I can’t wait for our weekend together and to be with each other in person. There is no question that digital platforms like Zoom have been a lifeline, but as valuable as they are they cannot fully replace being in the same physical space together and the many benefits to our well-being that that brings.
If there are any positives to take from the challenges of the last couple of years, it is to appreciate even more than ever how special weekends like Queer The Shelves really are, both for us as individuals and as part of an LGBTQ+ creative community. We have been truly reminded that we must take nothing for granted. So, let’s set aside any doubts and enjoy the most special of weekends we have ahead. I’ve written a fun little poem about doing just that if you’re thinking about attending the festival for the first time. See you on the 28th! Anna x
Resist that demon inside your head that says… “What? Go out? No. Stay home instead. There’s a sofa, a blanket, and Game of Thrones. You know we love it when we’re on our own.
Wait? Don’t tell me you’ve decided to go? There’s Zoom recordings on YouTube, you know. It’s a festival, with mingling and chat. People will see you, have you thought about that?
No way…you want to be seen, to be heard. Have you lost your mind for that is absurd. What do you mean it sounds just up your street With kindred souls, and fave authors to meet.
You’re giddy with questions you want to ask. You want to write? Are you up to the task? There’s a work shop you can go to for free? But that sounds way too good – how can that be?
Then it’ll be too expensive, just you wait. Tickets are re-funded? Book deals are great? That’s it, I’m done. I can’t take it anymore. Are you listening? Don’t slam the front…door.
Did you know Bold Strokes Books has a YouTube channel with lots of fabulous authors showcasing their books?
Why not checkout the panel discussions from this year’s Bold Strokes Books Bookathon UK – June 6, 2020 starting with Love Changes Things: What We Love About Love Stories.Moderator: Nell Stark Panelists: MA Binfield, Kris Bryant, Charlie Cochrane, Anna Larner, Anne Shade.
Tropicana, 3801 Las Vegas Blvd S.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Largest multi-fandom event for LGBTQ women and allies, ClexaCon brings together thousands of diverse LGBTQ fans and content creators from around the world to celebrate positive representation for LGBTQ women in the media.
Make sure to visit the Bold Strokes Books stalls/panels/readings.
Join Bold Strokes Books authors for an amazing weekend of literature and laughs. Ask questions, hear us read from our latest work, buy exciting new LGBTQ fiction, and mingle with the authors in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
The GCLS’s annual conference is the premier lesbian literary event for both authors and readers. The event brings together readers, fans, writers, editors and publishers to celebrate lesbian-themed literature.
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 […]
Why love stories as opposed to any other kind of story?
I write love stories because it’s simply in my heart to write stories about a woman falling in love with another woman.
I can still remember feeling very lonely and isolated by my sexuality, not seeing myself portrayed positively in literature, art or the media – so to now write stories about women falling in love means the world to me.
Also love is such a rich subject matter to write about. How a person reacts to love tells us so much about them. It draws out a person’s values, bringing out the best and the worst in all of us.
Why do you think romances get such flack from the other genre writers? Are they just jealous?
Some people argue that if a writer chooses to write lesbian romance, accepting that they are working within its formula, that their ambition as a writer is limited in both depth and scope by such a focus, and that the subject of romance is superficial.
I wholeheartedly disagree with this. There’s nothing superficial about attempting to capture the romantic essence of love. It is incredibly hard and takes tremendous skill.
A well-written lesbian romance which brings joy and consolation is a success and surely a book should be judged by the impact it has on its readers.
Like every other story romances can be boiled down to finding reasons why two attractive people cannot immediately have sex and ride off into the sunset together. What do you layer your stories with to make them unique while still hitting the must-have romance tropes?
I’ve been privileged to be part of a local Heritage Lottery funded project called ‘Untold Stories’ recording the oral histories of older LGBT people in the Leicestershire area. What I learnt from this experience is that our sexuality is so personal, our experiences are so varied, however there are certain common themes.
Lesbians throughout history and today have struggled with self-acceptance, family acceptance and society’s acceptance.
And I want to capture this on the page in an engaging and entertaining way.
So in Highland Fling I write an authentic representation for those lesbians who discovered their sexuality at a time when there was no such thing as ‘glad to be gay’ and how this defining experience colours their choices. But as with all hard subject matters there is great poignancy in the humour that can be found.
For my current work in progress Love’s Portrait, I write a contemporary love story highlighting the need for visibility of our LGBT history. This is set in the context of a museum when often the sexuality of the subject matter is omitted. I know we are not just our sexuality but it is a big part of how we experience life and it shouldn’t be airbrushed out or overlooked.
Have you ever tried to write a couple who just didn’t work? What did you end up doing with this story if so? If not, what is it that makes your couples always work in the end?
The main characters in Highland Fling, Moira and Eve, on paper shouldn’t work. They are very different women – different ages, different geographical background, different lifestyle, and have made different life choices. Highland Fling hinges on this very tension.
But when you find ‘the one’ you fight for love, you compromise, you see the other person’s perspective, and you want to make things better.
So how I make them work is that Eve simply gets Moira, she fundamentally understands her. Eve is wise beyond her years and has a way of simplifying and unpicking the complex.
“All we have is right now, and I want to spend all of my right nows with you.”
It is Eve’s compassion that builds the bridge between them and it’s her dogged determination to fight for their love that wins the day.
If you have multiple sex scenes in your works, how do you keep them from being monotonous? If you have any couples who have been together for a long time, how do you keep their relationship fresh and exciting?
Each sex scene is fused into the emotional journey of the characters. When they give in to their innermost needs these scenes are the critical turning points in the story.
Sex is not just sex it is the story itself.
Have you ever written a couple who got along so beautifully, you were a little jealous? Has another writer’s work every made you feel this way?
In my current work in progress Love’s Portrait museum curator Molly Goode and benefactor Georgina Wright are really lovely together.
Molly’s passion and determination to uncover hidden histories and champion diversity within the museum sector wins the respect of her bosses and the heart of the woman she loves.
Yes, many authors work. Here’s three examples – Quinn & Honor in Radclyffe’s Fated love; Poppy & Rosalyn in Clare Ashton’s Poppy Jenkins, and Liza & Annie in Nancy Garden’s Annie on My Mind.
Photos from the Bold Strokes Books Festival, May 2018…
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.