Archive | May, 2018
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Nottingham BSB UK, 2018 by Mardi Alexander and Laurie Eichler

28 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK

 mardi

Another Life bookmark

So here we are, another Bold Strokes Book UK Festival over. I was lucky enough to come over for my first ever UK BSB event back in 2015, but 2018 promised to be bigger and better than ever with a huge international cast coming over to the shores of Blighty. I was excited. I was nervous, and maybe even a tad geeked out to be in the presence of so many amazing, inspirational authors. What a ride!

mardi2

I have so many flash backs – mental screen grabs of my trip across the waters.

So what does someone travelling from Oz regard as highlights?

The camaraderie – being in a room with more LGBTQ people than I can remember– an enormous BIG thing for this country mouse from rural Australia. THE UK hosts and support crew were outstanding – I cannot thank them enough for all their…

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Listening and hearing…

24 May

Robyn Nyx

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week so Brey and I decided to share our story. Not because we’re looking for attention, but because somewhere out there, there could be a person who just might benefit from hearing us be truthful about our experience. To read that they’re not as alone as they might think.

When I met Brey, I thought all my Christmases had come at once. I’d always been a massive Yankophile, and as soon as I heard her voice, I was hooked. Then I saw her and everything else followed suit. How we got together is a long story, and not for this blog, but all you need to know is that it didn’t take me long to fall head over heels, I’d do anything for you, I want to make all your dreams come true, in love.

But there was a problem. Brey had already decided she was…

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Around the circle we go…

24 May

One of my most favourite people on the whole wide world. ♥️

Brey Willows

My wife reminded me that it’s mental health awareness week. We often talk about the stigma of mental health issues, so we’ve both decided to do a blog about it. Because if no one talks about it, there’s no chance in hell we’ll reduce the stigma. And feeling alone really sucks. So…

I have chronic depression and anxiety. I’ve blogged about it before, so I won’t go into how it came about. Suffice to say, the breakdown had been a long time coming, and when it came to a head, I’d written my letters and planned my exit. Life conspired to keep me here, though, and I’m glad it did.

Here’s what it means to me today.

It means I have good days and bad days. It means at least once per day on many, many days, I’ll think about dying. I’ll think I don’t belong here, that the world…

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A fantastic radio interview with Nicole Disney

15 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK

To listen to the interview and to hear Nicole’s lovely voice, as well as to hear about her debut novel, follow this link.

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Post UK Take-Aways by Renee Roman

13 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK

The amount of history I’ve learned about the UK was eye-opening, though it will take me a long scan of the many pictures to remember bits of it. The anecdotal stuff is funny, and while I don’t want to bore you, I’m compelled to share some (in no particular order).

They have way too many coins. What they call roads, we call alleys. It took me three days to stop cringing at oncoming traffic. The top sheet is missing from bedding. (I wonder who stole them?) What’s up with the down comforters? Without the option of a sheet, it’s either freeze or sweat. Wash cloths are hard to come by. Food, even in restaurants, is inexpensive compared to the US. No less than five people told us the last three days of sunshine and warm temps was most likely their entire summer. The country is very green. Daffodils and sheep…

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Safe to Simply Be by Robyn Nyx

13 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK

I love the annual Bold Strokes Books UK festival. I’ve attended for the past five years (four of them as a BSB author) and amazingly, each year it gets better and better. This year was no exception to that rule, and when nigh on thirty Bold Strokes authors converged on Nottingham last weekend, it was a real treat. What I love about this festival is the wonderfully informal atmosphere, the accessibility of the authors, and the enthusiasm of the readers who attend. Last weekend saw a whole host of new readers coming to the festival for the first time, and I hope that now they’ve been and seen what it’s about and how much fun it is, they’ll keep on coming—as if the draw of our books were not enough, then to be in with a chance of winning bizarre toys surely appeals! Next year is the tenth anniversary of…

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New Friends, New Family by Nicole Disney

13 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK

My first Bold Strokes Books UK Festival also happened to be my first trip to the UK. I was blown away by the kindness we encountered as my wife and I bumbled our way through the airports, train stations, and eventually made our way to Nottingham. It was a truly magical trip that no amount of missed trains, jet lag, or fear of public speaking could dampen. Nottingham is so beautiful and interesting. It’s the type of place where a wrong turn simply becomes a charming side adventure.

I was struck and touched by the warmth of the entire weekend. It was a special feeling to combine the excitement of getting readers, authors, and general word lovers together with the safety and comfort I find is unique to LGBTQ gatherings. I can’t recall a time I so instantly felt like family with everyone around me. I made so many memories…

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In Thanks by ‘Nathan Burgoine

13 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK

There’s a running joke among my author friends about how I never have a title. I’ve written novels before coming up with a title (I’ve even written a novel without naming a main character until the end). Titles (and names) are two things that always evade me the longest. My editors often end up titling things I’ve written, especially when they see what I eventually come up with. The gentle “Perhaps this title needs some work…” comments in edits from my first days as an author have given way to me leaving preemptive notes in submitted drafts saying “I’m aware this is a terrible title. Any ideas?”

Even putting a title on a blog post usually leaves me staring at the cursor, watching it blink.

This time? No different.

The ninth annual Bold Strokes Books bookfair in Nottingham was an absolute delight. Being surrounded by queer authors and queer readers…

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Not So Alone After All by Brey Willows

8 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK

Gun Brooke, Amy Dunne, Jeffrey Ricker, Brey Willows

I’m an introvert. A full on, writing in a cave kind of girl. Socialising is a lot like over-cooking eggs in a microwave; not pretty, sometimes explosive, and often messy.

But this weekend reminded me of something important; we’re not alone. Us writers who need space and time to create, who feel like we know our fictional families better than any actual humans, are part of something bigger.

Bold Strokes has worked hard to create a community of authors who support one another, who cheer each other on, and who help each other grow. And when we get together, we have the chance to see that we’re not loners alone in the world; we’re loners that are part of a fantastic group of loners (and the occasional extrovert) and that’s beyond awesome.

Truthfully, I was overwhelmed by people’s absolute kindness. People who…

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From Roaches to Rome by Brey Willows

4 May

Bold Strokes Books, UK

Brey

“Go outside and play.”

When I didn’t, my mum came to see why I didn’t do as I was told. I was a pretty docile child, really.

She found me standing in front of the screen door, looking at the wall outside our apartment door. At head height was the largest cockroach I think either of us had ever seen. I was standing there trying to figure out how to get past it…

“Why don’t you stay inside and play instead?” Mum closed the door on the atrocity of nature.

We ignored the fact that they were everywhere, even if we couldn’t see them.

That’s where I began life. Cockroach infested apartments, a single teenage mother trying to keep us from going under, alcoholic family members…you know the story. It’s an old and, unfortunately, common one.

Let’s jump ahead…

Last year, my wife and I went to Rome for a…

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