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.
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 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.
"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."
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;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.
Doubt truth to be a liar,
But never doubt I love...
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.