Interview: Harper Bliss - French Kissing: Season One

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Anaita Tejpal talks to Hong Kong lesbian erotica writer Harper Bliss about her steamy new novel and her ambitious plans in the genre

Lesbian fiction is a rarity in Hong Kong’s LGBTI community, so it’s refreshing to see an author based in our city filling a pretty wide-open niche with some saucy female homosexual erotica. In fact, it may be that Harper Bliss (her pen name, of course, as she prefers to remain anonymous) is the only author in Hong Kong writing any sort of lesbian erotica at all at the moment.

It’s been an exciting year for the 36-year-old as she formed a publishing company, Lady Lit, with her wife. With the couple owning their own production house in the city, it has solved any possible conflicts between publisher and author, instead replacing it with a harmonious – nay, blissful – and efficient business plan.

Bliss has also just released her latest novel, French Kissing: Season One. Written in the style of a TV show, she initially published several different parts of the tome but has now strung the whole collection together to bring her readers a complete story all of its own. Set in Paris, the book explores the lives of four high-powered lesbians and their struggle with striking the perfect work and personal life balances. Originally from Belgium, Bliss visited Paris many times before relocating to Hong Kong, which helped her turn, fictionally, the city of love into a paradise for woman-on-woman action. Two-and-a-half years ago, she debuted in literary circles in our city with her High Rise series of Hong Kong-set novellas. ‘Four women. One building. A million complications’. That was the tagline to accompany the series  – a common theme in Bliss’ sensual and titillating fiction, which has gotten her up on the
top 10 ‘lesbian romance’ charts on Amazon.

Claiming never to suffer from writer’s block, Bliss tries to write every weekday morning. Her vivid imagination combined with her unique writing method – a few 20-minute-long no-internet sessions – easily allow her to achieve her target of 2,000 to 2,500 words a day. And although she doesn’t write for a large chunk of the day, completing a novel usually takes her a period of only six months.

Having already made a start on season two of French Kissing, Bliss describes it as a completely different experience because now she can go back and develop the characters instead of starting from a blank slate. “I know these characters already,” she says. “I’ve written so much about them to the point where I’m planning to take this story beyond just two seasons.”

Bliss has no plans of slowing down and has already accomplished so much since her early days of just writing fan fiction on her blog. She’s like Hong Kong’s own version of Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James. And she writes well. There has been a huge explosion of lesbian romance stories of late, according to Bliss, who thinks she’s on trend with what readers really want. “I used to write more romance novels,” she says, “but when I wanted to really go there, I felt hindered, which is why I switched to erotica.”

In the future, Bliss says she wants to push her limits and try writing a lesbian spy or thriller novel. We ask her about whether she wants to bring her series to the small screen, especially given the widespread popularity of lesbian heavy TV show Orange Is The New Black. Although French Kissing is written in that style, she admits that hasn’t been her plan – but she’s open to all possibilities. Find Bliss and her books at the upcoming Pink Season Art Exhibition on October 16 at Azure in the LKF Hotel. And then open up the pages to truly find
some Bliss...

French Kissing: Season One is published by Lady Lit, priced at $150 for paperback and $70 for e-book. Available for purchase at ladylit.com.

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