Selective Memory

When a classical pianist experiences profound memory loss after a near-fatal accident, she hires private investigator Kristin Ashe to recreate the days and months leading up to the crash.

Unable to trust the perceptions of her partner, friends or family, Alexandra Madigen relies on Kristin to help her reclaim her identity. As Alexandra’s memories return in fits and flashes, not all of which she shares with Kristin, they reveal a twenty-year obsession with another woman.

Fran Green, a feisty ex-nun turned detective, assists Kristin in unraveling the whirl of selective memory.

For more information, contact Jennifer L. Jordan at moc.n1597317598adroj1597317598lrefi1597317598nnej@1597317598nej1597317598.

Ordering Info

Selective Memory
Jennifer L. Jordan
300 pages
Published by Spinster’s Ink
Book #6 in the Kristin Ashe mystery series
Lambda Literary Award Finalist in 2007
Categories: Lesbian mystery, lesbian fiction, women’s mystery, cozy mystery

Author's Notes

I’m obsessed with obsession, and the premise for Selective Memory, the sixth book in the Kristin Ashe mystery series, floated around in my head for years.

Woman gets in car accident and suffers a traumatic brain injury. Can’t remember anything. As part of her recovery, hires detective to help recreate events leading up to the crash. Memories return, revealing twenty-year obsession with another woman.

In 2003, I took the concept and wrote my first and only screenplay, same title, and entered it in a contest sponsored by Power Up, an organization dedicated to nurturing and promoting lesbian filmmaking.

No, no, stop! Don’t go running out to a theater near you. I didn’t win the contest, probably because I had no idea what I was doing. I bought the requisite “how-to” books, paid a couple hundred to attend a weekend seminar, cranked out a 90-page script, and came away from the whole experience chastened. All along, I felt as if I were learning a new language, one I’m not sure I ever fully grasped, and in the process, I came to two conclusions.

One, for every 10,000 people who spend $1,000 learning the craft of screenplay writing (that’s $10 million total on books, seminars, coaching, critique, software, contest fees and more), one person, at best, will be paid $10,000 for her (or more likely, his) efforts. Filmmaking is an industry based on hope and luck, neither of which I feel comfortable relying on to steer my professional career.

Two, I didn’t want to quit my “day job” as a writer of lesbian books. In attempting a screenplay, I discovered that I prefer to tell stories through full-length novels, with the attendant complexities of plot and subplots, deeper characterizations, and in the case of most of my books, multiple timelines.

In Selective Memory, the book, (the screenplay’s now in the trash), I take my penchant for complex timelines to greater heights. As Kristin Ashe, the private investigator/narrator, moves forward in time, the client, Alexandra Madigen, reflects back and forth in her memories, delving into some recent ones and others from decades earlier. I hope you’ll find the mix compelling, as the book stands as one of my most challenging and satisfying projects to date.

I particularly love the opening line, presented by Alex, “They think I can’t remember, but I can…” and the closing words, also in her voice, shock me every time I read them. See for yourself…

Read a Chapter

They think I can’t remember, but I can.

Every weekday afternoon, I vow never to come again.

I sense I have reached a point beyond all reason, but I can’t stop.

Watching her.

Wanting her.

In the waning light of winter, I stay for hours, often until long past the moment of darkness.

I feel helpless to do anything but stare, stare at her silhouette.

These are the last images I remember before millions of my brain cells died.

Keep reading…click here to download the first chapter of Selective Memory.