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L Fest 2015

21 Jul

The sun shined DSC_1606on L Fest this year, and a fun and cozy event it was too. Live music got the big top treatment and the arts stage was hosted nearby in an airy bright tent. Stalls lined the edges of two grassy areas with everything from busking to dog shows. There were fewer author panels this year, and no fiction workshops, but what the sessions lacked in quantity they certainly made up for in quality.

Karen Campbell

Jubilation at working microphones and a brilliant reading from Karen Campbell

First up was the Indie Panel ably captained by Clare Lydon. HP Munro had the unenviable task of kicking off the show before the microphones arrived but was beautifully audible by the time her reading of the merkin scene from the much-loved Stars Collide came around. Sally Edwards read from her self-confessed highly autobiographical debut How to Love. Karen Campbell enthralled the audience with a brilliant reading from her work in progress about a lesbian dwarf. And Suzanne Egerton, who has one of those voices you need for Book at Bedtime, delivered her humorous story Diva like a pro.

Polari Panel

The fabulous Polari panel: Diana Souhami, host Paul Burston, VG Lee, Kiki Archer and VA Fearon

Sunday morning was time for Paul Burston‘s Polari panel and a large and eager crowd was up early to see some sparkling readings. VA Fearon started the session with a reading from her gritty London gangland thriller The Girl With the Treasure Chest. Some light relief was dished out by Kiki Archer with the shitting-mobility-scooter-icecream scene from Too Late…I Love You, much to the delight of the audience. Diana Souhami was a great inclusion, effortlessly entertaining with her own witty observations and reading wonderful snippets from her biography of the fascinating Alice B Tokas and Gertrude Stein. VG Lee supplied the grand finale with two Deirdre stories to a most appreciative crowd.

Manda Scott

Manda Scott

The last author session was from the big-selling Manda Scott. The historical fiction author took a handful of questions and then talked most impressively about everything from living in round houses to knights steering horses with their bums and how genuinely terrifying battle reenactments are. She offered a few interesting tidbits about her writing career such as her name change (to MC Scott) being forced upon her for the Rome series, much to her chagrin, and the barriers to writing the Boudica series – pressure to keep to her previous thriller brand and established historical authors suggesting there was not enough material to support new fiction – Manda went on to write a series of four sizable tomes.

It was, all in all, a fabulous festival. But let’s hope 2016 sees a beefed up arts side to L Fest.

Polari

Polari panelists VG Lee, Paul Burston, Kiki Archer, Diana Souhami

HP Munro

HP Munro reading the merkin scene from Stars Collide

Suzanne Egerton

Suzanne Egerton

A Storming L Fest 2014

22 Jul
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VG Lee

The forecast for the L Fest weekend was for stunning sunshine and a heatwave, which naturally meant that torrential rain, thunder and lightning arrived. UK LesFic wimped out of camping and turned up on a very soggy Saturday morning. But saturated tents turned out to be great for audiences of the indoor and dry arts stage, and even though the event kicked off at 10 a.m. there was a good turnout to see VG Lee open the event.

VG has become a bit of feature at L Fest and they are happy to have her. She talked a little about the resurgence of British lesbian fiction in the last couple of years and how good it is to see writers beyond the established literary set having success.

indiepanel

Cindy Rizzo, Clare Lydon, Clare Ashton, Kiki Archer

She handed over to Kiki Archer to host a very lively indie panel. There were excellent readings by US author of Exception to the Rule Cindy Rizzo, Clare Ashton read from best-selling romcom That Certain Something and Clare Lydon from her well-received début London Calling. Kiki put the panellists through their paces with questions ranging from “Do you like writing sex scenes?” to “do you base your books on your own experiences?” after authors had read pieces about waking up with a hangover in bed with their boss. You can see the whole session on this video. Do not miss Kiki Archer’s reading and do marvel at how good a sport her wife is!

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Crin Claxton, Gill McKnight

Up next was Crin Claxton‘s fabulous Bards on Buzzers quiz. The panel featured Lammy winner Andrea Bramhall (Clean Slate), Goldie award winner Amy Dunne (Secret Lies), Gill McKnight author of the popular Garoul werewolf series, and BSB development editor Vic Oldham. Serious bookworms were well-rewarded with a quick-fire round, followed by some in-depth questions by Crin to the authors. Authors were then treated to seeing Crin and beautiful assistant Denny acting out scenes from the panellists’ work in the guess the novel round, in ways that both surprised and tickled everyone. The audience were especially surprised to find Agadoo feature so prominently in Lammy-award winner Andrea Bramhall’s opus.

 

VG Lee meanwhile delivered two workshops “A Leap of Faith” and “Fast and Furious”, both very well received by new and established authors. Several other authors were also spotted in various states at different times. Karen Campbell author of the new novel The Knowing was one the appreciative attendees of VG’s workshops. Angela Peach took camping to a different level by sleeping in a hearse. She was asked about her enjoyment of the evening activities but declined to comment in the presence of children. H.P. Munro made several appearances, mainly looking very authorial but, by the end of Saturday evening after drinking games with other indie authors, she looked a little less serious!

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Andrea Bramhall, Amy Dunne, Vic Oldham, Crin Claxton, Gill McKnight

The sun, at last, came out which baked those with hangovers in their tents and hearses, and BSB authors were back in action early that morning for a slick readings and Q&A session. The work of the panellists shows how varied these British authors and the Bold Strokes output now is. Andrea Bramhall talked about the inspiration behind her diverse work which includes scuba diving and memory loss, to love across religious and cultural divides. Amy Dunne talked about becoming an expert in post-apocalyptic life while researching her work in progress (she has a cuddly Christmas novel out before that). Crin Claxton is hard at work on a follow up to the thoroughly entertaining  Supernatural Detective and Gill McKnight teased the audience with some hints about her current work on a series of novels on soul matchers.

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Maureen Duffy

The highlight of the arts stage for many was an audience with Maureen Duffy – trail blazing novelist and poet writing since the 1960s. An enthralled audience listened to Maureen reading from her novels and poetry, followed by a Q&A which revealed that she writes sitting in an arm chair and then sends her words away to be typed up, which UK LesFic thinks is class. Some misty eyed and overawed authors and readers patiently waited to have copies of Maureen’s work signed at the end of the session.

L Fest is a wonderfully varied festival. As well as the author sessions, two band stages were in action, attendees could learn anything from drumming to how to avoid lesbian bed-death, Planet London hosted speed dating, films, quizzes and a friendly zone to hang out and there was always something entertaining to see and do. Here’s a taste of this fabulous event:1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9

News Roundup: Our First Birthday! New Indie Sites, RJ Samuel & Jade Winters Interviews, Upcoming Events, and More!

30 Jan

cake!Ooh, time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? UK LesFic celebrated its first birthday this week – 25th January, fact fans! – and it’s not been a bad year at all. We’ve come a long way since those early posts, made a lot of new friends, expanded our author list considerably, and almost know what we’re doing now!

So, we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s supported the site over the past 12 months. I would offer you a slice of cake, but we’ve scoffed it all. Have some news instead…

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First out of the traps this week, Planet of the Books has been catching up on RJ Samuel‘s novels with a review of her 2012 début, Heart Stopper. The link there includes a brief Q&A with RJ.

RJSamuelAuthorPicHeart Stopper is right on the money with the scientific detail – reminiscent of early Michael Crichton – and an intriguing love story between two appealing female characters, and both are stories of the heart. A fantastic first novel that combines drama, attention to detail and a compulsive attraction. 

RJ has also been busy creating Indie LesFic, a new site listing independent authors of lesbian fiction (many of whom will be familiar to regular readers of this blog.) The site is growing day by day, so be sure to pay it a visit here.

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Apparently, sites for indie authors are a bit like buses – you wait ages for one and then two come along at once (hopefully smelling a lot nicer than the top deck of the 192 – cannabis, wet dogs, and well, more cannabis!)

In the words of its web mistresses, Sapphica Books is: “one easy, fabulous place to find independent authors writing lesbian fiction and non-fiction.” VT Davy and Vickie Clifford are two home-grown talents currently signed up to the site, but as it grows I expect we will see many more joining its listing.

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guiltyheartkindlecover-186x300Over at LGBTQA Culture is another combined review and interview, this time featuring Jade Winters and her new novel Guilty Hearts. Katie Kobrossi had this to say about the book:

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an easy read and a love story that’ll leave you with a smile on your face. I felt for these characters (we meet and love many) and join them on their journeys to finding themselves and the meaning of love and commitment.

You can read the full piece here.

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Cherry PottsCherry Potts recently posted an open invite to our UK LesFic Facebook page: Lesbian writers in London or nearby, who can read their work well – short stories or poetry – please contact us. We are looking for performers for our Queer Tales session 19th Feb. Max 2000 words. Hope to hear from you. We can pay reasonable expenses and a couple of free drinks.

The full details, including contact information, for The Story Sessions can be found here.

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ylvaAlso on the look out for talent, is LesFic publisher Ylva who have posted a call for submissions for their 2014 Halloween anthology:

We are looking for lesbian fiction. That hasn’t changed. All submissions must have either Halloween or supernatural beings as the main theme. The stories can be romantic, humorous, enthralling, spooky or erotic. We accept only short stories that haven’t been previously published.

Full details can be found by hitting this link.

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KePayneWe now know a little more about KE Payne‘s sixth novel Once The Clouds Are Gone, as KE has just unveiled its blurb over on her website:

Nine years after leaving the small Scottish town where she’d grown up, the sudden death of her father forces Tag Grainger to return to a life she’s long since put behind her. After inheriting a share of a family business she wants no part in, Tag is overwhelmed by the dark clouds of her past; her brother can’t forgive her, the nephew she adored doesn’t remember her, and everywhere she goes there are whispers about how she abandoned her family. With her old wounds re-opened Tag longs to escape again, until the appearance of the intriguing and spirited Freddie Metcalfe forces her to re-evaluate much more than she thought she needed to. But while Freddie is harbouring a secret of her own, can she help Tag reconnect with her family and move on from her past?

The novel is due for release in October 2014, and KE is currently working with Bold Strokes on the cover design.

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Another novel promised for 2014 is Sky Croft‘s sequel to her 2013 hit Mountain Rescue: The Ascent. According to her blog, she has just sent the manuscript for Mountain Rescue: On The Edge off to Regal Crest, and is hoping to see the book released this year.

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vghome34VG Lee has so many antics planned for February and March that it’s impossible for us to list them all. If you fancy catching Val performing comic readings, stand-up comedy, headlining at Polari, hosting this year’s Rainbow Intersection event, or being part of Polari Up North in early March, head over here to her events page, and pop the dates into your diary. All that and keeping an allotment as well, she puts the rest of us to shame!

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If you still have any space left in your diary , February 5th will see Polari First Book Prize winner Mari Hannah in conversation with Ann Cleeves at the Tea and Tipple, 18 Market Place, Corbridge, NE45 5AW.

For tickets, call: 01434 632931

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HILD_jacket_closerNicola Griffith has been chatting with Norelle Done at Seattle Wrote, in a piece that’s part interview, part overview of Nicola’s career to date. The feature is well worth a read, and concludes with sage advice for aspiring writers:

“You have to do the work. It involves being patient … You don’t get to be a good writer until you’ve done the work. It’s not magic, although it can feel like magic.” And she would echo her partner, Kelley Eskridge, who spoke with me about a concept called the ‘Generosity Economy’: “Play nicely … You don’t get anywhere as a lone person … It’s possible, but it’s very hard. Very unlikely. Why not make friends, and do some good in the world!”

Find the full interview here, and Nicola has also posted another handy Hild round-up, this one featuring loads of reviews, but sadly no photos of “pets reading Hild.”

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the january flowerFinally this week, a reminder to get your entries in for our two ongoing book giveaways. Orla Broderick‘s giveaway for The January Flower ends on 31st January, and LT Smith‘s giveaway for Puppy Love runs until noon GMT on February 3rd. Leave a comment in the relevant thread, or email uklesfic at gmail.com to enter.

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Somewhat ironically, I do have a birthday cake to make now – for the missus though, not the site! Whatever your plans for the day, I hope you too find time for cake.

rainbow cake

News Roundup: Awards for UK Authors, Events, Reviews, Blogs, and a REALLY Cute Dormouse.

15 Jan

Good morning from a perpetually windy, rainy and murky UK LesFic. Fortunately, we Brits have never been prone to letting the weather get us down, and it’s been a busy week as authors shake off festive fatigue, grab hold of 2014 and give it a good old shake…

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crin claxtonStarting with something to shout about, as two UK authors were recently nominated for the American Library Association Over The Rainbow BooklistOver the Rainbow Books is a bibliography that reflects the LGBT experience and is meant for general adult readers. Books on the list are read and recommended by the Over The Rainbow Committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and transgender roundtable of the American Library Association. 

Finding their way onto this auspicious list were Crin Claxton‘s The Supernatural Detective and Nicola Griffith‘s Hild.

The final list will be announced in coming weeks, and all the nominees can be found here. Congratulations to Crin and Nicola.

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the january flowerFurther congrats are due to Orla Broderick, who was awarded a 2014 New Writers Award for her début novel The January Flower.

The Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Awards highlight some of the most affecting, exciting and engaging new writing in Scotland. Selected from over 300 applications, the New Writers Awardees are the pick of this year’s Scottish literary talent. You can find out more about Orla and read a sample from The January Flower at the award website, and we will be hosting a guest blog and giveway from Orla later this week.

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VGLeeJoining in all these early January celebrations is VG Lee, who scooped the gongs for Best Author and Best Standup Lesbian Comedian in the Golden Kitty Awards. Her “unfestive” evening Bah Humbuggers also received an honourable mention for Best Local Event, UK. A round up of all the recipients is available at this link. Congrats Val!

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manda-scottIf your new 2014 calendars are looking a bit forlorn and lacking, this might cheer them a little: Wednesday 12th March at 7 p.m. will see Manda Scott joining fellow historical authors Ruth Downie and Ben Kane for an evening event at Peterborough Central library. Tickets and more information are available at this link. 

For your readerly convenience, this and several other events have been added to our imaginatively titled Events Page.

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KePayneBSB author KE Payne has just announced that she has sealed a deal for her latest book:

Chuffed to say I’ve recently signed a contract with the wonderful Bold Strokes Books for my new novel, Once The Clouds Have Gone. It’s due for publication in October. Blurb to follow. When I’ve written one, that is…

KE, at least you have a title for your book. If anyone has suggestions for a sort of romantic police procedural thriller set in the Peak District, feel free to send them my way…

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BSB_Secret_LiesA couple of blog updates now, and Amy Dunne has been reflecting on 2013 and the release of her first novel Secret Lies.

I found writing the book to be a very solitary experience. As the release date approached, I began to seriously panic and feel weirdly vulnerable. It’s one thing writing for enjoyment, but writing for other people’s enjoyment is something completely different.There are some gritty themes addressed throughout the story and so I had to try and accept that some readers just wouldn’t be a fan. As always, that’s easier said than done…although I do think I’m getting better at it.

You can read the full piece and find links to some reviews that you may have missed, here.

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playing passion's gameMeanwhile, over on the UK BSB blog Lesley Davis has been tackling the subject of sequels as she prepares to launch her follow-up to her 2011 novel Playing Passion’s Game:

When I wrote Playing Passion’s Game I was very aware that Trent and Juliet’s story would go on past that book. I already have ‘written’ it in my head. It was very hard for me to end their story because they had really taken a hold of my imagination. And I love them. I like reading about them myself. I have characters I like and am proud of, but now and again, there are some that come to mean more. Trent is one of them.

Playing in Shadow will be released in 2015. More details as we get them, but you can pass the time by reading Lesley’s blog here.

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200px-SlowRiver(1stEd)In a bit of a blast from the past, the Hugo & Nebula Science Fiction Review Project has been taking a closer look at Nicola Griffith‘s 1996 classic, Slow River. For good, thoughtful analysis from a science fiction POV, jump to this entry.

Each plot-line evolves just like that titular slow river towards its own realization and conclusion, and the present narrative reveals this most directly. Given its slow process of purifying the sewage and runoff it collects into drinking water, the futuristic waste treatment plant where Lore works literally is a slow river running just beneath the feet of the city it serves. It is unseen, but critical to the life and the health of that visible city. Thus, by the conclusion of the novel, all plot threads are elegantly unified under this metaphor.

Nicola has also been chatting with Tobias Carroll over at The Paris Review blog, where she had this to say about future works:

There are lots of novels I’d write. I would love to write about this country in pre-Columbian times. I would also love to write about the UK and Iceland a little later, like the ninth century. There’s another Aud book bubbling in the back of my head. I sometimes think about Ammonite, and what that might be like now. Ideas are cheap. They circle like planes running out of fuel. Whichever looks most important, I will bring that in to land when it’s time.

Read the full interview here.

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lesfic downunderFinally this week, we are proud to announce that we seem to have started a trend! If you fancy catching up with what Canadian LesFic authors are doing, keep an eye on this under construction website (I want a moose! Why don’t we have moose over here?), while on Facebook, LesFic Downunder has just launched to bring you all the news about Lesbian Fiction in the Southern Hemisphere (that’s Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Southern Pacific, for those who are as rubbish at geography as I am.) There’s a website pending for this group as well. And they have a kangaroo.

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Right, that’s about it for this week. And, seeing as we can’t really have a moose or a kangaroo, I’ll leave you with British native Muscardinus avellanarius, also known as the Hazel Dormouse, also known as OH MY GOD how cute is he?

hazel dormouse

News Roundup: L Festive Vids, New Books from Devon Marshall & Angela Peach, Lesley Davis Fantasy Collection, Desolation Point Bonus Scene, & More!

6 Dec

Deck the halls (or batten down the hatches; it’s bloody windy out there!) We’re on a Bloggy Christmas wind-down. Yes, we’ll be taking a short break for the festive season from December 18th till just after New Year, but before then we have some chocolate coin-like treats to squeeze in, not least this edition of the news…

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lfestiveI’ll start off this week by keeping with the ho-ho-ho-ing and the making of merry, as quite a few L Festive reports and photos have hit the ‘net in the past few days. Clare Ashton, Angela Peach, and Kiki Archer hosted a workshop for aspiring writers, which included tips, advice, and readings from their own works. The workshop was so well-received, it prompted Clare to write up her ideas in a blog post, so that those who couldn’t make it to L Festive didn’t miss out.

Here’s what she had to say about her current work in progress, which includes a YouTube link to her reading.

I’ve been torn between writing a couple of dark stories and a very British romcom. At the moment the romcom is winning – when horribly sleep-deprived and hallucinating, dark tales are possibly a bad idea. It’s set in London and here’s a passage I read at the weekend at L Festive, followed by a reading from After Mrs Hamilton.

Click away to watch Kiki Archer reading from Binding Devotion and One Foot Onto the Ice.

With thanks to Beni Gee for the rather lovely photo there.

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dante's choiceMoving onto new books news, and the sequel to Devon Marshall‘s Vampires of Hollywood Book 1: Dante’s Awakening has just been published. Vampires of Hollywood Book 2: Dante’s Choice continues the adventures of Dante Sonnier, Hollywood agent and friend to the vampire community:

Dante Sonnier…has been left reeling by revelations of her own supernatural ancestry. She also has a host of questions, but Dante knows that life with the vampires is rarely a one-problem-at-a-time deal, and answering these questions was never going to be simple… 

Dante’s Choice is available from Untreed Reads, and other retailers. I’ve added the full synopsis to the New and Upcoming Releases page.

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playing my loveThe aforementioned indie author Angela Peach published her fourth novel, Playing My Love, on November 23rd (if you don’t tell us, we don’t always catch ’em!) and the book is currently flying high at the top of Amazon UK’s Lesbian Romance chart.

I’d never believed in love at first sight. I mean, it had never happened to me, so I guess I just didn’t think about it. But then… 
Darcy. Beautiful, kind, intelligent Darcy, who showed me a whole new meaning to the word love, and how to live when I thought there was nothing to live for. 

I’ve squeezed its full synopsis into the November section of the New Releases page.

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Amy_Dunne_lgAmy Dunne‘s December début Secret Lies continues to garner excellent reviews. Rainbow Book Reviews had this to say about the YA romance:

There is a mega amount of passion, back stabbing, caring of a good and not so good quality, tender and passionate loving, super harsh brutalizing, and a truly compassionate reconciliation. This is splendidly balanced from the beginning to the end.

The full text of the review can be found here.

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PaleWingsProtectingFor those of you who are still scratching your head about Christmas presents – ha! Not me, my Christmas shopping is, literally, in the bag! – Bold Strokes Books have just released Lesley Davis Fantasy Volume 1, an ebook collection featuring  The Truth Behind the Mask, Dark Wings Descending, and its sequel Pale Wings Protecting. The compilation is available for $17.99 (which is around about 11 quid to you and me) and more information can be found at this link.

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treasure chestWe still have a handful of e-copies of VA Fearon‘s The Girl With the Treasure Chest for those quickest off the mark to send us an email (uklesfic@gmail.com) or leave a comment on the blog. You don’t have to be witty or charming, or anything; everyone likes a freebie!

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bah humbuggersAny folks who might not have been able to make it to VG Lee‘s recent Bah Humbuggers evening of unfestive fun, despair not. December 15th (7-10 p.m.) sees VG and Rose Collis bringing the show to The Hideaway, 2 Empire Mews, London SW16 2BF. The tickets include a glass of wine and canapés, and the proceeds of the evening will go to Kids’ City (a children’s charity providing after-school and holiday play-schemes for children in disadvantaged communities in south London.)

To book tickets for the event head here, and more details about the evening can be found on that page or over on our Events page.

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Desolation Point desktopBringing up the tail end this week is my own self (story of my life!) To celebrate the edits and the proofing for Tumbledown being all done and dusted, I posted a bonus deleted scene from Desolation Point over at my blog. The scene actually gets a brief mention in Tumbledown, and although you could easily use your imagination to fill in the blanks, I thought it might be nice to fill them in for you. Hit the link for the scene, and beware – there be spoilers for those folks who’ve not read Desolation Point

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Right, all that’s left for me to do is stuff another piece of Thornton’s Special Toffee into my gob and wish you all a happy weekend. Word of advice: avoid the Trafford Centre like the plague. For the next two and a bit weeks it’ll be the very definition of hell on earth.

News Roundup: Interview Kiki on Video, New Novel from Jade Winters, Lambda Reviews, Podcasts, WhoreStoricals, Festive frolics, and loads more…

12 Nov

Oh, I knew that setting this roundup to music wasn’t going to end well. One song in and I’ve written bugger-all. Still, it was a really good song… Right, this was one of those weeks where I had no news and then suddenly almost too much to cram in! So, grab yourself a brew and a packet of bourbons, and enjoy.

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Kiki-264Starting with a fun opportunity that’s on a bit of a deadline (hope I’m not too late with this, but it seemed too good to leave out), as LBTQA Culture are giving fans a chance to interview Kiki Archer on video. All you have to do is record a 10-15 second video clip of yourself on your phone asking Kiki a question, and send the clip to: lgbtqculture@sky.com Don’t forget to introduce yourself and ask something that’ll make her blush (actually the site says “interesting” – heh). The responses will be posted next week. See here for more details.

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caught by loveWe never get much warning of new releases from indie writers, so it’s always a nice surprise when a book pops out unexpectedly. This week it was Jade Winters, who published her new novel Caught by Love. I’ve added the synopsis to the New Releases page. In a bit of a rollercoasting last few days, Jade also briefly dallied with the idea of signing up with Bold Strokes Books, when they accepted one of her novels for publication, before she decided to remain a self-published author.

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VT_Davy_jpg_210x1000_q85Sticking with new releases, and VT Davy has a guest piece over at Francis James Franklin’s blog to tie in with her début novel, A Very Civil Wedding:

More interesting is the question of what Britain as a nation would do if the heir to the throne was gay or lesbian and wanted to marry, or make their relationship official. Britain has had gay and lesbian monarchs before (Edward II, James VI, and Anne), but in all cases they married a member of the opposite sex and kept their affairs out of the public eye. Partly this was due to the prevailing view of homosexuality, and partly it was due to the law not enabling the relationship to be recognised. There are no such barriers today.

You can read the full feature at the link. Personally, I’d be more tickled by what Prince Philip would say than the nation as a whole!

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91CYqVEe28L._SL1500_There’s been so much new stuff about Hild that Nicola Griffith has had to start compiling roundups not unlike this one. Hit Hild #1 and Hild #2 for reviews, interviews, and news about Whitby. The novel has been picking up some fantastic reviews, not least this one by Susan Stinson at the Lambda Literary Society:

Nicola Griffith is a brilliant, prolific, entertaining, risk-taking writer. Her new novel, Hild, about the most powerful woman in seventh century Britain, is magnificent. In it, a girl whose mother has dreamed her to be the light of the world finds out more about what that means than most human beings could bear. Hild–so young, sharp and tall–is very much a human being, and her story grabs a reader like a king’s gesith grabs a sword. Reading Hild is an urgent, expansive pleasure. 

You can read the full text of the review here, and we hope to have our own special feature with Nicola posted in the next week or so 🙂

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The-Daylight-GateJeanette Winterson‘s The Daylight Gate has also been reviewed by Lambda this week. The novel, which  has been out a while here, certainly impressed Sara Rauch:

The Daylight Gate is a show-stopper. A tour de force. It’s a dark dazzler, break-neck (literally, metaphorically), brutal and beautiful. Once you pick it up, you won’t put it down.

The full review is available at this link.

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BSB_Secret_LiesJust nipping in under the deadline are two brand spanking new podcast interviews. The first features Amy Dunne on the Liz McMullen Show where, in a podcast themed around mental health, Amy discusses her début novel Secret Lies and its issues of self harm and domestic violence. You can listen to the recording here.

Meanwhile, Cherry Potts has been chatting about Mosaic of Air with the ladies from the Cocktail Hour podcast. There’s also a short reading from the book. Listen or download here.

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emma-donoghue-illo_2373764bChanging the subject entirely now, with Emma Donoghue picking her favourite five whorestoricals (that’s historical novels about whores!) at the Daily Beast. In amongst Emma’s five choices is lesbian fave Tipping the Velvet:

Waters’s cheeky debut follows her oyster-girl protagonist through many adventures, but perhaps the most interesting and atmospheric is her stint as a rent-boy. This novel captures the fundamental fakery of prostitution—how, for the Victorian gentleman who thinks the trousered youth giving him a blow-job is male, what he’s buying is as much fantasy as flesh.

Find out what made the rest of the list at the link.

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Monument to Murder cover imageFor some reason, this coming weekend seems to be a busy one for our authors. First up is an event oop north, for those of us who live some distance from the Watford Gap. Crime authors Mari Hannah (author of the DCI Kate Daniels series) and David Jackson will be in conversation at the Bedlington (a town in Northumberland, about ten miles north of Newcastle – I do the Googling, so you don’t have to!) Community Centre on Saturday November 16th, 7.00 p.m. – 8.30 p.m. Tickets are £5 and can be purchased from this link.

Stella Duffy, writer, actorOn Sunday 17th November at 5 p.m.Stella Duffy will be appearing at Writeidea (Tower Hamlet’s free reading festival) in East London:

Stella Duffy will read from her novels, talk about her work as a writer in many genres and also as a theatre director. There is every chance she will also mention that not only posh people can be writers, that Equal Marriage is a very exciting thing, and how the Fun Palaces Project is taking over her life.

The event is free, tickets are available at this link, and more details about the festival can be found on its homepage.

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dyke the hallsMoving with frightening speed into the festive season, and December 1st and 2nd will see VG Lee and Rose Collis Dyking the Halls and hosting an evening of hardly festive fun, words, and music at the Emporium Theatre, Brighton.

Writer, performer Rose Collis will serve up a personally prepared party platter of songs and stories. VG Lee, author and comedian and generally non-festive person, will be reading, talking and musing on just when she first realised she preferred cheese and pickled onion sandwiches to a turkey with all the trimmings.

Both authors will be available for mince pies and a mingle at the book stall after the event. More details and tickets are available here.

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51Zch618BLL._SY445_And last but certainly not least, King’s College London are hosting a day of celebration for legendary lesbian novelist Maureen Duffy on Friday 6th December. You can join Maureen for a festive day of talks, readings, discussions, exhibitions, refreshments, and entertainment, which will also feature Ali Smith, Anne Sebba, Maggie Gee and more. Attendance is free but ticketed, and tickets are available here.

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Okay, that’s about yer lot! Apologies for any misspellings, grammar SNAFUs, or general incoherence, but singing (well, wailing) and typing is a notoriously tricky business, especially with songs as bloody fabulous as this one

News Roundup: New Author V.A. Fearon, L Festive line up, Listening to Hild, KE Payne on Novel 6, and much more…

23 Oct

Fresh from dusting the flour off its nose, checking its soggy bottom and flirting lasciviously with the lovely Sue Perkins, here is this week’s perfectly presented and tastily flavoured News Roundup…

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V.A FearonOne of my favourite things about co-authoring this blog is hearing from new UK authors, adding them to the listings and finding out all about their books. This week, we have welcomed London author V.A. Fearon to the site.  V.A.’s debut novel The Girl with the Treasure Chest is the first in a series of five novels set in London’s dangerous gangland. In V.A.’s own words:  The main protagonist is Dani, a lesbiantreasure chest who negotiates in disputes between gangs in London. It’s set in the early nineties and has a very strong love story running through it. The novel is available now and you can read the full synopsis over on the New and Upcoming Releases page.

If that has piqued your interest, V.A. will be reading from her novel tomorrow night (Thursday 24th October)  6.30 – 8.30 at the Portofino Coffeeshop, 5 Kirby Street, London EC1N 8TW. Head on down there and show your support!

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lfestiveTime to deck those halls now and turn your thoughts to Christmas (go on, hit the link and make yourself weep!) as L Festive has just announced the line up for its one day Xmas Xtravaganza**. Now in its third year, L Festive is the seasonal little sister of L Fest, and the all-day event will feature “fabulous author workshops, solos lunch, acoustic live music stage, the NEW L Fest awards ceremony, all day DJ’s, stalls & dating games”.

The event will take place at various Birmingham venues on November 30th. During the day, Kiki Archer, Angela Peach and Clare Ashton are running two author sessions, the details for which go a little like this:

11:00 – 12:00 Session One:
Join these best-selling lesbian fiction authors, for some sexy, yet funny, and quite possibly dark, author readings, and indulge in the ability to ask them absolutely anything in a no-holds-barred Q and A session.

12:15 – 13:15 Session Two:
Writer’s workshop. An hour of writing tips, starting with idea creation and moving through to book publication, with best-selling lesbian fiction indie authors, Clare Ashton, Kiki Archer and Angie Peach.

Tickets are £20 online and £25 on the day, and you can reserve your places on the writing sessions by going to the above link. No, not the Christmas Clock, t’other one!

(** note: blatant overuse of Xs are my responsibility and nothing at all to do with L Festive.)

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KePayneOne author who’s certainly keeping herself busy of late is KE Payne, who has just updated the current and future projects page on her blog with details of her forthcoming novel Because of Her and news of novel number six…

I’ve just completed my sixth lesbian novel, and in a break from my norm I’ve not only decided to market as a contemporary lesbian romance rather than YA, I’ve written it in the third person (my first ever time). I’ve given it the working title of Once The Clouds Have Gone and it features the main characters of Tabitha “Tabby” Morton and Freddie Metcalfe. I love them both to bits already. It’s currently being considered for publication, so fingers are currently being kept crossed 🙂

Our fingers are crossed, KE, let us know how you get on.

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mosaic of airIt’s been a busy week on the email this week with Cherry Potts also getting in touch to let us know that her short story collection Mosaic of Air was published last month in paperback and is now available as an ebook (with a shiny new cover). Cherry is also putting together a LGBT evening at Lewisham Library (SE13) 6th Feb, 2014, 8-9.30 p.m., and possibly at the Ivy House (SE15) on a Wednesday at some point that same month, and she wondered if anyone would like to join her. “Could you spread the word?” she asks. Consider it spread. Anyone interested in either of those two evenings can email Cherry at: cherry@arachnepress.com

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91CYqVEe28L._SL1500_Good news for those folks who like to listen to their books rather than tire out the old peepers, as an audio book of Nicola Griffith‘s forthcoming Hild is currently in production. The novel will be narrated by Anne Flosnik, an established British actress with more than 300 audio book titles under her belt. If anyone ever wondered what went into creating an audio book, Nicola has provided an insight into the process…

Anne only got the book on Friday and had to start recording this morning; she’s had to get up to speed fast. So we’ve been collaborating. We’ve already exchanged email, lots of texts, and two long–90 minutes–phone calls. We’ve talked about pronunciation of names and places, how class differences often trump ethnic and geographic ones, who changes and in what way, which bits are sly and which bits broad.

The best part of this truly accelerated process is that Anne and I have been able to communicate in Northern Lass shorthand:

“These country thegns, think of them as huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ types.”
“A bit all that?”
“Exactly.”

You can read the entire piece here on Nicola’s blog.

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cleanslateFrom listening to watching now, as Carsen Taite caught up with Andrea Bramhall during last week’s Women’s Week to record one of her legendary Vlogs. Chatting in a slightly windy Provincetown, Andrea “Bromhall” or “Bramhall” – depending on whether you can speak PROPER ENGLISH, MS TAITE! –  discussed Clean Slate, camping, and popping over to the Queen’s for tea. The whole interview can be found here at the BSB blog.

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CrossingPlaceCatherine Blackfeather has been blogging about her varied work at Women and Words, and her new anthology The Crossing Place and Other Stories.

I was kind of panicked by the fact that I write so many different kinds of things- what is my genre? I mean, lots of them have a lesbian or gay theme, but I don’t write just straightforward novels. I like to write stories that are kind of folk-tales, some of them are kind of spiritual, some are funny, some of them have hetero characters.

The short story collection is available on Amazon and will be free 26-27 October.

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This might be a good time to remind folks – authors and readers – that sending us your LesFic-related news makes our lives very easy indeed. And I do so like an easy life. Our email is: uklesfic@gmail.com and we are always happy to hear from you 🙂

Right, I’ve been sitting on the sofa so long my bottom’s gone numb (but not soggy!) so I am off to bed to dream of cake.