by Connie Ward


What made you decide to become a fiction writer?


I’ve been a voracious reader since childhood, and doesn’t every kid who likes to read want to be a writer? I became a literature professor, so books are a major part of both my professional and personal life. My PhD studies and early academic career put my creative writing on hold for about a decade, and now that I’m back to writing fiction, I’m thrilled to be doing it again.




What type of stories do you write?  And why?


I’ve published romance, primarily, but I also love mystery, horror, and science fiction, so I might explore these genres down the road. I love to read all of them, so it makes sense to try writing them.




What do your family/friends think about your writing?


They’re as thrilled as I am and, in some cases, if possible, more. I have a very strong support system, and I think my happiness means a lot to them.



Where do you get your ideas?


A Palette for LoveA Palette for Love is very, very vaguely based on Fifty Shades of Grey and came from a conversation with my wife after we both read E.L. James’s series. We asked each other what a lesbian Fifty Shades would look like. That question was the catalyst for the book and the sequel, Canvas for Love, though again, to even say that these books are “inspired by” the Grey series is probably a stretch.


My next novel, Love in Disaster, takes place during Hurricane Katrina, an event I lived through. At the time, it was, of course, an awful experience for those of us in the areas Katrina affected, but I remember wondering what was happening to the tourists that couldn’t get out of there on time. I took that kernel of an idea and wrote a novel about it.



How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?


Recently, I’ve had to work a little more with a plan because I’ve been writing a sequel, and the sequel needed to tie up a lot of loose ends in the first book. Usually, however, I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda woman. I tend start with one small idea and expand from that.Love in Disaster_final


What makes A Palette for Love special to you?


The idea that people will read something I’ve read and be entertained and possibly moved is a genuinely incredible feeling. Having my fiction published also fulfills a major bucket-list category, so that’s one more check mark.



How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?


I would say very little, except I’m sure that’s probably not true. I tend to have academic main characters, since that’s the world I live and work in, and some of their experiences are based on my own or those of the academics I know.



Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most?  Do you have a favorite

of this author(s)?


Asking a book-nut to name some favorite authors is like asking me to name my favorite heartbeat: I like them all and couldn’t do without any of them. That said, Radclyffe, Georgia Beers, and Emma Donoghue have certainly written some of my favorite contemporary lesbian novels.


I also study early twentieth-century literature and have read some great lesbian fiction from the twenties and thirties by authors like Virginia Woolf, Molly Keane, Radclyffe Hall, and Gale Wilhelm.



Do you have any suggestions for new writers?


I tell my current students and used to tell my less-senior graduate students (when I was a graduate student) that half the battle is simply sitting down and writing almost every day. Half an hour a day, or an hour every other day—whatever—that’s how books, dissertations, and essays are written. Prioritize writing like you do anything else (taking a shower, going to the gym, watching MacGyver reruns), and you’ll find that it becomes a habit quickly.


Once you’ve won that battle and you’re actually sitting down most days of the week to write, don’t get hung up on outcome—just write whatever comes out of you. You can worry later about editing, about plot holes, about “audience,” and about everything else, but don’t let all of that get in the way on a first draft.


Just sit to write and you’re already a writer.



When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?


I play and coach a local roller-derby team and like brewing hard cider. I also play a lot of computer games and tabletop games with some other nerds like me.


  1. 1 Brooke Carr November 11, 2016 at 4:34 PM

    It was great to read your blog and I really liked A Palette For Love. In fact, I stayed up much too late last night finishing it 🙂 . I’m glad to hear about the sequel! The first thing I did after reading was going to the BSB site to see if the sequel was up next, and only saw your next book, which looks great as well. I look forward to the sequel and reading more of your books!


  2. 2 S.A. November 11, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    Thanks for sharing and introducing folks to yourself and your work. Looking forward to scoping your books out!


  3. 3 Devlyn November 13, 2016 at 12:23 AM

    I’m looking forward to reading Palette For Love. I enjoy watching Roller Derby and always feel jealous of the girls who are young enough to still get out there and play. Congrats on the release of your novel and I also look forward to its sequel and whatever follows.


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