Female. Education: Michigan State University, degree in English literature; Wayne State University, degree in English composition.
Home—136 East 8th St., #242, Port Angeles, WA 98362-6129. E-mail—[email protected].
Worked as a reporter, corporate trainer, executive, and writing coach; has also worked for Borders for ten years as a bookseller and manager.
Tompkins Award for Fiction, Wayne State University; Lambda Literary Award finalist, for Damn Straight.
"LILLIAN BYRD CRIME STORY" SERIES
Holy Hell, Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2002.
Damn Straight, Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2003.
Lucky Stiff, Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2004.
Work represented in anthologies, including A Woman's Touch: New Lesbian Love Stories, edited by Valerie Reed, Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2003, and Best Lesbian Love Stories, edited by Angela Brown, Alyson Books (Los Angeles, CA), 2003, 2004; contributor to periodicals, including Moving Out, LOGOS: Journal of the World Book Community, and Smudge.
Before becoming a novelist, Elizabeth Sims wrote newspaper articles, technical manuals, training videos, press releases, book reviews, and poems and stories. She has found success recently with her series of books featuring reporter Lillian Byrd. Byrd is introduced in Holy Hell, which is set in Detroit. In this debut, the protagonist has just experienced a breakup with her lover and is fired for stabbing the boss's obnoxious son, who has been sexually harassing her, in the buttocks. She picks up a freelance assignment to cover the same story she was working on at the newspaper concerning the disappearance of women. As Byrd delves deeper into the facts of the crimes, she becomes pursued by the criminals who perpetrated them.
The sequel, Damn Straight, is set in California during the Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs. Lillian leaves dreary Detroit when her friend Truby calls, asking for advice on how to be a lesbian, which she suspects she must be because none of her heterosexual relationships have worked out. To entice Lillian, she mentions that she has passes to the LPGA tournament. Lillian, a golf enthusiast, arrives in sunny Los Angeles, where she hooks up with top-ranked Genie Maychild, who she soon discovers is being stalked by someone who wants to prevent her from winning the championship.
Lillian makes a quick trip to Genie's Midwestern hometown, where she pretends to be a reporter for Sports Illustrated in order to delve into Genie's past, hoping she can find a clue to the current dilemma. When she returns to the tournament with new knowledge, Genie's caddy is killed in an accident, and Lillian steps in to help out. Genie's failure to observe anything beyond her own game puts a damper on their relationship, however, and Truby, who finally has sex with a woman, finds that it is no more fulfilling than her previous relationships. She is damn straight, as the title suggests. Other characters include Coco Nash, the rookie who threatens to overcome Genie, and a rabbit named Todd.
"Though the plot's a tad thin," commented a Kirkus Reviews contributor, "the Dinah and sports celebrities are well-handled, and there's much charm and deprecating humor in Lillian's instructions to Truby." Lynne Maxwell reviewed Sims's second novel in Lambda Book Report, in which she wrote: "Intrinsically decent heroine Lillian Byrd exemplifies the qualities we all like to think we display. Not only is she the kind of person we would like to be, but she is also the kind of friend and/or lover we would like to have. Lillian, though, is far from perfect; she is also endearingly human, which means that she, like all of us, makes her share of mistakes." Booklist contributor Whitney Scott concluded that Damn Straight is "a sassy, smart, ultimately thoughtful thriller."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
A Look at Books, March, 2002, Teresa DeCrescenzo, review of Holy Hell.
Booklist, May 1, 2003, Whitney Scott, review of Damn Straight, p. 1554.
Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2003, review of Damn Straight, p. 432.
Lambda Book Report, August-September, 2003, Michele Spring-Moore, review of Best Lesbian Love Stories 2003, p. 25, Lynne Maxwell, review of Damn Straight, p. 30.
Library Journal, May 1, 2003, Rex Klett, review of Damn Straight, p. 159.
Alyson.com,http://www.alyson.com/ (March 20, 2004), interview with Elizabeth Sims.
Elizabeth Sims Home Page,http://www.elizabethsims.com (March 20, 2004).