The Novel Approach is pleased to welcome Stella Harris today, who’s here to talk a little bit about the new anthology from Storm Moon Press, Legal Briefs. Please read on to see what Stella has to say about her contribution to the collection, as well as seeing where the proceeds of the sales of this compilation will be donated.
As a law school dropout I speak with, well, absolutely no authority whatsoever. That said, I’ve felt an affinity with the legal profession since my law school experience. I even worked a summer in the law library. (Sexy librarian anyone? But that’s another story…) Of course, for the most part I’m just glad I dodged the bullet of a profession that really wasn’t a good fit for me.
In my latest short story in the Legal Briefs anthology, my protagonist, Melanie, is so focused on her career that her personal life becomes non-existent. While her degree of cluelessness may seem extreme, it’s close to the all-consuming reality of law I experienced. And a big part of why I ran the other way.
The other issue is that, even today, same-sex relationships don’t always seem like an option – the possibility doesn’t even hit the radar – so if you don’t want to do what you’re friends are doing, you think maybe dating just isn’t for you at all.
Melanie tackles her problem rather adorably. And, like a lot of my story, it may seem a bit farfetched, but it also stems from reality. I’ve been the female chaperone to a strip club on more than one occasion when a gal friend wanted to check one to see how she’d feel when faced with a naked woman – up close and personal.
This, of course, is not an approach I’d recommend. Nudity alone does very little for me – and I imagine this is true for many people. I’ve got to have a spark of interest in someone before I’m particularly interested in what they’ve got under their clothes. And before you point to crushes on celebrities or models as proof against my claim, consider this: people often think they ‘know’ their favorite actor or actress from the roles they’ve played or the interviews they’ve given. I maintain it comes down to personality a great deal of the time, even if it’s just the idea of a person we hold in our head.
But, back to Melanie’s situation. She’s lucky that upon realizing she’s interested in other women, there are no significant barriers to exploring that option. She never faces homophobia in any form; she isn’t disowned by her family, no one threatens violence, and she doesn’t lose her job. Isn’t that the kind of world we’d all like to live in?
That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to be included in an anthology in support of LAMBDA Legal. I want everyone to have the freedom to love whomever they choose and to follow their heart, wherever it might lead.
I was lucky that my own coming out process was relatively painless. Sure people shouted ‘dyke’ at me when I held hands with another girl, but that’s about the worst I went through from outsiders. The hardest part, really, was being accepted by the queer community. Coming out as bisexual is tricky because you seem to make everybody unhappy! ‘Too queer for the straights and too straight for the queers’. Not to mention all the lovely folks who inform you the way you feel doesn’t exist.
Not only do I want same-sex couples to have the right to follow their hearts and their passions, I want all people to have the freedom to do what feels right. If that means same-sex or different sex, if it means multiple partners, or any other alternative relationship style – as long as it’s between consenting adults and everyone is happy, I think more love is always a good thing. To quote Wendy-O Matik, “To give love is a personal and revolutionary act.”
So, do you want to find out if Melanie finds someone she feels a spark for? Even better, want to read in steamy detail what happens if and when she does? Then I suggest you pick up a copy of Storm Moon Press’ Legal Briefs to read my story, “Study Buddy”, and all the other fantastic stories in the collection. Not only are they great reads, but you’ll be supporting LAMBDA Legal, too!
Stella Harris has loved books for as long as she can remember. Her mother was a librarian, and so Stella spent countless hours hiding and exploring among the stacks. She believes to this day that books hold all the secrets worth knowing. Her latest short story, “Study Buddy”, can be found in Storm Moon Press’ Legal Briefs anthology. Stella can also be found on her website at www.stellaharris.net or on Twitter @stellaerotica.