Tag Archives: Orla Broderick

News roundup: Goldie shortlists, a lot of blogging, new books and events!

25 Apr

The awards season is in full swing and over the last few days the shortlists for the Goldies leaked out, and the UK has put in a jolly good show.

nightingalestars collidethat certain somethingLittleWhispers

Three authors made it on to the short list for Traditional Romance from a huge list of nominations: Andrea Bramhall for Nightingale, HP Munro for Stars Collide, and Clare Ashton for That Certain Something.

Karen Campbell put in a double showing in the Anthology (Fiction) category. Her collection, Little Whispers, was shortlisted and she also contributed to the UK anthology L is For… Lots of familiar authors in that (Kiki Archer, VG Lee, Clare Lydon etc.).

Jody Klaire is a finalist in the Debut Author category with The Empath, Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests popped up in the Romantic Intrigue section and KE Payne’s Because of Her was shortlisted in the YA category.

l is fortheempath_lgBSB_Because_of_HerAplacesomewherRJ Samuel is a popular gal and A Place Somewhere made it onto the shortlists of both the Ann Bannon popular choice category and the Tee Corinne Cover Design Award.

High fives all round for a good showing in the American dominated awards, or perhaps a cordial handshake will a solemn nod of approval. Winners will be announced at the GCLS conference in New Orleans on 22nd July. Fingers crossed lots of those Brits get a nice glass lump of an award on the night.  Good luck everyone.

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Right, moving on with the rest of this week’s business.

no good reasonCari Hunter’s imminent arrival has popped its head out for a good look. You can have a sneak peek at the prologue and first two chapters of No Good Reason over here. Cari promises the book will be Brittier than a buggering cold day at Blackpool and the extract features the text “Running late. Got puked on. Fancy a chippy tea at mine instead?

soul selectaGill McKnight’s Soul Selecta was reviewed over on C-Spot Reviews. Its review of Gill’s tale of the love-matching Soul Selecta begins: “Soul Selecta is an odd novel. A funny, stimulating, enjoyable read, but still a little odd. I like odd, however, so it’s all good.”  And it ends: “Soul Selecta ignores most lesfic plot arcs and completely entertained me with trashy Olympian gods, young lesbian love, some hot sex, a conundrum, and enough twisty fun that I consulted several times with my cats about what might happen next. Recommended.” Well I’d say. Sounds fabulous.

PLayinginshadowLesley Davis has been blogging over on the Bold Strokes site about characters and stories that stay with you when reading and playing games. Trent, from her novel Playing Passion’s Game, is one character who always has her ear and Lesley talks about her reappearance in her latest novel Playing in Shadow:

She’s one of my favourite characters I have created and I have so much more to share about her. So while romance weaves it spell around Bryce and Scarlet, Trent and Juliet will be preparing for motherhood. And as you can imagine, with these characters, it’s not going to be all boring bibs and baby grows!

You can read the full piece here.

riding in carsEvangeline Jennings has been over at Women and Words talking about the route she has taken on her way to publishing her latest book, Riding in Cars With Girls – it’s a roundabout one that you can follow here. The book itself is a collection of short stories, from “ESCORT – A high class hooker fucks a Mafia Don to death” to “TRANS AM – A widow hunts her husband’s killer across America. Route 666.” Hop in over here for a ride.

The_Full_LegacyMeanwhile Jane Retzig‘s The Full Legacy (a romance with a hint of the supernatural) has been published as an audiobook. It’s available on Audible, Amazon and will be available from iTunes soon. It’s narrated by Elizabeth Shelly who Jane says has done a brilliant job.

Clare Lydon reported from the Indie Author Fair in London:

it was also a real treat to be in Foyles’ flagship bookshop selling my novels – I was immensely proud. Plus, if you could bottle the upbeat energy in that room and sell it, you’d make a mint. After visiting The London Book Fair and hearing much indie author bashing, it was brilliant to soak up and add to the enthusiasm and gung-ho attitude of all the authors and readers present. We’re living proof that publishing is changing and only for the better.

Read her full article here.

runRun, the debut novel from new author Pat Adams-Wright, has hit the digital shelves. Here’s the blurb.

For Charlie Reinette, it was a typical Friday night out with her work mates. Or so she thought… Instead, she found herself in the midst of a domestic dispute, rescuing a woman she hardly knows and setting off a deadly chain of events. Harbouring the rescued woman finds them having to run from murder and the infernos raging behind them. Not quite the woman her friends think she is, Charlie has to face her past, her future, and everything in between as she fights for her life and the life of the woman she saved. Can the two women, Charlie’s group of eclectic friends, and the police catch the man terrorising them across Europe? How will they stay ahead of his game? One thing’s for certain…they need to RUN!

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Finally a few items in brief.

Should you start a novel with dialogue? No but yes says Jen Silver. She talks about one of the many writing rules and her new novel here.

Rachel Dax, author of the Pope Joan series, has started a fundraiser for her next film. A Delicate Love is a short film about “a young man’s first taste of love leads to a collision of fantasy and food“. Click here for further details.

Orla Broderick started an initiative to fill the bare shelves of a local Women’s Aid shelter with books. She donated two copies of her January Flower and put out a plea for other authors to donate. The support has been so fantastic that she’s extending the scheme to more shelters in Scotland. If you would like to donate please read about Orla’s plans here.

Polari is off to the seaside with a new venue in Hastings for the next six months. You can find out more about Polari on Sea’s first event on Facebook. And after last year’s success, Paul Burston has secured funding for another Polari national tour. Watch this space for further details.

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…Oh I do like to be beside the seaside… But I’ll settle for sitting in a sunny garden with my feet in a paddling pool. Tatty bye!

News Roundup: Val McDermid in Manchester, RJ Samuel’s Launch Party, VG Lee on Video, Book Reviews, and More…

28 Mar

Things were finally a little more sedate on the news front this week, but we don’t really do sedate here at UK LesFic, so as a special bonus I’ve added a write-up of Val McDermid’s appearance at Waterstones in Manchester on Wednesday night. Enjoy!

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val mcdermidFollowing hot on the heels of Joanna Trollope’s reimagining of Sense & Sensibility, Val McDermid’s take on Northanger Abbey is the newest release in the Austen Project, in which six best-selling contemporary authors have been paired with one of Jane Austen’s complete works: Sense & Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion and Mansfield Park. Taking these well-loved stories as their base, each author has been tasked to write their own unique version.

Val McDermid is always good value at an author event. Funny, personable, and genuinely interesting, she covered a lot of ground during Wednesday’s chat. Starting with Austen, she spoke about how returning to the classics as a fledgling author helped to improve her writing, and how unpicking the plotting of such writers as Austen and Agatha Christie provided her with a masterclass on structuring a multi-layered story. Her own version of Northanger Abbey differs from the original in that parts of the mystery are held over to the end, whereas Austen plays all of her cards with a good twenty percent of the novel still remaining. Val admitted that she found the task “daunting” and refused to participate when she was initially asked. Northanger Abbey was specifically assigned to her due to its elements of suspense and intrigue – “Can’t really see me doing Pride & Prejudice, can you?” – and she confirmed that she was tempted to slaughter a few of the more annoying cast members in ways far too gruesome for the project. At an earlier point, chatting to her editor, she had discussed how much fun it would be to rework Emma as a lesbian novel, “Which is probably why they didn’t ask me to do that one!”

northanger abbeyMoving on to her writing in a more general sense, she identified Sarah Paretsky (V.I. Warshawski) as an early influence, as Paretsky had created a strong female protagonist who didn’t need to get a bloke in when she wanted to get something done. Val also revealed that she doesn’t plot as rigidly as she used to. Her first novels were plotted chapter by chapter, but at some point this suddenly stopped working for her, sending her into a panic. “What if this was it?” What if she had dried up? Hurtling towards a deadline, she would speak to her editor on the phone: “It’s fine, it’s all fine. I’m writing!” and eventually went to Italy, sequestered herself away and wrote 65,000 words in nine days of solid graft. She could barely string a sentence together when she had finished, but her editor was certainly happy: “It’s the best first draft you’ve ever handed in!” Since then, her process has been looser, something she called “driving at night writing”, in that you know where you start out from and your eventual destination, but the middle bit reveals itself incrementally as you go along.

In closing, Val answered questions from the audience, signed copies of Northanger Abbey, and posed for piccies. If she’s heading to your town in the not too distant future, she’s well worth hanging out with.

Val’s version of Northanger Abbey has just been released in hardback and e-book.

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And now onto the news proper…

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I’ll kick off with a date for the diaries, as Kiki Archer will be appearing at the Polari Literary Salon on Monday 28th April. The event takes place at the Level 5 Function Room at Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre at 7.45 p.m. Tickets are £5 and available to book here. I’ve added the listing to our events page for those who might want to check back in a little closer to the time.

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VGLeeSticking with Polari, VG Lee has a new video of her reading from her forthcoming novel Mr Oliver at a recent Polari evening:

Mr Oliver has had his heart broken by falling for a much younger women, and in this scene he’s on a cruise to recover. A lady of a certain age also feels like getting over her own woes by trying to seduce him. The result is VG Lee’s classic mix of tragedy and comedy.

Head over to YouTube to watch the video.

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the january flowerCrafty Green Poet, who won a copy of Orla Broderick’s The January Flower in our recent giveaway, has reviewed the book over on her blog.

The whole book is very poetically written, full of lovely phrases. Oddly I felt this sometimes stopped me feeling close to Mary. I also often felt that the individual characters, other than Mary, could have benefited from more consistently and better developed voices. Having said that, this is a lovely book to read for a different insight into life in the Scottish Highlands and for its portrayal of people living in close connection and awareness of nature.

You can read the full review here.

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AplacesomewherMeanwhile, the Lesbian Reading Room has been waxing lyrical about RJ Samuel‘s new novel,  A Place Somewhere:

A Place Somewhere is an extremely well-written novel, well edited and crafted – always a joyous find when one reads a new author, particularly somebody who is self published. The characters RJ portrays are well rounded and have an integrity that is sometimes challenged by their heart-ache and loss, but ultimately shows them for who they really are.

The review can be read in its entirety at the above link.

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RJSamuelAuthorPicRJ is also having a launch party for the novel and the song, starting at 7pm GMT (3pm EST) on Saturday 29th of March. On the event page, RJ has this to say:

As the theme of the book is a bit dark (online deception), I‘m hoping to make the launch a more positive experiment in connection.. I’ll be reading at some point and Sharon Murphy will be performing the song. There’ll be friends at the party here in Galway (Ireland) and I have (just about) managed to figure out how to live stream from here. I’m also hoping to have FB friends video chat with us on FaceTime or Skype.

I’ll post the details of how ye can watch the live stream if you’re interested, but I was hoping to get some idea of who would be interested in participating in the video conversations. Please comment or PM me if you’d like to take part. Please remember, this is a new (and kinda scary) thing for me so it might not be very ‘professional’, just informal. I just love the idea that we might be able to connect ‘communities’ across the world in some small way.

For more information, head over here to the launch party Facebook page.

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And that just about rounds up the roundup. Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend. I’m on nights and the clocks are going forward, WOO HOO!

Giveaway Winners: Puppy Love and The January Flower!

3 Feb

There’s little we like more on UK LesFic than giving away free stuff (hmmm, with the exception of cake and chocolate!) and we’ve had two authors  – Orla Broderick and LT Smith – running giveaways through the site for the past couple of weeks.

We’ve had a lovely, chatty response for both competitions, and we’ve just had the pleasure of drawing the winners via a handy random number generator.

the january flowerThe winners of Orla Broderick‘s début novel The January Flower are:

Widdershins and julietwilson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

puppyloveThe winners of LT Smith‘s Puppy Love are:

solargrrl, Amanda C, and Trish Whelan.

Congratulations to all five of you – look out for an e-mail from uklesfic later today.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the draw, and to both authors for their generosity 🙂

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!

Monument to Murder cover image~ ~ ~

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: new authors, some teasers from Cari Hunter and Kiki Archer and interviews with Nicola Griffith and Angie Peach

24 Jan

The weather seemed to settle this week, but that wasn’t from any lack of homosexual activity. Here’s the UK lesbian fiction news:

JessThere are two new authors to welcome this week, Pauline George and Anna Samuels who both hail from the south. Pauline has been writing for years but her first novel is just about to be published by Regal Crest. From the blurb, Jess is the tale of a modern day lesbian Lothario. Her sister Josie challenges her to get to know a woman before she jumps into bed with her and Jess is intrigued. How hard can that be?

sanctuaryAnna Samuels lives and works in the New Forest and her love of the south coast is inspiration for her writing. She has a number of short stories available on Amazon including A Sanctuary by the Sea. From the blurb, Annie Christopher arrives in Merryford in search of a fresh start. Annie is running from the pain of her past and needs a new home and a new job. She quickly finds work at a sea-front cafe. She is intrigued by the mysterious Alex – a quiet, intense colleague who Annie finds herself drawn to.

You can find out more about both these writers on the author page.

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tumbledownforblogTwo bits of news from our own Cari Hunter. A teaser post about her new thriller Tumbledown lists the five things you will be mistress/master of by the time you finish reading it. That cake doesn’t half look good, but perhaps, when you’re between the legs of a woman giving birth, don’t mention you picked up your delivery skills from a lesfic crime novel.

Cari is also doing a giveaway for Tumbledown. There are two paperback copies up for grabs of this exciting sequel to Desolation Point. Here’s her blog with more detail.

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WhenYouKnowAnother author being a tease is Kiki Archer. She revealed the cover of her next book this week. When You know is the follow up to her best-seller One Foot Onto The Ice. No blurb yet. I imagine she’ll be tickling our fancy with that later in the year.

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Blu at C-Spot Reviews recently posted her thoughts on LT Smith‘s Puppy Love:

“When reading, I seldom laugh out loud or cry. This story had me giggling and covering my mouth in glee, then tearing up in empathy over the very believable descriptions of Ellie’s responses to grief. Neither are overblown and the internal processing Ellie does as she works through her attraction to Emily is very well written.”

Look out for a giveaway of Puppy Love on UKLesFic coming soon…

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There’s another giveaway, this time of Emma Donoghue‘s Frog Music, on Goodreads. Sadly it’s only for US readers. But if you’re over the pond head over to Goodreads before February 1st to be in with a chance of winning a copy.

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NicolaGriffithNicola Griffith is still busy with Hild. Links to latest reviews of can be found in her latest roundup. Don’t miss the great video interview with Author Magazine. She talks about being a story teller, Hild and the inspiration behind the Aud series. And it’s set in her Seattle home so you get a little peek in there too.

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playing my loveAngela Peach’s latest novel Playing My Love has been selling swiftly just about everywhere and quickly hit number 1 on the Amazon US and UK lesfic charts. She was interviewed on Smile Somebody Loves You where she talks about that novel and a whole heap of other things . They certainly didn’t hold back on the questions. What was your worst date ever? What is the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done? What is your “guilty pleasure”?

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OrlaBroderickOrla Broderick was featured in The Sunday Times at the weekend as one of the winners of the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awards. If you are a subscriber you can read the whole article here which features extracts of the winners’ work.

Two paperback copies of her novel The January Flower are also up for grabs in our current giveaway (ends on the 31st). See her guest post for details.

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Some events for your diary. Leading author and poet Maureen Duffy will be heading the bill at the London Polari event on March 17th.  Book tickets ahead by visiting the Southbank Centre website. You can also find out about upcoming Polari events here.

Kerrry Hudson will also be appearing at a Spread the Word event in London on 19th February. Kerry is the author of the fabulously titled Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma which was short-listed for the Polari Prize and won the Scottish First Book Prize. Kerry will be reading for her work and answering questions. More details here.

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Finally, an affecting and personal blog from Stella Duffy.

So. I have breast cancer again.
This is rubbish, depressing, worrying and also kind of amazing

If you haven’t already read it, the inspiring piece is typically positive, forthright and gutsy. Best wishes and positive thoughts Stella for the times ahead. A lot of readers are thinking of you.

Baclava – guest post by Orla Broderick

17 Jan

Orla Broderick’s first novel the January Flower was long-listed for the Polari Prize and has been admired for its beautiful and lyrical prose. Orla has also just won a Scottish Book Trust’s New Writers Award and is a wee bit excited about it. Read on for her reaction and a giveaway of two paperback copies of The January Flower.

the january flowerLast week I went to Edinburgh. Alone. For a photo shoot. Yup, I travelled nine long hours from the beautiful Isle of Skye just to go and have my photo taken.

I sat in an evil evil Citylink bone shaker. My arse was numb. I was on my own and I was going on an adventure. I had had a desire to pee since I heard the news. In fact, when I took the call I shrieked so hard a little came out. I didn’t drink the water M had packed for me. Instead, as soon as I got to town I went straight to the bar I used to drink in a million life times ago. I necked a swift pint of wife beater. Just to rehydrate myself.

I won a Scottish Book Trust new writers award. This is simply marvellous but it means I really really do have to sit down and actually physically construct a new novel. The concentration involved is tremendous, for me anyway.

For my second novel I decided to be cleverer than before and actually think about the thing before writing it. I spent ages thinking up a whole host of characters then giving them storylines and then one day, sitting at the table, something fairly dreadful happened. A whole new story started to write itself. That is very annoying. It means I have no idea where this book is going. It means I just have to get up every morning and write and see if any good comes of it. Just like last time.

Part of the book trust prize is publicity and promotion, so we had to have proper professional photographs taken. I was so nervous. I had just bought some baclava to bring home and I just kept saying “baclava, baclava” over and over again in my head as Rob asked me to “stand strong, face the camera”.  I didn’t want to look too fat or too butch. I didn’t want my hair to look like a wild bush. I didn’t want my bra strap to show. But thanks to Rob, both my mother and girlfriend are downloading the photos on to photographic paper. Fantastic!

Just to say thanks for your support I am giving away two copies of The January Flower. Oh, and here’s a link to that photo

http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/writing/scottish-book-trust-training-awards/new-writers-awards-2014-orla-broderick

To enter the paperback giveaway leave a comment here or email uklesfic at gmail.com

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