Tag Archives: VT Davy

The Hystery App: Guest blog by VT Davy

15 May

VT Davy’s books revolve around a question or an issue. A Very Civil Wedding dramatised the scenario of the next in-line to the throne wanting to marry her girlfriend. Vic’s latest book takes an appealing idea of being able to film the lives of women through the ages. Read on to find out about the repercussions.

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If your tablet or smartphone had an app on it that allowed you to input any date and time from the past and then enabled you to use the device’s camera to film your current location at that date and time, would you download it? Think of the possibilities…

Want to research your family tree? You could go to the house lived in by your ancestors, input when they lived there, and find out more about their daily lives.

thehysteryappWant to witness historic events at first hand? You could go to the location where the event was supposed to have taken place, input the date and time, and see it from any angle you wished.

Want to set the record straight? You could go to a location where some disputed historic happening occurred, input the date and time, and publish your findings.

There’s just one restriction: only women who are deceased are visible to the camera. Even so, it would be pretty cool, wouldn’t it? Or would it?

This is the premise of my latest novel, The Hystery App. The app comes about by accident when Dr Brogan Miller and her wife, Dr Honor Smith, are experimenting with sending a personal satellite into space, something that amateur scientists are now doing. A freak occurrence turns the satellite into a sort of time machine that allows mobile devices communicating with it to film video of women from the past.

Things start to go wrong when the app, like all technology before it, starts to be abused by people exploiting women for their own ends. The novel draws deliberate parallels with the use and abuse of the Internet to look at the question of how society treats women and girls, but also how women and girls treat themselves. Using glimpses of the uploads from the Hystery app, it shines a light on some of the milestones in Britain for the women’s movement and compares them to snippets from today’s multimedia culture to evaluate how far women have come and how far they still have to go.

In writing the novel, I am concerned about the state of feminism today. In the last twenty-five years, we seem to have slipped backwards. We live in a world where the top female artists in the music industry sing strutting anthems about girl power whilst wearing nothing more than a scrap of material in the relevant places. Compare their wardrobe to the top male artists in the music industry and you’ll see that equality has some way to go.

What does this say about the respect the managers and producers have for their talent? Your voice isn’t really good enough; we’d better get you to strip off? More than that, what does it say about the respect that the performer has for their talent?

Images like these stream onto the screens of teenage girls providing a very confused message for the next generation of women. What are they being taught here? To be a strong, powerful woman, like the song says, you have to expose your body for the titillation of men?

No doubt, the performers would argue that women’s lib means having the choice to wear (or not) what you like without being dictated to by men. Wearing very little to showcase their vocal talent is their choice, then. If that’s true (and I’m not sure it really is as free a choice as they think it is), that’s fine. However, because your music is purchased by impressionable young girls, would a more responsible choice not be to be a strong, powerful woman who has reached the top of her profession without using her body in that way?

On the flip side, women who have reached the top of their profession in politics, business or academia and who don’t use their bodies in that way are trolled mercilessly on the Internet and in the tabloid papers for the way that they look. And not just by men. “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. It is this dichotomy that intrigues me and I hope it will provoke a reaction in readers, too.

VT_Davy_jpg_210x1000_q85As well as making readers think about an issue, reading should be fun, which is why The Hystery App has at its heart the relationship between Brogan and Honor and, without giving anything away, a stranger called Erin James, who comes into Brogan’s life at a crisis point. The story, a combination of romance and science fiction with lots of humour and observations on family life thrown in, and the love triangle at the centre, I guarantee, will be unlike any you have read before. I hope readers will enjoy it on lots of levels.

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You can buy The Hystery App on Amazon and find out more about Vic at Liberation Publishing.

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News roundup: a lot of blogging and chatting from Emma Donoghue, VG Lee, Nicola Griffith, Amy Dunne and more!

27 Feb

A whiff of spring is in the air, or at least the green shoots of a busy lesfic year are coming through at last, and there’s quite a bit to tell you this week:

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emma-donoghue-illo_2373764bEmma Donoghue has been answering Seven Questions for the Working Writer over on Jenna Leigh Evans’ blog. She answers questions about juggling writing with earning a living (she’s never had a day job) and how she knows when a passage needs editing (it makes her stomach twinge). Read the full piece here.

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NicolaGriffithNicola Griffith has been busy on her blog. This week she has been talking a little about how to avoid cliched characters when writing fiction and how to create a memorable cast.

But a great story or novel—oh, a great story is dense. The characters’ actions are plot-driving and characteristic and specific. These people are fully human, the kind of people we would recognise this year, last century, tomorrow. In this fiction, the writer is almost profligate in her generosity: we know a lot about the protagonist just by the way he flips his hair, just by the speed with which they blinks before they kill someone.

Here’s the full piece.

It also turns out that even the best get the odd duff review. Nicola has been braving Amazon and reading Hild reviews and details her reaction to some particularly snide 1-star reviews. It only bothered her, mildly, for 5 minutes. Still, an entertaining and interesting piece which is here in full.

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vgleepolariVG Lee was interviewed by Sacha Black about VG’s writing process. She talks about her technique of prolific note taking as first draft, what and who inspires her characters and her take on the publishing industry. This is her advice for aspiring novelists:

Not to be influenced in any way by friends and family. They will be biased. To aspiring novelists I would recommend a writing group, creative writing classes at local colleges or universities. Here you will get unbiased feed back. Friends I made through a creative writing class when I first began writing, I am still friends with them now. We are all still writing and we have all been published, in fiction, non-fiction, flash fiction and poetry. We help each other.

VG is always an interesting read and here’s the full interview.

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LT Smith has been catching up her readers on her writing exploits. And she’s been busy. Beginnings is out in its second edition and she talks about the horticulture involved in that. She’s also having a shufty at Once and a few other things besides:

I can remember not long after Once was published and I won an award from the Lesbian Fiction Readers’ Choice Awards for comedy. Obviously, I was really excited, as anyone would be if his or her book had been given the big thumbs up by the reader. But, I can still remember thinking ‘I thought it was sad’. Shows how much I know doesn’t it. Maybe if I write a comedy I may get an award for drama. Food for thought.

Read the full article, and keep an eye out for an imminent book giveaway too, over on LT’s blog.

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Clare Lydon continues with the book club on Lesbian Radio. And this week she had a good natter with Amy Dunne author of Secret Lies and Season’s Meetings. Amy gives some insight into her writing approach to each book and what inspired her to write the gritty Secret Lies. Have a listen here.

Amy also revealed the cover and blurb for her next book this week. The Renegade, a post-apocalyptic romance, will be available in September. Here’s the blurb:

renegadeIn this post-apocalyptic world, you have a choice: survive as a slave or fight for your freedom.

The Red Death pandemic wiped out most of the human population, and the world that remains is dangerous and unforgiving. Survivor Alex Clarke and her companions are rescued after a vicious attack and welcomed into the Rapture’s Haven Camp. Although given medical treatment, food, shelter, and protection, Alex senses something sinister lurking beneath the camp’s friendly exterior.

Camp medic Evelyn Bennett is instinctively drawn to Alex and warns her that the camp is a dangerous cult and the women are slaves. While planning to escape, their secret relationship is discovered. Escape is no longer possible. They must fight for their freedom—or die trying.

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V.A FearonMeanwhile Cherry Potts and VA Fearon have been chatting about lesbian fiction. Cherry talked about running Arachne Press and trying to fit in her own writing. VA Fearon revealed her obsessive writing habit and also chatted about the Dani series. All five books have been written – although only The Girl with the Treasure Chest is out so far. Here the video of their conversation.

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A few items in brief:

thehysteryappVT Davy‘s second ‘state of the lesbian nation’ novels, The Hystery App, is now available. VT has produced a trailer for the book which is a blend of science fiction, romance, and women’s history. The trailer is available here on YouTube.

Jenny Frame has been putting the final touches to the forthcoming A Royal Romance and has an update on her other work here.

Gill McKnight, author of the Garoul werewolf series, has been quiet of late, but she’s just about to get a lot noisier. She’s joined Women and Words as a regular contributer and she’s already received a very warm welcome. She has a new book, Soul Selecta, is due out in April.

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hp munroFinally, you can catch HP Munro in the Virtual Living Room today. The online discussion group is hosting a Hollywood weekend where authors of novels with a film theme will be chatting about their books. Authors include Melissa Brayden (Waiting in the Wings), Karin Kallmaker (Stepping Stone), Krystin Zimmer (The Gravity Between Us), Jae (Departure from the Script) and Chris Paynter (Survived by her Longtime Companion). You can join the group here.

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That’s all folks!

News roundup: loads of events and tons of new books!

28 Jan

It’s been a while since I’ve had a gambol through the news. So time to limber up those digits and romp through this week’s edition (did you know that your fingers don’t have muscle inside. It’s all in the palm and forearm apparently…).

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Lots of fabulous events coming up where you can catch your favourite authors.

Stella Duffy, writer, actorThe award-winning Stella Duffy and Catherine Hall are both appearing at this Friday’s Polari evening. Grab yourself some tickets here if you’re lucky enough to be in the area. Also a reminder that the Manchester Polari evening is hot on its heels (February 10th). Beatrice Hitchman, whose debut Petite Mort was short-listed for the Polari Prize, will be appearing.  You can book tickets here.

catherine hallCatherine Hall will also be appearing oop north in Manchester as part of the first ever National Festival of LGBT History. She’ll be reading from The Repercussions on the afternoon of Saturday 14th February at the Central Library. For more details and a full list of events tootle over here.

VGLeeEventThe ever-entertaining VG Lee will be doing a gig in Bedford on 17th February (7 p.m.). She says of the evening “I shall be chatting, a bit of reading, a bit of comedy – no singing or dancing unless too much wine is imbibed.” You can also catch her on March 7th in Huddersfield as part of the Polari frolicks up North session at the literary festival – more details for the event here.

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swordfishAndrea Bramhall has been blogging on the Bold Strokes site about her latest action-packed novel of genius scientists and terrorists – Swordfish (the sequel to Ladyfish).  It’s a personal piece where she delves into the past of one of the characters and how it’s taught her a thing or two about herself.

Every character has a little something of me in them. And I do mean everyone. Good guys and bad guys. It’s my way of connecting with them, of making them real to me, and making whole characters rather than flat two dimensional ones that are just a jumble of actions and words that don’t make sense. Now, that can make writing some things very dark. If you read this book, you’ll meet Masood and see what I mean, but it can also be enlightening. This is what I mean when I say Cassie taught me things.

Here’s the full piece.

The Velvet Lounger has also been passing her critical gaze over Andrea’s book and this is what she had to say:

a mad romp full of twists and turns, high tension deadlines, scientific breakthroughs and shoot ‘em up confrontations with the bad guys. It is fast paced when the story is hot, but manages to combine gentler, slower moments of intimacy and tenderness…A great fun read, fast and furious.

You can read the full review here.

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On to new and forthcoming books.

The_Wrong_Woman_Cover_for_KindleJane Retzig has published her fourth novel The Wrong Woman, and it is already doing very nicely indeed, bouncing around at the top of the Amazon lesfic charts. Here’s the blurb for her new romance:

Kate is a rapidly rising star of the trauma therapy world – London based, shy, uptight, and with an air of aloofness that masks a deep sense of insecurity. When she has to relocate her ‘Traumatology for the 21st Century’ conference to Horton Hill ‘Deluxe’ Hotel and Conference Centre in the heart of industrial West Yorkshire, she is understandably horrified by the state of the place.

Horton Hill is a mess. The car park looks like the surface of the moon. The pool is a health hazard. And the staff seem incapable of speaking intelligible English. When Naz, the hotel’s ‘Hospitality Assistant’ finds Kate struggling with her luggage, she instantly stops to help. Bright, enthusiastic and hard-working, she is drawn to Kate’s barely concealed vulnerability, and desperately wants to make a good impression on the harassed, but undeniably attractive conference organiser.

Despite her natural caution, as the weekend progresses, Kate finds herself warming to Naz’s kindness and obvious interest in her.
But she is unaware that her carefully constructed life back in London is starting to unravel. And when she finds herself accused of a terrible crime, Kate discovers that sometimes friendship and love can be found in the most unlikely of places.

thehysteryappV.T. Davy (author of A Very Civil Wedding) has just signed off on the cover for novel number three. It’s due out in February and “blends science fiction, lesbian romance and women’s history to ask whether the rights that women espouse today are those that were fought for by the pioneers of feminism or whether they have become distorted beyond recognition.” Here’s the intriguing blurb:

When the biophysicist Dr Brogan Miller and her partner, the women’s historian Dr Honor Smith, stumble upon a cosmic phenomenon that enables them to film the everyday lives of women from the past, they believe it will bring about a revolution in the way that women’s history is taught and studied.
 
On the release of the Hystery app, their initial euphoria is not dampened as astonishing uploads from all over the world pour in showing women from all centuries at home, at work and at play. But, as the uploads take a more sinister turn, they realise that, in their excitement, they overlooked society’s appetite for new technology that bends each innovation to satisfy its basest cravings. It is only when tragedy strikes the couple and the extraordinary Erin James enters Brogan’s life that she finds the courage to put right what she has let loose on the world.

blindtrustJody Klaire has revealed the cover and blurb for her sequel to The Empath. Blind Trust is the second book in the Above and Beyond series. No release date as yet, but here’s that blurb:

Aeron Lorelei finds herself part of the mysterious Criminal Investigations Group and is looking forward to catching up with Commander Renee Black after being locked in bootcamp for six months. However, something isn’t quite right with Renee and Aeron can’t figure out why she is pushing her away. When mother nature puts a mountain in their path (literally) and Renee does the unthinkable, it is left to Aeron to clear Renee’s name. Stuck in a small Colorado town with only a few days to solve a mystery, Aeron needs some ‘spiritual’ support.’ Saving Renee involves using the burdens she loathes and every ounce of belief she has. It looks bleak for Renee, and when the danger lurking in the past snakes its way into the town, it is up to Aeron alone to stop it.

SecretsAnd finally, Jade Winters has a novel out… soon. Secrets is written with Alexis Bailey with whom Jade co-wrote her first published piece of erotica. Here’s the blurb:

To the outside world, Lauren’s marriage is picture perfect, but she is hiding a secret. Beneath the smile lies an unquenchable yearning: Lauren craves intimacy with a woman.

Until now, these desires have been mere fantasy, harmless daydreams. That is until Lauren meets a beautiful woman on her daily commute, a stranger with whom she has an immediate passionate connection.

Torn between loyalty to her marriage and a passion for another woman, Lauren struggles to do “the right thing”. But she is about to discover that her marriage is not what it seems. It is not just her who is hiding a secret…

And if that’s whetted your appetite, go and indulge in chapters one and two for free here.

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Until next time…tara a bit!

News roundup: new Jade Winters novel, events, tons of book reviews, and the odd year in review too

6 Jan

Well, UK LesFic has had a nice Christmas with its feet up, but it’s time to blow its nose and clear its throat to begin the new year with
“this is the news” (because there’s no shortage of it):

guiltyheartkindlecover-186x300Jade Winters is quick off the blocks with a brand new book release. Here’s the blurb for Guilty Hearts:

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…

Central London. The honey trap is set. The bait: the young, uninhibited Rachel is in every way the perfect temptress. Intelligent and attractive, she is no stranger to sexual encounters and relishes the thought of her latest challenge: the unsuspecting wife Kathryn. When the two women meet, the attraction is instant and electric. However, Rachel soon realises her ‘love-target’ Kathryn is more than just a bi-curious wife, she is in fact a revered and successful Interior Designer, someone who Rachel has long admired.

As genuine feelings between the two women intensify, will their chance of happiness be destroyed by the truth?

Guilty Hearts is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

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Some advance notice for some very tempting events coming up.

Stella Duffy, writer, actorLesbians at Lewisham Library is on Thursday 6th February. The LGBT History Month event will be hosted by Cherry Potts who will also be reading from Mosaic of Air. She will be joined by poet Kate Foley, humorist VG Lee and debut novelist VA Fearon. You can find more out about the event here.

Also The Story Sessions are celebrating LGBT History Month at the Ivy House, Nunhead, on Wednesday February 19th. Headlining is Stella Duffy, and she is joined by Rebecca Idris author of The Sitar, Cherry Potts, Cath Blackfeather and poet Anny Knight. There’s also a chance to join in with the Flash From The Floor spots after the interval: Read 100 words of your own poetry or flash fiction on the theme of music (prepare it in advance or wing it in the interval!) You can find more details here.

Polari heads up north to the Huddersfield Literary Festival on Saturday 8th March. The session will be hosted by Paul Burston and features authors VG Lee and recent Polari Prize winner Mari Hannah. You can find more details here.

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one foot onto the iceCurve Magazine has been reviewing UK lesfic. Kiki Archer‘s One Foot Onto The Ice was reviewed by Caroline Domenech who said:

This book is full of humor, great characters, and a story that will have you guessing until the end…. This is not the first book I have read from this author and I knew this story was going to leave me wanting for more. The good thing about Kiki Archer is that she never disappoints. This book will have a sequel coming on 2014 and I must say, I can’t wait to read what happens next.

You can read the rest of the review here.

GB-Cover_SmallThe Bookgeek reviewed VT Davy‘s A Very Civil Wedding:

This is not a romance but a thorough exploration of hypocrisy and discrimination challenged by those with character and morals beyond the mere words of scripture and fanaticism. It is fun to read and entertaining if you want to see how the wheels of power might turn in one of the most British institutions, i.e. the Anglican church and the royal family in the unlikely event of same-sex royal wedding. Well done!

Click here for more of that review.

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the rubbish lesbianA short aside now for some non-fiction that may take your fancy. Sarah Westwood’s collection of Diva columns, The Rubbish Lesbian, is out on Kindle. Here’s the blurb:

Funny, honest, and disarmingly revealing about her own insecurities, popular DIVA magazine columnist Sarah Westwood gathers together a selection from her hilarious back catalogue with some exclusive new material in this first Kindle edition. Columns explore the myriad of ways that she feels like a rubbish lesbian and the ways other people are rubbish around lesbians. Topics include getting a lesbian haircut by mistake, a slippery grasp of boob etiquette, and playing the pronoun game at work.

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FrogMusicEmma Donoghue‘s novel Frog Music (to be published in March) has been reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly. From the blurb, the crime novel is set in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1876 during a heat wave and smallpox epidemic, and is inspired by the true story of the murder of eccentric frog-catcher Jenny Bonnet. Three former stars of the Parisian circus, Blanche, an exotic dancer, her lover Arthur and his companion Ernest, are joined by the eccentric outsider Jenny and secrets unravel in an elegant, erotic and witty tale.

Publisher’s Weekly described the book as “a departure from her bestselling Room, but it’s just as dark and just as gripping…Donoghue’s signature talent for setting tone and mood elevates the book from common cliffhanger to a true chef d’oeuvre.”

Read the full review here.

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me_BW_editNicola Griffith had a busy 2013! There was finishing off the whopping great Hild, getting married, winning the Lambda outstanding mid-career novelist prize… Here’s her year in review. She says “You won’t find much soul-searching here; 2013 was a truly fabulous year.” It’s a nice read.

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Finally some holiday tidings from the Bold Strokes Books UK blog. It’s bit of a yearly review and a hint of what’s being planned for 2014. Go enjoy 🙂

A Very Civil Wedding – guest post by V.T. Davy

27 Nov

VT_Davy_jpg_210x1000_q85Today’s guest post comes from V.T. Davy, writer of LGBT and historical fiction. Vic’s first novel Black Art featured Arty Shaw, female-to-male transgender detective, and A Very Civil Wedding is a lesbian romance that examines the issues surrounding same-sex marriage. Here Vic talks about the complex views held on gay marriage in the UK and its dramatisation in A Very Civil Wedding.

I came to write A Very Civil Wedding because, whilst the debates over same-sex marriage were happening last year and earlier this year, I found myself struggling to understand what it was that individuals and organisations, in particular the Church of England, had against opening up marriage to homosexual couples. How could anyone be against something so patently fair? What was their problem?

In the age of flash news and impact sound bites, it is often difficult to really get to the heart of complex debates. Inevitably, this leads to shorthand name-calling by the two opposing sides of an argument.

‘Homophobic’ was one such name that was bandied about a lot but I couldn’t believe that some of the educated and erudite men and women expressing opinions, which were obviously deeply held, could simply be homophobic. There had to be more behind their opinion. So, I set myself the task of finding out what their argument was all about. A Very Civil Wedding is the result of my research.

It tells the story of what happens when Princess Alexandra, second in line to the throne after her father, proposes to her long-time girlfriend, Grace Stephens. Both girls have a private Anglican faith and Princess Alexandra will one day be the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. However, they cannot get married in the eyes of the church.

GB-Cover_SmallThe novel not only examines the arguments for and against same-sex marriage but also the relationship between the monarchy and the church, how some of Britain’s oldest and most revered organisations have acted to give equality to homosexuals and become stronger for it, and what happens to institutions when they refuse to embrace the demands of an enlightened society.

Readers may wonder how an esoteric argument, such as ‘what happens when the gay heir to the throne wants to marry their partner?’ affects them. In fact, as I discovered, it goes to the heart of the difficulties of legislating for same-sex marriage in the UK; difficulties that gay and lesbian Christians, in particular, still have to deal with.  Embodied in one person, HM the Queen, are the church and the state. As head of both, she now presides over one organisation that is for gay marriage and one that is not. Princess Alexandra’s situation, as heir to all that, is therefore the perfect prism through which to view the arguments and the experiences of those opposed and those for same-sex marriage.

I should say that my support for same-sex marriage and opposite-sex civil partnerships has not been altered by the process of writing A Very Civil Wedding, but I do now understand the difficulty of accepting the changes that seem to be happening in leaps and bounds at the moment(!) for those who hold an opposing view to my own.

I have also come to an understanding of how it is possible to say that marriage should be between a man and woman exclusively, and not be homophobic. I realise that some people who are anti-gay marriage are out and out homophobes but many, possibly the majority, are not. They are not homophobic because they don’t hate gay people, they have gay friends, they don’t want to exclude gay people from their church, and they will defend gay people against homophobes. They simply believe that marriage should be between a man and woman exclusively because marriage has a very specific meaning within the liturgy that their church uses.

Arguments about whether the Bible condemns homosexuality explicitly, whether one should follow a text from a different millennia in the modern age, whether homosexuality is a natural part of God’s plan or not, whether you will be taken before the European courts when you refuse a marriage for a gay couple, are side shows. What it all boils down to is this: Christians, and those of other faiths who have similar associations with the word marriage, are being asked to change or expand their understanding of the meaning of that word. And that is difficult for them.

Those of us who support gay marriage see marriage as a less specific word, one that means all sorts of things to different people, from family to love, commitment and partnership. We understand the significance placed upon that word globally to legally validate a couple’s right to be treated as one unit and we see the damage that happens when committed homosexual couples are not afforded the same rights as committed heterosexual couples. We see the word differently and, perhaps, in more flexible terms.

We may now have gay marriage in the UK but, make no mistake, the passing of legislation has not altered the views of those who oppose same-sex marriage. Education is the key to opening up minds to other possibilities and other ways of looking at things. We still have some way to travel on that journey. A Very Civil Wedding is my contribution to a debate that is not yet over in the UK and is still very young in many countries campaigning for equal marriage.

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: Help us Win Stuff, Free Stuff, New Stuff, P-Town Stuff, and Spooky Stuff!

4 Nov

Morning, morning! To compensate for last week’s lack of news (in truth, there wasn’t much going on, I was snowed under with Tumbledown edits, and Clare was snowed under with having a life!) we have a ginormous update for you this week. Loads of authors have been up to mischief, and there’s plenty of free stuff for you all to get your grabby hands on. So, where to start?

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nominatedLet’s start with us. And when I say “us”, I mean UK LesFic, which has been nominated for an Ultimate Planet award in the category of Blogger of the Year, over at the Planet London website. Huzzah! And, of course, thank you to all those who took the time to nominate the site. So what happens next? Voting for the shortlisted nominees is open here throughout November, and it would be rather fab if people would hop on over there and put a tick in our box (so to speak).

VG Lee, Stella Duffy, and Jackie Kay are nominated for Published Author of the Year, and also on the list are Clare Ashton and Kiki Archer, who are scrapping it out for Published Author of the Year (Independent).  Congratulations to all, and um…good luck to those trying to decide between the latter two 🙂

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onefootWhilst we’re on the theme of Ultimate Planet and Ms Archer, Planet of the Books (the literary offshoot of Ultimate Planet) recently reviewed Kiki’s new novel One Foot Onto The Ice, where they had this to say:

Well paced, and gentle, and sometimes very sexy, this romance offers some sweet moments as two polar opposite women find love and face their internal demons in a bid for love.

You can read the full text of the review here.

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the black houndSpooky stuff now, and Niamh Murphy has published a new short story for Halloween over on Wattpad. Complete and in three parts, The Black Hound tells the story of Isobel, forced to live in a crumbling manor where something lurks on the surrounding moors. With the arrival of the new lady’s maid, Kate, Isobel’s life is about to be altered, forever…

The story is free to read, and available at the link.

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Amy_Dunne_lgDébut Bold Strokes Books author Amy Dunne has a Behind the Writing interview up at her BSB author’s page, where she chats about what made her become a writer (“the gift of the gab”!) where she gets her ideas from, and what her family have had to say about the whole shebang (which sounds naughtier than was actually intended!)

They’ve been amazingly supportive—especially considering I’ve been telling them I was going to write a book for over ten years. My beautiful wife was the only person I trusted to read the first draft. She kept putting it off and making excuses, and only later she confessed it was because she was terrified it was going to be awful and she wasn’t sure how she’d break the news to me…

You can read the full interview at the first link, and with Secret Lies due for release in December there is a short excerpt from the novel in the November BSB newsletter.

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FinalistSMMore awards news for you, with Elisa Rolle running a month-long Treasure Hunt throughout November to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Rainbow Awards. Each day, mystery excerpts from 6 of the shortlisted novels will be published. To enter, try to identify your chosen book in the comments. There’s no limit on how many books you can win, and you can keep entering until November 30th. Correct entrants will go into a draw at the end of the month. The books offered are a mix of e-books and paperbacks. You can find the entire list of novels at the link, and there are quite a few LesFic authors on it…

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the january flowerSticking with the theme of freebies, Orla Broderick‘s Polari-longlisted novel The January Flower is currently free on Kindle. The offer is open for five days, and the original announcement was made on Friday, so there should be a couple of days remaining for you to go and get yourself a copy. The first link is the UK link, and the US link (before we get our arses kicked by our US readers!) is here.

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See Right Through Me- Draft2With the joyous prospect of Christmas shopping creeping onto the horizon, November seems set to be a lively month for LesFic releases. LT Smith has been talking about her new novel See Right Through Me over on the Ylva website:

When I was writing See Right Through Me, I kept on thinking about how we sometimes doubt the most obvious good things in our lives. How we question those three little words—not “I love you” exactly, but the three other little words that should come hand in hand with it. Trust, respect, and love. How sometimes our own actions can lead to negativity, lead to those other three words—jealously, insecurity, and heartbreak. I wanted to show what could happen if we found ourselves in that situation, what we could lose if we allowed our lack of confidence to encroach on love. Not the most pleasant experience, believe me.

See Right Through Me has just been published, and you can read the full piece from LT here.

Sneaking in at the last minute is MORE FREE STUFF! Ylva have just announced that they have two e-book versions of See Right Through Me to give away. All you have to do to enter the draw is leave a comment at the foot of this page, or send an email to info@ylva-verlag.de Better get your skates on though; the closing date is 5 a.m. Tuesday morning (how random!)

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GB-Cover1VT Davy, another author with a new book out, has been blogging about Deadlines, Rewrites and Getting it Out There

The biggest rewrite happened back in May following the passage through Parliament of the same-sex marriage bill. I never thought that it would go through. I thought that the bishops in the House of Lords would ensure that it was sent back down to the Commons to be revised. When it did pass, I spent 24 hours worrying about whether the novel that I’d worked on for seven months was now relevant. It didn’t take me long to realise it was, as the news about the battles for equal marriage from the USA and Australia kept on coming.

And just before I hit post on this news, up went a guest blog from VT over on Women and Words, where she talks about the politics behind A Very Civil Wedding .

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NicolaGriffithThere are not one, but two new interviews – one video, one print – with Nicola Griffith talking about Hild. The print interview at The Coffin Factory includes a particularly lovely description of Nicola discovering Whitby for the first time:

In my early twenties I was living in Hull, a depressed (and depressing) city in East Yorkshire. And one spring I needed to get out, get away for a few days. I hiked north up the coast, to a town called Whitby. I’d read Dracula so I was expecting the one hundred and ninety-nine steps up the cliff. I was expecting the great ruin of an abbey against the skyline. I wasn’t expecting what happened next…

To find out what did happen next and how it inspired the novel, hit the link.

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I.Beacham_lgClosing out this week with reports from three of our Brits who made the trip over to PTown for Women’s Week and then made it all the way back, safe and sound, to tell us about it. Over on the UK BSB blog, I. Beacham shares her insight into the benefits of Women’s Week:

So there’s a lot of lovely exchange going on all week and women meeting women and talking (and possibly other stuff, but I’m British and I don’t talk about sex). PTown is very relaxed and definitely a place every lesbian (reader or not) ought to go at least once in their lifetime. The place is alive, exciting, exhilarating.

She also gives some handy travel tips for anyone who might be considering making the trip next year: Is it easy to get to? Remember PTown is right on the far tip of the Cape, any further right and you’ll be a fish. 

Sage advice indeed. For more of the same, head here.

PTownJoining the BSB contingent was Andrea Bramhall, whose A Brit Abroad blog gives a comprehensive look into the panels and various hijinks that occur when a lot of lesbians gather in one rather small town:

Saturday was the last day of readings and signings. We were in the Provincetown Library and Vk Powell went into full cop mode trying to coral us all on the When Sparks Fly panel. Shelley Thrasher drafted in the considerable theatrical talents of Melissa Brayden and Carsen Taite to play characters in her reading. Carsen was meant to be playing a French woman but she had a decidedly German accent. It was hilarious. 

There are some lovely photos, and of course the rest of the tale, at the link.

Not to be outdone, RJ Samuel has posted a series of seven blog entries detailing her time in the States. From clicking on the link to buy plane tickets, to meeting online friends, playing wiffle ball, and of course, appearing on her first panel, RJ has left no stone unturned:

RJ Samuel reading on FridayI enjoyed the experience of relaxing and just reading my words aloud to what seemed like a group of interested friends. While planning the trip, I’d printed out 10 booklets of a short story and had promised them to the first five women who came up to say hi to me after each reading. On the spur of the moment, looking out at the audience, especially at the friendly face of Tonie, Kate’s partner, I wanted some way to thank them for listening, for being supportive. I asked for a hug instead and the wonderful hugs I got were another highlight of my trip. And a surprise for me and for anyone who knows how shy and introverted I can be.

Her epic blog starts here, and the links for the next entry can be found at the base of each page.

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And I think that’s about yer lot. If you’re off to a bonfire this week, wrap up warm, eat parkin, and try not to have anyone’s eye out with a sparkler 🙂