From the breath-taking Highlands of Scotland to the buzz of a Leicester gay bar, family and friendship are tested to breaking point as the narrative pressure builds in this wonderful engaging Lesbian romance by novelist Anna Larner….
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.
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Congratulations on your new book, Anna!
What made you decide to become a writer?
It wasn’t so much a decision, more “Oh, so that’s who I am.”
The clues were there:
Clue 1- A daydreamer with an overactive imagination.
Clue 2- A degree in English Literature.
Clue 3- A heartfelt passion for all things LGBT.
Let’s just say I eventually joined the dots.
Where do you get your ideas?
Inspiration comes from the world around me—people, places, events—captured by my senses, tucked away in my memory.
I then form ideas by reimagining these memories through the lens of Me—who I am, my sensibilities, my sexuality, the stuff I find hard, the stuff I find fun, that kind of thing.
What is your writing process like? Do you plan everything or just let the story unfold naturally?
I know this is common to many writers, but I get the sense that I’m writing a story that is waiting to be written. That doesn’t mean I automatically know the story, or that it is easy to bring it out.
Highland Fling was written in a free-flowing way, without a plan. In retrospect not the most efficient way of working, as it took three substantive edits to finalize the work but it was a necessary and invaluable experience, and I learned an awful lot about writing along the way.
My second novel Love’s Portrait has a detailed plot summary in place which is helping me write more efficiently. But I wouldn’t be able to write in this way without the experience I gained writing Highland Fling.
A large part of your book Highland Fling takes place in Scotland—one of the most beautiful places in the world, but I might be a bit biased. What inspired you to set it there?
The Highlands of Scotland is one of my favorite places to visit. It is such an awe-inspiring place. The fauna, the flora, the mountains that go on forever, it is a feast for the senses, and the stuff of dreams and imagination.
On one particular visit, during a hike, I met a local forestry woman and I began to imagine her life and that planted the seeds for the story. Before I knew it I had given her a holiday romance and a complicated past!
How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?
I wrote Highland Fling from my heart; therefore there is a lot of me in it, and without intending a few traits from my family and friends.
In particular, the main character Eve feels everything I felt at twenty-six. How awkward I was when I fancied someone, how difficult I found it to read someone’s sexuality, how impulsive I could be when smitten. Eve’s best friend Roxanne definitely has traits from my best mate who used to listen with amusement to my tales of hapless crushes.
The inspiration for Moira came, not so much from anyone in particular, but from an understanding that your life experience, your choices shape you. Moira embodies the many pressures, both internal and external, of being a lesbian growing up within a small community and in a less accepting era.
It was important to me that Highland Fling reflected real people, overcoming real struggles and finding real hope.
What’s your favorite and worst part of the writing process?
My favorite part is when I find my groove and the writing flows. The worst part is the natural process of doubting yourself, whether that’s during writing or waiting to find out what people think!
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Commit and open your heart, and you’ll hear your characters, you will see the setting, and then write with unashamed gusto. Edit later and never stop wanting to improve.
Who are your literary heroes? Who inspires you the most?
Nancy Garden is definitely one of my top literary heroes. She wrote the first lesbian romance I read called Annie On My Mind. I was in my teens and it was such a consoling read.
Funnily enough, I’ve blogged about my literary crushes as I have so many! They include E. M. Forster, Ali Smith, Carol Ann Duffy, W. H. Auden, and Virginia Woolf. Take a look if you fancy: www.annalarner.com
What are you writing next?
The novel I’m working on is a contemporary lesbian romance called Love’s Portrait.
The essence of the story is that a museum curator and museum benefactor fall in love as they discover a painting’s tragic past.
My aim is to deliver a heartfelt romance with depth and poignancy, with beautiful descriptions, packed with tension and scenes of breathless attraction.
To finish, a very serious two-part question. Tea or Coffee? What’s your favorite biscuit?
Wow. This is a revealing question. Still, this is no time for biscuit coyness, so I might as well confess—I’m a dunker. So chocolate is problematic and any crumbly biscuit is far too stressful. For me it’s a malted milk or a ginger nut.
Now, on to the second part—I drink tea first thing in the morning, usually two cups straight after each other. Then about eleven thirty I have a cup of coffee. Not just any coffee—it has to be Lavazza and made in a stovetop coffeemaker. I’m a creature of habit.
Fantastic Debut Novel by Anna Larner
Eve Eddison describes her ideal woman to her best friend, Roxanne, over pints in their local pub a few days before she travels to the Scottish Highlands. There she falls head over heels for an enigmatic local, Moira Burns, and the usually reticent Eve wants more than a holiday romance. Forestry officer Moira Burns has no intention of letting go—either of past pain or for present pleasure. If that means she misses out on her chance at happiness, so be it. Convinced Eve is headed for heartbreak, Roxanne advises her to let Moira go…but has Eve found her ideal woman at last?
From the breathtaking Highlands of Scotland to the buzz of a Leicester gay bar, family and friendship are tested to breaking point, as letting go proves painfully hard.
Firstly I’m Scottish so a Lesbian Romance set in the highlands…
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February 14th, 2017 Announcement:
I am pleased to announce that my short story, Hooper Street, will be published in the anthology Girls Next Door.
Available June 01st 2017 from Bold Strokes Books. ISBN 9781626399167.
Available June 20th 2017 from amazon.
Sometimes the most intriguing girls are right next door—BFFs, ex-girlfriends, new girls in town, party girls, study mates, team mates, and sexy strangers. All it takes is a night out, the right moment, or an accidental kiss to discover what’s been there all along—the perfect girl for a love that lasts a lifetime. Best-selling romance authors tell it from the heart—sexy, romantic stories of falling for the girls next door.
Table of Contents
- Cupcake by Georgia Beers
- Guilty Pleasure by M. Ullrich
- Hooper Street by Anna Larner
- Snow Day by Missouri Vaun
- Knocking on Haven’s Door by Brey Willows
- Gold by Giselle Renarde
- Love Unleashed by Karis Walsh
- Bat Girl by Laney Webber
- The Aisle of Lesbos by Allison Wonderland
- Kiss Cam by Lisa Moreau
- The Girl Next Door by Beth Burnett
- October Moon by Sheri Lewis Wohl
- Chemistry by Lea Daley
- Black Out by Ronica Black
- Dog Day of Summer by Kris Bryant
- The Perfect Blend by Rion Woolf
- Welcome to the Neighborhood by Aurora Rey
- Neighbors by Elizabeth Black
- Black Sheep by Nell Stark
I’m excited to be presenting a paper at the Lesbian Lives Conference. (Brighton, Friday 24th February 2017).
Session Title: Permutations of Lesbian Love in Popular Fiction.
The title of my paper is Compelled to write – A writer’s perspective on the question ‘why do we write stories of lesbian love?’
Invitation to have your say!
It would be great to hear from other published authors as to ‘what compels you to write stories of lesbian love?’
I have created a short poll for you to complete. You can select one or as many of the reasons that are applicable to you. You can also add your own reason in ‘other’. All votes are anonymous. My paper will be published on my site after the conference.
It is important that you confirm in the poll below that you are a published author (this includes self-published authors) who writes stories about lesbian love.
Not restricted to lesbian romance genre.
Thank you for taking the time to participate!
Closing date: 11th February 2017