Robyn Nyx

Words for Women who Love Women


bold strokes books

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 I know what an amazing opportunity it is for an unpublished writer like me to get a story published alongside such well known authors.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.


A little romance and music

I’m working on a new manuscript, and it’s quite a departure from my previous four novels. It’s a…wait for it…pure romance. There’ll be no skinning, no hate fucking, and no one gets beaten up. Like I said, quite the departure. The main character for this little tale originated in Change in Time, the second in the Extractor trilogy (Death in Time is released in May 2018, just in time for the amazing Bold Strokes Books UK Festival, where our regular UK authors will be joined by nearly thirty US authors, including the amazing Carsen Taite, VK Powell, and, drum roll please, the inimitable Radclyffe). I needed a bit part player for a Landry scene, and in popped Louie. Later in the book, Landry was in a gang-run bar, and Louie popped up again, moonlighting as entertainment for the patrons. She helps Landry out of a sticky situation. A few chapters on, and Louie made her final appearance, with Landry asking her about her dreams. Why was she stuck in Chicago? What was her ambition?

It turns out, she wants to move to Nashville to be a song writer. She’s scraping together every dollar she can, working two jobs, to make it happen. Landry makes it happen with one visit to the Bank of America, and Music City Dreamers was born. I’ve taken Louie Francis, pulled her back to modern day, and began to tell her story. She’s a gentle soul, burned by an ex-love, but she’s got the drive to change her future. See if she does late in 2018/early 2019:

Barista by day and hustler by night, Louie Francis wants out. She has a dream, but she’s never had a chance to follow it. Until, that is, a stranger’s generosity provides the means for her to head to Nashville to become a song writer. She grabs her stuff and doesn’t look back.

Heather King had dreams of being the next Country superstar. Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people with the same dream, she became the beleaguered assistant to the label head of Rocky Top Country Music instead. She has an eye for discovering new talent, but her boss takes credit for all her hard work.

When the two women meet at the Bluebird Café, there’s an immediate attraction, but blinkered by self-doubts and ambition, they’re blind to their potential future with each other. Thrust together to work with Country royalty, they must find a way past their ambitions and their desire for each other, or their song will remain unfinished.

DIVA Literary Festival, 2017

So you’ve probably read all about the inaugural DIVA Literary Festival that was held in Birmingham at the beginning of this month, and despite my best intentions, I’m late to the party for blogging about it. Ho hum.

I wanted to say a big thank you to DIVA for making this event happen. Brey and I run a small weekend event in Nottingham every year and that’s tough enough. Something on this scale—it needs a dedicated team, oodles of enthusiasm, and boundless energy…

The DIVA team had exactly that. And they pulled an awesome event off for a lot of grateful folk to enjoy.

My highlights:

1) This one is the same for me at every event—the readers. Meeting new readers is a pleasure, particularly ones that like crime, blood, and guts. Never Enough was a big hit, and that made me a happy author indeed.

2) The sense of safety and community: it’s always amazing to gather a whole host of “our people” in one place to see what happens—and it rarely disappoints. So many smiling faces simply enjoying the weekend and all it had to offer.

3) Stella Duffy’s acceptance speech— hilarious and full of expletives. It made me want to read (and re-read) every word she’s ever written.

4) Being on panels with colleague authors and getting to talk all about words with readers.

5) Getting my glad-rags on and dancing with my beautiful wife.

“Lowlights” (I’m an author,

I can make words up!)

1) It ended.

2) I have to wait another year to do it all again.

Thanks again to everyone I met—you make these events fabulous. And thanks hugely and muchly to Team DIVA! Here’s to next year!

Sharing the Joy

I got my first box of books back in November last year (Never Enough). I thought there could be no better feeling than the moment you hold a book chock full of your own words in your hands…

I was wrong.

Today, my fiancé, Brey Willows, received the fantastical box of her debut novel, Fury’s Bridge (available from Bold Strokes Books from April 1; and all other stores from April 17). There were tears (yes, just hers), and there was unbridled joy. She wasn’t expecting to be so affected, and despite me having to badger her to put fingertips to keyboard, I think she’s secretly quite proud of herself. As she should be – actually finishing a book at all is amazing,  but to have it published in the traditional sense is a great achievement.

But being there to share her overwhelming sense of surreal achievement was a privilege. And it felt damned good. Fury’s Bridge is a helluva book – full of imagination, humour, romance, and some yummy sex. You can wait to get it in April, or you can get in touch with her direct and get a signed copy right now! I’ve already got mine!

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