Meet This Sistah is your chance to discover more about the authors of newly published books.
Meet Anne Shade, the sistah who has written a sensual novel that proves true love can outgrow the closet we put surround ourselves with.
Name: I know this seems like a simple question but when it comes to my name I like to quote Shakespeare, “What is in a name?” Anne Shade is my pen name. “Anne” is my middle name and “Shade” is for the many shades of love there are in the world. I wanted something to represent the fact that love is never black and white it comes in many variations, textures and shades.
Books Written: Deepest Desire is my first lesbian romantic novel but I have two historicals and one contemporary romantic fiction novel published under another name.
Where Are You From: New Jersey by way of Chicago
Age: 43 and proud of it
Straight, Lesbian or Bisexual: If I HAVE to choose, I would say Bisexual but I truly don’t believe in labeling. I love who I love. It just so happens that I love the soft curves and touch of a woman a more than the roughness of a man (said with a grin).
Stud, Femme or No Labels: Definitely a femme but there are those rare occasions I let my butch side come out to play.
Your Hobbies: I love working out. The rush of adrenaline, the satisfaction of doing something that benefits my mind and body, and the sweat, is all a huge turn on for me. I have to be careful sometimes because I have been known to overdo it just to get the rush from it.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less: Hmm…that’s a tough one…passionate, loving, nonjudgmental, self-acceptance, complex…does a hyphenated word count as one?
Your philosophy: I’m going to quote from a poem I wrote titled “The Acceptance of Me”: I will forever be the optimist who sees the cup as half full rather than half empty, believing that everyone has good intentions (until they prove me wrong) and that a little love can make all the difference.
Facebook page: I can be found on Facebook under Anne Shade
Twitter: not yet
Likes/Dislikes: My likes are neo-soul music, taking long walks on warm, beautiful days/nights, and letting my characters lead me on some terrific journeys. My dislikes are people who aren’t true to themselves and don’t take responsibility for their own decisions or actions, and cold weather. I’m truly looking forward to retiring down south or on a Caribbean island somewhere.
Political Affiliation: Independent but I tend to lean more towards Democrat. I believe in the best person for the job or, in some past elections, the lesser of two evils.
Deepest Desire is a slow-building but very erotic. Where did the idea for the novel come from?
The idea came when several friends of mine liked my first two novels so much they said they’d love to see what I could do with lesbian characters. They dropped the gauntlet; I picked it up and ran with it.
Who do you identify more with as a character, Eve or Lynnette?
I identify more with Eve. She became the woman I’ve just recently come to know in myself. Eve helped me discover Anne and all the complexities of who I truly am. Instead of a simple story of lesbian romance the novel became something deeper, even cathartic for me. The characters became connected to me in a way that my heterosexual characters from my previous novels never did. I like to give all my female characters a little bit of my own personality, but I’ve put much more of myself in Deepest Desire than I did any of my other novels.
Do you think a relationship can work when one partner is in the closet?
No, I don’t think it can. I’ve watched several friends try to make it work and it only caused more misery and pain for them because it only puts them right back in the closet with their partner. They’ve come to a point in their life when they’re finally accepting themselves and being open about who they are and they have to turn right back around and hide again because of their own partner’s fear. How can you fully give yourself to someone when you can’t even accept or love the person you are and how can that person truly love you the way you deserve if they can only express it behind closed doors. I believe love is something to be shared openly and freely not locked away only to be brought out in the dark of night.
So what is sexy to you?
I was at a book fair last month and saw two women standing at another author’s table. One of the women wore a pair of skinny jeans that looked as if she’d painted them on, a tight, low cut T-shirt with some sexy phrase on it, a pair of 6-inch stilettos, weave flowing down her back, and make-up done just right. The other woman was dressed in a pair of nicely fitting, faded, somewhat bell-bottom jeans, some flat leather thong sandals, a tank top, hair so short she could’ve been mistaken for bald from a distance, no makeup except for a subtle shine on her lips and big, ethnic jewelry. Although I, as well as every other man and woman in the room, couldn’t help but notice the ultra femininity of the first woman, my attention was constantly drawn to the second woman. Her natural beauty was far more alluring to me than the blatant sensuality of the other woman. The carefree way she carried herself, the way she was doing her own thing with confidence, showed that she didn’t take herself so seriously. That’s what sexy is to me, a subtle, alluring attitude that says, “Yeah, I know I’m sexy but I don’t have to be so obvious about it in order to get my point across.” That’s something I try to live by.
What inspires you to write such tantalizing tales?
The simplest answer is passion. Passion for writing, passion for living, passion for loving. I’m a very emotional and sexual being and I love showing that in my writing. I also love giving readers a story they not only can relate to through the characters lives and situations but something they can also be teased and tantalized by.
What are you working on next?
I currently have a few projects in the works. The biggest is Forbidden Masquerade, a historical lesbian romance that takes place during the Harlem Renaissance, which I’m looking to release this fall. I’ve been asked to write a young adult lesbian romance for a collection of stories by other lesbian authors which is also due to be released this year as well. Last but not least, I’ve started outlining a book of erotic short stories and a book of poetry, and in the process of converting my books to e-book format. Because I love writing so much my mind is constantly at work and I find that If I don’t get it all on paper I feel like I’m neglecting a very important part of myself.
Interviewed August 2010