Roberta Degnore

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Roberta Degnore is the author of twelve agent-represented, published novels (Dell, Jove, Zebra, Ace...). All were published with pseudonyms but are currently being re-issued under her name.
She continues to write new works, of course. Published by Digital Fabulists are: Until You See Me, inspired by the Winnie Ruth Judd trunk murders; Invisible Soft Return:\ which is science fiction of past and future lives [LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST]; Family Business, the biography of an international Ecstasy drug manufacturer--still in draft.
She is also an award winning screenwriter (Jack Nicholson Prize) with optioned screenplays, a filmmaker and a psychologist.
Moving in broad arcs instead of straight lines, she travels widely and learns whatever she can wherever she is from whoever happens to be there.
Unfortunately, she has ignored Blondie's suggestion to die young and stay pretty.

Invisible Soft Return Cover

Invisible Soft Return

BY Roberta Degnore • POSTED ON Oct. 6, 2013

In Degnore’s (Stuck Up, 2012, etc.) sci-fi novel, 33-year-old Evet is accused of murdering her beloved cat and a little girl who may be her daughter.

In a world where computer-simulated experiences called Sims are uploaded directly into one’s brain, people commonly live out their dark fantasies and forbidden urges. However, even the most banal real-world experiences are considered taboo, and murder is unheard of. After Evet is accused of such a violent crime, her friends suggest that perhaps she committed murder by mistake, confusing reality for a Sim. However, Evet is a Sim designer herself, so she’s among the few people in her society who are permitted to engage in real-world experiences. Therefore, she understands the distinction better than most—and she knows she didn’t commit the crime. However, she still grieves over the loss of her cat (who, oddly enough, was also her lover), and over the loss of a daughter she doesn’t remember having—and those memories meld into one. When law enforcement officers detain Evet and torture her by controlling her thoughts, her grip on reality further slips. The lines between individual and collective memory become blurred as she falls in and out of a series of dreams that take her to different points in history. The novel pushes even the most open-minded readers’ boundaries early on, as it opens with a shocking description of a sexual encounter between a woman and a cat. However, in this story, animals also serve as a reminder of how humanity has been lost, absorbed into simulated realities. The author forces readers to suspend their expectations about appropriate relationships and challenges them to abandon comfortably held notions of the nature of reality. This isn’t a casual read and may leave some readers behind, but it has a jarring elegance that may leave a profound impression on those willing to open themselves up to it.

A cerebral work of feminist cyberpunk literature that challenges modern concepts of gender, literacy, privacy, humanity and reality.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-0615900551

Page count: 420pp

Publisher: Digital Fabulists

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2013



BY Roberta Degnore • POSTED ON Feb. 20, 2012

A young woman from a strict, religious family and trapped in an equally oppressive marriage struggles to break free in the midst of the Great Depression.

The year is 1932 and Pearl Tild is on her way from Tucson to Los Angeles. Traveling by train with her companion, Gordon McAndless, something feels wrong. Upon arriving in LA, the cause of Pearl’s unease is revealed: a dismembered corpse is found packed into her steamer trunk. From here, Degnore returns to the beginning to trace the story of Pearl, a unique woman who has an unusual perspective of the world, and the events that led to the discovery of her macabre cargo. Pearl is a wonderfully complex character weighed down by the emotional baggage of growing up in her dysfunctional, rigidly religious family. Her emotional state is revealed as much by the peculiar cadence of her speech and the idiosyncrasies of her behavior as by the historical details Degnore provides in small bits and pieces. This fascinating study of human behavior wraps around a cleverly written murder mystery where the identity of both victim and murderer are held in secret until the last possible moment. Degnore subtly peels back narrative layers to bring Pearl’s deepest fears and desires to the surface. At times this careful dissection takes a little too long, which creates a few slow spots; but the large-scale effect is too compelling to resist. Through Pearl’s eyes, her husband, friends and family are also revealed to be full of flaws and human frailty. But, as Degnore gently yet adamantly insists, don’t be too quick to judge—chances are, what you thought was certain is uncertain.

A thoughtful, engrossing story of a young woman desperately fighting to find her own voice even as family, friends and society try to keep her silent.

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2012

Page count: 383pp

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Awards, Press & Interests

Favorite author

Alain Robbe-Grillet

Favorite book

The Enchantress of Florence, Salman Rushdie


New York

Unexpected skill or talent


The Assistance of Vice: Jack Nicholson Prize in Screenwriting, 2004

Invisible Soft Return: Lambda Literary Award Finalist, 2013

Interview, 2013


Invisible Soft Return:\

--LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FINALIST-- What if you are forced to be more than you ever dreamed? And there's a cosmic gun pointed at your head to make sure you'll do it. Be a murderer or a creator? That's Evet's choice in the 23rd Century...
Published: June 15, 2013
ISBN: 0615900550

The Real Connection

Edmond Taillet was France's most popular singer, and its most notorious heroin smuggler--part of the real French Connection. This is his story.
Published: July 23, 1977
ISBN: 0890832552

The Assistance of Vice

New York in the 1980s when cocaine wasn't addictive and other fantasies keep a young photographer from success. When she finds herself, she's better than she thought she could be.
Published: Feb. 15, 1989
ISBN: 0934411190

Stuck Up

It is horse country in antebellum Natchez. A naive young woman suddenly left to run her family's plantation discovers courage and independence when her survival is at stake.
Published: Nov. 20, 2012
ISBN: 0615730973

Gold Digger!

A newly impoverished New York debutante finds her independence, and love, in California's gold rush.
Published: Nov. 1, 2012
ISBN: 0615715354

Renegade Hearts

In colonial Georgia a woman resists her worst enemy...until she falls in love with him.
Published: July 1, 1989
ISBN: 0440203597

Between The Lines

Monica is a cub reporter just moved to New Orleans. Falling in love with a married man looked like it was going to be her next worse move...
Published: April 5, 1983
ISBN: 0671463136

A Woman of New Orleans

In 1890s New Orleans Felicite Fortier wants to open the finest restaurant anywhere. But love, and voo-doo, bring her more than she can bear... until she finds her courage.
Published: Feb. 3, 1983
ISBN: 0440098564

Love Alone

Amanda escapes from harsh times with her gold-prospecting father only to find worse times in New York and London. Love can save her--but she must allow herself to feel it first.
Published: Nov. 1, 1981
ISBN: 0515050822

Wildfire Woman

High-born Emma, suddenly penniless, is sent from London to New York to face unspeakable wrongs. Only when she finds courage, and true love, does she find dignity again.
Published: June 13, 1978
ISBN: 0440095794

Rebel In Love

Boston in 1773 is no place for a naive woman to think she can fall in love with a British spy and be safe. It takes a truer love from a rebel to show her real courage in herself.
Published: Aug. 27, 1978
ISBN: 0441708862

A Golden Love

A newly impoverished New York debutante finds her independence, and love, in California's gold rush.
Published: Jan. 1, 1978
ISBN: 0441297307

A Love So Proud

It is horse country in antebellum Natchez. A naive young woman suddenly left to run her family's plantation discovers courage and independence when her survival is at stake.
Published: Aug. 1, 1977
ISBN: 0441497233

An Innocent Heart

Shy and innocent Margaret Hadley is forced to leave London for 1850s New York. There she learns about freedom--and love--from an unlikely rogue, Black Jack Carter.
Published: Aug. 1, 1977
ISBN: 0441370756

Minglewood Manor

After World War I Kentucky was a different world than the old established families had known. A young woman whose family refuses to change learns that finding herself and trusting in love become her own private war to win.
Published: July 20, 1977
ISBN: 0890832749
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