Dubbed the “lesbian Danielle Steel” of her time, best-selling author K’Anne Meinel effortlessly straddles the line between in-demand author and facilitator of future female-led literary careers with her publishing house, Shadoe Publishing.
Meinel’s best-selling novella Sapphic Surfer currently ranks among the top sold in her nearly 12-year career behind the keyboard. In fact, this year Meinel is working with five interpreters to re-release Sapphic Surfer in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese. The success of Sapphic Surfer spawned Meinel’s Represented, Lawyered and Malice. Lesbians around the globe have flocked to pick up her newest releases – Small Town Angel and Blown Away. In total, Meinel has authored 73 novels, novellas and shorts and shows no signs of stopping.
“I have at last count 165 books in various stages of completion on my laptop,” she says. “This includes outlines, titles and nearly completed novels, novellas and shorts…it’s a process. When they are ready, they will come out and be completed.”
Never content unless multitasking, Meinel admits, “I have to take care of my other authors and read their works, format them, make covers, and promote them. I love the business of it all. I stay very busy. I like using my knowledge and success to help others.”
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as the youngest of five to a housewife and county inspector, Meinel originally thought she’d one day become a school teacher, “which is cool, because I am still teaching others now,” she says. “I was always the overachiever. Unfortunately they didn’t advance students in public school back in the 70s so I had a couple of teachers who didn’t challenge my intelligence and verbally slapped me down. My mom put me in private school and suddenly I was challenged once again. I graduated early from high school and went right on to college. Someday I will return there.”
One thing she isn’t doing is waiting around for new works to be unleashed. When they don’t appear, she makes them take root.
Meinel uses her own life experiences to color the pages of her books. She generally gears toward creating “strong, capable, gentle, and kind” characters that her readers will relate to and, ultimately, fall in love with time and time again. Her books depict “survivors” in their rarest forms – sometimes tough, battered and torn, but always coming out on top.
Meinel has been through her fair share of heartbreak and struggle. “I’m a survivor of cancer, broken bones, abuse, and still I’m here to tell the tale,” she says. “A little bit of me and my life goes into almost every book. Life experiences, no matter how small, are important to make the stories sound real.”
If there are any rules in storytelling, Meinel breaks them all.
“Rules? What are rules? I break ‘em every chance I get,” she acknowledges.
And that’s one of the reasons lesbians love her.