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


“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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All the Feelings by Amy Dunne

4 May

via All the Feelings by Amy Dunne

Punch in the nose and chocolate cake by Sandy Lowe

4 May

Great blog.

Bold Strokes Books, UK


I have a confession to make. I don’t like to travel. There, I said it. Arrest me and throw away the key.

My family loves traveling, in fact my parents are living their retirement dream touring Australia in their RV (aka the tin can). My older brother jets off around the world every chance he gets. The guy has been to Samoa, like, five times. I don’t have a clue where that is, but apparently it’s awesome. My dream vacation is a cruise; once you’re there, you’re done. Cruises are not for getting off the ship at ports. They’re for couch potatoes who like sunshine and cocktails. Snagging the best deck chair, cracking open a good book, and not moving for five days? Now that is a vacation.

When friends and neighbors ask me about my job, and I mention that I travel frequently, they get the look. You…

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