Meet the delegates: Rowan Speedwell

Welcome Rowan Speedwell, one of our fabulous authors attending from the US. I understand Rowan is currently melting somewhere in London. Bad luck if you packed for the standard British summer! 😉

Rowan's cover1) Tell us about yourself in 100 words or fewer.

 Born and bred on the south side of Chicago, lifelong White Sox fan (boo Cubs!). History buff. Only girl in a family of six kids. Cat-lover. Addicted to adverbs. Allergic to black pepper. Inveterate crafter and compulsive Pinner.  Mentally tidy, but physically a slob.
I always say I’m not much interested in music, but music seems to find its way into practically everything I write. Art does too, but that makes more sense, since I’m a frustrated artist wannabe.
I am never bored. Overwhelmed, frequently, but never bored.
2) Tell us something about you that might come as a surprise!
I own a 6’ handmade longbow, and a tooled, purple leather quiver I made myself. I also have custom-made arrows with purple, green and white fletching. But I’m a lousy archer.
3) What do you like most about the LGBTQ genre?
Exploring the dynamics of male relationships. I have five brothers and eight male cousins, and the way the male mind works fascinates me.
4) What are you most looking forward to about UK Meet?
The “Meet” part!  Meeting new friends and visiting with old ones! And, of course, the excuse to come back to the UK. So, I guess the “UK” part, too!  Hell, I’m just excited!!
5) If you had one wish which would come true at UK Meet, what would that be?
Someone would offer me a fabulous job that would enable me to stay there!!

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http://www.rowanspeedwell.com

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All UK Meet 2013 delegates are cordially invited to send in their answers to the above questions, along with links to any social networks/blogs/websites they want to include, and a completely optional mugshot/avatar. If you’d like to take part, send them to josephine_myles@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks!

Meet the delegates: Aleksandr Voinov

Please welcome Aleksandr Voinov: author, editor, publisher… Aleks has a finger in every pie! Those of you who met Aleks last year will no doubt remember his sharp suits and big hugs. Here’s hoping for more of those this year!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1) Tell us about yourself in 100 words or fewer.

I’m a German immigrant living near  London and work in financial services as the much feared ignored comma police. About two years ago, I co-founded Riptide Publishing (www.riptidepublishing.com), which is now eating up all the time I don’t put into writing. I’m a multi-genre author inside m/m and gay fiction, jumping wildly from sci-fi to historicals and everything in between. I had my start in the genre with the free one-million word epic Special Forces, but I’d previously published five (less overt) homoerotic novels in Germany under the traditional print-only model. I’m a workaholic author/editor/writing coach, military and history geek.

 2) Tell us something about you that might come as a surprise!

I’ve recently discovered I really enjoy cooking and spending time in the garden. So I’m turning into my mother. (Which is preferable to turning into my father, but it did come as a bit of a shock.)

 3) What do you like most about the LGBTQ genre?

The variety. Under the old model (mainstream print), you were kind of encouraged to stay within one genre (I did horror, sci-fi and epic fantasy), but the thing is, I love writing historicals and sometimes contemporaries, and this genre allows me the freedom to explore LGBTQ characters in all kinds of settings with all kinds of issues. But the people come second—I’ve rarely met more awesome readers, colleagues and editors than in this space.

 4) What are you most looking forward to about UK Meet?

Meeting people and having interesting discussions both as a large group and in a more intimate setting (minds out of the gutter).

5) If you had one wish which would come true at UK Meet, what would that be?

Make a couple new friends.

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Blog: http://www.aleksandrvoinov.blogspot.co.uk/

Website: http://www.aleksandrvoinov.com

Twitter: @aleksandrvoinov

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All UK Meet 2013 delegates are cordially invited to send in their answers to the above questions, along with links to any social networks/blogs/websites they want to include, and a completely optional mugshot/avatar. If you’d like to take part, send them to josephine_myles@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks!

Meet the delegates: Bruin Fisher

Today, author Bruin Fisher’s come to tell us a bit about himself. He says he has nothing much exciting to report, but to be honest, the hardest part was getting him to shut up! Along with Charlie Cochrane, Bruin was one of the very first authors of gay fiction I ever met–all the way back in 2010–so he’ll always have a special place in my heart 🙂

bruinfisher1) Tell us about yourself in 100 words or fewer.

However will I fill a hundred words? I’m male, very English, pedantic, interested in almost everything except soccer. I live in the West of England and my day job is whatever I can persuade someone to pay me for – so quite varied and sometimes interesting but rarely financially rewarding. I’ve been writing gay fiction since 2005, although the last couple of years have been an agonisingly dry spell for me. I’m clearly not paying my muse well enough.

 2) Tell us something about you that might come as a surprise!

I’m an alien emissary from the planet Zog? A reincarnation of Queen Nefertiti? A zombie werewolf vampire? A sad little man with nothing much exciting to report? Please choose only one of the above.

 3) What do you like most about the LGBTQ genre?

I love to read about people who look at the world through the same eyes that I do. I identify with gay characters in a romantic story much more closely than I can with straight characters. That hardly does justice to the strength of my feeling for the genre – it has been for me a lifeline, giving me reassurance that there are other people just like me and that they are not freaks, but have normal lives, normal highs and lows, and, yes, normal relationships and sex lives. Reading about ordinary people who just happen to be gay gives me a warm glow. Thanks to all you writers of high quality LGBTQ fiction!

 4) What are you most looking forward to about UK Meet?

Renewing old acquaintances, of course – and I’m hoping for a hug here and there. Also I hope to make some new friends, and swap experiences both related to writing and otherwise. This will be my third UK Meet so I know roughly what to expect and for that reason I’m getting very excited about it. I know how much I will enjoy myself. Watch out for a greying, balding Tigger with a paunch.

5) If you had one wish which would come true at UK Meet, what would that be?

Inspiration and Encouragement (is that two wishes?). Inspiration to come up with ideas for new stories, and middles and ends for stories that currently only have beginnings. Encouragement to finish, polish and submit some of the stuff that I know in my heart is potentially publishable but which I haven’t had the determination, endurance, and courage to finish and bring to any publisher yet.

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http://www.bruinscave.org.uk

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All UK Meet 2013 delegates are cordially invited to send in their answers to the above questions, along with links to any social networks/blogs/websites they want to include, and a completely optional mugshot/avatar. If you’d like to take part, send them to josephine_myles@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks!

Meet the delegates: Kelly Birch

Please give a warm welcome to Kelly Birch, who’s an aspiring author attending the UK Meet for the first time this year. I think Kelly might be our youngest delegate so far! Yes, even younger than “Baby” organiser Liam Livings 😉

Kelly Birch1) Tell us about yourself in 100 words or fewer.

Hiya! I’m Kelly, a native from Wigan which is about forty minutes from Manchester. I’m 24, 5’3 and I have brown, naturally curly hair. I have 2 dogs, a brother who is ten years younger than me and probably 10 inches taller. I have just graduated University with a degree in English and Creative Writing. I write, read and generally like to have a laugh. I have several novels/short stories/novellas started and now that I’m out of Uni, I’m banking on finishing them all! I love Star Trek, Big Bang Theory and Bridget Jones’ Diary.

2) Tell us something about you that might come as a surprise!

Urmm, I’m more clumsy than I look? No, seriously. I fell down the stairs in a Solicitors firm and sprained my ankle, I fell of a couch and did the same thing, go figure! Although this might not come as a surprise to close friends! Lol.

3) What do you like most about the LGBTQ genre?

The voices. I love that I can pick up one and be sucked into it straight away. Every story is unique and tells me something different. I read my first one when I was 11 or 12 years old. It was called Boy meets Boy by David Levithan, I found it in WH Smiths, read it loved it and it wasn’t until a good nine or ten years later that I picked up my next LGBTQ book.

4) What are you most looking forward to about UK Meet?

I’m looking forward to the chance to meet people and discuss books, writing and challenges, because it’s hard to find people I can talk to about these wonderful books that I’ve read or about issues I’m facing as an aspiring author.

5) If you had one wish which would come true at UK Meet, what would that be?

I just want to meet other people and enjoy my time with them. I’m really looking forward to the event and I can’t wait to make friends. I look forward to seeing you all there!
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Twitter @KjBirch

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All UK Meet 2013 delegates are cordially invited to send in their answers to the above questions, along with links to any social networks/blogs/websites they want to include, and a completely optional mugshot/avatar. If you’d like to take part, send them to josephine_myles@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks!

Meet the delegates: Petronella Bond

Today, please welcome Petronella–a voracious reader who’ll be attending the UK Meet for the first time this year. Her picture was taken on a very special day indeed. Not only a birthday, but a trip to watch the Olympic trampolining too!

Petronella1) Tell us about yourself in 100 words or fewer.

Hiyas I’m Petronella Bond, I’m 40, newly single and a crazy cat lady! I live in East London and have 2 children. I suffer from depression so I have been unable to work for a few years and live inside books instead, well actually I have been reading as long as I can remember so no change there! I discovered M/M literature when I got my first kindle in October and having a whole genre open up has been amazing (and expensive!!)

2) Tell us something about you that might come as a surprise!

I don’t like suprises! Actually I am really open and anyone who knows me on facebook will know most things, or you can just ask … Oh I can sing Row row row your boat in a round by myself 😀

3) What do you like most about the LGBTQ genre?

Basically I like that (until recently) I hadn’t read any so I keep discovering new and brilliant authors. I very much subscribe to the love is love principle so the gender of the main characters is irrelevant is the story is well written!

4) What are you most looking forward to about UK Meet?

Not having an 8 year old boy following me around, no cats to feed and of course the journey up the M1 with Lisa Worrall and her Michael Bolton CD!

5) If you had one wish which would come true at UK Meet, what would that be?

I suppose meeting the man of my dreams is out of the question? I just want to meet people, have fun, not have my depression play up so I sit in the corner and just hope that people actually like me!

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All UK Meet 2013 delegates are cordially invited to send in their answers to the above questions, along with links to any social networks/blogs/websites they want to include, and a completely optional mugshot/avatar. If you’d like to take part, send them to josephine_myles@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks!

Meet the delegates: Jessie Lansdel

Today, please welcome Jessie Lansdel–an aspiring author who attended last year’s Meet in Brighton. I think Jessie’s the one person who’d actually like the weather to be bad next weekend!

Jessie Lansdel1) Tell us about yourself in 100 words or fewer.

I was born and raised in York but now I live in beautiful East Anglia dividing my time between Norwich and Ipswich. I started writing seriously again in February 2011 after a visit to Borley in Suffolk (where once stood the most haunted house in England) I wrote a fictionalised account of one of the squires of Borley and his possible execution on Tower Hill. Then I had a ‘What If’ moment’ and gave the squire a lover….his valet. After that, I was hooked on M/M romance

2) Tell us something about you that might come as a surprise!

I am a weather geek and a member of a weather forum. I love extreme weather and I adore thunderstorms. I spend half of the summer looking for them. But we don’t seem to get them in the UK like we used to more’s the pity. I tend to use storms a lot in my stories as a metaphor and for added drama.

3) What do you like most about the LGBTQ genre?

All the wonderful people I’ve met who share my passion for the genre; and how supportive and helpful they have all been to me as a new writer.

4) What are you most looking forward to about UK Meet?

Meeting the new friends I made last year in Brighton and hopefully being less overawed and shy. And just chatting to other people who ‘get it’.
And buying lots of lovely books.

5) If you had one wish which would come true at UK Meet, what would that be?

Just to enjoy myself and have a wonderful, fulfilling week-end.
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Website – http://jessielansdel.wordpress.com

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All UK Meet 2013 delegates are cordially invited to send in their answers to the above questions, along with links to any social networks/blogs/websites they want to include, and a completely optional mugshot/avatar. If you’d like to take part, send them to josephine_myles@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks!

Meet the delegates: Ashlyn Kane

Today, please give a warm welcome to Ashlyn Kane, a Spotlight Author who’s very well travelled! Also, probably the only person so far (other than me) who’s shown any interest in karaoke. Ashlyn, I’m sure we can find somewhere in Manchester offering karaoke on a Saturday night 😉

Ashlyn Kane1) Tell us about yourself in 100 words or fewer.

Hi, I’m Ashlyn Kane! I’m a trained high school English and mathematics teacher who, due to Unforeseen Circumstances, hasn’t spent much time actually teaching. But that’s okay because I have my hands full editing, writing, and traveling. I currently live in Germany with my husband, Brandon, and several thousand dust bunnies.

I tend not to take myself too seriously, and my writing style often comes across as tongue-in-cheek. I’m interested in amateur photography. In real life I have this really poorly hidden desire to be the center of attention, which usually results in impromptu karaoke.

2) Tell us something about you that might come as a surprise!

I went to my first writers’ conference when I was six. When I was sixteen, I was part of a choir that performed in Disney World. I’ve lived in three different countries. My purse could double as a Mary Poppins bag—I’ve always got a ton of stuff stashed in there, like random cutlery and a flashlight and about seven different pens. But they’re always nice pens, because I’m very picky about my writing implements.

3) What do you like most about the LGBTQ genre?

I love that I get to write the stories as I see them and don’t have to worry about censoring them for closed minds. Don’t get me wrong—I think LGBTQ fiction is becoming more mainstream, and I’m thrilled to be part of that process, because it’s an important step toward social justice. But in the meantime, people actually buy and read and enjoy my books, which gives me an excuse to keep writing them.

4) What are you most looking forward to about UK Meet?

Meeting new people! I haven’t always been good at making new friends, but it’s something I’ve really come to enjoy. I’ve only been to one professional author event, but it was so much fun to meet and connect with people. I think we tend to be a friendly and diverse group, and there’s always a new TV show obsession or indie flick to share. Plus, I’m addicted to co-writing, so maybe I’ll meet another coauthor.

5) If you had one wish which would come true at UK Meet, what would that be?

That I will walk down the street and run into Benedict Cumberbatch!

No, honestly, I’ve no idea. I hope someone will talk to me about writing. That’s really all I want.
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ashlyn.kane@gmail.com
http://ashlynkane.blogspot.com
Twitter: @ashlynkane
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashlyn.kane.94
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All UK Meet 2013 delegates are cordially invited to send in their answers to the above questions, along with links to any social networks/blogs/websites they want to include, and a completely optional mugshot/avatar. If you’d like to take part, send them to josephine_myles@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks!

Meet the delegates: Anna Butler

Today I’d like to introduce you all to Anna Butler, a UK Meet newbie who’s recently had her first short story published with Dreamspinner. Congratulations, Anna!

Anna Butler1) Tell us about yourself in 100 words or fewer.

A native of Durham who moved south for university, I’ve lived and worked in London for more years ago than I’ll admit to. I spent my career in government communications, working in marketing and internal communications. Three years ago I took the opportunity to retire early, and since then I’ve been working on my writing.

I cut my teeth writing slash fanfiction in science fiction fandoms, and that’s naturally evolved into trying original fiction in the genre.

I lives in East London with husband David, and Molly the cockerpoo.

2) Tell us something about you that might come as a surprise!

I’ve ridden in the circus.

No, seriously. I have. Of course, I was only four and the clowns apparently called for a volunteer to join them in the ring to ride on the pony. Mum says I moved so fast I blurred. I may also have elbowed my friend Joy in the face to make sure I got there before her. I have a vague memory of faces and lights, and I know the pony was a bay, but that’s all I remember. Still, it was the circus.

3) What do you like most about the LGBTQ genre?

Writing relationships where the traditional power dynamics and traditional societal pressures don’t get in the way. Writing romantic relationships that I find more emotionally fulfilling, because there’s equality between the lovers. Both give and take in equal measure. And hell yes, because it’s sexy.

4) What are you most looking forward to about UK Meet?

A chance to meet readers and other writers. Some I’m making links with on line, but most will be friends I haven’t met yet. It’ll be a great opportunity to talk and make connexions

5) If you had one wish which would come true at UK Meet, what would that be?

Have a good time, make some new friends and yes, I’ll be honest, hope to have a very fruitful conversation with the publishers attending!
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http://www.annabutlerfiction.com/

Amazon US author page or Amazon UK author page

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All UK Meet 2013 delegates are cordially invited to send in their answers to the above questions, along with links to any social networks/blogs/websites they want to include, and a completely optional mugshot/avatar. If you’d like to take part, send them to josephine_myles@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks!

Meet the delegates: Andrea Bramhall

Today, please give a warm welcome to Andrea Bramhall, an author who’s a UK Meet first-timer. Andrea writes lesbian romance for Bold Strokes Books–it’s great to see so many more writers of f/f romance attending this year!

andreabramhall1) Tell us about yourself in 100 words or fewer.

A Stockport native, Andrea took her life in her hands a few years ago and crossed the great North/South divide and now lives in Norfolk with her partner, their two border collies. Andrea spends her time running their campsite and hostel to pay the bills, and scribbling down stories during the winter months.

Andrea is an avid reader and a keen musician. She is also a recreational diver and takes an opportunity to head to warmer climes and discover the mysteries of life beneath the waves! Her first novel Ladyfish received an Alice B. Lavender certificate.

 2) Tell us something about you that might come as a surprise!

I could…but then I’d have to kill you, and that would be bad for the turn out. Just kidding. A surprise detail about myself…I lived in South Africa as a child during the apartheid era. I was too young at the time to recognise what I was seeing but as I’ve grown up and come to understand what was happening, the oppression that I saw there has been a massive influence on me and my writing. As I look back through my writing this is a theme that comes through time and again, and is explored as the major theme in my new book, Nightingale. I’ve also recently started to work on a new idea for a story set in South Africa exploring this influence. Who said romances couldn’t be gritty?

 3) What do you like most about the LGBTQ genre?

I write the stories that I want to read, but I can’t find. For me those stories are naturally Lesbian in content. I guess you could say it’s my most natural voice.

 4) What are you most looking forward to about UK Meet?

A chance to meet readers and other authors. Some of whom I have spoken to online, and others who I will be meeting for the first time. It is a chance to learn new things and see different points of view. Writing is a rather solitary pursuit, and chances to interact with others who understand and appreciate this, is a chance I can’t pass up.

 5) If you had one wish which would come true at UK Meet, what would that be?

Hmmm, tough question. I just want to reconnect with some friends who will be there, meet some new ones, and have a good time. I’m pretty boring really 🙂

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andreabramhall@rocketmail.com
http://www.andreabramhall.co.uk
http://andreabramhall.wordpress.com/
on twitter @AndreaBramhall
on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Andreabramhall
http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/categories.php?category=Paperback-Books/Lesbian-Fiction/Browse-by-Author/Bramhall%2C-Andrea

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All UK Meet 2013 delegates are cordially invited to send in their answers to the above questions, along with links to any social networks/blogs/websites they want to include, and a completely optional mugshot/avatar. If you’d like to take part, send them to josephine_myles@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks!

Meet the delegates: Lisa Worrall

Today, please give a warm welcome to Lisa Worrall–an author who’s been booked onto the last two UK Meets, but both times was unable to make it. Here’s hoping it’s third time lucky this year!

LisaWorrall1) Tell us about yourself in 100 words or fewer.

I live about forty minutes outside of London on the South coast near Southend-on-Sea, Essex.  I am multi-lingual, speaking English, Essex and Sarcasm fluently. I am the single mother of two children who work together to drive me insane, but I’ve been doing this parenting lark for nearly ten years now and the little suckers haven’t got me yet! I write full time now and love it, shut away in the bat cave with a myriad of voices yammering at once. I love Supernatural, steak and kidney pie, pasta and the dog, but show me a spider and I’m gone!

2) Tell us something about you that might come as a surprise!

I saw Interview with the Vampire seven times! Two of which were on my own. There was only me and one other person in the cinema on one of those occasions and he was wearing a dirty mack and drinking a bottle of ripple out of a brown paper bag—I think he was waiting for someone to turn up and fix the “washing machine” if you know what I mean.

3) What do you like most about the LGBTQ genre?

Apart from the excitement of putting together a story and having it published, then seeing the enjoyment the readers get from something I’ve written—I love the fact that if it were not for this genre I wouldn’t have met so many wonderful people I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with anywhere else. People I couldn’t imagine my life without.

4) What are you most looking forward to about UK Meet?

I’m looking forward to showing my support for our genre, meeting friends in the flesh I’ve  only met online and making lots of new ones. Oh and no one calling me mummy for the whole weekend!

5) If you had one wish which would come true at UK Meet, what would that be?

That there’s black pudding at breakfast 🙂
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Website: http://www.lisaworrall.com
Blog: http://lworrall.blogspot.com
Twitter: @lisa_worrall

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All UK Meet 2013 delegates are cordially invited to send in their answers to the above questions, along with links to any social networks/blogs/websites they want to include, and a completely optional mugshot/avatar. If you’d like to take part, send them to josephine_myles@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks!