Tuesday, 8 July 2014

It's Like This, plus meet Magical Tragical Edward and Arthur Magennis: new releases, apologies, hopeful promises...

This is a quick post to announce our newest releases and give a quick news update.

We're Sorry
First, the mandatory apology - we haven't posted since April 2nd, because we have a huge number of projects on the go, and we're still trying to adjust to the sudden shift in workload. We isn't "the royal we" as such, but blood ties do not equate to salary-secured assistance, if you get my drift. The hopeful promise follows this apology - we really are going to try to post more often from now on.

Without further ado, here's a quick round-up of some of what we've been up to in the last three months:

Larry's Triple Whammy
We're very proud and excited to announce that not only did Larry Benjamin's novel Unbroken make it through as a finalist to the Lambda Literary Awards (Lammys), but it was also awarded the Gold Independent Publishers Award (IPPY). Also awesome is that Larry's hometown of Philly, USA, finally saw the light so that Larry and long-term (long-suffering?) partner Stanley tied the knot on 28th June, 2014. Congratulations, Larry (and Stanley), for snagging the loot.

Knights of the Sun - Author at Work
The amazing JP Walker, author of young adult fantasy novel, Knights of the Sun is on a roll - she was in Ormskirk School last week, pulling a blinder, selling books, inspiring new authors, all as part of the school's literacy day. Up at five to write book two, on top of the day job and the smally, we honestly don't know how she does it, but we're very glad she does.

Rock FM Cash4Kids
Beth has been liaising with RockFM radio - we're doing some stuff (technical term) for their amazing charity Cash4Kids. She'll be posting about that soon (not that she knows it yet).

Author Video Interviews
I spent yesterday evening listening to Nige and Frederick RJ Hartman (author of our very first and most excellent publication - It's a Game of Two Halves) test out the possibility of interviewing our authors over Skype. It was most entertaining, and when Mr. Hartman does his interview for real, you're guaranteed hilarity from start to finish. Plus sarcasm. Lots of sarcasm. But anyway, all of this came about because most of our authors don't live close enough for us to interview them "in the flesh", so to speak. JP Walker (Jem) did an amazing "at home" interview, which you can watch on YouTube - she lives just down the road, which is how we were able to do this.

The Skype research came from trying to get an interview set up with Peckham lad, Eddie Allen (author of the incredible, autobiographical A Cockney's Journey - we're currently working on his first novel - a thriller of the supernatural, murder mystery, gangland variety, entitled Villains and Demons - seriously, you authors have no idea what a trauma it is to assign categories for your novels). And again, with the stories he was telling me, of how he got the Jamaican Patois right in his novel, his interview promises to be utterly brilliant (or cushty, maybe?).


We've had six new publications last three months. Six!

It's Like This
by Anne O'Gleadra
(7th July, 2014)

A brave and funny love story about the anxieties, insecurities, and heartaches that drive people apart and bring them back together, It's Like This is the journey of Niles and Rylan, as they learn to communicate in the shadow of a life-changing illness.

Niles and Rylan have been together a long time. They have great sex, they are deeply intimate, and Rylan never holds back on displaying his affection. As far as their family and friends are concerned, they're an established couple, and yet, after three years of being "together", Niles is still unsure if they're actually in a relationship.

As their sexual intensity reaches a dangerous tipping point, Niles must find the courage to articulate how he feels in order to try and keep the only thing he has ever wanted. Emotional and compelling, It's Like This is a must-read for true romantics.

NOTE: this is an 18+ publication, focusing on a BDSM relationship.

The Magical Tragical Life of Edward Jarvis Huggins
by Stuart Ayris
(5th June, 2014

Hello, the moon and the stars...

Edward Jarvis Huggins is a ten year old boy brought up in a shack in eighteenth century England, his father an alcoholic, his mother dead.

Fleeing their father, Edward and his sister find themselves in Kent, on a farm peopled by other restless souls who have arrived at that same place over the previous ten years for reasons unknown to them.

Edward is convinced that he is the re-incarnation of Jesus, the returning Messiah, the son of God. Could it be that he really has been sent to earth to save mankind or is he just a troubled little boy who talks to the moon and the stars?

The Magical Tragical Life of Edward Jarvis Huggins is a novel of courage, humour, cricket and destiny.

Living in the Past: A Northern Irish Memoir
by Arthur Magennis
(4th April, 2014)

When Arthur Magennis was put on chemotherapy in 2012 he found that he had two sleepless nights each week. To fill the dark hours he began to write the story of his childhood in Northern Ireland in the 1920s and 30s, through the second world war and up to leaving his home to work in England as a pharmacist in the early 1950s. His wife and daughters had asked him to do this many times before, having heard the stories often over the years.

His book is a fascinating and amusing insight into a lost way of life in a poor farming community where the main mode of transport was the bicycle and, as such, when a weekly bus was introduced to the area the excitement was immense. It features an interesting cast of neighbours and local characters each with their own individual views on life.

I'll pause here to say I do write a lot, and quickly, so the next three publications are all mine. Breaking Waves and In the Stars were written in 2013, when I got the crazy idea that my next Hiding Behind The Couch endeavour should be "A Year in the Life of..." and discovered that a lot can happen to nine characters over the course of twelve months. Champagne, on the other hand, was written long ago (1996-2003), and in need of an overhaul, as it was my first novel and the original publisher is no more.

Breaking Waves
by Debbie McGowan
(1st June, 2014)

Breaking Waves is a short interlude between In The Stars Parts I and II.
"So, was it any good?"

"You know, it was the usual sort of thing. Basically, there's this guy, a farmer, handsome, rugged, acts all tough."

"Typical romance novel character."

"And he meets the most unlikely person to have a relationship with - this bookish academic, a psychologist, I believe."

"Really? Sounds improbable."

"Yes. That's what I thought."
You are invited to join Josh and George on their Cornish honeymoon - a sweet, summertime romance, in which they discover the beauty of their love against an awe-inspiring backdrop of breaking waves.

In The Stars Part II: Cancer-Sagittarius
by Debbie McGowan
(1st June, 2014)

 In The Stars Part II: Cancer-Sagittarius is Book Five of Hiding Behind The Couch.

"You must learn to look beyond the evidence. It shows only what you wish to believe is real, not what you really wish to believe."
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar,
But never doubt I love...
(Hamlet, Shakespeare)
The Circle is in flux. It's been a hectic six months, and as the friends head into the heat of summer, more trials await that will truly test the bonds of friendship.

For whilst a circle may contract and may even at times constrict, it can also expand, accommodate, embrace.
And it is always whole.

Champagne (second edition)
by Debbie McGowan
(9th April, 2014)

Haunted by the abuse of his now missing father, seventeen year old Sammy stumbles upon the seedy world of drug addiction and prostitution of London's West End in the 1980s. Cold, desperate and exhausted, he takes shelter in a trash-filled alley behind a strip club, unaware that what is about to unfold will change the course of his life.

Set during a period of significant social and cultural change in the early 1980s, Champagne opens up a world of seedy revue bars, prostitution, abuse, drug addiction and the devastating effect of AIDS. Centred around the events of a declining revue bar and its regeneration, a young man comes of age and finds his first love whilst looking for his estranged, abusive father. Through dark humour and strong characterisation the book is not only eye opening but also manages to capture a truly unique time in popular culture.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Let's Talk About Sex - A Roundtable

There's been a bit of a discussion going on down at Larry Benjamin's place. I got to call the shots (a little).

What were we discussing? Sex in gay fiction. AND there's a giveaway too.

Who are we? 
Authors  Larry Benjamin, WS Long, Andrew Q. Gordon and Hans Hirschi, all of whom write gay fiction, and me, Debbie McGowan, acting as moderator.

To find out more, go have a read. You will find the first part of our discussion here:

And you can also comment / join in. The link to the giveaway is also there.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Lambda Literary Award Finalist - Unbroken by Larry Benjamin

Unbroken, by Larry Benjamin
We received the very exciting news today that Unbroken, Larry Benjamin's 2013 novel, has been selected as a finalist in the 26th Lambda Literary Award.

This is a BIG deal, and it's awesome (for us, as well as Larry)!

"Now in their twenty-sixth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2013."

For more information, and to see the full list of finalists, visit:
Now in their twenty-sixth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2013. - See more at: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/news/03/06/26th-annual-lambda-literary-award-finalists-announced/#sthash.runtVL3W.dpuf
Now in their twenty-sixth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2013. - See more at: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/news/03/06/26th-annual-lambda-literary-award-finalists-announced/#sthash.runtVL3W.dpuf
Now in their twenty-sixth year, the Lambda Literary Awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2013. - See more at: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/news/03/06/26th-annual-lambda-literary-award-finalists-announced/#sthash.runtVL3W.dpuf


My parents, unable to change me, had instead, silenced me. When they'd stilled my hands, they'd taken my words, made me lower my voice to a whisper. Later, I remained silent in defense, refusing to acknowledge the hateful words: Brainiac. Sissy. Antiman. Faggot.

Lincoln de Chabert's life is pretty unremarkable until he comes home from kindergarten and announces he will marry his best friend, Orlando, when he grows up.

His parents spring into immediate action, determined to fix him, igniting an epic battle of wills as Lincoln is determined to remain himself, and marry whom he chooses, at all costs.

Unbroken is a MM romance, available as a paperback and ebook from all major online retailers. For purchase links, visit: beatentrackpublishing.com/unbroken


Find out more about Larry Benjamin:
Website: www.larrybenjamin.com
Blog: authorlarrybenjamin.blogspot.com
Twitter: @WriterLarry
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorLarryBenjamin


Beaten Track Publishing
beatentrackpublishing.com · @b10track · facebook.com/beatentrackpublishing

Friday, 20 September 2013

Unbroken - a novel from Larry Benjamin

Officially launched today is Unbroken, the second novel (and third book in 18 months) from Philadelphia based author Larry Benjamin, and it's quite a story, already receiving rave reviews.

In short, with as few spoilers as possible, the novel is the pseudo autobiography of Lincoln de Chabert, whose story begins when he falls in love with Orlando at kindergarten:

"You can't marry another boy," they told me.
"Why not?" I asked, confused. "You said I could do anything. You said I could grow up to be President."
"You can't marry another boy!"
"But you said I'd grow up, and fall in love, and get married."
"You can't fall in love with another boy!"
They began to watch me closely.

And so Lincoln's fight begins, and, like the author, he takes no prisoners. Lincoln lives, fights and loves with a fury, a fierce passion fuelled by the hatefulness of others in the face of his refusal to deny who he is. It is a journey of courage and pride, of growing up and falling in love, of trying to survive in a world of bullying and hostility:

I let myself go silent in defense, refusing to acknowledge the hateful words: Brainiac. Sissy. Faggot. I refused to acknowledge their hostility, this hostility, this constant hostility, which seemed to be driven less by the fact that I was almost certainly gay, than by the fact I had never denied their accusations. I knew instinctively that to deny, to lie, was to agree they were right, I was wrong, I was broken. That I would not, could not, do.

And it is a story told with that same courage and pride.

Unbroken is available in paperback and ebook editions, from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kindle and all good book retailers. For more information and purchase links, visit www.beatentrackpublishing.com/unbroken.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Damaged Angels paperback? Don't mind if we do!

This is the official announcement!

Beaten Track is proud to present the paperback edition of Damaged Angels, a truly extraordinary collection of short stories from Larry Benjamin.

First published in October last year by Bold Strokes Books as an ebook, I was privileged with the inaugural read. I'm still not quite sure what I did to deserve this, for it is truly an honour. I won't repeat myself here, but I gave it a five star review, which you can read on Amazon or Goodreads.

Now, in my review, I made a comment, indeed a compliment to the author about the thoroughness of his research. His response? Well, knowing what I know now, I can imagine it went 'Hah hah!' and sounded a bit like Pitch - the narrator and star of 'A Working Boy'—one of the stories you'll find within Damaged Angels. "How ungracious!" you might think, but, well...let's just say that Mr. Benjamin's research might have been a little more thorough than even I gave him credit for! Indeed, you can read more about the real life inspiration for these stories in the article 'You Deserve Better', which Larry wrote for Ellis Carrington's blog back in November. Despite my flippancy here, the article carries a very important message that needs to be read / heard.

This is also true of the stories you will read in Damaged Angels. So go buy it. Enjoy it. Review it.

And now that's the professional, aloof publisher bit done with...

Oh, oh, oh, oh...we got to publish a book by Larry Benjamin!

Better still, we're working with Larry on his next book, Unbroken, due for publication in early summer. I'll say more about that nearer the time.

But, to quote Andrea (who does some rather splendid editing and proof-reading for me on a freelance basis - yes, that was a bit of a plug for Express Editing Solutions):

Squeeeeee! We get to publish more Larry Benjamin!

I have to add to this our gratitude to Matthew and Graham from Hungry Bitches Productions for permitting us to use their photo for the cover of Damaged Angels. It really captures the feel of the book, in particular, that which is portrayed in 'The Hunger', the story that has become my absolute favourite in this collection.

What makes this really special for us is that we've known Matthew, Graham and Megan (the other Hungry Bitch) for many years and watched them nurture their incredible gift, putting everything they've got (energy, talent, drive, charisma, sexiness) into their award-winning theatrical production company. How proud? I could (and may very well at some point) cry, that's how proud.

Guys, you are just awesome (and fabulous and amazing, but they're not my words, if you see what I mean).

Finally, to round off this ridiculously exuberant and terribly unprofessional expression of joy (make the most of this gush, because it's really not my usual M.O.*), since I read Larry's first novel, What Binds Us, last summer, we have developed something of a connection. It's a bit—weird. Want to know more? Read our novels and you'll see for yourself!

And finally finally, as I've done a bit of a Oscar speech post here, I have to thank my incredible proof-reading sister, Tracy. She has checked every book we've published, for free, and is the one I have thank for picking up the missing and extra the words. (ho-de-hum).

On that note, this is your Editor in Chief duly heading off to guzzle more lager, belch a little and generally man up.

* Larry is also responsible for getting me hooked on Glee, and pointed out recently that I am, in fact, "passionate about...well ...most things". Yes, it's true.

Over, and out!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Matt on a Bike, plus website update - a bit of spit and polish

This is just a quick post to say I've given the Beaten Track website a bit of a makeover, and also to mention Matthew Blake's recent publication "I'll Be Home Just After Christmas: Stories from four years around the world on a bicycle".

The title pretty much says it all. Matt's in his mid-twenties and returned last year from cycling solo around the world - an even more incredible feat considering that when he left he just about knew how to fix a puncture!

Matt's book's available in both paperback and ebook editions (currently on Kindle only, but elsewhere soon) and it's already receiving lots of press and some great five star reviews.

Matthew Blake's author page: beatentrackpublishing.com/matthewblake
Matthew Blake's website:worldwidebikeride.com

As for the website...

You'll still find pretty much all of the same stuff on there, other than the samples and free reads, which I will sort out in due course.

Please have a look around - if you find that something isn't working as it should, please do let me know!

We've got a few books coming out soon, so please call again soon.

Website: beatentrackpublishing.com