Image of a heart with rainbows

Lizzie’s Back and She’s Building a Bunker

Lizzie is Back
It’s been almost 10 years since I published my first book, A Woman Lost, in July 2013.

At the time, I had no idea how much readers would fall for the clueless main character, Lizzie, and her crazy family. This past week, I published the 10th book in the series, and I still can’t believe it!

Come with me on a little journey of how this all came to be.

The making of a series, completely by accident

A Woman Lost was never meant to be a series. In fact, when readers started emailing to ask if there would be more Lizzie books, at first I said no. If you’ve ever written a book, or even if you’ve started to, you may know how much blood, sweat, and tears get poured into it. This book was a standalone if for no other reason than I couldn’t imagine going through all that again. But after about the thirtieth email, I started to wonder if I was making a mistake by not continuing Lizzie’s adventures in life.

One thing about this book is it is not a traditional romance. It’s more of a family saga or women’s fiction book told from the point of view of a lesbian woman who is a history professor in Colorado. It’s about her life, including her love life. But because achieving the “happily ever after” wasn’t the main goal of my story, the more I thought about it, the easier it became for me to picture new situations for her to grapple with and try to overcome in her unique way.

I took a chance and wrote A Woman Ignored. This was supposed to be the end of it. But again, I received so many emails about when the next Lizzie book was coming out. And because this book follows an established couple, I got a ton of questions asking how it all started for them. Even though I was done with the series (or so I thought), I decided to publish a prequel to answer some of those origin questions.

Is Lizzie autistic? Well, is she?

There was one other question readers asked about Lizzie time and time again. Was Lizzie autistic? My kneejerk response was no. Of course Lizzie wasn’t autistic! You see, while I’m not Lizzie (I’m not a history professor, I don’t have a wife, let alone four kids), she’s the character I’m most like in my real life. And surely I wasn’t autistic, so why did everyone keep asking me if Lizzie was?

But those emails kept coming, and the more I was asked this question, the more overwhelmed I became. Autism wasn’t something I knew much about. And as I started to look into it, I’ll be honest, I was a little bit scared. Because if I had somehow created an autistic character, and that character was like me… you see where I’m going with this?

The part where I try to end the series because I’m a chicken

I will confess, that’s why I attempted to wrap up Lizzie’s story with book seven, A Woman Complete. For real this time. I even put the word “complete” in the title to drive home the point. I didn’t think I could do justice to Lizzie’s story if she was autistic. And if I was doing justice to the story, as I kept hearing from readers that I was, (including many who had sought an official autism diagnosis after reading the series because of how much they could relate to Lizzie), I didn’t want to deal with some of what that meant for me, the writer.

So, I was done. The Lizzie series was complete. Seven books and a prequel was a good run.

The series continues, despite my best intentions

Then COVID hit. I was trapped inside for what seemed like an eternity, and I couldn’t stop thinking about all those emails I’d received about Lizzie. I started reading about autism. The more I read, the less scared I became. This research led to a lot of self-discovery. Let’s just say, I became comfortable with the fact Lizzie was indeed autistic, even if I hadn’t realized it in the beginning. And I became comfortable with my own ability to write her character authentically. I also started to understand why I’d always felt like I never completely fit in and why I wasn’t on the same page as almost everyone else.

Ultimately, though, it wasn’t the research that made me go back to Lizzie. The pandemic, with its social distancing and lockdowns, was the real catalyst. What a bizarre time to be alive! Out of all my characters, I just knew Lizzie’s reaction to the pandemic would be comical in a way I really wanted to explore.

I just had to bring Lizzie out of retirement.

I published A Woman Trapped in 2021, and once Lizzie was out of the box again, there was no putting her back. A Woman Unhinged came out in 2022. Yesterday, I published the tenth book in the series, (not counting the prequel, so technically there are 11 Lizzie books.) If you haven’t delved into this series yet, all the books leading up to the latest release are on sale for 99c (international pricing varies). You’ll find links to all the books in the series below.

The part where I go off-topic and talk about tits

You can also get A Woman Lost, the first book, by signing up for my author newsletter. You’ll also receive bonus chapters and a free short story called Tropical Heat. My newsletters are not the same as the IHS emails. This is where I share about my own misadventures in life. I’ve been told by countless people who say they look forward to my emails because I make them smile. A lot of credit goes to my cat Grey, who loves to torment me by stealing my tits mugs. I talk about tits a lot in my newsletter (and in life), because I like… birds. I don’t know what else you may have been thinking, but this is definitely what I’m talking about. Cute little birds. There’s the Blue tit, the Coal tit, the Crested tit, the Great tit (I swear! Look it up!). Marsh tits. Willow tits…

Did you know fixation on an idea or concept is a sign of autism?

And now for some photos

This July, I’m planning on releasing another Lizzie novella. It’ll mark an important milestone in Lizzie’s life and mine since it’ll come out on my tenth anniversary of being a published author.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. For those of you who have followed Lizzie over the past 10 years, I couldn’t have done this without you. It’s because of you that I’m able to continue my dream of being a writer. It’s because I’m a writer that I Heart SapphFic exists. None of this would be possible without the love and support of this amazing community.

And finally, here’s the Lizzie series:

share on: