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

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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.

David C Dawson Interview

What did you enjoy most out of UK Meet 2016?
Meeting readers! Definitely. What a lovely group of people! And the ones who express strong opinions are fascinating. I love the passion of readers, and I learned an awful lot from them as a result. That’s what I’m looking forward to most this year. As a writer you’re in danger of being in a vacuum. The readers at UK Meet breathe fresh air into that vacuum.

Describe the books you write/books you publish/your cover art in three words.
Men in love, men in danger (can I get away with six?!)

How did you first discover your genre?

(Romantic suspense) When I came out somewhat late in life, I wrote about the experience in a series of short stories. Then, when I wanted to write a novel, I wrote a mystery. That’s when I discovered there were some amazing writers out there, doing the same as  I do!

T A Moore Interview

What are you most looking forward to about UK Meet?
Meeting everyone! I live in a small town and it can feel pretty isolated creatively sometimes. It’s such a joy to be able to meet other writers and readers in person, to talk about favourite books and favourite authors and plot a quick run to Nandos in the evening. It really recharges the creative batteries somehow, you make plans and come up new ideas. OK, the amount of coffee we drink might have something to do with that!
Also, I love Bristol! It’s a great city! I will drag people off to The Covered Market with me at the least excuse!
Describe the books you write in three words.
Jerks need love!
What do you like best about your genre?
How welcoming it is. I’ve only been a writer in the genre for a few years, but every event I’ve been it has been like going home. People are happy to see you, talk to you, and make sure you’re having a good time. There’s no back-biting or politics, no attempts to keep newcomers on the sidelines, or jockeying for position. You just write or read, and talk about it with other people who enjoy it. 
 

Stevie Carroll Interview

1) How did you first discover your genre?
— Back in 1990, I went up to Edinburgh to start my degree and came across an ad for West and Wilde (formerly Lavender Menace: http://www.gayinthe80s.com/2013/09/1982-bookshop-lavender-menace/): a whole shop dedicated to LGBT (though with less emphasis back then on the T) books. It was on the opposite side of the city centre from where I was living and studying, but there was always the option of stopping off at the Blue Moon Cafe in the LGBT Centre on the way there or back. Of course, the return journey was uphill: just what you don’t want when loaded down with exciting new purchases, free newspapers, and fliers for upcoming events. One author from then that I’m still reading now is the lovely Lee Lynch, who blogs on Women and Words (https://womenwords.org/) with me and the rest of the gang.

2) 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 some respects, the genre’s gone more mainstream: some of the big romance publishers are publishing LGBT stories — sometimes as part of series that have started, or include, het romances — and some of the smaller publishers that have always published lesbian and/or gay romances are branching out into wider areas of the whole QUILTBAG spectrum. I think we’re seeing more diversity across the board to be honest: race, (dis)ability, class, and so on. There’s still a lot of room for improvement, and I try to do my part by reviewing as widely as I can on a blog (http://goodbadandunread.com/) that mostly reviewed het romances before I was invited to join.

3) What one thing would you change about your genre?
— I still want to see books that show polyamoury in all its complexities: characters juggling multiple relationships on different levels and with varying degrees of interaction between the different partners. Too many authors assume that threesomes and moresomes are the standard, rather than only one possible way to connect — and not the commonest one in my experience.

Stevie

Anna Butler Interview

How did you first discover your genre?

I always say that I don’t write m/m romance per se, but sci-fi and steampunk with LGBT protagonists. I’ve always loved sci-fi. My dad’s influence, since he was a devotee all his life—finding birthday and Christmas presents for him always involved delightful hours spent in bookshops trying to decide which sci-fi novel he’d like best, and buying him several instead of being forced to choose. That wasn’t generosity, by the way, because guess who also got to read them?

I discovered the m/m aspect through slash fanfic. There is some marvellous fanfic out there that’s often way better than the source material. It’s often less constrained, more creative, transformative. I still read it for the sheer enjoyment of something written not for any commercial reason, but for pure love of the source.

What do you like best about your genre?

I write science fiction. Space opera, really, and I love the potential for not only writing action and adventure with spaceships and laser pistols and humanity fighting for its survival against unknowable, unfathomable aliens but also exploring how much humanity’s own worst traits creates half of the problems it faces. Great fun!

I also adore history, Egyptology in particular. I’ve managed to mix that into both my Taking Shield series and into the steampunk Lancaster’s Luck series.

Seriously, there is nothing better than being an author. Not when I can get to play in both my sandboxes at once.

What one thing would you change about your genre?

I do find some of the ‘romance’ expectations to be constricting. Writing about LGBT characters is a broad church open to every kind of story and genre, but because of the prominence of m/m romance, books tend to be viewed through that romance lens. I’ll admit to being rather irritated when reviewers complain about the lack of romance in my Shield books, for example, when it’s not a romance to start with! I think it does colour reader expectations and makes it harder to get out of narrow niches.

www.annabutlerfiction.com

L M Somerton Interview

This is the first of a series of interviews with UK Meet’s delegates asking them questions about the event. We hope this helps you get to know delegates before meeting them in person.

Love and light, Liam xx

LM Somerton Interview

What are you most looking forward to at UK Meet 2018? Meeting up with old friends and making some new ones.

Describe the books you write in three words. Contemporary BDSM light. (I know I’m cheating with the abbreviation!)

How did you first discover your genre? Through friends in the lifestyle lamenting the lack of good fiction featuring their world positively.