Archive | April, 2013

Winners of the Desolation Point Giveaway

29 Apr

Desolation Point desktopAnd we have winners! Chosen this afternoon by an online random number generator, the signed copies of Desolation Point will be winging their way to: Sue Flynn and Sam 🙂 Congratulations to both – you should have messages waiting for you via Facebook or email. If you don’t, be sure to send us an email (uklesfic@gmail.com).

A big thank you to all who took the time to leave comments and feedback, or emailed in their entries.

Apologies for the slightly tardy announcement but night shifts do have a habit of playing hell with blog updates!

Nicola Griffith wins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize

27 Apr

NicolaGriffithLambda Literary Foundation has just announced the recipients of the 2013 James Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize and this year the prize recognises UK novelist Nicola Griffith as well as US writer Trebor Healey.

This is what the Foundation had to say of their work:

“Trebor Healey and Nicola Griffith are both writers who are unafraid to take risks in their writing, stretching the strictures of genre to ask bigger questions. They use the lens of their LGBT experience as a prism through which universal themes of love, society, and the meaning of life are refracted, disassembled and reassembled in ways that are at once challenging and rewarding to the reader. Their work deepens and enriches the tapestry of LGBT literature: worthy of a place in the modern canon of English literature while expanding the notions of what LGBT literature can be.”

Nicola’s first book Ammonite was an ambitious and thoughtful science fiction novel exploring what might happen when a member of a technologically advanced civilisation visits a planet in which all males have been wiped out by a virusammoniteAmmonite won a Lambda Literary award and James Tiptree, Jr. Award for science fiction or fantasy, as well as plaudits from the likes of Ursula Le Guin.

Her follow up, Slow River, kept one foot in the science fiction genre but is set on near-future Earth, a dark and troubled world but recognisably ours. The protagonist, the emotionally damaged daughter of a powerful family, wakes up in an alley with her identity missing, and the book follows her attempt to make sense of family secrets and corporate corruption, and to prevent ecological disaster. Slow River won the Nebula Award and another Lambda.

237642-MNicola followed Slow River with the Aud trilogy: Blue Place, Stay and Always, featuring ex-cop Aud Torbingen (“Aud, rhymes with shroud”), a sexy, strong, intelligent character in a taut crime series dominated by Aud’s struggle to balance toughness and fragility and to allow herself to love. The Blue Place won Nicola yet another Lambda.

With her latest novel Hild (due out in November 2013), Nicola Griffith takes on historical fiction for the first time, in the story of the seventh-century abbess and saint, Hild of Whitby. We’re looking forward to it already!

Congratulations Nicola from everyone at UKLesFic on winning this major award!

News Round Up: New books from loads of Brit authors, The Cocktail Hour Needs You, and Gaze Magazine hits the Internet

25 Apr

We hung on to the news this week so we could post a bit of a bumper update! And bumper it certainly is! Deep breath, here we go…

Let’s kick off with what we’re all about on this site, which is new books by UK authors:

bold books logoBold Strokes Books updated their forthcoming schedule last week, providing details on all their new releases up to and including February, 2014, and there are loads of UK authors listed.  In June, Crin Claxton’s vampire thriller Scarlet Thirst will be getting an e-book rerelease, while July sees brand new works from I.Beacham and Ke Payne. Andrea Bramhall has Clean Slate out in September and the next instalment of Lesley Davis’ Wings Paranormal series Pale Wings Protecting is released in October. Rounding out 2013 and just in time for Christmas will be Secret Lies, the début from YA novelist Amy Dunne. The synopses and covers for all those novels can be found by clicking the above link.

See Right Through Me- Draft2LT Smith has a new novel pending with her new publisher Ylva. See Right Through Me is slated for an autumn release  (well, the site says Fall, so I’m translating that into Brit!) and the blurb goes a little like this:

Trust, respect, and love. Three little words—that’s all. But these words are powerful, and if we ignore any one of them, then three other little words take their place: jealousy, insecurity, and heartbreak.
Schoolteacher Gemma Hughes is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life. Disorganised and clumsy, she soon finds herself in the capable hands of the beautiful Dr Maria Moran. Everything goes wonderfully until Gemma starts doubting Maria’s intentions and begins listening to the wrong people.
But has Maria something to hide, or is it a case of swapping trust for insecurity, respect for jealousy and finishing with a world of heartbreak and deceit? Can Gemma stop her actions before it’s too late? Or will she ruin the best thing to happen in her life?
Given her track record, anything is possible …

Over on Val McDermid’s blog is the revelation that she is currently working on a new Tony and Carol thriller.

Val says: ‘I’m working on the new Tony & Carol book, Cross and Burn — the title comes from the saying, ‘the problem with bridges is knowing which ones to cross and which ones to burn.’ A killer is on the loose, a killer who threatens both Tony and Carol but in very different ways.’

Val is also busy with preliminaries on her reworking of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Never let it be said that this is an author who doesn’t like a challenge.

perf6.000x9.000.inddLast but not least of our roundup of “new release” news this week is BSB’s UK editorial arm Victoria Oldham (an honorary Brit!) who has a short story (Love’s Horizon) published this month in the anthology Blood and Lipstick

In Love’s Horizon, yacht captain Jayne moonlights as a paranormal researcher, so she isn’t surprised when her newest client, Eleni, turns out to be a vampire. What does surprise her is that after making Eleni promise that she was permanently off the menu, she becomes increasingly frustrated when Eleni keeps it.

For more information on the anthology and the stories within, check out this link.

Moving on from reading to listening now, and the lovely ladies at The Cocktail Hour podcast have been in touch with UK LesFic to open up an invitation to any UK authors who might be interested in featuring on short recordings. Cheri – who regularly co-hosts the show – wrote to say:

Any authors looking for an audience for a short reading or would like to chat for a bit about their work and/or future projects canheader1 contact the folks over at Cocktail Hour and set something up. info@cocktailhour.us

The Cocktail Hour podcasts have  a large and enthusiastic fanbase and their focus is mainly on LesFic, whether that be interviewing authors, chatting about books or, on occasion, just getting a little bit tipsy. If you’ve never visited their archives before, you could probably get lost in them for a good few days! At the moment, they are holding a Best of 2012 poll where listeners can vote for their favourite show of the year. There are some huge LesFic names in the running, so go catch up on those you might have missed, and pick your winners!

GazeCoverA new gay culture review magazine, Gaze, has just hit the Internet. In a recent article for The Guardian, co-creator Paul Burston explained the thinking behind the publication which lists VG Lee as one of its contributors: “We didn’t want to write about gay lifestyle or pander to straight soap hunks who love their gay fans. We wanted to tackle issues one doesn’t generally read about in the lesbian and gay press.” Sounds like it might be well worth a peek. The magazine can be purchased here.

To round out on a lighter note, the best search term of the week resulting in a hit to this site simply has to go to: lesbian hunting hunting lesbian girls in shopping center

Whoever the hell was trolling for that, I hope you eventually got lucky. PS – you misspelled centre.

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Cari Hunter on Desolation Point

22 Apr

Cari HWith being so busy covering everyone else’s lesfic news, Cari Hunter has been far too quiet about her own new novel! If you want a novel with suspense, romance, an exciting outdoor adventure and great writing, Cari’s your woman. This month, Cari follows up her gripping and excellent début Snowbound with her new novel, Desolation Point, which she talks about falling in love with here. Look out for details below on the book giveaway too – I’ll definitely be signing up for that.

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Falling Head Over Heels Hiking Boots

~ ~ ~

I haven’t fallen in love many times in my life. With my wife it happened pretty much on first sight, then there was Fizz my pet hamster when I was twelve, and my two cats—well, they go without saying. For a while there I thought I was in love with Lena Headey, but that was possibly more a case of lust.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I found myself falling head-over-heels for two of my characters. It wasn’t supposed to happen, I certainly didn’t ask for it and it may well have been ill-advised, but—if I may pinch a language slightly more romantic than my own—je ne regrette rien.

desolation peakIt all started two years ago. My debut novel, Snowbound, was safely edited and off to the printers, so I began to plan a new story. I had a basic concept in mind: a national park, a flood, two women trapped in the middle of it all, and a bad guy chasing them down. I even drew a sketch, and I’m completely crap at those. The idea evolved: the national park became the North Cascades and the flood became a storm in the mountains. The bad guy stayed bad, while the two women got names—Alex and Sarah—and backgrounds. I wrote notes and outlines and marked my story beats. I researched my chosen location, used YouTube to teach myself how to fire a Glock and covered my computer desktop with pictures of snowy peaks. At some point I stopped procrastinating and actually started to write the bloody thing, and that, as they say, was that.

The love affair, as these things often do, started slowly. Alex and Sarah made me laugh, and I’m a sucker for a funny woman. They kept me up at night, thinking about them, considering from what cliff I’d left them dangling and how I was going to patch them up when they were back on terra firma. For twelve months of writing, in between 12-hour shifts where I might get puked on or spat at or verbally abused, Alex and Sarah were an absolute joy to come home to and spend time with. When Desolation Point was finished and Bold Strokes had said “yes” to publishing it, I knew already that I couldn’t give the characters up.

I probably should have—given that there’s a law of diminishing returns attached to sequels, and that standalone romances usually conclude as soon as the happy couple are, well, a happy couple—but I couldn’t. Mea culpa.Desolation Point desktop

So I started another story, an all-out thriller this time, with Alex and Sarah living far away from the Cascades, keeping their heads down, getting on with new careers and attempting to stay out of trouble. As you may have already guessed, despite their best efforts they do end up getting into quite a lot of trouble, which was fine by me; it meant sharing their company for another year.

I am not ashamed to say that I cried when I came to write the very last scene. Because that really was that. I had taken the couple as far as they could go and I needed to move past them. The only problem was that I really bloody missed them. For weeks, a brand new writing pad remained untouched. Pens languished in the drawer, reduced to signing cheques and scribbling shopping lists. I was stymied, unable to create a new cast of characters when I wanted those two back. There were a few tears before bedtime and then a none too subtle request from my real-life beloved that I pull on my Big Girl pants and stop being so damn mard.

mac-and-cheese-650-1I’m wearing them right now, my Big Girl pants, and taking a quick break from working on a fourth story, set back in England. I have new characters, whose voices I’m growing fond of and who are steadily pushing Alex and Sarah into the background. My wife is happy to see me writing rather than moping, and I’m looking forward to summer in the garden with ice-lollies and that pad of paper. I will confess to getting a little pang every time we have mac‘n’cheese, but I suspect even that will fade, given time.

I never went to Writing School, so I don’t know whether you get warned about these kinds of attachment issues. There are countless authors out there who do stick with the same characters book after book, developing them, challenging them and even in some cases killing them off when the reader least expects it. There’s undoubtedly an ease in returning to familiar faces, in already having their backgrounds established or relationships under way, and there’s a real thrill in being able to take your characters further, not to have to abandon them just when things were getting interesting and start all over again from scratch. The maxim write what you know can surely be adjusted to write who you know.

If there are any authors out there who have recently parted ways with their creations and are now experiencing similar heartache, I hope it might help to hear that you are not alone. But having said that, now might be the time to pull on your own pair of Big Girl pants and dust off that writing pad.

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Desolation Point is available now in paperback and e-book. Its sequel, provisionally titled Tumbledown, will be published by BSB in 2014. You can catch up with Cari at her own blog or via Facebook.

GIVEAWAY!

BSB_Desolation_PointUK LesFic has two signed copies of Desolation Point to give away to anyone who leaves a comment on this thread (all you need to do is say “hello” and leave your email address in the system so we can contact you if you win!) or who gets in touch via our email address: uklesfic@gmail.com

Closing date for entries is midnight, Sunday 28th April, and we’ll announce the winners on the 29th. Best of British to everyone 🙂

News Round Up: Sky Croft at Women & Words, Arachne Press Seeking Submissions, Cherry Potts interview, and Hild’s full cover revealed.

15 Apr

imagesSky Croft, author of Mountain Rescue: The Ascent, has been guest blogging over at  Women and Words.  The piece focuses upon where Sky gets her inspiration, and she reveals that the wilds of Scotland have been particularly important for her writing:

I’ve holidayed there since I was a child, and many of my fondest memories are from that time. It’s a beautiful place: lush rolling hills around the border, impressive jagged peaks in the Highlands, and a feeling of peace and solitude that I’ve yet to find anywhere else. I could continue, but I’d best stop there before I sound like a tour guide!

You can read the entire blog here.

Another recent addition to the UK LesFic authors, Cherry Potts, has been in touch to tell us that Arachne Press are currently mosaic-of-air (1)looking for submissions and are very keen to find new lesbian authors. Hurry, because the window for submissions ends in May!

“We will start considering unsolicited work from April 2013 for publication in 2015. We will consider novels, poetry, short story collections, and young adult/ older children’s fiction titles. Submissions will only be considered until the end of MAY 2013.”

There’s loads more information about their submission process right here. Polish off those manuscripts, folks!

Cherry Potts’ own story collection Mosaic of Air will be republished in September. You can find out more about Cherry and Arachne Press in her recent interview for Inkapture Magazine.

spine detail (1)Nicola Griffith recently received her ARCs (Advance Reading Copies – yes, I had to bloody google it!) for her forthcoming novel, Hild. They are very lovely and I think it’s safe to say, that she’s quite fond of them 😉 With an entire boxful heading over to her in the not too distant future, she has promised a giveaway over at her blog. In the meantime, you can see more of the cover artwork  here.

News Roundup: Clare Ashton nominated for a Goldie Award, New Author Sky Croft, Brit Authors talk Tea, and Manda Scott Touring in Shropshire

12 Apr

GCLS-2x2Blackweb---2As the temperatures rise ever so slightly, the LesFic awards season seems to have kicked up a gear. This week has seen the nominations for the Goldie Awards announced, and we are thrilled here at UK LesFic because our very own Clare Ashton is nominated in the Romantic Suspense/Intrigue category for After Mrs Hamilton.

The Goldie award ceremony is the highlight of the annual Golden Crown Literary Society conference, which alights on a different US city each year. This year’s conference will be held 26-30th June in Dallas, Texas with a wealth of LesFic authors in attendance. There aren’t any UK names on the schedule, but maybe we can set that right for the next conference in Portland, Oregon.

Many congratulations to Clare, and commiserations to those who didn’t make it onto the short list. The awards will be held on the 29th June and – as with the Lambdas – we’ll be keeping a keen eye on the results.

A warm welcome to a new author on our listing. Sky Croft, an author with Regal Crest, has two novels in the pipeline for this year, with her first, Mountain Rescue: The Ascent, currently slated for a May release. Sky has her own blog, where you can find out more about all three of her novels.

cupoftea2Playing along at 1 Question, 10 Answers over on the Women & Words blog this month were the aforementioned Ms Croft, BSB author Ke Payne, and me. The question this time around was “What is your favourite beverage” and unsurprisingly two out of the three Brits chose tea. You can read the full piece at the above link, including a selection of recipes from other authors that were slightly more exotic than tea bag, boiling hot water and milk.

manda-scottAnybody who lives in or around Shropshire and fancies meeting Manda (MC) Scott this month is most definitely in luck. Her book tour to promote Rome: The Art Of War is focused on that area, with an upcoming signing in Waterstones, Shrewsbury on Saturday April 20th (12 p.m. – 1 p.m.) and a talk at Ludlow Library on April 25th. Full details of both those appearances can be found by following the links.

News roundup: L Fest and Bold Strokes Festivals, new online magazine Gaze and competitions

10 Apr

LFestArtsThe line up for L Fest is shaping up nicely. Jackie Kay and VG Lee are already confirmed, and Crin Claxton will be doing a reading. More acts will be announced soon so keep checking back to the L Fest website.

The Bold Strokes Book Festival has also expanded its list of attending writers and now includes an impressive list of UK lesfic authors. The event is held in Nottingham and is a great opportunity to see authors like Andrea Bramhall, Cari Hunter, Gill McKnight and Lesley Davis. You can find out more here.

GazeCoverA new online magazine has just been launched. Gaze is a bi-monthly online review covering serious political and cultural topics and contributors include VG Lee, Sophie Ward and Julie Bindel. You can follow Gaze on Facebook and Twitter and content will be available here.

The deadline for Polari Prize submissions has been extended to 30th April. The prize is for debut UK authors of poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction whose work has been published in English within the past twelve months. Self-published works are eligible for submission. To enter email paulburston@btinternet.com, with ‘Polari First Book Prize’ in the subject field, and let him know about your work.

TipiFinally Andrea Bramhall, author of Ladyfish and Clean Slate, is holding a competition to name a character in her next novel. Fans of Ladyfish might have suspected Andrea is a scuba-diving enthusiast, but she is also co-owner of Deepdale Backpackers and Camping in Norfolk. Deepdale are also offering a night in a Tipi on the Norfolk coast to winners of the competition. Find out more about this fab competition here.