling in the world. I’m going to miss those characters after spending so many years with them, but their story is finally out there, and I couldn’t be happier. I hope the readers are as happy with it as I am.

9 Responses to “Never Give Up”

  1. 1 bookgeek April 6, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Hi PJ,
    what an amazing story behind the stories, thanks for sharing. TC is already on my e-reader and I look forward to spending some time with Lynn & Jessie


  2. 3 reikicara April 6, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    I really enjoyed it. Keep writing! 🙂


  3. 5 Carsen Taite April 7, 2011 at 9:39 PM

    What a great example of perseverance. Thanks for sharing this with us.


  4. 7 ripley April 10, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    I loved From This Moment On and am anxiously awaiting my copy of True Confessions. Thanks for not giving up!


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