Judy Folger’s Black And Blue Love
The subject of Judy Folger’s Black and Blue Love is something that rarely gets talked about, but needs to be. I got a chance to speak with Judy about the book and the topic of lesbian domestic violence. It’s something you’ll not want to miss. After the interview, read all about the book and an excerpt that will make you want to keep reading. At the very bottom enter for a chance to win a copy of the book.
Amanda C. Stone: Good morning Judy! I’m so glad you could join me today. Where did the idea of this story come from?
Judy Folger: That is a good question, Amanda. The idea for my story Black and Blue Love came out of a conversation I had with a friend. We are both strong, independent women who have a great interest in women’s rights, as well as all equal rights. We were discussing the plight of women in today’s society. While some things are much better than they were in earlier times, there still are lots of areas where women are certainly not treated fairly or equally.
My friend mentioned that she had, at one time, been a volunteer at a domestic violence hotline center. One evening she received a call for help from a woman who was unfortunately in a relationship that involved lesbian domestic violence.
Our discussion soon became focused on this subject. We realized we had never heard about lesbian domestic violence before. At least outside of the academic world, it wasn’t written about or talked about. This subject immediately became my subject for the book.
ACS: It’s something that has gained some spotlight in recent years. But like you, until recently I never realized it was an issue either. Was it hard to write about domestic violence, especially lesbian domestic violence?
JF: No, Amanda, it was not hard to write about domestic violence. I became so intrigued with the subject and with the idea that I might be able to reach out to many women who could relate to my story. Of course, I did my research. It seems that lesbian domestic violence is every bit as common as heterosexual domestic violence – it’s just not talked about. How sad! I’m sure many lesbians in violent situations don’t realize that they are not alone.
ACS: So many people in abusive situations, regardless of gender and orientation, feel alone. I love that you’ve brought this topic some more exposure with your book. What was the hardest scene to write?
JF: You know, Amanda, the hardest scene for me was the scene towards the end of the book when Della does not know if Kallie will survive or not. Writing this scene brought back to me the heartbreaking time when my mother was in the hospital after suffering from a massive heart attack. For many hours, I did not know if she would live or die. I will never forget the pain and agony of waiting and hoping and not knowing. The emotions that I recalled are the emotions I attributed to Della as she waited and waited to see if the love of her life would live or die. It was an emotional scene for me to write and get through. Writers, it seems, relive many personal emotions.
ACS: I bet those feelings that you remembered will come through when readers get to that scene. Have you gotten any, or expect to get, push back or negative responses about the topic?
JF: I have not received any negative responses about the lesbian domestic violence subject. Apparently it is a subject many women and readers can relate to. I imagine that many readers either directly relate to the situation or that they know someone who is or who has been in a lesbian domestic violence relationship.
ACS: That’s great it’s been well received so far! Do you have any advice for readers that might be in a situation similar to Della?
JF: Excellent question, Amanda. The best advice I can give to anyone in such a situation is to realize that they are not alone. There is help out there for them. They need to talk to someone, anyone. Do not keep it a secret. It is not something to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. Tell one person. I know it is hard to talk about lesbian domestic violence. Women are taught to always make others happy. They are not taught to make themselves happy or to look out for themselves. If a person knows or suspects that someone might be in a lesbian domestic violence situation, they need to reach out to that person…they need help and support…they need to survive.
ACS: Great advice. Thank you for taking time to be here today and talk about such a difficult topic.
After Kallie Moran’s husband, Aaron, is killed in Iraq, Kallie asks her law firm to transfer her back to her home town so she can be close to her mother.
When her request is granted, she realizes that closeness to her mother also means closeness to her mother’s dreadful sister, Bessie Benson.
Bessie is loud and crass, and her sons make a lifestyle of rotating in and out of the county jail. The only Benson that Kallie has ever been able to tolerate is her cousin, Andi. Andi, too, once dreamed of getting out of Brookville, but unlike Kallie, she never quite made it.
Now an out lesbian, Andi drags her intimidated partner, Della, to local bars and out-of-control family affairs. Della seems so miserable that Kallie finds herself reaching out to this beautiful, fragile-looking woman who just doesn’t seem to belong among the Bensons.
As Kallie and Della become friends, Kallie witnesses the verbal and emotional abuse Andi heaps on Della. Then comes the terrible night when Andi is no longer able to confine herself to words and slams Della to the ground, permanently scarring her face.
Della flees to Kallie for protection. In relative safety, she struggles to face the fact that she is a victim of lesbian domestic violence. She is also falling hard for Kallie, her rescuer.
Kallie, meanwhile, is keeping some secrets of her own. She wants to be with Della as much as Della wants to be with her, but she is afraid to embark on her first lesbian relationship.
Their love blossoms when Kallie risks her life to save Della from another of Andi’s vicious attacks. But it doesn’t take Andi long to realize she’s been betrayed. Furious, drunk, and carrying her father’s hand gun, she vows that this time she will REALLY make Della and Kallie pay.
Della leaned into Kallie so that their bodies were pressed close together. Kallie finally did what she had been wanting to do since the day she met Della. She reached up and tangled her fingers in that glorious, unruly hair. She had expected Della’s hair to be coarse, but it was soft and warm in her hands.
Then Della’s hands found her breases, and Kallie remembered where they were and what they were doing. It took every ounce of willpower that she’d ever possessed, but she withdrew from Della, backing into the wall at the end of the step. “We shouldn’t do this,” she said in a voice so hoarse with passion she scarcely recognized it.
Della’s green eyes reflected hurt and confusion. “Why not?”
“Because you’re my cousin’s partner.”
Della nodded sadly. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I’ll go.”
Kallie tried to think of something to say that would ease things between the two of them, but no words came to her mind. All she could do was watch as Della walked out the door.
A proud member of the lesbian community, Judy wrote her first book after she retired and hasn’t looked back since. Her books tell the stories of women in love who fight to overcome real-life problems. Judy was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Wichita but now lives in Merriam, Kansas. She has a son who also writes and a daughter-in-law who does paranormal investigations.
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