Welcome to new author Eden Darry!

We’re always super excited about getting new authors into the UK branch of the family, and we’re pleased to introduce you to our newest author, Eden Darry.

Here is the blurb from Eden’s forthcoming book:

 

Sadie, Fin, and their two children were a perfectly ordinary family. Even if Fin felt taken for granted sometimes. Even if their introverted son Liam had terrible nightmares and knew things he shouldn’t.

But everything changes the night Sadie is viciously assaulted by former client Lance Sherry. Sherry knows where they live, and when the police fail to catch him, Sadie and Fin are forced to run. They think they’ve found the perfect place to start over. The house is everything Fin dreamed of, but as they settle in, Sadie discovers their home may not not be what it seems, and daughter Lucy’s imaginary friend might not be imaginary at all. Or even a friend. With Lance Sherry hunting them, the house could be the least of their problems. He’s coming to finish what he started. And he won’t stop until he finds Sadie.

Eden lives in London with her rescue cat. When she’s not working or writing she can be found among the weeds in her allotment, trying to make vegetables grow.

Eden will be at ELLCon in Bristol this August, and she’s also attending Women’s Week in Provincetown. Stop her and say hello!

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All Consuming Love by Dena Blake

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While in Nottingham this past May at the BSB Book Festival, I was on the All You Need is Love author panel. There was a question posed by someone in the audience, I can’t remember the exact wording, but this is what I remember it to be; “Have you ever thought about writing a story about characters who are wrapped up in an all-consuming love? A love that would be so overwhelming that it couldn’t possibly work out?”

So many thoughts and emotions flew through my head at that moment. I opted to pass the microphone, thinking it would come back to me at the end. We ran out of time and I didn’t have the opportunity to answer, which may have been a good thing.

My first thought was of a time when I was much younger. I was hopelessly infatuated with a woman who gave me plenty of attention. I hadn’t dated much, but I thought all the signals were there. She brought out the best in me and made me feel so wonderful about myself. I couldn’t think of anything but her when she wasn’t around. She was my total focus, my obsession. Nothing could bring me out of it. Work, friends, and alcohol were no help. I had no one to talk to because I wasn’t out and I hadn’t shared my feelings with anyone.

It was wonderful and horrible at the same time. I couldn’t function without her in my mind. I purposely arranged my life around her, made sure I was at the same sporting events and parties. To be clear, there was no stalking involved. I didn’t sit outside her house and wait for her or follow her places. I was simply captivated by her.

In retrospect, I was clearly more into her than she was into me. She was older and I was incredibly naïve. The whole relationship, if you could call it that, became too overwhelming for me. It took on a life of its own and consumed me in every way. To keep my sanity and protect my heart, I had to distance myself from her.

It was a long time before I stopped thinking of the beautiful blonde with deep blue eyes. Too long. My need for her and the attention she gave me diminished over time as the contact between us lessened and then eventually stopped. She still creeps into my mind occasionally, and I wonder if I creep into hers as well. I’ve moved on and am completely happy now. That part of my life is over, and she’s neatly packed away in my memories.

I’d like to say that this is the only time this has happened in my life. But we are all emotional beings and sometimes the need to be loved gets overwhelming and when that need is reciprocated those feelings can be electrifying. The mystery is whether we can tame that voltage and still be able to function normally in life.

To answer the question posed at the beginning, the thought of creating such a story is challenging. We all want the happily ever after when we read and write romance. If I were to take on the challenge of writing this story, which I may, many years would have to pass between the characters’ all-consuming first connection and the second chance it presents. Maturity, life, and even other relationships change us in ways we often don’t recognize. I believe all these changes would be key in bringing this kind of story to life.

You can find out more about Dena Blake at her website.

Nottingham BSB UK, 2018 by Mardi Alexander and Laurie Eichler

 

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So here we are, another Bold Strokes Book UK Festival over. I was lucky enough to come over for my first ever UK BSB event back in 2015, but 2018 promised to be bigger and better than ever with a huge international cast coming over to the shores of Blighty. I was excited. I was nervous, and maybe even a tad geeked out to be in the presence of so many amazing, inspirational authors. What a ride!

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I have so many flash backs – mental screen grabs of my trip across the waters.

So what does someone travelling from Oz regard as highlights?

The camaraderie – being in a room with more LGBTQ people than I can remember– an enormous BIG thing for this country mouse from rural Australia. THE UK hosts and support crew were outstanding – I cannot thank them enough for all their hard work. From out of hours tours, to MC panels, making sure people were fed, happy, meeting with authors, taking out the garbage and ensuring that everything was in its place, on time and on schedule. Plus, you made people feel safe, comfortable, welcome and included. You ALL  rocked!

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Catching up with friends from my previous UK BSB visit waaaay back in 2015, and making heaps of new friends from my 2018 visit.

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Mixing with people from all over the world with an invested interest in LGBTQ literature –  authors, editors, readers, managers, marketing,  copy and proof readers – so inspiring, and so rewarding to meet with people face to face. When you live hundreds, and sometimes thousands of miles away from where the ‘business’ happens, it’s a sobering moment to be in the same country, and in the same room as some of these most marvellous people.

To have an opportunity to listen to what people think – to have an open forum where everyone’s thoughts and opinions mattered – from an authors point of view, to editors, copy and proof readers and most important of all, our readers – it is so rewarding to hear what you think, what you like and what you don’t like. Having our readers be brave and come on over to say hello and talk to us about their lierary likes and dislikes – it gives us authors buckets loads to think about.

Being lucky enough to not only hangout with, but also to be on panels with some of the most wonderful, clever and inspiring  people, and having so much fun that nerves were (almost) forgotten.

 

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Being in the same room as these people – SUPER COOL!

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I cannot begin to tell you how much fun and how much energy and inspiration comes from such a wonderful event as this – to meet new aspiring authors, established authors, support staff, readers and some of the top sellers in our industry, in a space that is free, stimulating, friendly, safe and encouraging, made up of people coming from all over the world, is an event to be proud of. I take my hat off to all who were involved or participated in UK BSB 2018. Each of you helped make it an absolutely magical weekend. And to all I say a heartfelt thank you.

Oh, and PS, for the record, as mentioned in one of the panels, Vic, here’s proof that  Laurie and I really do have joeys buckled up in the back seats of our cars J

 

 

In Thanks by ‘Nathan Burgoine

There’s a running joke among my author friends about how I never have a title. I’ve written novels before coming up with a title (I’ve even written a novel without naming a main character until the end). Titles (and names) are two things that always evade me the longest. My editors often end up titling things I’ve written, especially when they see what I eventually come up with. The gentle “Perhaps this title needs some work…” comments in edits from my first days as an author have given way to me leaving preemptive notes in submitted drafts saying “I’m aware this is a terrible title. Any ideas?”

Even putting a title on a blog post usually leaves me staring at the cursor, watching it blink.

This time? No different.

The ninth annual Bold Strokes Books bookfair in Nottingham was an absolute delight. Being surrounded by queer authors and queer readers is an all-too-rare experience, and the sheer joy of being able to just discuss without all the second-guessing, worrying, and self-censoring that happens in non-queer spaces is hard to put into words.

Festivals like these are revitalizing, even for introverts like me. Don’t get me wrong, I came home, threw a blanket over my head and cuddled my dog for a week while I waited for the jet lag to wear off, but my creative battery was fully recharged, and all those conversations and readings (and oh wow, the readings added so many books to the to-be-read pile I cannot tell you) are still bouncing around in my head.

I was lucky enough to moderate the “Author-Reader Connection” panel, and seeing the audience interact with the authors was magic. The sheer amount of laughter was of course memorable, but also there were questions from the audience that reminded me just how much queer stories matter.

As an author, it’s not like we forget that, exactly. But when readers make it so clear how much they love queer stories there’s a palpable moment reinforcing all that time spent staring at the blinking cursor. Without readers, none of this magic could happen.

Hearing readers talk about that magic? Asking questions, making suggestions, maybe even laughing a little at some general author antics?

It’s fuel. It’s inspiration for the next story.

So, to everyone who came to the festival; my fellow authors and all the people who keep the wheels turning at Bold Strokes Books, and most especially the readers, I offer thanks.

And now I’ll get back to that untitled manuscript I’m working on.

New Friends, New Family by Nicole Disney

My first Bold Strokes Books UK Festival also happened to be my first trip to the UK. I was blown away by the kindness we encountered as my wife and I bumbled our way through the airports, train stations, and eventually made our way to Nottingham. It was a truly magical trip that no amount of missed trains, jet lag, or fear of public speaking could dampen. Nottingham is so beautiful and interesting. It’s the type of place where a wrong turn simply becomes a charming side adventure.

I was struck and touched by the warmth of the entire weekend. It was a special feeling to combine the excitement of getting readers, authors, and general word lovers together with the safety and comfort I find is unique to LGBTQ gatherings. I can’t recall a time I so instantly felt like family with everyone around me. I made so many memories and friendships I will cherish.

It was a beautiful experience to meet some of the authors I’ve read and loved for so long in person. Reading someone’s novel is like getting to sneak a look into that person’s heart, and it can sometimes feel a bit out of order to connect with someone on that level, and then meet them in person. Being on the other side of that as an author is beyond humbling.

I can’t wait to participate in many more BSB events and meet many more amazing people.