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How long have you been writing queer romance?
Since 2010, when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I lost the full use of my hands for about three or four months. Once they recovered, I figured if I wanted to write, the time was now.
When did you come out as non-binary?
I think it was five or six years ago. Having done so, many things became clearer, and much of the pressure I felt to act like someone I'm not has gone away. Many things from my adolescence and young adulthood that I thought just made me strange and awkward and unique, actually were just me being queer the whole time. I have identified inwardly as male for a long time. But I'm largely at peace with my body and feel no urge to physically transition. If I do wear a dress I wear boots or sneakers with it.
Are you married?
Yes, to my best friend, who has accommodated to me coming out as non-binary and being a writer of kinky and queer erotic romance! We have two children, 19 and 16. Parenthood has been my biggest challenge and greatest accomplishment. Also, I wouldn't be able to write full time if my husband didn't work and make enough money to support us. I'm very lucky, because not having to work an outside job has meant that I can get the rest I need and avoid massive amounts of stress, which has meant the world to managing this disease. I have no physical disability from my MS at this point, and fingers crossed that continues for awhile.
Why do you write erotic romance?
I've always found human sexuality to be a fascinating thing to explore. And queer sexuality has intrigued me since I was in my twenties. I searched out queer fiction before it became hugely popular. I read the novels of Paul Monette in my twenties and found them to be life-affirming and optimistic, even though he was writing about people who lost partners to the AIDS epidemic. I wrote an essay on Male Homosexual Identity for my Human Sexuality class in university and also one on Androgyny.
That was the best class and if I could go back I would do my Masters in human sexuality. I wish I had done that, but I was tired of school and disillusioned with post-secondary education. I did do a post diploma program in Dramatic Scriptwriting at the local college when I was twenty-six, which was a blast and I met a lot of very cool people with whom I'm still in contact. It helped me with my writing as did my psychology degree, in the end. So not a waste of time and money after all.
I also write non-erotic, optimistic queer romance for young adults as Alison Lister.
What do you want people to get out of your books?
I want them to see all the good things about being queer. I want them to see confident queer people living their best lives, because for so long the representation out there for queer folks was negative and limited and depressing. I want to present all forms of queer sexuality in a positive light, and show kinky queer people as loving and kind and wonderful, as I know for a fact most of them are. At the same time, I want to demystify queer sexuality and show people loving other people in all the ways they can.
Where can people support you?
They can sign up to my VIP Email List, follow me on Instagram, or join The Bordello, my reader group on Facebook. But the best way to support me is to read my books and leave a positive review at Goodreads, Amazon, and/or Bookbub if they enjoyed it. Good reviews sell books, and authors like me are always pleased to get them.
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