Archive | May, 2016

What a Difference a Year Makes by Amy Dunne

28 May

My blog for the Bold Strokes Books UK Book Event 2016. 🙂

Bold Strokes Books, UK

The Renegade Cover

Writing the blog in the lead up to the book event is a task that I do every year. I can remember the first time I was asked to write a blog as an author. I was overly enthusiastic and slightly delusional, as I eagerly embarked on the start of my journey as a soon to be published author. I’ve never written a diary or journal, but reading each blog allows me to glimpse back retrospectively at each year. The mood, emotions, and aspirations are all there in the subtext charting where I was and how I felt during that time.

The first time I attended the BSB UK Book Event I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I was an avid reader and couldn’t believe my luck at being able to meet some of my favourite BSB authors. I dragged my wife along and we didn’t know anyone else…

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Old Friends/New Friends by Cari Hunter

27 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK

Cold to the Touch final 300 DPI

On average it takes me about a year to write a book, squeezing in scribbling time around day shifts, night shifts, and the points between those shifts when my brain feels like it’s leaking out of my ears. If I kept a daily word count, it’d go something along the lines of “20”, “64”, “301”, “I can’t remember where I left my pen…” Add to that a healthy talent for procrastination and a tendency to be led astray by BuzzFeed, and you get a slow, though conscientious, author.

On the bright side, that means I get to spend months with my characters, creating their lives and loves and thinking up new ways to torment them. As the Dark Peak series is now three books long, the central cast feel like old friends. I know that Sanne once had a pair of pyjamas with purple elephants on them and that Meg…

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Painfully Awkward by Brey Willows

27 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK

Fury's Bridge 300 DPI (1)

I wonder…when it happens, is it a conscious thing? A strike of lightning forever imprinted on your memories?

Or, is it a more subtle thing, something that creeps up on you like that ivy that covers the walls of old houses?

I’m not sure. But I know at the moment, I’ve got a wicked case of impostor syndrome. How can I possibly call myself a writer?

I’ve got no problem calling myself an editor. After a decade playing with words that way, I think it’s fair to claim that title. And I suppose it feels more…solid? More logical, perhaps. I’m a ponderer, and when I’m having discussions, I often take a minute to analyse whatever is being said. If, in an attempt to seem less awkward, I don’t take that time, I come off like Sheldon in Bang Bang Theory, trying to fit into a social situation where the cues…

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Publishable, but worth it? by Anna Larner

27 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK

Em Forster

E M Forster

‘Publishable – but worth it?’ are the words of E M Forster, inscribed on the cover of the typescript of his novel, Maurice.

Completed in 1914, Maurice depicts the turmoil of middleclass Englishman, Maurice Hall, who falls in love with another man at a time (1912) when to do so risked everything. “I’m an unspeakable of the Oscar Wilde sort.”2Maurice was one of the first gay books I read. And at seventeen, with no language to express my longing, to find the words that spoke of it meant everything to me. Maurice Hall’s turmoil was my turmoil, his fear of discovery my fear, his internal questioning my questioning, and, above all, his wish for ‘a friend’ my own heartfelt desire:-

“The second dream is more difficult to convey. Nothing happened. He scarcely saw a face, scarcely heard a voice say, ‘That is your friend’…

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Emerging from Solitary by Charlie Cochrane

27 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK


Authors, in their natural environment, are solitary beasts, only emerging from their writing dens for essential activities such as getting a cup of tea. They only usually connect with others of their species on social media such as Facebook. That’s why, when they get the chance meet up with other authors, they hop around, get on their finest display plumage and eagerly make their migration to the conference or similar event where they can flock together and twitter to their hearts’ content.

It’s great meeting other writers in person, not least because you can achieve more face-to-face in thirty minutes than in a whole day bashing emails back and forth, and you avoid the risk of the “I wrote that comment tongue in cheek, so please don’t take it seriously,” fiasco. I can’t think of an occasion when I’ve been with other writers when I haven’t felt I gained from…

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A Little Bit Starstruck by Lesley Davis

27 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK


The idea for “Starstruck” came while I was marathon watching a TV series a few years ago when I was ill and pretty much bedbound. For days I just watched one episode after another, getting drawn into the world the characters inhabited, and being torn between the two actresses in it as to which one I liked the most. And that got me thinking. Would I want to meet them in real life? They do conventions, I could easily go and stand in line, say hi, get an autograph…but would I want to? You see, I fall on the side of the line that loves a character first. As much as I like certain actresses I don’t really need to know all the intimate details about their real lives outside of a show. That’s their business. And the characters aren’t who sign the photographs or turn up for the events…

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Oh, and what kind of books do you write? by Matthew Bright

27 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK


When I was eight years old I wrote poorly-reasoned mystery stories featuring characters named after my friends. This was quite confusing because two of my friends had the same name, which doesn’t really work in fiction, but I’ll let myself off the hook because commercial success wasn’t high on my list. When I was fourteen years old I wrote an enormous chunk of an epic fantasy featuring castles and dragons. I had recently read a lot of Robert Jordan and Raymond E. Feist. At seventeen, I planned and wrote an entire television series, a sort of gay-British-Buffy. It featured a lot of my friends, only this time I changed my name.

Then I went to university and studied literature and creative writing. Here I started my first novel, a literary coming-of-age novel that was referred to (a bit reductively) by myself, my friends and my lecturers as ‘the…

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Thoughts on a Novel Taking Flight by Rebecca Buck

27 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK


I’m excited to be attending this year’s Bold Strokes Books UK festival with a new novel out there in the world. It’s been a while since I wore a tricorn hat to read from the recently released The Locket and the Flintlock in 2012.  I’ve felt a little bit like an impostor the last few years, with no new release. So I’m thrilled to have Fragile Wings out there in the world now: a new book to talk about!

In some ways though, this isn’t a new book at all. I’ve lived with it for a long time, trying to tell the story in its pages. To see it finally polished and published is remarkable. The first draft was written way back in 2004, the year I graduated from university. Back then, I called it Butterfly and spent a long time describing the Devon countryside of the opening of the…

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