It took the best part of seven years to write my first complete novel. Another three of submissions and rejections from publishers. Then, fate took over. I was working with an LGBTQ youth group in the city when Bold Strokes Books author, Amy Dunne, emailed to tell us about the launch of a book at Waterstones from older LGBTQ people. On top of that, she wanted to let us know about an LGBTQ book festival taking place the following month, also at Waterstones (tickets for the 10th annual festival available here).

I looked it up. Could it really be? The chance to pitch my book to a publishing company dedicated to the voices of LGBTQ authors? And in my home town?

I emailed the person organising the pitch slots (and the whole festival, in fact) and got my slot. I spent the next two weeks on my pitch; writing, re-writing, and writing it again. I spent the morning before the pitch deciding, re-deciding,  and deciding again on my outfit (I went with a black & purple striped shirt and black jeans, should you be interested in that level of detail). I spent the hour before the pitch going, not going, and then going again.

I womanned up and attended. And it’s a damn good job I did. The woman I pitched to was an American (score on the sexy accent). She was beautiful and blonde. And so funny.

I pitched (trying hard to be charming and interesting), I stayed for some of the festival, and I went home and waited.

There are a lot of details I won’t go into here, for lots of different reasons, but that woman became my wife. She’s my soul mate. My world. And we met through words. Through my first novel, Never Enough.

Words can be so incredibly powerful. They can be used for hateful purpose, for the propogating of narrow minded bigotry. And there are so many places all over the world where exactly that is happening.

But words can be full of love, full of promise, full of light. They can lift us. Console and support us. Bring us together. Foster understanding across cultures and perceived difference.

I take comfort in that. In our lesfic community, words bind us. They give us a common purpose. A chosen family (especially important when our own might not have been supportive of our very being). My wife (fellow author, Brey Willows) and I came together through words. We became part of this wonderful lesfic community through words. And on this inaugural blog hop, organised by the amazing Amanda Radley, celebrating words seemed to be the way to go.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Next up in this blog hop:

Read how Petrina Binney started out at a dinner party with friends, and gradually told herself a story about what would have happened if they’d hated each other and resorted to threats over the cheeseboard. Petrina Binney is the author of the Sex, Death and Dinner series, and hopes one day to be notorious for it. If the notoriety could come sooner rather than later, she’d be delighted.