Kallmaker and her partner of more than 30 years reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. They were married on August 25, 2008, and are the mothers of two children, Kelson and Eleanor.
Born 1960, Sacramento, California. B.A., Business Administration, California State University, Sacramento. Kallmaker has 18 years experience with non-profit financial management. Workplaces, such as an association of home and health care service providers to the elderly, a private lender investing in projects to benefit low income people, and a half-year at an oil refinery, have provided background for many of her novels.
Considered a master at characterization, Kallmaker's work reflects the interior lives of her lesbian heroines, set primarily in romance novel situations. "Credible and spirited" protagonists also face contemporary social challenges, resulting in a body of work that reflects lesbian community history since her debut novel, In Every Port (1989), which included events surrounding the assassination of Harvey Milk in 1978. Her second novel, Touchwood, established her as a writer with "a sure sense of the power of language and of the power of eros." Her typical heroine is "the kind of indestructible and talented woman we all dream we could be -- much like Molly Bolt in Rubyfruit Jungle."
In spite of publishing the majority of her work as lesbian romance genre fiction, "there's something original to every book", featuring "complex stories of believable, vulnerable lesbian characters who grow strong through facing tough issues." Deeply influenced by mentor Katherine V. Forrest as an emerging writer, her fifth novel, Painted Moon, was hailed as "the next Curious Wine," and remains one of her most popular novels, fifteen years after its original publication. Crediting Jane Austen as a foremother of the modern novel, Kallmaker's Just Like That is a lesbian version of Pride and Prejudice.
Another homage-by-genre-twist novel is Christabel, inspired by the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem of the same name. Written initially under the pen name Laura Adams, Kallmaker dedicated the novel to Jeannette Howard Foster for her examination of the lesbian subtext, moving her to retell the story with the women triumphant. Her ability to push the boundaries of genre fiction while maintaining her popularity is epitomized by Maybe Next Time, "an engrossing, compelling story of redemption, healing and surviving," which won a Lambda Literary Award.
Her novels include the Golden Crown Literary Society and Lambda Literary Foundation award-winning 18th & Castro, In Deep Waters 1/2, Just Like That, The Kiss that Counted, Maybe Next Time, and Sugar. Her writing career began with Naiad Press, one of the shaping publishers of lesbian fiction. In 2001, she placed her work as Laura Adams with a new press, Bella Books. After Naiad Press closed in 2003, she moved the remainder of her lesbian romance titles to Bella. In 2008, she joined Bella Books as the press's first Editorial Director.
A "cleverly inventive" short story writer, she has published more than five dozen short stories in collections from her own publishers, as well as anthologies from publishers such as Alyson, Regal Crest Enterprises, Circlet Press, Bold Strokes, and Haworth Press. The genre of her stories go from vanilla romance to explicit erotica. In a May 2006 interview with Q Syndicate, Kallmaker discussed some of the resistance she faced to the idea that a romance writer could also write erotica. "...Part of my goal for writing erotica was to decriminalize lesbian sex for lesbians, especially those in committed couples and those who don't live in an urban Mecca with an out-and-proud sex-positive attitude." Volumes containing her lesbian erotica short stories have won awards from the Golden Crown Literary Society and the Lambda Literary Foundation.
Published essays have dealt with issues of identity for the author. In 1993, she wrote "When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Lesbian" for Multicultural America: A Resource Book for Teachers of Humanities and American Studies, which explored the disconnect between different stages of coming out, when she first observed the community but did not yet feel a member of it. Ten years later, after the birth of her two children: "For many years I was, by all outward appearances, a suburban married woman." In 2007, in Love, Castro Street, her essay "Where One Size Fits All" concluded the award-winning anthology with "No matter what my clothing of the day might be, from a shy writer offering to sign her first novel to a seeming soccer mom with two kids in tow, Castro Street has never refused me entry. The potholes, the crowds, the scary traffic are still there, but somehow the street is larger than ever."
A complete listing of short stories and essays in anthologies is available on the author's website.
Under the pen name Laura Adams, Kallmaker has written lesbian science-fiction and fantasy titles that include a "chilling brush with reality." Though the novels include strong lesbian romance story lines, their themes revolve around the power of lesbian community and spirituality.
Love by the Numbers by Karin Kallmaker
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Bella Books (April 2, 2013)
Amazon: Love by the Numbers
As a behavioral scientist, Professor Nicole Hathaway’s work strips away the foolish mystique that surrounds the human mating dance. When her academic tome is treated as a viral “love manual” her ecstatic publisher books her to appear all over the U.S. and Europe. Worse yet, her quiet, managed life has been shattered by a series of incompetent assistants. And she’s certain this Lily Smith creature isn’t going to be any less a burden than the last assistant they sent her. Or the one before that. Or before that...
Lillian Linden-Smith needs this job. With a relentless TV lawyer and public mob still out for her blood for crimes committed by her “American royalty” parents, getting out of the country is her only hope for anonymity. If that means cleaning up and presenting an antisocial know-it-all Ph.D. for bookstores, clubs and lectures, fine. Dr. Hathaway may have succeeded in driving away all the others, but not this time.
From their first meeting the sparks fly, and each is thinking: She has no idea who she’s dealing with.
It’s hate at first sight in this love adventure from the author of Above Temptation, Roller Coaster and dozens of other best-selling, award-winning novels.
More Real Life Romances at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
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