EJ Noyes - Turbulence

For our August meeting of the Lesfic Book Club, we discussed Turbulence by EJ Noyes. If you weren't able to make it, check out the transcript below.

A couple of notes on the transcript:

If you want to join us live, we discuss lesfic novels every month at http://lesficlove.com (sign up or follow me on Twitter to find out what we're reading next). Some chat participants requested that their names be obscured, so below you'll see that everyone has been anonymized as Reader 1, Reader 2, etc.

Reader 1 Aug 23rd at 4:02 PM

@E. J. Noyes - I love Turbulence! Any plans for another book in that "world"?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Probably not, much as I adore Isabelle and Audrey. Mostly because I just can't think of where to take them next and I have a million other projects to do.

In my list of "want to writes" I do have a vague note - Audrey plane crash - ew.

Reader 1 4 days ago

Oh no haha! I'll look forward to whatever you come out with next.

Reader 2 Aug 23rd at 4:03 PM

@E. J. Noyes I loved Turbulence as well! Really all your books... Have read almost all of them several times (the latest only once so far). Did you want to leave us with the feeling that Mark was on the up and up or should we think that he was honest, just tired of working?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago


I always felt he was just sick of it all, and also jealous that Is is suck a bloody rockstar.

Originally when I started it I had him involved with embezzling etc but it got too complicated for my brain and felt like something Isabelle really would have noticed. The softer version felt like something he could slip through.

I would have like to do more with him, but felt it took too much away from the core story.

Reader 2 4 days ago

@E. J. Noyes yeah that makes sense. I got the feeling you wanted to go the embezzlement route with him and backed off. Yeah one of the things we have to be careful of as writers is not to take away from the core story.

Reader 3 Aug 23rd at 4:04 PM

Can we have more stories of Isabel and Audrey?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

I have a strange sense of deja vu right now...

Reader 4 Aug 23rd at 4:05 PM

There's a certain theme of longing and desire running through all your books. You write that like no one else. Do you just like to torture us poor readers? :laughing:

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Ah thank you for the lovely compliment.

Torture is never the intention!

I think there's a lot of longing and desire in the real world so being able to resolve that in fiction always feels nice.

Reader 5 Aug 23rd at 4:06 PM

Did writing this story give you the excuse to go to flight school?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Ha! Not quite.

I'd always wanted to learn to fly but after a bunch of lessons (which I was excellent at I might say) it got too damned expensive and I was all weird and nervous about the radio calls.

Reader 6 Aug 23rd at 4:06 PM

@E. J. Noyes a number of your books seem to have a " forbidden" relationship at the heart of them. Do you enjoy writing the angst that comes from that?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Ummm... I'm a VERY empathetic writer so I don't enjoy the feeling I get when my word kids are upset.

I do enjoy the emotion of it though.

That's a total contradiction, isn't it...

Reader 6 4 days ago

maybe but that's what makes them so intriguing... and feel so real

Reader 2 Aug 23rd at 4:09 PM

What's on the horizon for your next book? When is the Bella publishing date?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Pas de deux!

Dressage in the lead up to the Rio Olympics - rider + veterinarian (and an awesome horse). Characters were NOT friends together at Pony Club 20+ years ago and meet again.

I'm still writing it but I believe it's out May 2021?

Reader 7 Aug 23rd at 4:11 PM

For me Turbulance felt like a slightly 'lighter' story than some of your other books and I just wondered if it felt like that when you were writing it? I loved it btw! (edited)

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Ummm, it was only the second novel I'd written so it definitely felt lighter than Ask, Tell.

I think I was still in the "HoW is WrItInG?" stage so that had its own stresses.

Reader 7 4 days ago

It is hard to believe (but enderaing and reassuring to hear) you could ever be in that stage with the doubts and stresses that come with it. Your writing is so accomplished.

Reader 5 Aug 23rd at 4:12 PM

Where did the inspiration for Turbulence come from? Did you have the story mapped out ahead of time or did it organically grow once you had the characters set?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

I was plane watching while in the city during work day, because I ALWAYS look up at planes.

Most of my stuff starts with - "Wouldn't it be funny if..." and go from there. I had a thought about a 1st class passenger and pilot spotting each other and the pilot getting an attendant to give the passenger her number.

And it morphed from there.

Nope - I do not plan anything so it evolved as I wrote, including the characters. I get vague ideas, write scenes out of order and off it goes.

Reader 8 4 days ago

@E. J. Noyes and we are grateful of that plane watching because it gave us a wonderful book! It was my first EJ book and got hooked afterward! Definitely a page-turner! Just love it!

Reader 2 Aug 23rd at 4:15 PM

Does it take about 6 months to write a book or maybe it depends on the book? Which one was the fastest, which one the slowest (maybe the first?)

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

I really couldn't say because I tend to work on multiple projects at once.

I don't think Ask, Tell was the slowest, no. I think If the Shoe Fits probably? Maybe?

I had to take a week off work to finish up the draft because it was getting too close to deadline for my comfort :)

Reader 5 Aug 23rd at 4:16 PM

How often do you find you are deleting scenes and what makes up your mind to do so?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

I don't deleted anything until I'm comfortable with the word count, around say...70k?

Otherwise it makes me feel like I'm going backwards.

Because I don't plan, and I write like a frenetic monkey, I tend to work by writing scenes/lines/chunks and then joining them up. Then as I start figuring out the story I start realising what works and what doesn't.

Anything I cut goes into another file to either be repurposed (either somewhere else in the book or another).

Reader 9 4 days ago

Wow, I never would have guessed that you’re not a planner because everything in Turbulence comes together so beautifully. Do you spend a lot of time on revisions?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago


And also edits with my editor because she'll point out something doesn't work

In Turbulence she wanted me to strengthen the Mark stuff (so imagine how flimsy it was at first...) and I had a massive stress because I am so bad at research - my reading comprehension is shit so trying to find info about things I don't know about (aka every book I have written!) stresses me the hell out.

Reader 2 Aug 23rd at 4:18 PM

@E. J. Noyes RE: Deleted scenes - did you ever consider selling them separately - even as a charity fund raiser? Or loyal reader reward? I read recently someone did that and I thought it was really awesome.

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

I don't think I'd ever sell them - that feels weird.

I'd like to keep putting them up on my website, but honestly I've been a little busy with writing lately and I do have to run an editing eye over the deleted stuff to make sure they are vaguely readable.

I did have a brilliant (and time consuming) idea of continuing stories on my site as short scenes, one character per chapter (including people like Mitch) but again...time :)

Reader 2 4 days ago

@E. J. Noyes The short story character idea like Mitch sounds like a great idea! Hope you get some time to do that in the near future!

Reader 10 4 days ago

The deleted scenes on your website are fun, would be cool to see more when you have time

Reader 5 Aug 23rd at 4:21 PM

How long does it take you on average from initial idea to publishing?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

I can only really speak to Ask, Tell because now my publisher and I are either "Here, I have this" or "Do you have anything?" :slightly_smiling_face:

Ummm....doing a LOT of file searching this morning...

I started writing AT in December 2014 according to file dates. Subbed it to Bella in January 2016 after a million revisions and waiting for another publisher who took months with it on sub (no simultaneous) and rejected it. Accepted by Bella after about a week.

Reader 5 4 days ago

Big, big mistake to the other Pub...

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

I'm not sorry :)

Reader 4 Aug 23rd at 4:25 PM

Do you have a favourite couple that you've written? And which character is most like you?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Oh the favourite kid question!

I can't answer that because I do love them all.

Um, all of them have parts of me in them but I would say probably Sabine (aside from the super smart surgeon part).

I have the same constantly running self-narrative in my head that she does etc etc

Makes sense my first MC would be an extension of me :)

Reader 5 Aug 23rd at 4:26 PM

How do you land on your character names?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

95% of the time - open browser, type "girl's names" or "boy's names" :smile:

Some are friends/family but mostly just name searches until I find one that feels like it suits.

Reader 11 Aug 23rd at 4:27 PM

I also loved the book (well, except for wanting to throttle Mark for the blind-siding)… What would you suggest as a good choice for a second of your books to read, for somebody who enjoyed Turbulence?

Reader 5 4 days ago


Reader 6 4 days ago

All of them!

Reader 15 4 days ago

Reader 11, i'll answer that one and say genuinely: any of them! all are superb but super different to each other. it is just the quality of character and complex emotions that are the same. The setting and background is a complete surprise each time.

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Oh tough one. I think they are all so different so it's hard if you like a certain thing.

So yeah, all of them :D

Reader 4 Aug 23rd at 4:29 PM

How did the hook up with Abby Craden for the audiobooks happen? She's absolutely perfect for your books. They are my absolute favourites for my commute.

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

I woke up to an email from my publisher (which is how it usually goes, thanks timezones) saying Ask, Tell and Ask Me Again had been picked up for audio and I'd get a list of narrators choices soon.

I couldn't type back fast enough that I really loved Abby Craden's narration.

And that was it. Done.

And I agree. I love the nuance of her performance and I always feel she really gets my work.

For If the Shoe Fits - because I know everyone is curious - there was a scheduling issue and Audible chose Kelsey Navarro, who I'm thrilled with. I love what she did with it :)

Reader 6 4 days ago

Ah that's interesting I assumed it was because you needed a different voice. Yes all great narrations

Reader 12 4 days ago

It was hard to adjust to a different person reading characters I'd known so well, but it was still a good audiobook.

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

@Reader 12 Aye, I've heard that a lot, but some things are out of the author's hands :)

Reader 12 4 days ago

Completely agree and understand, being the various stages of producing 3 audiobooks and unsure how to proceed with the rest of the series given production schedules and all that. It was the best you could do with the situation. I'm not sure how Abby has any free time!

Reader 2 Aug 23rd at 4:33 PM

Is the Terminator ride at Universal your favorite? :slightly_smiling_face: Or has it been replaced?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

I've only been to Universal once. Hard when you live in another hemisphere :slightly_smiling_face: So I'd say it still sits at the top of my list.

The Jurassic World ride wasn't open when we were there which was TRAGIC.

Reader 13 Aug 23rd at 4:35 PM

How do you find the ideas for your books?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Daydreaming. Weird thoughts when I see something. Someone says something which twigs an idea :)

Reader 1 Aug 23rd at 4:35 PM

What are some of your favorite WLW books lately?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Oof, I have to admit I've dialled back on allll reading. I just don't have the time I'd like, and honestly - reading fabulous work makes me super self conscious about my own work.

I really loved the audio of Breaking Character by Lee Winter/Angela Dawe.

I have a bunch of unread or unlistened rather audio because I find audio easier on my ego

Reader 14 Aug 23rd at 4:36 PM

If you were offered the opportunity to ride on the back of a dragon would you take it?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Bloody hell, do you think I'm crazy?

As if I'd pass up that opportunity! But I'd like a saddle or something - they always seem so rough scaly.

Reader 9 Aug 23rd at 4:45 PM

What’s your favorite non-lesfic genre to read/watch?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago


I really don't think I have one for reading or watching.

I'm not a huge television consumer and even less so now with The Rona - just have no desire to read/watch things.

I do enjoy things like Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel etc but then I'll go down a rabbit hole of books about WWII.

Reader 12 4 days ago

Any particular reason why WW2?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

@Reader 12 Weird morbid fascination that started as a kid I guess. Trying to understand how that happens.

I do have a historical fiction completed but not sure I'll ever have the guts to publish it.

Reader 12 4 days ago

I'm sure everyone agrees to publish everything. :wink: I've always had a fascination with the military. I know why now, but it's also fascinating on a human level to see how far humans will go for power.

Reader 15 Aug 23rd at 4:48 PM

you said earlier that you write scenes and then tag them all together in an order after the fact. I understand you are a pantser, but at the second stage, after the "big write" do you then lay out a cohesive "emotion" time line. your characters are always so complex yet subtle and i struggle to think of a way you can map their growth if it is purely pantsing, whats your secret?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Nope :slightly_smiling_face:

I don't do any of the stuff they say you should when writing about arcs and growth and relationship and story beats etc.

I think it just evolves as the story grows and comes together.

Reader 2 Aug 23rd at 4:49 PM

Do you see yourself doing anything like sci-fi? Like a "Terminator" sort of story? (I'd put "Reaping the Benefits" more as Fantasy).

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

I'd not considered it.

It's funny that Reaping the Benefits is being categorised by people as "paranormal" or "fantasy".

To me it's a romance with a plot behind it, much like Alone was :)

Reader 12 4 days ago

Agreed. I'm not keen on some of these genre specifications just because there are certain elements in there.

Reader 4 Aug 23rd at 4:49 PM

When you write your characters do you have a person in mind who they look like, an actor or someone you know? If you don't who could you see playing Sabine and Bec in a film?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

I don't, no - which I think HORRIFES Lee Winter :slightly_smiling_face:

I find it hard to pick actresses because all of my characters (with the exception of Brooke in Shoe who I knew looked like Jennifer Garner) are mashups of features. So it'd be like "Oh it's this person, but taller/younger/with different eyes or hair and dimples" so then it's not really even them, is it...?

Reader 1 Aug 23rd at 4:50 PM

How do you think Isabel and Audrey are holding up in quarantine? Are they staying in the city, or perhaps near Isabel's mom?

Reader 12 4 days ago

Private jet means they can still travel to a lot of places. ;-)

Reader 11 4 days ago

And being the boss means you can have people fetch everything you need if you have to quarantine as a post-travel precaution

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Tough question because I don't know exactly what you guys can do over there.

If totally stuck, they'd be staying in the city - Audrey moved in to Isabelle's place. There's obviously a lot of sex. Audrey is cleaning a lot. Isabelle is online shopping. They're playing a lot of board games.

Audrey is now addicted to RuPaul's Drag Race.

Reader 6 Aug 23rd at 4:51 PM

Most of your books have a 1st person POV. Do you find it easier to write the emotions and get in the head of the characters in 1st person?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago


As mentioned above, I'm an empathetic writer so I do really get inside their heads. Which is great, but also exhausting for emotional books like Ask Me Again and Alone.

Reader 15 4 days ago

Did that make reaping the benefits a different writing experience ?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

@Reader 15 It did, but mostly because I was second-guessing my choice the whole time which just messed with my get in their head mojo :)

Reader 2 Aug 23rd at 4:52 PM

@E. J. Noyes I wonder if Sabine and Becca would be going crazy at the hospital and wonder if one of them wouldn't get the virus...

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Sabs being Sabs she'd be loving working instead of staying home but also anxious about being made to do COVID stuff :)

Bec is frazzled as shit because she's the boss.

They, like most of the frontline healthcare people, would probably get it.

Reader 12 5:05 PM

Do you know which of your books are most popular?

Or are they fairly even?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

It's hard to tell because the only quantifiable thing I have is sales numbers which doesn't really work because a book released years before another will have sold more at the time of report. I always got the sense that Alone is the most popular. My little weird one.

Reader 12 Aug 23rd at 5:11 PM

Okay, one more, because I can't remember if you answered this elsewhere. If you could have any of your books made into movies, which would you most like to see?

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Probably Gold - skiing!

But the Ask, Tell trio would be fun.

Alone would be awesome but so much relies on the reader being aware of the truth when Celeste isn't and I think that would be really hard to convey.

Reader 12 4 days ago

I love Gold. I'm writing a lesbian snowboarding movie with a trans lead right now. Gold could definitely translate.

As much as I love Alone, I can't imagine how it could be translated to film without changing the experience. And yet, it might be doable. It adds a lot more suspense for sure.

Ask Tell would have to be a miniseries I'd think, but that could be cool. And gives time to dive into Mitch's world as well.

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

@Reader 12 Aye, and that's how I wanted it. Obvious twist because knowing what's going on when you're inside the head of someone who really doesn't is awesome. And horrible too

Reader 15 Aug 23rd at 5:19 PM

where would you prefer readers to buy your books, straight from the publishers or amazon ( have read that different authors have different preferences)

E. J. Noyes 4 days ago

Honestly - anywhere :slightly_smiling_face: As long as people purchase them.

Generally authors do make slightly more direct from publisher, but Amazon sales lead to visibility.

Thanks everyone for coming along, and you can always find me on Twitter @zgrokit where I hang out a lot and am always up to answer your burning book questions.