For a few short years, many queer women were glued to The L Word, watching the dramatic story of lesbians in Los Angeles. It was hard to relate to the characters’ lives, which perhaps made the show all the more entertaining to watch. Even in a fictional setting, audiences are captivated seeing queer women “represented” in a series.
But The L Word is off the air and there is limited representation of queer women in other shows, save for the raging hormones on high school dramas Pretty Little Liars and Glee. So, fiction fans, it’s time to turn off the TV and start reading again. The new series Mariel Cove is by and for queer women.
What makes Mariel Cove exciting in a highly saturated lesbian fiction market? It’s an online literary series staged in episodes, designed like a TV show but in novel format. Its 12 episodes (or chapters) are released on a weekly basis so readers are left in suspense.
Set in the fictional small and isolated town of Mariel Cove, predominantly made up of queer women, the series tells the stories of 14 different characters with twisting and intersecting plot lines that are unapologetically erotic. The story begins with the arrival of investigative reporter Arianna Trenton (whom series creator and editor Jennifer DiMarco calls the “lesbian Anderson Cooper”). Arianna is in town under false pretenses, and while she’s on assignment, a mystery about Mariel Cove’s past – which involves the diverse cast of characters – begins to unravel.
DiMarco worked on the series with a team of six writers who span multiple generations and come from different backgrounds. She published the series with Angels of Anarchy, a queer press she owns. The women created characters with jobs, issues and relationships they hope resemble those of their readership.
“Mariel Cove‘s writers are really diverse and so are the characters. I wanted people to write what they know and draw from real-life experiences,” DiMarco says. “Yes [the series] is a drama and there is some surrealism and magical elements, but our characters have careers that [the writers] actually held.”
DiMarco’s goal for Mariel Cove is to create a working-class, artistic community of women who are different ages and races and come from diverse backgrounds. “We wanted to bring them together and see what happens. I came very late to watching The L Word, and that kind of drama in LA doesn’t interest me,” she notes. “There are kernels of realism in The L Word with a variety of characters, but the lesbians mostly have long hair and wear lipsticks. That kills me, so Mariel Cove shows full, rich diversity.”
Since April 1, new episodes of the series have been posted on Mondays. For readers who don’t want to wait in suspense, the complete first season is available to download as an e-book, and the book itself will soon be released in trade paperback. The second season is already underway. To read the series, visit marielcove.angelsofanarchy.com.