Lesbian author Fiona Zedde bids farewell to ATL on April 30

Fiona Zedde’s first kiss after she moved to Atlanta was with an ex-girlfriend from New York who flew in for a visit.

“I brought her down from New York. I had just graduated from college and was living in Marietta and my ex was in New York and wanted a break from the city and visited me,” Zedde says.

“She was not impressed with Atlanta at all. But something about the city pulled us together at that moment and we ended up kissing a lot … in my little tiny, tiny basement apartment.”

That kiss doesn’t make it into Zedde’s new e-book, titled “Kisses After Midnight,” available on Amazon and ready to be downloaded to your Kindle.

The book from the author who has made a name for herself in lesbian erotica is a collection of 13 short stories. There is also an excerpt of her next novel, to be released next year, included in the anthology.

“I put it together because the next print book won’t be out until February 2011 and I wanted to write something for readers expecting something this year but didn’t get it,” she says.

About a third of the stories were published elsewhere, a third have never been published and were reworked by Zedde and some stories were written when she was in college.

“Some are very sweet and warm, some are raunchy and sexy and some have nothing to do with sex or queerness,” she says. Compiling and writing the stories helped Zedde see how much her writing has changed over the years.

Lesbian author Fiona Zedde reads from her ebook ‘Kisses After Midnight’ and says farewell to Atlanta on April 30. (Courtesy photo)

“Putting this together helped me see how far my writing has grown and changed. And how much my writing can grow and change from now,” she explains. “It was a very revealing exercise.”

Zedde is working on a novel that is not erotic, unlike her past Lambda Literary Award finalists “Bliss” and “Every Dark Desire,” as well as “A Taste of Sin” and “Hungry for It.”

“I’m working on a novel that is not exotic, but definitely lesbian. And I wanted to share that new part of myself and hope readers accept this incarnation of myself,” she says.

Charis Books & More, where Zedde worked for many years, is hosting a reading from the ebook on April 30 as well as book signing of her numerous other books. The party is also a farewell — Zedde is moving soon to St. Petersburg, Fla.

The upcoming move to Florida is part of a new path for Zedde, prompted in part after meeting a woman.

“I need a change. I love Atlanta, but I’ve been feeling very restless lately. A few months ago I met this woman who lives in Florida and she opened up the window for me to see what kind of change I needed,” Zedde says.

“I’m moving to be closer to her, to be in warmer weather and to open my writing to other kinds of influences.”

Atlanta will always hold a special place in her heart, she says.

“What am I going to miss about Atlanta? The weather, Charis, Little Five, friends and family, the park. Pollen notwithstanding, Atlanta is gorgeous. The fresh bursts of pink everywhere, wisteria dripping down in various places, in Decatur. And Atlanta is so gay and so saturated with color, with people of color,” she says. “St. Pete is not like that and I will miss that about Atlanta.”

Coming up with the title of “Kisses After Midnight” was something Zedde struggled with but finally settled on after talking with friends and family.

“It had to be something sexy, but not like ‘Hungry For It,’ something softer and sexy, something that would not lead you right away to erotic.

“But again it does lead you to the erotic, doesn’t it?” she says, laughing.