The theme for this year’s BSB book festival blog tour is ‘fun’, and what the word means to us. Well, to be frank, I always approach the word ‘fun’ with the appropriate amount of cynicism and measured caution that the word deserves. This is because how I interpret the word ‘fun’ entirely depends on the […]
Looking for something to read over the Easter holidays – maybe in a beer garden with a pint or in the bath with a large glass of wine or flat out on the sofa with a cadbury creme egg?
Have a listen to me read from my new novel Love’s Portrait and see if it might be the book for you this Easter.
The Lesbian Talk Show is podcast channel for women about women.
Here’s what some lovely people have had to say so far…
Sparks fly between Molly, an art curator, and Georgina, her museum’s aloof benefactor, as they research the portrait of a 19th-century lesbian social activist and try to convince the museum’s board to display it. – Publishers Weekly
What an interesting book this has been! There is a passion that flows throughout the whole story and that surrounds you completely…it is really interesting and very, very recommendable. – Netgalley
I loved it, it’s got a bit of class and a gentle pace that curls around you. – Clare Lydon
It’s the perfect mixture of love, romance and belonging. – Kitty Kat’s Review Blog
It’s not too much of a leap to say that, if Jane Austen was writing lesbian romance fiction today, she might have come up with something akin to ‘Love’s Portrait’! – Goodreads
© 2016 All rights reserved.
Here’s what Clare Lydon had to say about Love’s Portrait…I loved it, it’s got a bit of class and a gentle pace that curls around you.
Love’s Portrait by Anna Larner (April 16th 2019, ISBN 978-1-63555-057-3). Sparks fly between Molly, an art curator, and Georgina, her museum’s aloof benefactor, as they research the portrait of a 19th-century lesbian social activist and try to convince the museum’s board to display it. (Publishers Weekly Spring 2019 Announcements.)
Clare Lydon is a London-based writer of contemporary lesbian romance and host of “Lesbian Book Club with Clare Lydon” with interviews and insights from other lesbian fiction authors around the world.
My Lesbian Radio is an audio stream focusing on new LGBT podcasts happening in the U.S. and the U.K.
© 2016 All rights reserved.
We spoke to Anna Larner about her books and her writing plans for the future.
(A) TELL US SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOUR LAST PUBLISHED BOOK.
My debut lesbian romance Highland Fling had the working title How Does The Sun Know How To Shine?
Without giving too much of the plot away, early on in the book, Moira Burns (one of the main characters) is worried about her lack of sexual experience and she seeks reassurance from her first love. Her lover responds by saying “How does the sun know how to shine, Moira?” “How does the wind know how to blow?” “How does the rain know how to fall?” helping Moira to understand that her sexuality is as natural as nature itself and is something to be cherished and enjoyed.
It is one of the key messages that I hope readers will take from Highland Fling, along with living your life for today, looking forward, free from regret.
(B) WHAT GOT YOU INTO WRITING?
I attended the ‘States of Independence’ Book Festival held in Leicester’s De Montfort University, back in 2012. Bold Strokes Books hosted a panel on that day, encouraging people to consider writing for an LGBT press. It was a proper lightbulb moment for someone like me with an overactive imagination and a passion for all things LGBT.
(C) CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR WRITING STYLE? HOW DO YOU DECIDE ON PLOTS AND CHARACTERS? ARE YOU A PLANNER OR A PANTSER?
I’m a writer with a lyrical, descriptive style who cares about the detail of things. Bringing to life a setting is important to me, evoking a sense of place and the particular mood of the moment. I’m also keen to portray the uniqueness of each character, what makes them laugh, what makes them cry, and sharing this with the reader.
I’m not sure I decide upon plot and character, it’s more that a place, a person or an event sparks a creative response from which a story begins to form. For example, the idea for my latest work Love’s Portrait came from a creative writing workshop focusing on forgotten female abolitionists. Their passion and courage in the face of opposition was so inspiring that I began to wonder ‘what if’…and how to weave that ‘what if’ into a contemporary love story.
As to whether I’m a planner or a panster…I’m a bit of both. I work to an outline which gives me direction but ultimately the details, the heart of the story emerges from the act of writing, which for me is where the magic lies.
(D) IF YOU HAD TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, WOULD YOU DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY?
No, I wouldn’t change a thing. Going back and seeking to change the path of your life feels a bit like flattening out the mountains – with the breathtaking ride of the highs and lows lost in favour of a more plain and certain view.
(E) WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOU? WHAT IS YOUR NEXT PROJECT?
I’m currently working on my second novel Love’s Portrait, a contemporary romance infused with a tragic love story from the past. At the heart of the plot is the mystery of a watercolour of a beautiful woman painted in the 1830’s.
Again not trying to give too much of the plot away, it is a love story between Molly Goode (a sweet, quirky, and passionate museum curator) and Georgina Wright (a confident, stylish, but somewhat closed off investment banker) who has inherited the painting through the death of her father.
The theme of the book is about the strength, compassion, and ballsy-ness of women whether it be during the fight for the abolition of slavery or in the fight for LGBT voices to be heard in mainstream society.
Why not check out the ELLCon website for more interviews with authors who are attending the conference. Also you can sign up to their newsletter for book giveaways and get all the latest conference news.
Not long to go now…
© 2016 All rights reserved.
Honestly, I’m not sure when I was last this excited as I am so looking forward to the upcoming BSB festival in Nottingham 5th & 6th May that I worry that my heart will surely burst.
These three words perhaps best explain why I am so excited: kinship, inspiration, and joy.
I’m thrilled by the thought that I will be spending time with people who might just say “Yeah you’re not the only one I feel that way too,” about writing, about reading, about life. The consolation I might feel when realising my writerly quirks are not quirky at all, and that I might not carry alone those worries I feel on dispirited days. The opportunity I might have to share an understanding of those moments of joy that keep us going, as we chat and laugh over a coffee or maybe a pint or I don’t know a bottle (or two) of wine.
I’m in awe with the thought that I will be spending time with people who are properly inspiring; those with the talent to combine blue sky thinking with a care and attention to the detail of things. To have the company of people who dare to dream and who have the courage to be open and to write from their hearts. To hang out with those who support writers to write, who understand that writing is a shared endeavour, a magical union of publisher, editor, author, and reader.
But most of all perhaps, I can’t wait to say a heartfelt thank you, to my colleagues, to readers, and for the opportunity to make history together as we participate in such a landmark event.
So see you in a couple of weeks and if you see me bursting with wonder and delight you’ll know why.
My debut year has been a blast, here are some of the highlights…
AfterEllen recommended Highland Fling on their Official Summer 2017 Reading List.
DIVA Magazine reviewed Highland Fling in their June Pride Issue.
“Take a day off, curl up and lose yourself in this lovely lesbian romance.” – Sita Balani
Bold Strokes Books authors rocking it at Gay’s The Word – what a magical evening that was. Thanks Uli and Robin for being such great hosts.
Click here to read my interview with Velvet Lounger from the Lesbian Reading Room.
Radio DIVA interview – Thanks Rosie Wilby and Heather Peace for being such great hosts.
Listen here to me chatting about my debut novel Highland Fling, my publisher Bold Strokes Books and my excitement about the upcoming DIVA Literary Festival. (from 42mins).
Look out for my new lesbian romance Love’s Portrait to be released in 2019. In the meantime why not check out my short story Hooper Street which is available now on amazon.
© 2016 All rights reserved. No reproduction without written permission.
I’m thrilled to be taking part in the inaugural DIVA Literary Festival and Awards which are taking place at the Hilton Metropole, NEC Birmingham on 3rd/4th/5th November 2017.
The weekend will begin on the Friday evening with the DIVA Literary Awards and continue with two days full of book readings, writing workshops, panel discussions, poetry readings and much more.
Come and perhaps discover your new favourite writers!
To tempt your appetite for the weekend listen here to me chatting with Rosie Wilby and Heather Peace on Radio DIVA.
I chat about my debut novel Highland Fling, my publisher Bold Strokes Books and my excitement about the upcoming DIVA Literary Festival. (from 42mins)
I look forward to seeing you there …
Saturday Nov 4th 10:30 – 11:15
Iconic literary characters live on in readers’ memories for all time. Bold Strokes Books authors explore the challenges involved in creating memorable characters and discuss strategies for making characters unique, non-traditional, and unforgettable.
Sunday Nov 5th 12:45 – 13:30
From Fantasy to Adventure to Romance, Bold Strokes Books authors discuss what drew them to write in their particular genre(s). What are the similarities between genres? Where is there overlap? Do genre conventions matter?