States of Independence – 11th March 2017 at Clephan Building, De Montfort University, Leicester.

states-of-independence

Come say hello and maybe buy a book. Hot off the press copies of Highland Fling will be available (£10) before general release!

Bold Strokes Books authors Robyn Nyx and Brey Willows will also be attending with their books too!

The eighth States of Independence will take place on Saturday 11 March 2017 at Clephan Building, De Montfort University, Leicester. 10.30am – 4.30pm.

If you can’t make it but would like to purchase a copy of Highland Fling let me know (postage and packing will apply).


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Girls Next Door – Anthology Announcement

girls-next-doorFebruary 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 BooksISBN 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

Lesbian Lives Conference 2017

lesbian-lives-conferenceI’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

Love’s Portrait – Book Announcement

loves-portrait

January 16, 2017 Announcement: 

New Title from Anna Larner

I am pleased to announce my second novel, Love’s Portrait, is scheduled for release in 2019 from Bold Strokes Books.

“A modern day romance, ignited by and infused with a tragic love story from the 1800’s.”

Love’s Portrait  – April 2019

 

Publisher: BOLD STROKES BOOKS, Inc.

Information for UK booksellers: Distribution though PGUK.

Highland Fling Publication Date 18 April 2017 – Press Release

Highland Fling Book CoverPublication Date Announcement

18 April 2017

ISBN 9781626398535

Bold Strokes Books

Romance abounds in this heart warming and passionate tale of two captivating women and their discovery of a love that counts.

Romance fiction that reflects the lives of modern lesbians is in high demand and this fresh contemporary look at today’s issues from a young new voice will more than satisfy.

This sensual romance will appeal to the smart readers looking for intelligent, thought-provoking, passionate love stories.

Author is available to do guest blogs, interviews, book clubs and book signings.

Sell Sheet/Advance Information Sheet available on request.

Thoughts From the Bold Strokes Books Festival June 2016

Book Festival Reading
Sweet Romance Panel

“So what makes a good romance?”

Writing Highland Fling has been a fantastic learning process for me. When I think of lesbian romance, I now have the following quick check list in my mind:-

A clear focus on the two characters falling in love. It’s all about them. With their story fully resolved.

“You want to fall in love with them” characters you can admire or can be attracted to. Characters you can invest emotionally in. Basically if they’re not fanciable in some way readers are not likely to care.

Conflict, both internal (what they’re thinking), and external (what they do) – the energy that drives the story.

A happy ending. Readers expect that despite all of the agonies or uncertainties on the characters’ road to love, there will be a happy ending, that their feelings are safe in the writer’s hands.

Sexual tension – the will they won’t they element, enticing, engaging cues to sexual attraction and longing.

And, as I have been asked to select my golden rule for a successful romance, it would be this – Writing from the heart, putting into the story what it feels like to long for someone, to fall for someone, the uncertainty, the self-doubt, the tortured agony of it all…

 

“What’s the difference when it comes to writing short stories versus novels?”

ShortStoryVSNovel
Moderating The Sprint Vs The Marathon Panel

Let’s have a think for a moment about what we mean by a short story, and what we mean by a novel – the clue to everything is word limit.

If we use Bold Strokes Books guidelines – a recent call for submissions for a short story collection asked for stories between 2,000 – 5,000 words; and novels, well they start from 45,000 words upwards, depending on the genre.

So with a novel, averaging say 85,000 words, how do you keep your reader gripped for so long? How do you build in the depth that’s needed? How do you write a story that will stay with the reader forever from just the seed of an idea? And if you’ve only got 5,000 words, how do you tell your story fully? You’re going to need to grab the reader quickly –how do you do that? Does it mean you can only focus on one or two characters? And how do you manage without the space for a back story? How do you get depth without depth?

But is the joy of a short story, that it’s not a novel? You can experiment perhaps, try out a new genre, a different voice, explore a new character, work on impregnating a story with meaning in every word. Do the restrictions actually make you free?

And the novel, do you get to live another life through the expansive canvas offered to your characters? Do you have the room to say just what you want to say, no restrictions, another kind of freedom? As a novelist are you thrilled that you’ll keep your reader reading far too late, night after night, after night, after night..?

Bols Strokes Books Festival 2016 Attending Authors
Authors At The 2016 Bold Strokes Books UK Festival

 

© 2016 All rights reserved. No reproduction without written permission.

Literary Crush – Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Annie on My Mind

Let’s begin, where I began, in the UK in the 1980’s, as a geeky teenager, standing awkwardly at the reception desk of my local library. I had secretively ordered a copy of the lesbian romance novel, Annie on My Mind, through inter-library loan. To this day I cannot decide whether it was indigestion or disgust betrayed on the librarian’s face, as she reluctantly handed the book over to me.

For this was, of course, the 1980’s – where brave campaigning for gay rights took place in a climate of fear. The terrible outbreak of AIDS cast a stigmatising, uncertain shadow, and there was something decidedly sinister about the passing of Section 28 of the Local Government Act, which prohibited the promotion of homosexuality in schools. If this wasn’t enough, if you were gay you were considered to be ill (it was not until 1993 that the Government removed homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders in England and Wales). This notion was underlined in the few visible gay films and literature, where, more often than not, the tormented gay characters met an unfortunate end.

It is to the immense credit of the teenage magazine Mizz, therefore, that amidst all this hostility, it published a thoughtful, positive article titled ‘Homosexuality’, which recommended Annie on My Mind to its teenage readers. I cannot remember how many times I must have read that article; suffice to say there was more ink on my thumbs than on the page. I was simply enthralled that someone had written about ‘me’ and even more amazed that there was a novel with characters like me I could ‘meet’.

So, I’m back from the library, having, in retrospect, engaged in my first act of LGBT defiance, although it felt nothing like defiant as I read Annie on My Mind, anxiously, under the cover of my duvet. Because that’s how I felt, like I should be ashamed, as if my curious, questioning thoughts, and imaginings about my sexuality must remain hidden, unspoken, suppressed.

But there, under torch light, with each turned page, my feelings were revealed, spoken, my desires expressed in the words and emotions of two teenagers Liza Winthrop and Annie Kenyon.

Set in 1980’s New York, Liza and Annie are the heroines of Annie on My Mind, falling in love, bravely facing ignorance and prejudice, and imagining a future together. I breathlessly followed every word, every scene recollected through Liza’s eyes.

What made Annie on My Mind so special was that author Nancy Garden refused to let her two heroines struggle alone. They received the support of friends and family, and moreover the affirmation of positive role models in the form of two lesbian teachers, Ms. Stevenson and Ms. Widmer. Despite enduring false claims and dismissal, the teachers remained unbroken and defiant. The message to readers was clear and summed up poignantly in the rallying words, “Don’t let ignorance win,” said Ms. Stevenson. “Let love.” 1

Nancy Garden was determined that young gay people should have access to a narrative of teenage gay love with a positive message, and a happy ending.  In a 2007 interview with Kathleen Horning, of the Cooperative Children’s Book Centre, University of Wisconsin, Nancy stated that the motivation to write Annie on My Mind came from, “my desire to tell the truth about gay people – that we’re not sick or evil; that we can and do fall in love and lead happy, healthy, productive lives.” 2

It is Nancy Garden’s rich and heartfelt characters, and her message of love, that I treasure and remember now, and always.

You dedicated Annie on My Mind “For all of us”, but this “Thank you” is for you, Nancy Garden, from the bottom of my heart.

Nancy Garden (May 15, 1938 – June 23, 2014)

http://www.nancygarden.com

  1. p232, Annie on My Mind, 2007 Edition, FSG
  2. p247, A Conversation with Nancy Garden, interview with Kathleen Horning, Annie on My Mind, 2007 Edition, FSG

 

© 2016 All rights reserved. No reproduction without written permission.