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    michelleMichele Karlsberg: What is the biggest thing that people think they know about your current book’s subject/genre that isn’t so?

    Chris Paynter: There is an expression: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” My latest release, From Third to Home, the third in the Playing for First series, proves this point. The main story is about a woman breaking through the glass ceiling in playing for a major league baseball team. Complicating her situation is the misogyny, bigotry, and abuse she must endure in proving her worth. To earn acceptance as a player, she has to be even better than the norm. Also weighing on her mind is her wife’s struggles to have a child. I think the biggest misconception about this book, as well as Playing for First and Two for the Show that preceded it, is that they are strictly about baseball. While the stage is indeed baseball, each chapter of From Third to Home resonates with romantic story arcs and real-life struggles that the characters must face and overcome. The characters all have a loving partner or wife to provide the spark of romance that runs throughout the series. I purposely wrote From Third to Home and the other two novels in a way that a reader can pick up each book and enjoy a story that stands on its own. My goal as an author is to engage the reader with a well-rounded storyline, of which baseball is only a backdrop.

    Chris Paynter, author and publisher at Companion Publications, has published seven lesbian novels, including the Lambda Literary Finalist and Ann Bannon Popular Choice Winner, “Survived by her Longtime Companion.” She lives in Indianapolis with her wife and their beagle, Buddy the Wonder Dog.

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    JD Glass: I think that most people think one of two things: they’ve either read it before (they haven’t, everything’s been re-written, expanded, and re-edited, with some variations to storyline that have never been seen before) or–and this is the big one–that the books have to be read “in order.” Everything I’ve written is meant to stand alone; do the worlds connect? Well, absolutely–it’s all the same world. People in the stories, like people in “real life,” know each other, or of each other, or have interacted with someone who knows someone, who used to hang out with so-and-so … and I think that makes for some really neato Easter eggs and discoveries when, as a reader, you do pick up another book, and then learn more about someone. The current one, Glass Lions, continues to expand on this, referring to the characters from Punk Like Me, and is told from a point of view (Fran’s, for those familiar with this world) not heard before. The upcoming one, Drawn Together, also has a recurring character from other books in an expanded role, one that shows how the character has evolved (or devolved) over time. Much like the neighborhoods and cliques we grow up with and subsequently form as we grow and go through life, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find any of these characters from any of these stories, running into each other at work, at play, or even a local coffee shop. Just like any of us.

    Artist-musician JD Glass is the author of “Glass Lions,” “Punk Like Me,” “Red Light” and “First Blood.” She is also a selection editor and contributor to the anthology “Outsiders.” Called by some the voice of a generation and an erotic philosopher by others, JD often works in familiar-seeming worlds, with people we know, people like ourselves and people we’d like to meet. JD provides powerful stories that allow the reader to rejoice and wonder, stumble and fall, then rejoice victoriously again at the amazing experience of being human.

    Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management specializes in publicity for the LGBT community. This year, Karlsberg celebrates twenty-seven years of successful book campaigns.