News Roundup: Clare Lydon at Brighton Pride, Sarah Waters is Just About Everywhere, New Author Kirsty Grant, Call to UK Authors & Loads More!

1 Aug

For some reason everything in our house is breaking, blowing up, leaking, or flat-out refusing to work. So, before my laptop decides to join in the fun, I’m going to whip through this week’s news…

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clarelydonThe sun is still out, the beaches are packed, people are wandering around in ill-advised shorts, and Pride season is upon us! Anyone off to Brighton Pride this weekend (1st-3rd August – forecast: warm with isolated showers) should head directly to the Literature Live tent in Preston Park on the Saturday, where Clare Lydon will be first up with a reading from London Calling. It is your civic duty to go cheer her along and maybe buy a book or two. I’m sure she’ll be happy to scribble on a copy for you. All the details about this fabulous three-day weekend event can be found here.

Clare has also been waxing lyrical about her recent festival experiences, with her blog post listing the Top Ten Things About L Fest, 2014:

9. The Fishfinger Butty stall

When the rains came and all else seemed lost, there was the fishfinger butty stall. £3 bought you two slices of spongy white bread, fishfingers & ketchup. An extra quid for a potato waffle. This was the stuff of festival dreams.

Read the full 1-10 at the link.

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loved settledWe have a new author to welcome to the site this week. Kirsty Grant was born in Edinburgh, raised in Bonnyrigg, and now resides in Stirling. Her debut novella, Loved, Settled and Understood, was published by Melange Books in July:

Following the death of her best friend, Laura, Sophie’s life is thrown into turmoil. Torn between the stability of her long term relationship with her boyfriend, Jeff, and the unexpected raw desire for Laura’s sister, Jane, Sophie finds herself questioning her sexuality. Acting upon her desire, Sophie discovers that following her heart has unforeseen consequences and she finds herself tangled in a web of complicated love and heartache. Loved, Settled and Understood is a passionate love story which takes Sophie on a life altering journey of grief, lust, love and anger. How many hearts will be broken in the quest for true love? Is it easier to walk away from love to avoid heartache? Will the words of her late friend, Laura, echo true and will Sophie ever be loved, settled and understood?

You can find out more about Kirsty here at her blog, or over at her author page on Facebook.

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598px-Sarah_WatersThe pre-release publicity romp for Sarah WatersThe Paying Guests is kicking up a gear, with Kirkus whetting the appetite of pretty much every lesbian with a pulse with the opening line of this review:

An exquisitely tuned exploration of class in post-Edwardian Britain—with really hot sex.

Okay, okay, so it goes on to say slightly more reviewy other stuff as well:

Waters is a master of pacing, and her metaphor-laced prose is a delight; when Frances and Lilian go on a picnic, “the eggs [give] up their shells as if shrugging off cumbersome coats”—just like the women. As life-and-death questions are answered, new ones come up, and until the last page, the reader will have no idea what’s going to happen.

The full text of the review can be found at the second link up there.

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paying guestsIf all that talk of sex and egg shells has got you chomping at the bit, then you may want to take the opportunity to “spend an evening” with Sarah Waters at Stylist’s second book club event, which is being held on Thursday 28th August, 6-8pm. Here are the details from the site:

An exclusive preview copy of The Paying Guests will be sent to you before the event, three weeks ahead of its official publication, so you’ll be ready with your questions.

On the night, Sarah will read an excerpt of her new book, followed by an audience Q&A, and you’ll get the chance to have your hardback copy, available to collect on the night, signed by the author.

The venue, Holborn’s chic Rosewood London hotel, is particularly apt: it was formerly the HQ of Pearl Assurance Company, the building where Leonard works in The Paying Guests.

Tickets are £35, which includes a glass of wine and two exclusive copies of The Paying Guests – a preview copy sent in advance and a hardback copy on the night. The last time I checked, tickets were still available at this link.

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Frozen-Scream-main-300x178Finally in our Sarah Waters round up (!): not content with launching a book and touring the country, Sarah has also co-written a play with Olivier award winning entertainer, Christopher Green.

Based on the lost 1928 supernatural murder-mystery novel, The Frozen Scream tells the chilling tale of a group who find themselves stranded at an abandoned lodge in the depths of winter. Forced to entertain themselves, they begin to tell the tale of Jack Frost, the most terrifying of the Frost Giants. But as the story takes a shocking twist, they discover they should have heeded the early warnings to ‘beware the ice’.

A series of mysterious deaths apparently led to claims that the original novel was cursed, so it should be interesting to see what happens with this stage version. The play will run in Cardiff from December 11-20th, and then move to the Birmingham Hippodrome January 7-17th. To buy tickets for either venue, follow the links, and to read more about the adaptation, head here.

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KikiAndBoobsA call now to UK authors who fancy being included in a charity short story anthology. I’m going to be a right lazy sod and just let Ms Angie Peach tell you all about it:

So, after chatting with lots of authors at L Fest, Kiki Archer and I have decided to open up the genre of admissions to include any and every genre! And that’s not all! We’ve also extended the deadline for you to submit your short story to us, which will now be the end of September. So if you are Indie, published or even unpublished, and want to be involved in this amazing opportunity, get in touch with either Kiki or myself. Please also share this status so word can get around! Unfortunately, it is still only open for UK authors. Here’s a link to the charity! Thanks everyone! 

You can contact both authors via their Facebook pages. Just click on their names to hop over to their pages.

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hild coverA big congrats this week to Nicola Griffith and Sarah Waters, who – with Hild and The Paying Guests respectively – have both made it onto the Guardian‘s Not the Booker Prize list, a selection of books nominated by readers and intended to be a little more balanced than those the Booker may have chosen. A list of around 90 books needs cutting down to a shortlist of 6, and that’s where you lot come in. To vote for your favourite two novels from the list (which must be from two different publishers), write a review of around 100 words for each book in the comments section on this post. The deadline for votes is midnight, 3rd August, and you don’t need to write anything particularly erudite, just be enthusiastic!

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veronica fearonMore congratulations to V A Fearon (The Girl with the Treasure Chest) and Sarah Westwood (The Rubbish Lesbian), who have been longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize. The prize is open to any work of poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction published in the UK in English within the 12 months of the deadline for submissions (this year Feb 1, 2013). The shortlist for the award, which was won by Mari Hannah‘s The Murder Wall last year, will be announced at the Polari Literary Salon on September 8th 2014,  and the winner will be revealed on October 8th 2014 in the Purcell Room at the London Literature Festival.

Good luck to the four authors on both of these longlists! For a sneak peek at the line up for forthcoming Polari events head here.

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Okay, I’m going to quit while the going is good and the laptop is still functional. If you are off to a Pride event this weekend, have loads of fun and shake your rainbow booty!

rainbow fan

 

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