Elin Gregory Interview

  • How did you first discover your genre?

Mary Renault. I read The King Must Die when I was about 8 and absolutely couldn’t understand why Theseus was paying attention to Ariadne when brave little Hippias so clearly would die for him. And there were the tragic Scythian girls too. I cried. Thankfully we can avoid that trope these days. Then I cried again when I found gay romances online in the early 2000s. Such a relief. At first it was a lot of erotica – not that there’s anything wrong with it, but it’s just not what I want to read – but now I can find all my favourite types of book with LGBT+ characters AND masses of plot. Sci fi, fantasy, murder mysteries, police procedurals, military, action/adventure, paranormals, historical and steampunk, it’s all there to choose from.

  • What are your favourite tropes and why?

Probably characters thrown together by circumstance who develop mutual respect FIRST and then a romantic relationship. Also, that lovely moment when one betrays their feelings by rushing to assist the other when in danger. And hurt/comfort obvs because one leads from the other. I’ll read all that with enthusiasm and I write it too.

  • UK Meet began in 2010 with a dozen writers in a library in Ely. How do you think the genre’s changed since then?

In 2010 there seemed to be more possibility of actually covering your costs. There were people getting a decent return on the money they invested in editing, covers, promo, swag, attendance at events. There are still people making enough to live on, but I honestly feel that it’s only the real warriors – the ones with their finger on the pulse of the market, who have an astonishing and dedicated regimen of production, who invest oodles of time and effort – who are breaking even or better. I never expected to make any money from my work – though I give thanks that my publishers have made a bit of profit – but I can imagine how horrifying it is for an author who was making a successful living to have seen their income go down the pan as Amazon tightens its stranglehold, publishing houses go bust and readers demand cheaper/free books. I hope the publishing industry has another sea change to make life easier for the creatives because, at the moment, a lot of people are getting discouraged. Discouraging creatives is a bad thing because it leads to homogenisation – only stuff that is BOUND to sell will be published and the only people who will be able to afford to self publish are the ones with the disposable income to invest and wait for the return. That will reduce the number of wildly talented but cash challenged authors who write the quirky ‘out there’ stuff this year that will be what the market is craving next year and the year after. And that would be a really sad thing.

website:   https://elingregory.com

Advertisements

Helen J Perry Interview

Describe the books you write/books you publish/your cover art in three words.

Erotic LGBT romance.
What do you like best about your genre?

As a mature, British, queer woman, I’m writing stories that I can relate to and about people I know.
What are your favourite tropes and why?

As a gay romance author, I like OTT stories. First time in love, coming out, and what is controversially known as Gay For You are among my favourite tropes for light romance.

As a queer woman I’ve been “coming out” to other people for 35 years, it never ends, so I like coming out stories that are positive and uplifting.

In my experience, in the UK, coming out is generally well received and that’s what I write.

I also write layered characters whose thoughts, words and actions are contradictory. Again, drawing from real life in which the most liberal people say quite shocking homophobic things because they are thoughtless and not hateful. When put to the test, they often 100% support LGBT equality.

As for “gay for you”, in real life, I know so many people who’ve changed how they identify themselves over time, often from one of the LGBT letters to another. I think stories about either a “gay awakening” or a fluid and changing sexual identity or having the opportunity for a bisexual character to experience same-sex love are all perfectly valid and reflect the experience of many people.

Regards

HJP x

Susan Mac Nicol Interview

UK Meet began in 2010 with a dozen writers in a library in Ely. How do you think the genre’s changed since then?

It’s grown in leaps and bounds. When I first published my first MM book back in 2013, the market was ‘relatively’ small and enabled me to enter it and at least be noticed. Now, as the genre grows in popularity and more readers are turning to writing, it’s become a giant. I used to be able to look through the new releases on my Kindle and be disappointed because I’d got them all. I’d have to wait for the next release run. Now there is no way I can keep up with them and I must pick and choose what I read. It’s wonderful that so many people are entering the market as authors because it gives the genre a boost to the outside world and grows its visibility and its diversity across the LGBTQI spectrum. It also means that readers have more choices, and competitive pricing (including the KU programme) has more impact than ever before. The downside is that sales get diluted for a lot of us, but in the bigger picture, the genre itself is getting more air time. And that’s a good thing. The only thing a writer can do is keep producing books at the same high quality, (and like every genre this one suffers with those books that are abysmal), keep up their profile by chatting to people and just enjoying the fact that if people are reading your books, and enjoying them, you are a winner which ever way you look at it.


What are you most looking forward to at UK Meet 2018?

I can’t wait to meet old friends I haven’t seen for a while, find out what they are up to. I love the workshops, because no matter how much I think I know, I always come away from them having learnt something new. I enjoy being able to talk books and writing with people who understand what it’s all about and chuckle fondly at the bemusement of the Baffled (who I call non-writers) I think if Harry Potter can have Muggles as non-magic people, we should have the Baffled.

Imagine the conversation…

So, which do you like best? First person POV, second person? Or maybe third person multiple? And Oh. My. Gawd. How about that damned Oxford comma?”

Person at table looking around uncomprehendingly. Authors look at each and smirk ‘Don’t worry about her. She’s a Baffle.”

Knowing grins and eye winks.

Shall we introduce this at UK meet or is that non PC ?!


How did you first discover your genre?

I was writing M/F books (possible unknown fact – Saving Alexander, Love and Punishment, and the Double Alchemy books were all written as M/F and finished before I changed them to M/M) and had a character, a bisexual serial killer who used sex as a weapon to coerce his lovers into unwittingly helping him. I knew nothing about writing gay sex so did a bit of reading to find out how to write it. I started with Brad Boney, Shawn Lane, Sue Brown, Dani Alexander. It’s fair to say I got hooked and decided this was far better than writing M/F) So I wrote Stripped Bare, and that was that. I’ll never change back because the community we have is exceptional.

 

My website link is http://www.authorsusanmacnicol.com

 

Thanks for the opportunity!!!

 

Sue

Information for spotlight delegates

There are  fewer than four months until UK Meet and we start to see our deadlines approaching. We’ll keep reminding you of them as they get imminent.

1. Spotlight fair/author signings

In response to delegate feedback we’ll be having two of these again this year, likely both on the Saturday afternoon, so that spotlight delegates can be buyers/browsers as well as sellers/signers. Not all spotlight delegates want to have space at a table, so please let Charlie know by July 31st  if you want to be included as we need to advise the venue regarding room layouts.

2. USB  stick

You are entitled to space on the USB stick (given  to every delegate) for your promotion and/or free fiction samples. Please note that this year we have increased the allocation of space. Your content needs to be with our stick goddess, Petronella (tuckerpuss@aol.com ) by July 31st.

Sponsors: Please contact Jamie if you’re unsure of your USB entitlement.

Spotlight delegates: see below
Maximum size of content – 20MB
Ideas of things you could include:  Biographies. Bibliographies with cover art and buy links. Flash fiction.
Complete self published short stories, novels, and novellas. Excerpt chapters from published works. Discount vouchers for self published stories
Format – PDF is the most widely accessible and far preferable to a Word doc as it’s easier for readers to view on their ereaders. Last year some authors also included mobi/prc and epub files of their stories.
Free fiction: Please use the following naming convention for any story files: YourAuthorName_YourTitle. Remember to include a copyright notice at the beginning to protect your content.

3. Goodie bags

These are given to all attendees and contain a selection of promotional goods. We’re working on a likely 150 delegates, therefore 150-160 bags.  Bag stuffing usually takes place around 9am on the Saturday morning of UK meet. We’ll confirm details nearer the time. If you need to send material in advance of the event, it will need to go to the hotel. You must check that you have paid the correct import duties if they apply, or else your parcel may not be delivered.

Is it September yet?

RJ Scott Interview

UK Meet began in 2010 with a dozen writers in a library in Ely. How do you think the genre’s changed since then?

Oh wow, was it that long ago. I was supposed to go, but I was ill… still gutted I couldn’t make it then. As to the genre everything has changed. From the amount of authors out there now, to the sales outlets shifting almost daily. We’ve lost, and gained, publishers and authors, and the market has widened but also made it harder to be noticed. 
What are you most looking forward to at UK Meet 2018?
A weekend with friends and colleagues, talking romance, chilling, planning to take over the world – that kind of thing. Maybe there will be wine. LOL. On a serious note, the networking and learning that can happen at UK Meet is phenomenal. The panels are always awesome, and you can learn so much. I love the social side just as much, informal networking is the best kind.
What are your favourite tropes and why?
Someone once said to me that romance itself is a trope – that makes me so confused. LOL. I particularly love enemies to lovers, and ALWAYS with an angry, no holds barred kiss. 

Charlie Cochrane Interview

What did you enjoy most out of UK Meet 2016?

The ukulele band at the Rainbow dinner. Simply the best entertainment we have ever had (and it takes some going to outdo the ever-fabulous Sing Out Bristol choir).
What are you most looking forward to at UK Meet 2018?

Seeing in the flesh all the people I only get to talk to online the rest of the year. You can’t hug a Facebook conversation.
What one thing would you change about your genre?
Being slightly controversial here, but I’d love it to embrace this:

“I want to explain what I mean by reconciliation, because in popular use what it usually means is everyone agrees with everyone, or everyone pretends they agree with everyone. And both of those are rubbish. Reconciliation means finding ways for people to disagree well. It means finding ways for people who disagree well to go forward together without reducing their beliefs to a lowest common denominator or pretending that their difference does not exist. It’s honest, loving, faithful, committed disagreement.”

(Archbishop of Canterbury, from: Valuing all God’s Children, guidance for Church of England schools on challenging homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.)

Charlie Cochrane

Mysteries with a dash of slash, romances with just a pinch of spice

www.charliecochrane.co.uk

Hans M Hirschi Interview

Thank you to the organizing team for allowing us authors to be showcased on their blog. Here are my answers to three of the questions we were asked to choose from:

• What did you enjoy most out of UK Meet 2016?

As with all my conventions, it’s meeting with friends, readers and authors alike. It’s this weird amalgamation of people from all walks of life who meet for a few days and you have this odd sense of familiarity, of a family really.

The UK Meet stands out among other events for a couple of reasons: a) the organizers are so incredibly personable and friendly, and they have created a space that literally feels like a trip to the local pub (a metaphor I know only my English friends may truly be able to understand.) b) the size of the event and the location: smallish, cozy venues and a crowd size which allows you to gauge the entire event within hours. For me, those are the two hallmarks of the UK Meet, and I for one never doubted going back. I can’t wait to see Bristol again.

• What are you most looking forward to at UK Meet 2018?

I think the answer to that lies in the above but also seeing some of the people again that I haven’t seen for a good two years. With the two-year break, and with the economy not allowing everybody to attend all the available events, it’s been a while since I’ve seen some of the amazing people the UK Meet attracts. To see them again is going to be a highlight for me.

But I’d be remiss, as an author if I didn’t mention that I’m also looking forward to meeting new readers and helping them discover some of my works. Come September I’ll have at least four new titles with me that I did not in 2016.

• How did you first discover your genre?

I’m writing gay fiction, and since the code word here is “gay” since pretty much all authors of fiction write “fiction”. Not that is is a good word really, as it’s as broad as calling a stream “water”. While technically not incorrect, so is an ocean, or a lake, even one of Peppa Pig’s muddy puddles (my son loves that sow, sorry for the analogy.)

But yeah, I guess I’m stuck with “gay fiction” because I do write about lakes, and oceans, and puddles, having dipped my toes (nice one, eh?) into both short stories, Sci-Fi and Erotica, but my focus is primarily contemporary fiction. I’d have to say that I discovered the genre pretty much the moment I came out. It’s sorta connected to us gays. Because you grow up reading so much straight fiction, from Winnie the Pooh, Harry Potter to Twilight, Don Quixote, Romeo & Juliet or Catcher in the Rye, that you wonder if there are any books at all, any, that describes you. And the answer when I grew up was pretty much “no”. It took me a very long time to find any books, and when I did find them, they were all doom and gloom and just horrible, as the “gay” always gets to die in the end, a horrible, (deserved?) and painful death.

Therefore, when I began to write, I figured it was a given that I’d write gay fiction because I wanted to provide young LGBT people growing up with stories I didn’t get to read when I was young. I do get that question every now and then: but why gay? It’s pretty simple because no one else will. Case in point: Professor Dumbledore. While I think it’s great that he’s suddenly gay in his grave, and I don’t doubt the author’s good intentions, but it’s also kind of typical, because only if you’ve actually heard about that specific interview with her would you know that she considered him gay. Mind you, 95% of readers most likely haven’t, so to them, Dumbledore is still as straight as a fiddle, and thus no good to any gay (pre-)teen anywhere. Role models must be out and proud if they’re to do any good, whether they’re gay, lesbian, trans or any other color of the rainbow.

So, until the het majority of authors out there decide to include out and proud rainbow characters in their regular work, I’ll keep writing gay fiction.

You can find me at www.hirschi.se and – preferably – buy my work from Amazon et al.