Tag Archives: Five Leaves Bookshop

News Roundup: Mari Hannah Wins the Polari Prize, Nottingham’s Newest Book Shop, Interviews with Kiki and KE, New Novels, Reviews, and More!

21 Nov

And good morning! The fabulous British weather has put paid to our plans for the day, so I’m cunningly delaying reading through page proofs to bring you this week’s news. Never let it be said that I don’t make sacrifices for this site…

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Mari-Hannah-008First up this week, big congratulations to Mari Hannah, whose début novel The Murder Wall was awarded the Polari First Book Prize in a ceremony held at the Southbank Centre on November 13th. A piece written by Mari was subsequently featured in The Guardian, where she spoke about writing a crime novel with a lesbian protagonist and suddenly finding herself a “go-to person on lesbian issues.” Mari also has some encouraging words for any authors whose submissions suffer repeated rejections from publishers:

Monument to Murder cover imageDid I ever think about giving up? Hell, yes. I had to dig very deep to keep the faith. Fortunately, I had the financial means to keep going. Often, aspiring writers don’t. They work full-time, indulging in their passion whenever they can snatch a moment or two to write. Thank God for a patient agent like mine. If he had waivered, even once, I was sunk. He didn’t, so I ploughed on, determined to give Kate a voice.

You can read the full feature at the above link. Meanwhile, Monument to Murder, the fourth novel in the Kate Daniels series (it has been quite a busy year for Mari!) is released in hardback and on Kindle today.

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five_leaves_bookshop_openingFabulous news for anyone living in the Nottingham area, as the brand new Five Leaves independent bookshop is now open. I dropped the shop a line to find out what sort of books they had in stock:

Our lesbian books range from political/biography etc. to “literary” and “romance”. The section is clearly marked – or rather LGBT is marked and has various subdivisions including lesbian fiction and lesbian non-fiction. We also stock Diva and Curve (and Gay Times). The section is modest in size, but growing already!

The shop is open 10-5.30, six days a week (Mon-Sat), and is located at 14a Long Row in Nottingham city centre. Directions and a handy map can be found at the link. As bookshops are currently closing down at a rate of knots, it’s lovely to see a new one bucking the trend and opening instead!

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KikiArcherIn the last news, I mentioned the opportunity to send in questions for a video interview with Kiki Archer. Said video is now up and ready to view here. Take a peek and see who got to ask what, and how many people managed to make Kiki blush…

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KePayneSpeaking of interviews, KE Payne has been chatting to fellow author Jae over on Jae’s blog. In the Q&A piece, KE talks about the benefits and pitfalls of life as a full-time author, her current and upcoming novels, and the perils of setting herself a daily word count:

I never have a daily word-count as I don’t like to restrict myself, or ever want to feel like I’ve failed if I don’t match that word-count! As other writers will testify, words either flow like a river, or trickle out like a dried-up stream in summer. I write because I love it, and have never coped well when my back’s against the wall, because then I feel like I’m forcing it.

The interview is well worth a read and can be found here.

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guilty-hearts-187x300Someone else who likes to keep herself busy is Jade Winters, who has just posted details of her next novel on her blog. The novel is called Guilty Hearts, and the first part of the synopsis goes a little (well, exactly) like this:

When a doting husband becomes suspicious of his gorgeous wife’s true sexuality,  he decides to set a honey trap to reveal the truth, however painful.  Little does he realise that the honey trap is to leave a bitter-sweet taste for everyone… 

You can read the rest of the blurb at this link, and as soon as we have a release date for the novel we’ll let you know.

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playing passionNews of another upcoming release now, albeit one that won’t be around for a while yet, as Lesley Davis has recently announced that her next book Playing In Shadow is to be published by Bold Strokes Books in early 2015. In Lesley’s own words: “this is the sequel to Playing Passion’s Game so that means one thing….more Trent!! Game on!!!”

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OutLateWithFriendsThose of you who are quick off the mark can pick up an early Christmas treat at the moment, as Suzanne Egerton‘s début novel Out Late With Friends and Regrets is currently free on Kindle. I’m not sure how long this offer is valid for, so be sure to hit the link sooner rather than later.

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HILD_jacket_closerWith Hild now a whole week old, Nicola Griffith has apparently been “enjoying blinking and catching up with my reading (and sleep.)” She has, however, managed to find the time to compile two further Hild roundups, featuring links to all the interviews, reviews, and discussion pieces that have been posted to tie in with the novel’s release. Hop on over to Hild #3 and Hild #4 to read more.

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mosaic of airFinally this week, Cherry Potts‘ rereleased short story collection Mosaic of Air has been reviewed at Sabotage Reviews. The review discusses the enduring relevance of stories examining the era of the 1980s, and finds much to like about the collection:

Then there’s the reclaiming of myths. The great joy in reading a Feminist collection like this is the re-imagining, from Woolf to Winterson, Cherry Potts also reimagines Helen of Troy as a mere beautiful pawn in the powerplay of the ancient world, but who, like most women in today’s society, negotiates the system. If you read nothing else in this book you must read ‘Arachne’s Daughters’; this takes apart a myth about Arachne (a human) challenging Athene (the goddess)

The full text of the review is available at the above link.

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Righto, that’s yer lot for this week. I’m back off to the page proofs – wish me luck!

News Roundup: Stonewall Award Nominees, Jackie Kay in Sheffield, Spooky Fun at the Ivy House, Clare Ashton Interview, and much more…

18 Oct

With quite a few UK authors burning the midnight oil over at the Virtual Living Room last weekend and three hopping over the pond for Women’s Week, it’s a wonder there’s anything to report in this news post. But we like a challenge here at UK LesFic (unless it involves making something that resembles a brain covered in swiss rolls) and have discovered that there’s still plenty going on…

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charlotte-mendelsonWe’ll start this week by donning our posh frocks for the announcement of the eighth annual Stonewall Awards nominees. The awards are designed to acknowledge and celebrate those who have made a positive impact on the lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain over the last 12 months.  Among the categories for Broadcast of the Year (obviously we’re rooting for the Great British Bake Off!) and Sports Award of The Year (Clare Balding is up for this one) is the award for Writer of the Year, where Charlotte Mendelson has made the list for Almost English. This is what the Stonewall Awards had to say about the work:

‘Longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize Almost English is described by The Guardian as ‘beautifully written, warm, funny and knowing’. It follows a 16 year olds disjointed life, torn between an unhappy existence at a mixed boarding school and her life with her mother who lives under the overbearing presence of three elderly Hungarians.

The complete list of nominees can also be found at the link above.

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With ever dwindling numbers of bookshops, it’s great to see Nottingham based publisher Five Leaves opening a new independent store.  Five Leaves Bookshop will open mid-November in Nottingham centre.  As well as specialising in lesbian and gay books it will also stock history, politics and landscape, general fiction and poetry.  For more information about the shop, head over here.

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JK realityBit last minute this, but poet Jackie Kay will be appearing at the Off The Shelf literary festival in Sheffield tomorrow. During the day she will be exploring the theme of “Outside” with various guests, while the evening sees her across at the Crucible Studio theatre reading from her new short story collection Reality Reality. The full program for the festival and information on booking tickets can be found at the first link.

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Those folks who like a blog post that prompts you to stand up and offer a rousing round of applause should head over to Nicola Griffith‘s latest entry, in which she has this to say about Hild’s sexuality:

Interviewers and reviewers have already asked me: So why is Hild a lesbian?

I say: First, she’s bisexual. Second, why the fuck not?

I am tired of having to have a reason for characters being queer. When my first agent told me that my proposal for Slow River was “not a selling outline,” I asked her to explain. She said, “Well, why does Lore [the protagonist] have to have a girlfriend?” I said, “Because she’s a dyke.” And fired her.

And if that doesn’t make you want to read Hild, I don’t think anything will!

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ArchnePressStorySessionsThose with a penchant for spooky fun, should plan to join Cherry Potts and VG Lee at The Ivy House in London on October 30th for a night of Halloween Tales, which sounds like a great event organised by Arachne Press. There will be readings by VG and Cherry and then a Flash from the Floor where anyone can read their 100-word story whether carefully crafted beforehand or scribbled in the interval. For more details, head to the special Event page on Facebook.

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3901374Lesley Davis has been blogging at Women and Words about her new novel Pale Wings Protecting. She talks about how the story evolved around a character from Dark Wings Descending (book 1 of the Wings Series) and how the main characters from that book muscled in too. Here’s a snippet:

When the character of Blythe Kent was introduced in “Dark Wings Descending” I knew I wanted to have that character in her own story. The FBI agent would play a small role in her best friend Detective Rafe Douglas’s investigation, being the profiler who unwittingly profiles something more than just an evil in a human form. But whereas Rafe and Ashley Scott’s story would involve all manner of heaven and hell, I had originally plotted that Blythe’s story would just be a crime book, without the added supernatural twist.

You can read the rest of the post here.

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clareashtonAnd rounding up this news is a fab spotlight interview with Clare Ashton over at Ylva Publishing, where Clare reveals a longed-for super power, her lottery dreams, and exactly how much of herself is in her characters:

Less than some people think, more than I’d like to acknowledge (even to myself).

Of course, my time as a high-class escort was vital for writing After Mrs Hamilton (Mum—this is a joke).

The interview is a great, fun read and can be found by bobbing over here.

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Speaking of bobbing, is anyone looking forward to Halloween quite as much as I am? Only 13 more days till I’ll be carving up pumpkins, decking the porch with icky stuff, and stealing all the Haribo I’ve bought for the nippers! We’re hoping to bring you a special Halloween feature for that week, so keep your fingers crossed we can round up enough authors who are willing to share their scares…