Ylva’s best-selling author Jae chats with us about her enemies-to-lovers lesbian romance Paper Love, as part of our Free Book Sundays campaign.
Why did you locate your lesbian romance Paper Love in Freiburg, Germany? Most of your books are based in the US.
I always knew that I’d one day write a book set in my hometown. Paper Love isn’t just a lesbian romance between two women; it’s a love declaration to the city where I live.
I might be totally biased, but everyone who visits seems to agree that there’s something special about Freiburg. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the sunniest city in Germany; maybe it’s the unique way it combines medieval charm with a modern, open-minded attitude. It’s not a huge city, and it’s very green and eco-conscious.
I hope that my readers will fall in love with the city as much as with Anja and Susanne.
If you want to take a look at some photos of places and dishes I described in the book, here’s a link to a “Paper Love travel guide” blog post.
Paper Love is a lesbian romance, set in a stationery shop which sells beautiful paper and pens. Rumor has it you also love fine pens. What’s the appeal? Do you have a favorite?
Anja in Paper Love totally gets that fountain pen geekiness from me. I have a collection of about fifty fountain pens, and while I write most of my books on a computer, I switch to pen and paper whenever I’m struggling with a scene. There’s just something about that smooth slide of a nib over paper that makes the story flow more easily.
I’ve heard from several other lesbian fiction authors who are fountain pen aficionados too, including Carsen Taite, Caren Werlinger, Chris Zett, and Ylva publisher Astrid Ohletz, so I’m definitely not the only one who can’t resist a fine pen!
Asking about my favorite pen is a lot like asking which of my books is my favorite… It’s hard to narrow it down, and my answer might be different if you ask me next week.
Two I always keep inked are a Visconti Mirage (the one held by Louise, the blue crab) and a TWSBI Mini Vac (held by Thelma, the orange crab).
The TWSBI has a huge ink capacity, so I never run out of ink, and it’s what is called a demonstrator—meaning it has a transparent body, and it’s fun to see the ink while I write. The Visconti has a magnetic cap, so it’s wonderful for quick notes.
What’s the significance of the illustration on Paper Love’s cover? Isn’t there some romantic superstition involving that canal?
What you see on the cover is a Bächle—which in my native dialect of German means “small creek.” The Bächle are one of the things that make Freiburg so special. They are narrow canals that line the streets in the Old Town.
A legend has it that if you accidentally step into a Bächle, you’ll end up marrying a local and live happily ever after in Freiburg…which is exactly what happens to Susanne in my lesbian romance Paper Love.
Paper Love by lesbian romance author Jae is free to readers on November 1, 2020, at the Ylva shop. Free Book Sundays are Ylva’s way of giving something back, and offering escapism in difficult times for readers.