Author Spotlight – Harper Bliss
Meet Lesbian Fiction Author Harper Bliss
Our reviewer Valden had this to say about Harper’s books:
Harper Bliss is one of the most talented, prolific, and dearly loved authors of steamy lesbian romance in the world. Whenever one of her books is released, she has a loyal set of readers that follow her and buy that book – myself included! If you enjoy series, then she currently has two on the go; the Pink Bean series and French Kissing (both hot, hot, hot too!). In addition, she has a third, High Rise, which is complete. In between issuing these, Harper has released a steady stream of stand-alone stories.
Her books often involve ladies in the second flush of youth – over 35 (!), and she shows that they have emotional and sexual needs as much as women in the younger set. Harper also has the rare ability to understand and easily communicate the complex layers in friendships and relationships that hook the reader and draw them into her books. Go buy book 1 in any of her series to see what I mean…. such wonderful stories!
We spoke to Harper Bliss about her books and her writing plans for the year.
(a) Tell us something interesting about your last published book.
My latest release is French Kissing: Season Four, my version of The L Word, set in Paris. It’s extremely dramatic and a little bit soap opera-ish and may even contain more emotions than the average lesbian can process on a given day. 😉
Season 3 of French Kissing, which came out 2 years ago, was supposed to be the last, but I just couldn’t stop myself!
I’ve had quite a few readers ask me if Dominique Laroche’s character is based on Marine Le Pen, which is like a knife to my heart (can you tell I have a flair for the dramatic?) because there’s no way I would ever write a character that belongs to a Far Right extremist party. Dominique does belong to a right-wing party (which makes for all sorts of head-butting with the left-wing lesbians she hangs out with in her private life), but thankfully there’s still a big difference between the Right and the Far Right.
(b) What got you into writing?
As so many writers, I’ve written all my life. I got lucky when my wife was sent to Hong Kong for work and I quit my job to follow her. I found myself with a lot of free time on my hands (and a very active imagination) just as ebooks started gaining popularity. I thought I’d give it a try and here we are seven years later…
(c) Can you tell us about your writing style? How do you decide on plots and characters? Are you a planner or a pantser?
I’m a pretty extreme pantser. Before I start a new book I do flesh out the characters (and fantasy-cast them–such fun!) and their backstory and I know what the major conflicts will be, but then I just start and take it from there.
So much happens when I just write within the loose constraints I set myself. I’m a big believer in what Stephen King calls the ‘boys in the basement’ (although I’d much rather refer to them as the ‘girls’, of course!) and how story develops in the subconscious mind. I’m currently writing my 20th novel and I could never have thought up all that drama by straightforwardly plotting it.
(d) If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
‘Hire’ my wife as my cover designer sooner (instead of trying to do it myself even when she sweetly asked, “Honey, how about I give this a try?”)
(e) What is next for you? What is your next project?
I’m currently writing Book 8 in the Pink Bean Series. After that I’m starting on a new series set in Brussels (because we just moved back and how many lesfic books are set in the capital of Europe?). Expect some EU intrigue… and maybe a Brexit joke or two. (And the most reviled French Kissing character may make a comeback. I won’t name names, but she’s from Brussels.)
VALDEN’s TOP PICKS
Oh, how I have loved this series!
I have it in book form and on audio and have re-read and re-listened to it. You really need to catch the first three seasons to get the benefit of this book, but it will not be a waste of your money, I promise. The central characters in this book are Dominique and Stephanie, and it is two years after Season 3. The story has a political feel to it, as do many in this series, but it also deals with the difficulties in relationships, as we find things are not running smoothly in the Elysée. We have new characters, as well as old friends in Camille and Zoya from Pink Bean 4, an intuitive crossover that broadens both the story and the characters beautifully. So…… now I am waiting for the audio!
It has been called an age-gap romance, and yes, it is that. But in truth, it is a journey through grief with love and tenderness and the accompanying pain. It involves grieving sex and passionate sex, and in that sense, it has been called controversial. The story will leave you feeling as if a whirlwind just swept through your emotions and given you such an empty feeling. It is written from the point of view of Sophie, who has just lost her husband and the only person who seems to understand her feelings which range between anger, loneliness and the futility of life, is Dolores, her mother-in-law. For the rest of the story, you must read it – it is brilliant!