About Author

J. D. Simmons

J. D. Simmons

I'm happy and proud to have been recently chosen as a finalist in the 2019 American Book Fest Awards in the category of LGBTQ non-fiction for my memoir, Lately Lesbian.
In 2019, I published my memoir, Lately Lesbian. It was a difficult, exhilarating, and humbling experience that I never fully believed would happen. Although my story is highly personal and revealing, I believe my love story and relationship struggles are easily relatable no matter your age or gender.
As authors, we struggle with self-doubt and so when our books are recognized as good and worthy, it’s wonderfully uplifting. Recently, from the U.K., I received a finalist award in the 2019 Wishing Shelf Awards for Lately Lesbian in the non-fiction adult category. Please consider spending time with my book!

J. D. Simmons's Books

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(4) $6.99 kindleeBook,
Lately Lesbianby J.D. SimmonsPublish: Jan 23, 2019LGBT Biographies & Memoirs

J. D. Simmons's Awards and Achievements

    J. D. Simmons has earned excellence awards over time. Here is the glimpse of the accolades clinched by the author.

  • American Book Fest 2019 Finalist - LGBTQ Non-Fiction Category

    Lately Lesbian

  • The Wishing Shelf Book Award 2019 Finalist

    Lately Lesbian


J. D. Simmons interview On 28, May 2020

"J. D. Simmons is the author of the LGBTQ non-fiction memoir, Lately Lesbian. She has been chosen as a finalist in the 2019 American Book Fest Awards. Her debut novel has helped not one but many of those who are struggling with self-identity and what living their true authentic self look and feels like. Her writing is riveting, a true page-turner that you won't be able to put down."
Where were you born and brought up? What impact has it had on your writing?

I was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Due to my parents’ jobs, my family moved a good bit during my childhood. We lived in Miami, Jacksonville, and Atlanta before moving to Charleston, South Carolina.

What did you study in college and which college did you go to?

I was a Business Education major at Winthrop College with the full intent of teaching business courses at the high school level.

Why did you always dream of becoming a teacher?

As a student, I had some really good, influential teachers. Being the oldest of three girls, I practiced “teaching” my sisters for many years. When I was old enough to babysit, I realized that I liked kids—teaching seemed like a natural career choice.

What inspired you to write a book about your own life?

I was encouraged by my partner, my sister, and some friends to tell my story. I was very hesitant, but they continued to urge me to tell my story over a period of years. I remember the night that I told two of my best friends that I was divorcing my husband because I had an affair with a woman. It was a shocking and brutal confession. Afterwards, my friend said, “You have to write a book.”

Is it important that an author has other friends that are writers as well? Do you have any?

I don’t yet know another published author personally that lives in my city. However, I have connected with many writers on Twitter and enjoy those connections and I think it’s very important.

How has been your experience of spending your whole career as an educator?

It’s been a great career. At times, it’s been stressful and hard, but I don’t have any regrets. I spent many years as a teacher, but also spent about half of my career as a school administrator.

I have had students come back to me as adults, and they have said that I made a huge difference in their life—it doesn’t get any better than that!

How did you come up with the title of your book, Lately Lesbian?

I was married for 33 years before I left my husband to begin my relationship with my partner—hence, “Lately.”

How was your experience of sharing your self discovering the story of finding true love in your memoir?

While I was writing my book, there were many times that I was unsure it I would ever go through with publishing it. The writing process and putting my life down on paper was cathartic for the most part. However, I was revealing everything—no more secrets, and I wasn’t sure if I could put it all out there. That’s why I decided to write under a pseudonym and I also changed the names of all the characters in my book.

What other things, apart from writing do you enjoy doing?

I love spending time with family and friends. I am very close to my family. I have two grown children and five grandchildren and have a strong network of close friends. I do all my own yard work and love it. There’s something therapeutic for me in working outdoors and getting my hands in the dirt. I enjoy running (not fast). In my 50’s, I decided to train for a half-marathon and have run a total of nine. Hope to do more!

What was your reaction to being chosen as a finalist in the 2019 American Book Fest Awards in the category of LGBTQ non-fiction?

So honored and so excited. There were thousands of books entered into the Book Fest Awards so I was humbled. When you are a self-published author, it’s hard to know if your book is good. My friends and family have encouraged me and told me how much they enjoyed my book, but it is just a different kind of validation when it comes from someone that doesn’t know you personally.

I recently found out that I was named a finalist in The Wishing Shelf Awards (United Kingdom) in the adult, non-fiction category.

What challenges did you face while writing your memoir, Lately Lesbian?

I think the biggest challenge was getting it finished. It took me about 7-8 years to finish it. I would write on my book for a while, and then I would put it away for months at a time and say to myself, “Maybe this isn’t such a good idea.”

How often do you visit the beach?

Our family takes a trip every year to the beach and we stay for a week. I definitely try to get down to the beach as much as possible, but it’s quite a drive. My favorite beaches, though, are in the panhandle of Florida!

How do you wish to inspire your readers through your memoir, Lately Lesbian?

I want first to inspire people to have the courage to be themselves. For so many years I lived in a marriage and was afraid to admit to myself that I was attracted to another woman. I lived in fear of what people would think of me if I left my husband. A lot of my book hopefully will speak to people that may be living in unhappy relationships or marriages, but may be afraid to leave. Life is too short to waste the precious days of our lives and we should all be in a relationship where we are loved, respected, and cherished. If there are people that are judgmental about same sex love, I want my book to speak to them and to open their hearts and minds to acceptance. In the 21 st century, we should all be free to live in authenticity.

Since you're passionate about spending time with your family, how do you usually spent your day during the lock-down (COVID-19)?

I am still working part-time, so three days a week I am busy with work obligations. I have been spending extra time with my family and my partner. I’ve been doing a lot of spring cleaning and my yard is in tip-top shape!

What are some tools you use for book promotions? How did you come to know about All Author and what are your thoughts on this website?

I have used social media to promote my book. I’ve utilized book giveaways on Amazon and Goodreads. I want to get around to bookstores within driving distance of my city in order to possibly schedule book signings or author talks, but the Coronavirus has made that impossible right now. I believe that I came across All Author on Twitter. I am so impressed with All Author and the services that you provide!! Thank you for supporting me as an author and promoting my book!

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      • J. D. Simmons J. D. Simmons 6 months ago
      • I read and, often, reread my book reviews. I'm hungry to know what people honestly think of my book. Of course, the good reviews are affirmation of the blood, sweat, and tears poured into my work. I haven't really received what I would call a "bad review" yet. I did have one person on twitter respond that she thought my book needed more sex and didn't speak to her as a lesbian. With my book being a memoir, I could only truthfully tell my own story. I believe my book speaks to a wide audience because of the central themes of marriage, finding love, finding self, and living the best life.
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      • J. D. Simmons J. D. Simmons 6 months ago
      • I started writing poems in college after a break-up with my true love. I never entertained writing as a career and didn't major in journalism in school. As a teacher, I was required to write in many different ways in my job. Early in my career, I had to write for a school wide project and one of my peers that reviewed the full project came to me and said, "Wow, your section didn't require any rewrites or editing. It was that good!" It was the first time in my life that anyone had complimented my writing. During my career, I was asked by my administrators to frequently use my writing skills and was always told I did a good job. Through the years, I often commented to friends and family, "I want to write a book someday." After the life-changing events of my own divorce, I was encouraged by my partner and friends to consider writing a book. From the time that I began, it took almost eight years to finish and publish my book! It was a long, drawn out process because I had a lot of self-doubt about putting it all out there. Several times, even after I started writing, I would put my book aside and not touch it for long periods of time and then something or someone would encourage me to return to my writing. I would love to think that I have another book inside of me!
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