Close up of the face and hands of black business woman as she laughs and claps. Behind her another person also claps.

Surviving that First Panel – Moderators and Panelists

Karin Kallmaker Business of Books, Events and Appearances, Resources 0 Comments

Panels are a terrific way in the sapphic fiction world to boost your professional street cred and talk about your work. You’re in the midst of a group of other pros – some of whom might be real rock stars in the room – and you get to learn from them about both their work and how to manage the panel experience.

Panels can be live as part of a larger conference, or a one-off hosted by a bookstore or library. They can be online during a weekend writing course, or an hour of a fun topic organized by authors or publishers as a way to engage readers. Each event will be different, and each will have its own audience.

I’ve attempted here to create a useful list of advance work you can do to take some of the anxiety out of the experience, set up realistic expectations, and manage the event itself. Some of these tips won’t work for you. Every event is different. So please consider this a wide-ranging set of tools you can customize to each event as needed.

Ready? Let’s go! Read More

Albuquerque Take Flight Golden Crown Annual Conference logo with hot air balloon aloft in dark morning sky GCLS 2022

GCLS 2022 – Birthing Books and More

Karin Kallmaker Events and Appearances, Sisters of the Pen 0 Comments

Once the Googlerithmz realize we’re writers, we’re bombarded with online ads touting the only way to get an idea out of your head and onto the page. Hooey. Absolute hooey.

meme, the only wrong way to write a book is not to write the book - all other ways are the right way - karin kallmaker

You can quote me. Marketing, quality, style, tone, plot – none of it matters if the page is blank.

How Books Get Born

It’s fantastic that pandemic protocols have eased and the Golden Crown Literary Society is resuming their live annual conference event. (Virtual series events remain too!) It’s been my good fortune to moderate So I Had This Idea – From Idea to Published Work panel over the years. Writers tell the stories of their stories. If you’re attending, mark your Friday morning at 9 a.m. to join us.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced author or just starting out. Read More

Blue sky and green trees behind Rainbow Progress, Dublin City, California State, and United States Flags snapping in the wind

The Best Kind of Surprises and Pride in ALL of Our Books

Karin Kallmaker Cowboys and Kisses 0 Comments

I am continually, delightfully surprised by the reader love for Cowboys and Kisses. As always, I’m never quite sure what aspect of any story will form the magic connection with readers. I usually think I know, and I am often wrong. With this particular story, it might be that the two women might have actually existed in some frontier town, and lived happy lives together.

One reader said it was a “love story that sticks to your bones.” Another said Read More

young white woman with brown hair in pigtail buns clutches her cheeks in terror saying "What have I done?"

Rookie Amateur Mistake = Opportunity, Right?

Karin Kallmaker Business of Books, Cowboys and Kisses 2 Comments

I messed up. Making a rookie amateur mistake is generally not a good thing when you’ve been around as long as I have, but it ended up being a good thing. At least I think so.

It has to do with books and how they’re printed. Specifically, all the magic behind making color that’s true and stays true whether a book is printed in the USA, India, or (eventually, right?) on Mars.

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK = CMYK

There’s a lesson I learned a very long time ago about the difference between computer screens and printing presses. What you can see on the former can’t be reproduced on the latter. It’s all about how color is processed by each device. Here’s an approximation of the difference between RGB and CMYK with the basic colors of red, green, and blue. Read More

dark haired light skinned woman in blue shirt and yellow beret against plain light blue backgrounds looks likes she hatching a plan

Rule #2 for the Win – A Femme’s Tale of a 1980s Workplace

Karin Kallmaker Cowboys and Kisses, LIFE + STYLE 8 Comments

Breaking the rules without looking like you’re breaking the rules. It’s something I tried to excel at as a child. Like Ways-to-Get-Ice-Cream-Even-Though-It-Will-Spoil-My-Dinner.

In my early years of loving as a lesbian and living as a femme woman in a world where nearly all rules were made by men to benefit men, I discovered ways to look like I went along with the rules even as I used the rules to resist the rules. I call that Subverting the Patriarchy. It could be good fun, and often eased the relentless pinpricks of sexism and male privilege. Read More

white cake with chocolate pieces and frosting drips with black and red berries

What Happened Next, Round 3

Karin Kallmaker Book News, Readers and Libraries 77 Comments


Drawing and comment period is now closed. Winners announced in this comment.


(Apologies to those who received this post in their inbox twice. Something went awry with the interwebs WordPress magicks and it was not pretty!)

Has Kesa finally designed a dress for Jennifer Lamont to wear to the Oscars? Is Helen Baynor still the Queen of Broadway? Do Kip and Tam ever have a chance to get away from the job? Will anyone ever give Lisa the credit she is due for always being right? Does a TikTok world offer celebrity chef Valkyrie Valentine a way to go viral? Do Alice and Pepper really go on an all-science road trip? Read More

Names and “Fallen” Women

Karin Kallmaker Cowboys and Kisses 11 Comments


Drawing and comment period is now closed. Winners announced in this comment.


The old-fashioned western was popular when I was growing up. My grandmother had bookcases of Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey. My dad never missed a John Wayne flick. The iconic tropes of movies like Destry Rides Again were so powerful that 65 years later Blazing Saddles satirized that film and others, and everybody got the joke.

For myself, I might have been more engrossed watching Marlene Dietrich and Madeline Kahn in their performances as “fallen” women than the scenery and six-shooters. I have to put quotes on “fallen” because no western I’ve ever read or seen asks, “Fallen from what and according to whom?” Read More

Reader review Touchwood This verrrrry slow burn romance is honest, beautiful and yes – sexy.

30 Years? How Can that Be?!

Karin Kallmaker Touchwood 30th Anniversary Edition 44 Comments


Drawing and comment period is now closed. Winner announced in the most recent comment.


I still can’t believe it’s been thirty years since the love story of Rayann and Louisa made its way out into the world. Half my brain accepts that events of that time are ancient history now, but the other half feels like I wrote this story merely “a while back.” Before I had kids, you know, not that long ago except both have graduated college now… Well sh*t.

Thirty years went by really fast.

It’s strange to realize that an age-gap romance I wrote in part to claim history for an older lesbian is now itself a step back in time for the younger woman’s experiences as well. I guess it’s not all that strange that all these years later I’d resonate with Louisa more than ever before. A lot of you who read the original back in the day and this edition now have said much the same thing. Read More