Tag Archives: Victoria Oldham

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.

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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

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News Roundup: Lambda Win for Andrea Bramhall, Free Stuff from Clare Ashton & Amy Dunne, L-Fest & BSB Fest, Blog Hops, Reviews, and Lots More!

5 Jun

Okay, there’s no polite way of putting this: some of you UK authors need to go on an early summer holiday or something, and stop doing so much bloody stuff. Please? I hear the Balearics are lovely this time of year…

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cleanslateWithout further ado, let’s kick off another mammoth week of news by saying a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Andrea Bramhall, whose second novel Clean Slate was awarded best Lesbian Romance at the 26th annual Lambda Literary Awards on Monday evening. The Lammies are one of the most keenly sought after awards in the field of GLBTQ writing, so it’s lovely to see one heading over this side of the pond.

Andrea has just blogged her reaction to the news in a post entitled: Keep Calm and Wait for the Recount:

I’m trying to play it cool and not run around the house shouting ‘I won, I won, I won’ but part of me is still waiting for the results of the recount–that must surely be underway–and I don’t want to look like an idiot when the powers that be politely inform me that I shouldn’t have gotten myself all excited in the first place…

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Amy_Dunne_lgSkipping along from shiny stuff to free stuff, as the True Colorz blog (“your source for all things YA in the GLBTQ community”!) has just hosted a Q&A with Amy Dunne, and there’s a chance to win a copy of Secret Lies if you leave a comment on the page. The interview is well worth a read, although I’m hoping Ms Dunne didn’t write a college essay on The Yellow Wallpaper for the same reason I did: it was far shorter than Moby Dick.

Question: If you could travel back in time and tell the teenage you one thing, what would it be?

“Amy, you’re a lesbian. Surprise!”

To read all of Amy’s answers and to enter the comp, head here.

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that certain somethingSticking with the theme of free things, Clare Ashton is also giving stuff away over at Women & Words, where she has been chatting about That Certain Something and encouraging people to Add a Little Sunshine to their day:

Pia enlists the help of an enchanting third character – London. I have a soft spot for the charismatic city and I’ve adored living through the scenes in some of my favourite settings: the romantic Serpentine Lake, Brixton market on a noisy morning, an old bombed-out church – now a peaceful garden in the heart of the city. A balmy summer in London has been a nice place to daydream about.

To be in with a chance of getting your mitts on a copy of That Certain Something (in e-book or paperback – winner’s choice), hit the above link and add your two penneth to the chat about favourite classy film dames in the comments section.

Terry Baker has cast her LesFic-loving eye over That Certain Something this week and not found the book lacking in the slightest:

This story is a beautifully written, multi layered, lesfic, romantic comedy. It is chick lit for lesbians as its very best. Clare Ashton has got the balance between the romance and the comedy just right. Neither one overshadows the other. This is a refreshingly different book from Clare’s other two full length, more serious novels. Although we did get a taste of her wonderful sense of humor in her short story, published last year.

Click here to read the full review.

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NicolaGriffithFor those who like to plan ahead, here’s an early shout out about an Ask The Author session with Nicola Griffith on Goodreads. The details are a little vague (in all honesty, I don’t have any), but the shindig kicks off on Friday, and keeping an eye on Nicola’s Goodreads author page would probably be a decent place to start.

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lfestAs the rain pours non-stop over here (hmm, I bet it’s lovely and sunny in the Balearics), what better time to think of summer festivals?

L Fest 2014 (18-21 July) has updated its arts page with loads of info about the authors, poets, panellists, and comedians who will be heading over to Staffordshire for the weekend. Tig gave the line-up in last week’s news, but novelist and poet Maureen Duffy is a more recent addition. For profiles, info and pretty pictures, click the arts page here.

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bsbpanelWith just two days to go before the Bold Strokes Books UK Festival, a blog hop featuring the attending authors has continued apace. In an effort to prove that fiction writers also lead adventurous factual lives, I. Beacham has somehow managed to avoid all mention of gratuitous pussy jokes in an entertaining piece about rescuing her cat from a vicarage. Jane Fletcher has been speaking historically, Rebecca Buck has been fighting labels, Crin Claxton has been shaking her tassels, and Victoria Oldham – editor and organiser in chief – has brought things full circle back to cats (but not pussies – no one goes for the obvious gags these days!) with her summary of what exactly goes into organising a book festival, and why she comes back and does it all over again each year:

crin and cheriThe authors get to meet readers, the readers get to meet authors. We connect and reconnect, and it’s all over the power of words, both written and spoken. I get to meet readers and new authors, and sometimes I’m fortunate enough to hear pitches from aspiring authors who want to work with us, and that makes me feel incredibly lucky. I get to tell people about the amazing company I work for, a company that works to provide quality literature to the queer community, and a company dedicated to helping authors grow and learn at every step of their career.

If you want to come along to Nottingham this Saturday and Sunday (7th & 8th June) and find out what the BSB Fest is all about, click here for the necessary details. Once again this year, Vic will be hearing pitches from aspiring authors, and she has some advice for potential pitchers in this blog post.

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amazonia_impossible_choiceThe Writing Processes blog hop has snared another couple of British authors (okay, I snared one of ’em!) with Sky Croft and Manda Scott posting their entries in the last few days.

Speaking about potential future novels, Sky had this to say:

I have a few other ideas on the go right now, but I’m not sure which to focus on first. That’s always a dilemma for me, which book to start on – I have so much I want to get down, and not enough time to do it all, so naturally some ideas fall by the wayside. It’s tough to decide which ideas to let go of and which to pursue, especially if you’re passionate about them.

manda-scottMeanwhile, Manda is busy working on edits of The Girl Who Walked Through Fire:

I did the line edits in January and somewhere, stalking the hallways of my publisher, is a copy-editor who will require that I make fundamental changes to the plot and structure in the name of ‘consistency’ and I will chew large lumps out of my desk in frustration and do about half of them, writing long, detailed notes about why and how the other half prove the editor in question just didn’t bother to read the text. Then I’ll give up and do them anyway.

To read the full text of both blogs, go to the above links.

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cover_hearts-and-flowers-borderLast but by no means least, L.T. Smith has gone and launched a new blog, where you can find information on all of her novels, forthcoming releases (including the blurb for September release Still Life), and what she’s up to at the moment:

Buying a book is like choosing a friend to spend time. It’s not an easy choice, especially because you are going to invest time, emotion and money in the venture. That’s why I have included excerpts for you to read. A case of “try before you buy”. There are also some sound files to listen to if you want to hear how I think my stories should “sound”. However, if you treasure your hearing, maybe you might want to listen to music instead.

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Right-O, that’s about yer lot for this week. If anyone reading this blog is heading to the Nottingham BSB Fest, please do come over and say hello – Tig is hoping to be there on the Saturday, so no doubt the daft Blog Mistress picture will get an update 🙂

 

Yup, this one!

Yup, this one!

 

 

News Roundup: New Novels from Just About Everyone, Reviews Galore, Awards, and Upcoming Events

14 Mar

After Tig‘s heartfelt plea in the last news, you’d think all the UK LesFic authors would be off sunning their bums on an island somewhere and giving us both a rest. Ha. Not a bloody chance. Here is another rather lively News Roundup…

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First out of the traps this week are Jade Winters and RJ Samuel, who have both released novels within the last couple of days.

say somethingJade’s latest, Say Something, is now available on Amazon (UK) , Amazon (US), and Smashwords, and we have a blurb to go with the cover we recently previewed.

When love-struck teenagers Jessie and Toni’s clandestine affair is exposed, Jessie’s only option is to move on. Feeling betrayed by Toni, she swears she will never trust another with her heart. Fast forward ten years when, in a strange twist of fate, this vow is put to the test as Jessie and Toni are thrown together by chance. Can Jessie put the put the past behind her to help Toni – who now needs her more than ever. Will she be able to deny the feelings that still run deep for the only woman she has ever loved?

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AplacesomewherRJ Samuel‘s A Place Somewhere is also available on Createspace, Amazon UK, and Amazon US. This is what LesFic reviewer Terry Baker had to say about the novel:

I’ve loved each of RJ Samuel’s books, this one is in my honest opinion, her best to date. Told from the heart and written from the mind and muse. Truly a wonder to behold. A definite and firm favorite to be read time and again. 

You can read the full review at this link.
 

Not content with writing the book, RJ also wrote a song with the same title, a clip of which can be heard over here on YouTube.

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pauline georgeNever one to rest on her laurels, Terry has also been casting her eye over Pauline George‘s début novel, Jess:

Now and then I come across a début author who shines through. Pauline George is one such author. She has written a wonderful story with believable and loveable characters. All well developed, multidimensional and easy to get to know.

As always, you can catch up with the full review here.

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crin claxtonOoh, just nicking in under the deadline, Crin Claxton‘s novel, The Supernatural Detective is a finalist in the 2014 ForeWord Review Book of the Year Award: Gay and Lesbian category.

Each year, Foreword shines a light on a small group of indie authors and publishers whose ground-breaking work stands out from the crowd. Foreword’s awards are more than just a shiny sticker on the front of a book; they help connect the best indie books to readers eager to discover new stories written by previously unknown authors.

The finalists are selected by librarians and booksellers, and the winners will be announced at the American Library Association annual conference on June 27 in Las Vegas.

Congratulations and good luck, Crin!

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statesofindependence2014If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, Amy Dunne and editor Victoria Oldham will be flying the Bold Strokes flag at the Leicester festival States of Independence, a celebration of the breadth and diversity offered by independent publishers throughout the region. As Vic so succinctly says:

The event is free to attend, and there are panels and book vendors, and a whole crowd of people who loves books as much as you do. If you’re in the vicinity, this is where you should spend your Saturday!

The event takes place Saturday 15th March at De Montfort University, and all the necessary details, including information on the LGBTQ panel (the topic of which is The Road to Integration), can be found at the above link.

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season's meetingsWe’re sticking with Amy Dunne for a moment, as her second novel Season’s Meetings now has a blurb and a lovely new cover (yes, that is Amy’s own pup Kimmy, in a starring role!)

Could the festive road trip from hell actually lead to love?

Catherine Birch is a lonely workaholic who hates Christmas. This year, she is being forced to celebrate with her best friend’s family in the Highlands of Scotland. Having missed her flight, Catherine reluctantly ventures on a road trip with beautiful stranger Holly Daniels. Although polar opposites, the intense attraction between them is unmistakable. Just as Catherine begins to think spending Christmas with Holly might not be so bad, a raging snowstorm leaves them stranded in the middle of nowhere. Huddled together, with little chance of rescue, they forge a pact: if they escape, they’ll make this a Christmas to remember. But will it be remembered for the right reasons?

With a December release date, the novel is perfectly timed to slip into your Christmas stocking. Hey, it’s never too early to plan these things, there are only 285 shopping days left, folks!

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BSB_Because_of_HerKE Payne is also keeping herself very busy on the writing front. Her fifth novel Because of Her (available now from the BSB site, and on wider release from March 18th) has been given a standing ovation at Lesbian Fiction Reviews:

If I could use just one word to describe the book it’d be sweet, and this applies to the main character, the plot and the way K.E. Payne tells the story. I felt completely caught with Tabitha because she’s a down-to-earth, sensible and sensitive character. She’s not perfect, doesn’t look like a model; she’s just a girl with insecurities and fears who is violently taken away from what she’s known her entire life and has to face a big challenge.

once the clouds have goneWhile novel number 6 – Once the Clouds Have Gone – now has a cover and a blurb:

Nine years after leaving the small Scottish town where she’d grown up, Tag Grainger is forced to return following the sudden death of her father—and back to a life she’s long since put behind her. After inheriting a share in 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 reopened, Tag longs to escape again, until the appearance of the intriguing and spirited Freddie Metcalfe forces her to reevaluate much more than she thought she needed to. But while Freddie is harboring a secret of her own, can she help Tag reconnect with her family and move on from her past?

Once the Clouds Have Gone is due for release in October.

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duffy_maureenSome more dates for the calendar now, with Maureen Duffy set to headline at Polari on March 17th. Paul Burston’s celebrated Polari salon provides a platform for new and emerging LGBT literary talent and showcases the very best in queer writing. From the Polari website:

Maureen’s latest novel, In Times Like These, is a fable that puts politics to its ultimate test. Jill Gardiner describes it as ‘a pacy, exciting read, centered around an out-lesbian MP and her artist girlfriend, whose well-established relationship is very much of our times.’ 

For tickets and further details about the event click here.

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frogmusicFinally this week, Emma Donoghue‘s Frog Music tour, will see events taking place in Brighton (25th March), Norwich (26th March), and Cambridge (1st April). More details on each of those dates can be found at the links, while a full worldwide listing of the tour is on the Latest News ticker-tape on Emma’s homepage.

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Right, that’s yer lot. For those with the weekend off, have a fabulous one. For those working it, like me, keep your heads down, it’ll be over before you know it!

News Roundup: BSB 2014 Bash, KE Payne at the VLR, Ali Smith in London, Kiki tops the USA chart, and much more…

10 Oct

I can’t believe it’s been a week since I last did this, but here we are chomping at the bit for another gallop around the news. I have no idea where this horse imagery is coming from. I don’t own one. I don’t even like them, with their huge teeth and snorty nostrils. Hmm, shall we just get on with it?

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group shotSupremely organised Bold Strokes editor Vic Oldham is already gearing up for the 5th Annual Bold Strokes Book Festival UK and she wants to let everyone know exactly why they should be marking the date on their 2014 calendars (what do you mean, you haven’t got one yet?! It’s October!) The festival will be taking place in Nottingham over the weekend of June 6th-8th, is entirely free to attend, and loads of fun. If you need any more incentive, head to Vic’s blog post for 20 great reasons, and hit this link to read up on last year’s bash. For the record, I will not be doing number 4, but wholeheartedly agree with number 16.

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BSB_Because_of_HerAs mentioned on the last news, the Virtual Living Room UK Author Spotlight Weekend is this weekend, and BSB YA author Ke Payne was somehow omitted from all the early listings. So I would like to set the record straight: KE PAYNE will also be there. Along with a whole host of other fabulous peeps. Fun, games, and general chaos kick off this Friday at 4 pm, UK time.

Sticking with KE for a moment: back at the end of August we shared the synopsis for her upcoming novel Because of Her (due for release in March 2014). At the time it didn’t have a cover. Now it does, and I think you’ll all agree it’s really quite swanky.

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51Zch618BLL._SY445_Maureen Duffy‘s new novel In Times Like These has been released this week. It’s difficult to really get a handle on this novel because the blurb on Amazon is a dog’s breakfast of mangled-together text, and I have absolutely no idea as to its lesbian content. More information and a slightly less tangled blurb can be found on the front page of Maureen’s website. As the saying goes, you pays yer money and you takes yer chances…

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stirfry-978144724812501We’re a little late catching this one (to be fair to us, it’s only just been highlighted on the author’s page!) but July 2013 saw the release of four of Emma Donoghue‘s early titles, Hood, Stir Fry, Landing and Kissing The Witchreleased onto Kindle, with shiny new covers to boot. Hood and Stir Fry are two of my favourites of hers, so it’s lovely to see them in with a chance of finding a whole new e-reader audience.

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330x235valmcdermidFans of Val McDermid should be rubbing their hands with glee throughout October because Val is going to be, quite frankly, bloody everywhere.  So ubiquitous, in fact, that there are far too many TV appearances and radio shows for us to list. Best thing you can do to plan your schedule is head to the News page on Val’s blog, where there’s a handy timetable.

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alismithA real treat now for Londoners (or anyone who fancies heading down to the Big Smoke) to catch an appearance by Ali Smith, who will be reading extracts from her book Artful at Gay’s the Word bookshop on Sunday 20th October. From the Facebook page:

Gay’s the Word bookshop is delighted-beyond-words to be welcoming author Ali Smith for a relaxed Sunday afternoon reading from her extraordinary and special book ‘Artful’

Event Entry £5 per person – Booking required – please call 0207 278 7654 to secure your place. Limited places available.

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Kiki-ArcherKiki Archer‘s new book One Foot Onto the Ice has been going down a storm in the US. It hit the number one spot in the Amazon lesfic charts and then proceeded to start climbing up into the top 100 contemporary novels. It was also reviewed on the So So Gay website. Here’s what they had to say:

When it comes to lesbian oriented romance, it is clear that Kiki Archer remains the top author to watch as her latest book One Foot Onto the Ice manages to immediately catch our notice. In a story that is filled to the brim with romance, intrigue and comedy we are not surprised to see this book hitting the highest summits in the charts so quickly after release.

You can read the rest of the review here.

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And that’s about yer lot. Hope to see a few of you kicking about this weekend on the VLR 🙂

News roundup: UK GLBT meet, new authors, books and reviews

11 Jul

Cari’s off somewhere in the north of England saving lives (I always picture her wearing a cape over her paramedic uniform) so it’s my turn to get out the ice-cream (home-made strawberry) and bring you the news.

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UKmeetSquare_zpsb289200bThe UK GLBT Fiction meet kicks off in Manchester tomorrow with the main sessions and panels over the weekend. Bold Strokes is well-represented this year with Cari Hunter, Andrea Bramhall and Victoria Oldham all attending. Cari will be appearing as part of a panel discussing British authors in a US dominated market: “Leave my OU alone!”. Vic will be at the Bold Strokes table and on a publishing panel. She’ll also be hearing pitches for Bold Strokes publications (contact the organisers if you want to pitch your novel to her, there may still be time).

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the road to her bigKe Payne‘s new book is off to a cracking start with a great review from Terry Baker. This is what Terry had to say about The Road to Her:

KE Payne has written a wonderful, heart warming story of love, unrequited love, betrayal, self discovery and coming out. She has also giving us a first hand insight into life on a television soap opera. From the dialogue, it was very easy to immerse myself in the story amongst the characters….Personally, I’d love to see more of these characters and more of the soap, Portobello Road.

You can read the revew in full here.

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HanselGretalNiamh Murphy has a new novella out: Gretel: A Fairytale Retold. Here’s the blurb:

Starving and lost, Hans, and his sister Gretel, are saved from a pack of bloodthirsty wolves by a woman, who seems to ask for nothing in return. Seduced by her kindness and beauty, Gretel grows closer to her, while Hans becomes ever more suspicious of her motives. Torn between her brother and a woman she has just met, Gretel soon learns she must make a choice between long held loyalty and newfound love. Gretel: A Fairytale Retold is a six chapter novella of over 12,400 words. Retold as a fast paced, lesbian love story, this novella contains some explicit passages.

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We have two new authors this week. Catherine Blackfeather describes herself as a dancer, live story teller and poet. Her first book is a novella called Mitchie, a tale of self-discovery set in 19th century Canada.

Angie Peach has managed to sneak three novels past us without us noticing, although she does keep very quiet about. She has published The Blurring, In Reflection, and 47 (a novella) in the last year and she’ll be appearing on the Shifting Desires panel with Kiki Archer and Clare Ashton at L Fest.

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Meanwhile Sarah Waters celebrates 40 years of women’s fiction at Virago with this quiz. How many extracts do you recognise from classic women’s fiction? I’ll show you my score if you show me yours first.

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Finally, Crin Claxton is throwing a book launch for The Supernatural Detective, at WW Gallery in London tonight from 6pm-9pm. If you fancy going, be very very quick and drop her a message on Facebook!

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Did we miss something? Then let us know at uklesfic at gmail.com.

BSB UK Bash, 2013 – A Truly Fabulous Fest!

19 Jun

bsbpanelSitting in the sunshine and reading through eight pages of scrawled, at times barely legible notes is making me smile. The sunshine is playing its part in that, but the notes were taken during the recent Bold Strokes Books UK Fest and they are bringing back very fond memories. With over eighty people crammed into Waterstones’ events room, cameras clicking and snapping, enthusiastic audience participation and a book sales table that looked like a plague of locusts had been through it, this year’s event was the best one yet. It was, in no uncertain terms, a bloody good weekend. So, where the hell do I start? Continue reading

Guest Blog: Victoria Oldham – Pitch it to Me

2 Jun

Today’s guest post comes from Victoria Oldham, one of the commissioning editors for Bold Strokes Books. We’ve mentioned a few times that Vic will be hearing pitches from prospective authors at next week’s BSB bash in Nottingham and the forthcoming UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet in Manchester. Then we realised that folks might not have a bloody clue what it meant to “pitch your novel” (clue: it doesn’t mean kicking it into a hole!) So here’s Vic to shed a little light…

Pitch it to Me

Andrea Bramhall signs books at States of Independence

When you work in publishing, you throw terms around like confetti, just expecting folks to know what they mean. POV, ms, fancy-tagger, white space, etc. You kind of just figure a writer will know what you’re talking about.

But that’s not always true. How can you possibly know what I mean when I tell you your white space balance is off, if no one has ever mentioned that before?

I’ve come to realize that’s the case with the term “pitch”. When I tell you to come “pitch your novel to Bold Strokes”, I’m guessing you have an inkling of what I mean. You should come tell me about your book.

At the Bold Strokes Nottingham event, and at the GLBT Fiction Meet in Manchester, I’ll be hearing pitches for Bold Strokes. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet someone who works for the company, to get the idea of your novel across and potentially get it reviewed in full. That’s a big deal–it’s not easy to get face time with publishing houses! (Particularly publishing houses in the States, as there aren’t any lgbtq publishing houses left in the UK).

In the interest of convincing you to sign up to pitch to me, so I’m not sitting there listening to crickets, here are the three steps to pitching your novel:

  1. Know your time allotment. In the case of the pitches I’m hearing, it’s a ten minute time slot.
  2. Give me a solid overview of your book. Beginning, middle, end. Primary characters, major conflict, resolution. Know what you’re going to say in advance–don’t wing it! This is your moment to shine, to convince me your book is just what I’m looking for. But, for the love of God, don’t tell me “this book is the best thing ever and if you don’t take it you’re stupid”. Let me be the judge of whether or not it’s the best thing since rocky road ice cream. Be concise, be clear, be interesting. (If you can’t make your story interesting and explain it in a straightforward manner, who can? And if you can’t, perhaps there’s too much going on…but, I digress into editorial mode. Back to pitching…)
  3. Make sure you’re pitching to the right people. If you’re pitching a hetero, sci-fi, memoir, we’re not going to be interested. You’ll want to pitch that novel to someone who publishes that kind of novel. If you’re pitching to us, we want positive lgbtq fiction.
  4. Leave me with a single page synopsis and your contact details.

states of indieThat’s it! It’s that easy, and that difficult. My advice: practice. Write it down, read it out loud, make sure it makes sense. Don’t leave me with a synopsis full of spelling mistakes! Have someone else check it over. Sit across from someone (your dog, your cat, your plush toys, an actual human) and say exactly what you want to say to me, and time it. There are folks signed up before you and after you, so you don’t want to run over your ten minutes.

That’s what it means to pitch your novel. Convince the publisher that you’re serious about writing, and you have something they should consider.

If you have any questions, you can drop a comment below, email me at  bsbediting @ gmail .com , check out the writing section of my personal website, or even just ask me on Saturday at the Bold Strokes event (pitches will be heard on Sunday morning. TBD in Manchester).

Victoria Oldham is the development editor and UK Rep for Bold Strokes Books and runs the literary consultancy Global Words.