Good news and interviews

A trilogy!

I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to announce that Affinity has agreed to publish another one of my novels – and it is part of a series!

Good news

When I began writing Starting Over, my debut novel, I had no idea I would go on to write a second and then, believe it or not, a third. OMG – a trilogy! (That was my sister’s reaction.)

The storylines for the second book, Arc Over Time, came into my mind almost immediately after I’d finished Starting Over. And not long after that one ended, I started thinking about the third, which is currently titled Carved in Stone – which were the last three words in Arc Over Time.

The impetus for the main storyline in Carved in Stone was the plans for the re-burial of Richard III’s bones. The city of Leicester laid on an impressive ceremony, which was televised – finally giving the much-maligned king a public send off worthy of his status. Benedict Cumberbatch, a distant relative, read out the poem written for the occasion by our Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy – which I found very moving – particularly this line: “Grant me the carving of my name.”

My story involves a royal personage whose bones are discovered at a remote hilltop farm in the first book, Starting Over. I was fortunate to come across an historical figure not much is known about, so I could make things up. She disappears from view after losing power, and nothing is known about where she ended her days. So, a farm on the moors above Huddersfield in West Yorkshire seemed as good a place as any.

In Arc Over Time, the bones and other artefacts are being displayed at the British Museum. As part of the exhibition, life-like 3D heads are created of the queen and her female lover. (Another departure from historical record, but something worth exploring, I thought.)

In Carved in Stone, Ellie Winters, the owner of the farm where the bones were found, becomes entranced by the image of the queen and starts to have conversations with her.

Historians haven’t been kind to this woman who was leader of the largest tribe in Britain in the first century. And she, too, it seems, feels she deserves to have a lasting monument; for her remains to be treated with dignity and honour.

I’m pleased this story is being published as I feel it completes the journey that began in Starting Over. As with the first two books, Carved in Stone is also a rollercoaster ride for the characters. And writing this book gave me the chance to give Jo Bright Flame – the owner of the camper van and a dog called Harry – an opportunity to find love, as she hadn’t had much luck in that department in the first two books.

GCLS Nomination
Another cause for celebration this week: I was notified that Arc Over Time has been nominated for a Goldie award in the Dramatic/General Fiction category! I really had an amazing time at this year’s GCLS conference and I have already booked for next year.

Live interview 

The podcast of my interview with London-based author Clare Lydon is now live on the My Lesbian Radio website. Clare is a brilliant interviewer and I really enjoyed our conversation. During the interview we covered a lot of the usual topics concerned with writing and how I got started, but somehow veered into visiting sex shops with my mother. With that out of the way, Clare asked if I planned to work in either of my hobbies – golf and archery – into my stories. I had to say they haven’t really featured yet. So, I’ll leave you with a photo of this fine sculpture of an archer, taken during a visit to Helmsley Castle this summer.

archer at Helmsley

If you haven’t read them yet, here are the links to my first two books:

Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBook Press / / / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / iTunes

Starting Over – available from Affinity eBook Press / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Bella Books / Smashwords / iTunes.

A day out

Last Saturday saw the inaugural Lesbian Authors Festival take place at the Hideaway café in Manchester. The venue is perfect for intimate readings and I was pleased to have been invited to take part. Seven authors participated and we had an audience of about twenty people. The organisers had given us each a ten-minute reading slot with time for questions for each author after their reading. I wasn’t as nervous as I had been for my first public reading at the GCLS Conference in July, so I managed to do it without losing my voice.

Reading at the Hideaway cafe

There was also time for a Q&A panel session with all the authors after the readings. And a bookstall had been set up so we could display our books and hopefully entice someone to buy one.

I enjoyed the interaction with the other authors and the audience. During the panel discussion there was an interesting exchange of views about how much sex readers either wanted or expected in this particular genre of lesfic.

All in all, a good day out. I sold a paperback of Starting Over and later, via Facebook, someone who had been at the reading mentioned they’d read this book and enjoyed it. I let her know that the sequel, Arc Over Time, is available. A few days later, I received a message from her saying she’d bought it and read it very quickly, wanting to find out what happened. She then posted this lovely comment on Amazon:

“So beautifully written this is a heartwarming tale of love and passion that had me reading until dawn to finish it.”

It is this kind of feedback that helps us writer-types to keep going.

And, speaking of Arc Over Time, Diana Prince interviewed two of the characters for the Affinity eBooks blog and the transcript of that interview is available here. As with anything involving Kathryn and Denise, it doesn’t go as smoothly as planned.

Finally, just because I like it, here’s a photo I took from the airplane window as we were approaching Copenhagen on our visit there two weeks ago.

Approaching Copenhagen

Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBook Press / / / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / iTunes

Starting Over – available from Affinity eBook Press / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Bella Books / Smashwords / iTunes.

September is here and winter is coming!

It’s only the first half of September but it feels like the end of summer. And what a summer it has been. The trip to New Orleans for the GCLS conference was the main feature. That was quite a week. The impressions and experiences will stay with me for some time – probably until next year’s event.

Hideaway Cafe

On Saturday I’ll be taking part in a much smaller, but no less significant event. The Hideaway Café in Urmston (Manchester UK) is holding an inaugural Lesbian Authors Festival. This is the line up:

Andrea Bramhall 2:15pm

I Beacham 2:25

Cari Hunter 2:35

Michelle Grubb 2:45

Break: 3:00-3:30

Jen Silver 3:30

Karen Cambell 3:40

Veronica Fearon 3:50

As I’m reading after the break, everyone will probably have filled up on cake and won’t be paying me much attention. This is only my second public reading – the first was at the aforementioned GCLS where I almost lost my voice halfway through. Maybe, fortified by cake, I will get through this one without choking.

Salted caramel cake

Homemade salted caramel cake from the Hideaway Cafe

As well as preparing for this event, the editing process for my next novel, The Circle Dance, has started. It’s due out in February, published by Affinity eBook Press. This book features a different set of characters from the first two but is still set in the same part of the country where I live. (An excuse to show another photo of the canal near Hebden Bridge).

Boats on canal

Boats moored on canal near Hebden Bridge

It’s also been a busy time for reviews. Last week the Wilde Times Tavern website posted a review of my debut novel, Starting Over. And this week, they put up an excerpt from the sequel, Arc Over Time.

Wilde Times Tavern website

Wilde Times Tavern review and excerpt

Although it’s called a ‘quick review’, the reviewer goes into some detail on what she liked and didn’t like about Starting Over. I was pleased that, although she didn’t like Robin to start with, after finishing the book she thought Robin was the character she would most likely want to take home.

Earlier this week I was also interviewed by the wonderfully talented Clare Lydon and you’ll need to tune into the next episode of the Lesbian Book Club on My Lesbian Radio to hear the result of that – which will be sometime towards the end of the month after Clare gets back from sunny Spain (at least she’s hoping it’s sunny). Check out Clare’s previous interviews here:

So, that’s enough about me. Hope you’re all enjoying sorting out your winter wardrobe for the months ahead and snuggling down with a good book.

Arc Over Time – available from Affinity eBook Press / / / Bella Books / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / iTunes

Starting Over – available from Affinity eBook Press / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Bella Books / Smashwords / iTunes.