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Tiffany E. Taylor: Writing Midlife Sapphic Romance

Guest PostReaders love seeing themselves in fiction.

Today we have Tiffany E. Taylor, sapphic author, with a guest post to discuss writing for the 40+ audience, because there’s one universal truth in life: love is vital no matter one’s age.

Take it away, Tiffany!

Writing Midlife Sapphic Romance

If there’s one thing I consistently hear from readers in the world of sapphic fiction, it’s that books focusing on this particular subgenre—specifically novels that cater to the 40+ midlife crowd—are somewhat thin on the ground.

When I assembled my beta team for One More Chance, my first midlife sapphic romance, and gave my beta readers an overview on what they could expect, all I heard was, “Yes! It’s about time!” These readers love many different kinds of sapphic fiction, but they say reading about protagonists in their 20s can sometimes be a bit disconcerting for sapphics in their 40s or 50s (and beyond). Having passed the half century mark myself, I can most certainly relate.

When I was writing the story of Gen and Jake, the protagonists in One More Chance, my then 40-something femme self could completely relate to Gen: She is a professional woman with a formidable education and a powerhouse career—someone with whom I had much more in common than with a 23-year-old barista. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a young barista, my more seasoned beta and ARC readers and I were able to connect with Gen on a level that went much deeper for us.

And Jake? She is undeniably attracted to Gen, finding a woman desirable for the first time since her wife passed away seven years prior. But how does someone in her mid-forties even fathom the possibility of starting over again, when the love of her life has been so tragically taken from her? How does she reconcile her almost debilitating loss in the past with her newfound all-consuming desire in the present—especially when she’s positive her romantic life had ended the day her wife died?

For her part, Gen has been so disillusioned by her previous relationships, she has convinced herself that the fantasy lover she’s constructed in her mind is nothing more than a figment of her imagination. Devoting herself exclusively to both her career and the baby daughter she had decided to have on her own, she has no intention of ever falling again for the mythical fairytale of happily-ever-after. When a friend posts a sultry personal ad Gen had written as a joke on a dating site, Gen is initially beside herself and vows to ignore any responses she might receive—until Jake responds in the same vein.

When the two finally meet, sparks fly and Jake discovers in Gen the one woman in this world who can help her finally heal from her loss. But it’s anyone’s guess if Jake will be able to slay her demons and take another chance on love with tender, compassionate Gen. When Jake initially balks, seemingly stuck in her world of pain and sorrow, Gen and her shattered heart tell Jake resolutely, “I can’t live in the past, Jake. I owe Gia the future,” before leaving Jake’s home to return to her own. Her spine of steel, even in the midst of her heartbreak, reflects a middle-aged woman who has seen a great deal of life already, and her reactions reflect that in a way that perhaps a woman of 20-something could not.

There is a happily-ever-after ending to their love story, but it takes a midlife journey through self-discovery and determination—for both Jake and Gen—before they earn their reward. The trek is arduous for them at times, two 40-something queer women who have already experienced the world more deeply than they ever had in their twenties. However, while the risks to them may be bigger at this stage of their lives, they also discover the final gift is much, much sweeter.

Midlife sapphic romance explores how queer females think and feel and react from the midpoint of their lives instead of from the time when things felt shinier and new—a later in life time when taking the greatest risks can also lead to reaping the greatest rewards. As the book description of One More Chance says: Sometimes, risking everything to take one more chance on love might ultimately be your salvation.

About the Author

Tiffany E. Taylor Profile PictureTiffany E. Taylor lives with her spouse and their daughter in an idyllic little west-central Florida coastal town where the sapphic invasion is in full force.

When a major stroke felled her in the summer of 2017, causing her to lose complete function in her dominant right side, she thought her budding writing career was over. Through sheer determination and hard work, however, she found a way around those obstacles. Tiffany hopes her journey through the world of stroke survival will serve as an inspiration for disabled people everywhere.

The Taylors belong to the butch/femme community about which she writes about so passionately. The Panther and the Dove, the second book in Tiffany’s 40+ midlife series The Dance, will be published in the first half of 2023.

Tiffany’s website links

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