BooQfest by Lesley Davis

7 Oct

Pam from the US wished that there was better coverage of UK events such as BooQfest, and UKLesFic is happy to oblige. Lesley Davis has sent us her report on the Northampton festival. Lesley was there to talk about the fantasy genre and her Lambda finalist novel Dark Wings Descending and its sequel Pale Wings Protecting (published this month).

3901374Being invited to Northampton’s BooQfest this year was a wonderful surprise. I was to have an hour-long panel to myself, aided and abetted by Chris Hinchley as my moderator. The setting was intimate but it meant that the people in the audience could get up close and personal and join in on what I was doing. I got to speak about all my different books, concentrating mostly on the more recent Dark Wings Descending and the newly released Pale Wings Protecting. It was fun to talk about how the ideas for the stories came about, why I chose to go the ‘angels and demons’ route with my stories, and why that genre at all. The audience were great and it was wonderful to have some of my friends there to ask questions that they already knew the answers to but for the rest of the audience to hear too. I did a reading from Dark Wings Descending, setting the scene of demons roaming the earth. I talked about what comes first, the characters or the story, and there were the usual questions concerning being a British writer writing for an American publisher. It always boils down to ‘pants’ vs ‘trousers’!

I was then a part of a Fantasy Panel with novelist Derek Kettlety, Dr. Who/The Sarah Jane Adventures screenwriter Joseph Lidster, and poet Roz Kaveney. Chris Hinchley moderated us again marvellously. This panel should have run for two hours instead of just the one, because I think we could have put to rights the sorry state of gay portrayal in the fantasy genre! It was very sad to realise that we just aren’t treated with due respect in the genre at all. When the only ‘happy ever after’ endings can be counted on one hand and aren’t even fantasy related, you know TV and film need to get their act together and portray us with honour.

20130914_141156There were some spirited debates about books in general, the brilliance of J.K. Rowling causing children to pick up a book as opposed to the multi-selling power of Fifty Shades of Grey having the same effect for the older reader. Star Trek, Dr. Who (where we were treated to some “Spoilers, sweetie!”), Defiance, and Warehouse 13, all were discussed for their ‘gay’ content (I was sporting a Warehouse 13 tee-shirt so it had to be included!) To be honest, hearing how badly we are treated in mainstream media only served to make me more thankful that as a writer I can create my own worlds where lesbians are allowed to be whatever they want to be and find their one true love. The general consensus seemed to be we needed more gay characters that weren’t used just for comedic value or cannon fodder. We were all tired of the gay character killed off for a plot point.

I hope next year’s Booqfest gets more publicity so that more spirited debates can take place! The LBGT community has a lot to say concerning media of all sorts, and it was great to have a place to hear it spoken out loud.

You can find out more about Lesley, her books and appearances at book festivals on her website.

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5 Responses to “BooQfest by Lesley Davis”

  1. Pam October 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    Wow! Thanks so much for the update! And for remembering that there are tons of us over here “across the pond” who wish we could make it to the UK events and are very interested in what they’re all about and who appears!

    • Lesley Davis October 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      Thank you Pam, wish you could have been at this fest too! Events knocked me a little off my feet this year but hope the above blog was worth the wait while I got a little better!! 🙂

    • Cari Hunter October 8, 2013 at 8:53 am #

      You’re welcome, Pam. It’s lovely to know we have an international readership for the blog (and we do know; WordPress provides excellent stats information!) which is why we’ll often list appearances by authors overseas as well as on these shores 🙂

  2. I Beacham October 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Hey Leslie, Glad it all went well and I wish I could have got up there to ask some intense and meaningful questions…Us West Midlanders like those 🙂 Anyway, keep writing and speak to you soon.

    Beach

    • Lesley Davis October 7, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

      Hey Beach!! We’d have had a blast together here! A Midlander with intense and meaningful questions?!! Yikes! ;D You’d have kept me on my toes!! Will definitely speak to you soon! xx

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