Edited Out Chapter 1 excerpt

Copyright 2020 Lisa Haddock. All rights reserved.

Jane Travers. No matter how much I tried to hate her, ignore her, or forget her, I couldn’t keep her out of my thoughts. I met her on Halloween weekend in 1982 during a camping trip sponsored by the Progressive Students Coalition. I was a 21-year-old journalism major at the City of Tulsa University. I knew I was queer, but I was terrified to act on my feelings. Then, I spotted Jane, a 25-year-old CTU sociology graduate student. She was a short, sturdy woman with close-cropped sandy hair and pale blue eyes. Advertising her radical politics, she wore olive drab army pants and a matching sweater with shooter’s patches. More importantly, she was a loud and proud queer. When I saw her, I knew I could blast my way out of the closet.

Jane embraced every radical theory that came her way. Big white Jane targeted me, the brown girl from Tulsa, for radicalization. She pointed out my internalized racism, externalized racism, false consciousness, gynophobia, male identification, cryptocapitalism, phallocentrism, xenophobia, bourgeois taste, and heterocentrism. Desperate for love, I became her acolyte and doormat. 

Jane and I went to Crystal’s soon after we became a couple. Our trip was disastrous. Jane viewed alcohol as a poison designed to create false consciousness among the proletariat. Meanwhile, I wanted to dance. After too many beers, I begged Jane to get on the dance floor. But she wouldn’t dance in an environment polluted by heterosexist music. 

I’m alone in this dingy bar while Jane, defender of the oppressed, is playing house with Rita, tool of the capitalist oligarchy. 

Publishers Weekly praises first edition

Carmen Ramirez, Haddock’s 24-year-old Irish-Puerto Rican lesbian protagonist, is no detective. Rather, she is a copy editor at her hometown newspaper in Frontier City, Okla., where she lives in her homophobic grandmother’s renovated garage and mourns the end of her first relationship. Assigned to assist a columnist, Carmen begins to dig into the two-year-old story of a lesbian teacher who molested and killed a 12-year-old, then committed suicide–or did she? Carmen is pulled off the story, but she continues her investigation, asking tough questions and tangling with everyone, including an at-first suspicious lesbian bartender, her own boss, the schools, the powerful local church and, of course, her irascible grandmother. A trail of cover-ups and half-truths leads Carmen and love-interest/sidekick Julia to Lovell Taft University, where the murdered girl’s sister is sequestered with her secrets. As Carmen draws closer to the truth, she risks job, relationships and even her life. Edited Out is a fast-paced murder mystery with more complexity than the usual fare. The characters are likable if somewhat unidimensional and broadly drawn, and the writing is straightforward and generally clean, with a fast tempo and a plot that ebbs and flow engagingly.

Reviewed on: 04/04/1994 

Edited Out: The Audiobook

I’m thrilled to announce that Tavia Gilbert will narrate the audiobook version of Edited Out. Tavia was named Booklist’s 2018 Voice of Choice. She also won 2017 Audie Award for Best Female Narrator.

The audio version will be available on Audible.com as well as Amazon. If you buy the Kindle and audio versions together, you can enjoy the Whispersync feature.

If you use the Kindle app on your smart phone, tablet, or computer, you can plunge into immersive reading. And if you prefer a real book, get ready to flip the pages of the trade paperback edition. The book will be released this fall.

To learn more about Tavia, visit taviagilbert.com.

Meet Carmen Ramirez

I’m happy to announce that I am releasing an extensively revised version of Edited Out, a Carmen Ramirez mystery. Published by Naiad Press in the mid-1990s, this book has been out print for decades. Nevertheless, Edited Out and its sequel (Final Cut) continue to garner attention from reviewers and scholars. Decades after its initial release, the revised edition of Edited Out reflects my vision and sensibilities.

Old readers will find new insights into Carmen and the rest of the characters. Some characters are significantly changed in order to enhance the plot. Julia has been  completely rewritten. Now more vibrant, she becomes a key player in Carmen’s investigation. Scenes that didn’t work have been excised.

New and old readers will relate to Edited Out’s themes of homophobia and racism, prejudices that plague us to this day.  Most of all, Edited Out is a great story. Overcoming barriers of isolation and hatred, 24-year-old Carmen seeks love and justice. Readers will follow Carmen’s  journey, which filled with humor, poignancy, and suspense.

Plot twists continue to the last page.