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.

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