Guest Blog: Taryn Rose
Inception of L World
I had attended a conference where I met Lori Perkins, the editorial director at Ravenous Romance, who was on the hunt for a lesbian series. “Something like Showtime’s ‘The L Word,’ centering on a group of lesbian friends,” she said. I immediately lit up. You see, a few years ago I won a scene writing competition for “The L Word,” so it felt like fate had intervened. I knew I was meant to write this series.
Lori gave me ten minutes to prepare a series pitch and I began furiously jotting down ideas. I scribbled “L World, Greenwich Village bar and club” on a napkin and from there, the story took off. I wrote character descriptions as each woman appeared in my mind’s eye and began plotting how their lives would intersect. I had a sense that the story, at least the first installment, would focus on a new inductee into the eponymous L World; perhaps she’s someone who’s fantasized about being intimate with another woman but never acted on her hidden desires. And what brings her into a gay bar? Maybe she encounters a very different woman than herself that intrigues her, and she follows her there. I’ve always enjoyed romances between characters from two different worlds.
And the idea takes form.
Enter Blake. A stiff but sexy attorney who encounters a sensual, free-spirit that awakens her dormant lesbian passion. But who? Where?
Enter Janie. Stylist to the mega-rich who gives Blake a post-divorce makeover that escalates into an intense one-sided sexual experience for Blake. Of course the attraction proves mutual later on and complications follow: Janie already has a girlfriend, Blake fears coming out to her son and colleagues, among other obstacles. But that would be developed later.
Lori returned and I began my pitch. I bumbled a bit, but overall she seemed pleasantly surprised and interested in developing my concept—and she took me to lunch. I was on cloud nine THOUSAND! Later, I was advised to follow up with a detailed written proposal and sample chapters. And BAM! I got my first book deal.
In the following excerpt from L World, Blake and Janie are on what seems to be their first date:
Janie took a quick swig of her vodka. Normally, she would be perfectly relaxed on a date. She was used to being desired. But the nervous energy Blake was emitting muddied what Janie thought were the obvious intentions of this evening. Admittedly, Janie was at a point in her life where she had very little patience for closeted women and she recognized that Blake likely fell into that category. This woman better not tell me she’s married, thought Janie, who, despite her better judgment found herself hoping for more than a one-night-stand with this hot lawyer babe. The lights dimmed and a saxophone player and bassist began to play, creating a relaxed vibe.
“I’m recently divorced, you know,” said Blake, and she looked up, meeting Janie’s eyes.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Divorced is better than married, she thought.
“It’s for the best. Philip and I were more like old friends than a married couple,” said Blake, and Janie sensed she still had unresolved emotion.
“I know how that is. I mean, I’ve never been married, but there’ve been times when I realized that the person I was with was more like a close friend, or a great roommate. It just gets tricky when the other person doesn’t see it that way.”
“We had some of that,” Blake laughed. “I have a son too. Wesley,” Blake added, seeming tentative.
“Oh, I love that name. Poor little guy. How’s he taking everything?”
“He’s 17,” Blake laughed, “He saw it coming for a long time, probably even before we did.”
“You have a seventeen-year-old? How is that possible?” Janie laughed and acted cool, even though she was surprised that her potential love interest was the mother of a high-schooler.
“You’re sweet, Janie. I was a young mother,” Blake said. “He’s a very independent boy, a real city kid. He had a short stint at Exeter Academy, until he got kicked out.”
“Oh my God! He sounds like a character!”
“It was probably a cry for attention. I was insanely busy back then, during the whole Enron debacle. We represented the largest group of creditors in the chapter 11 case,” she boasted, but Janie’s expression must have made it clear that she didn’t appreciate what a big deal that was because Blake changed the subject. “Wesley’s father wasn’t around much either.”
“Aww, poor sweetie,” Janie said, and felt herself blush.
“Well, he always has a girlfriend at his side, taking care of him, bailing him out of trouble, whatever the case may be. Wesley has no shortage of charm.”
“I’d love to meet him one day,” Janie said, and she meant it. She felt a connection to the beautiful and complicated woman she was dining with.
“I feel like I’ve been going on about myself. How about you?
Before embarking on her literary career, Taryn spent five years as an associate at a national law firm, fantasizing about writing novels instead of briefs. When she caught herself changing the facts of a case to make it sound more interesting, she had a feeling it was time to move on. Her first book, L World, was released by Ravenous Romance on January 25, 2012. You can visit Taryn at her personal blog, http://tarynroseauthor.blogspot.com, and follow her on Twitter @TarynRose1