Joan Barbara Simon: breaking the rules and lovin’ it








Hi! I’m Joan Barbara Simon and I write multicultural historical fiction, contemporary fiction, erotic feminist literary fiction, but mostly I write what I am passionate about even if the commercial labels don’t fit. I’m rather pleased to be able to say that I have been compared to James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis, Anais Nin and A. M. Homes, but have you noticed something? None of these people are black, whereas being black is both central to my person and my fiction. Being black and, of course, more than black. The way I see it, we are all more than.

Someone called me a literary terrorist and madwoman. I rather liked that. Someone else called me a woman with a dick. The more I think about it, the less I like the imprisoning, gendered presumptions at play here. As long as you can handle me the way I am, I guess that’s fine.

Regarding my historical fiction, Long Time Walk On Water, the invitation, here, is to acknowledge the human face behind history. Not of those who wage wars and take away territories, but of those who dare to love. Those, whose pain and glory remain unwritten or unseen. These alternative histories do not have our lives dehydrated to numbers that leave no space for the warmth of memory.

All of my fiction has a common theme: the challenge to interrogate what we tell ourselves and what we have been told. Taking issue with these discourses of delivery demands that we rethink our what, when, how, where and... why. I like to ask myself: why? And then I like to ask myself that question again.Turning conventional delivery on its head introduces a freshness into reading, writing and thinking. It makes these events what I think they ought to be: invigorating. If this is not your cup of tea, I wish you well.

The other thing I’ve been called is a brainy little nympho. In addition to my Ph.D. in Educational Science (Goldsmiths College, University of London), I also have a Ph.D. in Creative & Critical Writing (Bangor University), so no, if you see me presented as Dr Dr Joan Barbara Simon (or as Joan Barbara Simon Ph.D., Ph.D.), it’s not a typo but the reward for years of hard work (and a growing number of smiles in between). My last Ph.D. resulted in my first trilogy, Verses Nature:

‘200% delicious sin and literary genius!’ (online review)

Get a first glimpse of it HERE.

With my novels Mut@tus: She’s Gotta Have It, or Verses Nature: The Memoirs Of A Lonely Hotwife, I sidestep conventional erotica and consciously position myself as a writer of erotic feminist literary fiction. Not that I’m knocking erotica or romance. There are some great writers in each of these genres. I simply want to address similar themes, but differently. These include a more critical look at relationships or at the body as a cultural battlefield. Mut@tus: She’s Gotta Have It, or Verses Nature: The Memoirs Of A Lonely Hotwife will appeal to readers who are willing to think outside the box: readers who welcome innovative structures and who seek to relate to realistic, complex characters defending their right to sexual freedom. Be prepared for social critique. Be prepared to be shocked. Be equally prepared for a spiritual adventure. If you like your fiction sensuous and contemplative, yet raw and unflinching, you’re in the right place.

This website is mostly about my activities as a fiction author. If you’d like to follow me and all the things I’m up to (and I’d love you to!), please check out my books, but also where you can follow me on social media or join my lively reader’s group via one (or both!) of my newsletters.

Until we meet again, never stop throwing yourself at your life. Stay inspired, stay beautiful, just the way you are. Please spare a moment to send a good thought to someone. Do it from the privacy of your heart. Less showy, just as effective. It will make you both happy.