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LesFic Eclectic: Meet the Authors, part two

It’s day two of our little blog run in the week leading up to the release of our free eBook anthology, LesFic Eclectic. In case you didn’t know, I’m Robyn Nyx, and I’ve been responsible for bringing this project together, including the editing and cover and production design.

So who do we have for your reading pleasure today? How about Jenn Matthews, plus new authors, E.V. Bancroft, and AJ Mason? Sounds good to me…

1) Established authors only…What made you want to be involved in this project?

Jenn Matthews: I hadn’t written a short story recently and certainly not one I thought would be good enough to get published. I found one from a while ago, after Robyn asked, and tweaked it slightly, then sent it over!

2) New authors only…How excited are you to be involved in this project?

E.V. Bancroft: Very excited. You hope you can write, you think you can write, but it’s great to have it affirmed. What a great project to be part of. I take my Trilby off to you for organising it.

AJ Mason: Excited and elated! I was so shocked to have my submission accepted. I know what an amazing opportunity it is for an unpublished writer like me to get a story published alongside such well known authors.

3) What’s your story about and what genre does it fall into?

E.V. Bancroft: Bees is a short story about a singer who has fame and adulation, but who finds it hard to have that special connection. I guess it would fall into romance.

Jenn Matthews: It falls into contemporary romance but I’d subgenre it into “comfort/hurt” and “grief.” It’s about Jessie and Laura who, months after losing a baby, find a way to cope with it all one day. In my head it’s a sort of platonic threesome situation.

AJ Mason: It’s just a simple, sweet romantic tale about a woman driving hundreds of miles to spend time with her girlfriend. The catch is that her girlfriend is a genius who loves conspiracy theories, and the latest one is the most challenging yet.

4) What kind of fiction do you like to write and why?

E.V. Bancroft: I like to write literary fiction, for the very simple reason that is what I enjoy reading most. Who knows, I might be tempted to explore other genres.

Jenn Matthews: I like to write lesbian contemporary romance with the element of slow burn. But I have a particularly like writing about invisible people, those with who don’t have their stories told often.

AJ Mason: I write science fiction mostly. I read a lot of it, both classic and new. I love the way it challenges me to look at the world from a different angle and to reflect on the human condition while enjoying fantastical worlds and creatures. I’ve also dabbled in writing some horror, again because it challenges our perspective of reality.

5) Tell us something about yourself that readers might not already know…

E.V. Bancroft: I once took part in an off-road driving competition in the desert in Morocco. The first night we were caught in a thunderstorm that washed away the tracks and created new river beds. That made for interesting navigation.

Jenn Matthews: I just brought home a new puppy. I’m currently standing outside at 2.20am waiting for him to go to the look. I vlog on YouTube too – usually about my writing but also about the fur-kids!

AJ Mason: I shoot precision air pistol. It’s one of the Olympic disciplines and requires high levels of focus and discipline. I spend happy hours just trying to shoot the perfect shot at a card ten meters away. The challenge of it is what keeps me coming back.

 

LesFic Eclectic: Meet the Authors, part one

Hey there, and welcome to our little blog run in the week leading up to the release of our free eBook anthology, LesFic Eclectic. I’m Robyn Nyx, and I’ve been responsible for bringing this project together, including the editing and cover and production design. You’ll also find me between the electronic sheets of this lovely book with my story, Heart Halfway Gone. 

Shall we begin? Let’s kick off our first teaser of the week with Brey WillowsGill McKnight, and Kitty McIntosh.

1) Established authors only…What made you want to be involved in this project?

Brey Willows: I love writing short stories, and it’s a great way to showcase new work or stories you haven’t put out in the world yet. And I loved the idea of being in an anthology with such a great variety of established, new, and aspiring authors.

Gill McKnight: I’ve been a friend of Brey and Robyn for yonks, as so was very pleased to be asked to contribute. Unfortunately, I had no short story to hand, but they were gracious enough to take a slice of my WIP. Love working with you guys.

2) New authors only…How excited are you to be involved in this project?

Kitty McIntosh: I’m extremely excited to be involved in Lesfic Eclectic. It’s such a thrill to be published alongside some amazing established authors and other new authors. I can’t wait to read the other stories.

3) What’s your story about and what genre does it fall into?

Brey Willows: This is a work in progress, and I might turn it into a novel at some point. I wanted to play with gothic tropes (scary house, fog, mysterious folks), and this was my first venture into it. So it’s a subtle, ghosty, romantic-ish story that probably wouldn’t fit anywhere but in this anthology!

Kitty McIntosh: My story is set at the Ellcon Conference in Bristol in 2018. Kerry has some major responsibilities at home making it difficult for her to ever get away. When her best friend steps in as a fairy godmother she is free to go, and finds more than just books and author talks there. It’s a contemporary romance and a sweet love story.

Gill McKnight: I suppose this is General Fiction, in that it’s a pseudo journal about life as a taverna owner in Greece, lesbian style. It depicts the quiet, gentle sway of the days here and then the fun, fast paced party nights.

4) What kind of fiction do you like to write and why?

Brey Willows: I like spec fic. I love otherworldly elements, where characters are pushed out of their comfort zones. That includes dystopian fiction, because those stories push characters out of their comfort zones too. And I like a bit of humor in with my work. Life is too serious as it is.

Kitty McIntosh: I enjoy writing short stories and am now branching into novellas and novels. I love writing romance, erotica, mystery and paranormal/fantasy. I read all of these genres and have been so inspired by some of the great books I’ve read. I want to write my own too.

Gill McKnight: I write whatever catches my imagination, but I am mostly known for Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

5) Tell us something about yourself that readers might not already know…

Brey Willows: There’s not much interesting about me…I’m incredibly clumsy and extremely accident prone. As my mother-in-law says, I could trip over the pattern in a carpet. Oh, and I once ate so much pineapple in Hawaii that I ended up allergic to it for years after.

Kitty McIntosh: I’m a total politics geek, and the famous psephologist Professor Sir John Curtice, who turns up regularly on TV analysing election statistics, was one of my professors at the University of Strathclyde. I am that person who stays up all night watching the results come in for every election!

Gill McKnight: While on holiday here I rescued a 7 week old puppy. I ended up adopting him only to realise my working life as an IT contractor did not fit around owning a dog. This made me reassess my life and I subsequently changed career so I could move into my holiday home in Eressos permanently and live there with Wally (the puppy). That’s how I became a full time writer and part of the Dirt Road Books collective, a dog made me do it.

 

When your life IS the romance novel…

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. www.binneyblog.wordpress.com

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