Posts Tagged ‘uk meet’

Back to Business

So now it’s all over, most of us are home and back at work and we’re feeling that horrible post-Meet tristesse that follows the best weekend of the year. I’ve been at home for the week catching up on housework, being a taxi, getting rid of books!!, ditto old paperwork and trying to recover from a whole weekend of unaccustomed company.

I’ll write up a few thoughts about it in a bit but first I have a book to give away!

Every few days throughout May and the beginning of June I featured interviews and excerpts with authors who had contributed stories to the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology from Dreamspinner Press. I also invited comments, promising to enter all commenters names into a draw to win a copy of the anthology.

And the winner is …. Petronella Ford, who I will be emailing forthwith.

So the Meet. *sigh* I always love the Meet. Friday to Sunday I can find people who want to talk about LGBT fiction. Sometimes I even find people who want to talk about LGBT history! I get more hugs on that one weekend that I do the rest of the weekends of the year put together. It’s a really happy place for me and I look forward so much to seeing friends from all around the world. I know Meet time has arrived when I get my first hug from Charlie Cochrane, followed, if I’m lucky, by one from Blaine Darden! Both ladies are superb huggers as well as all their other accomplishments.

This year we were graced by some wonderful overseas visitors. Belinda MacBride made a delightful keynote speaker for Saturday, telling a tale of triumph over adversity and offering good advice about how sometimes it’s okay to give yourself permission NOT to write but to do those things that recharge creative batteries instead. Jordan Castillo Price led some informative panels on demystifying publishing and how to avoid a mid-novel crisis. Susan Lee shared her marketing expertise. We had bloggers, publishers, reviewers, readers and authors from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, the USA, Belgium and a few places whose flags I don’t recognise. We had Brits returning from homes abroad. We had the usual suspects coming in by road, rail, air, bus and, for all I know, llama cart from every part of our fair land.

High points? In no particular order, ‘kay?

I was so excited to meet K J Charles that I couldn’t think of much to say other than ‘hi’.
I was a little more coherent by Sunday when I saw Harper Fox and tried not to gush at her too embarrassingly.
I was able to hug Aleks Voinov – a much looked forward to once a year event – and was blown away with everyone else by his Sunday keynote speech – NEVER be ashamed of what you read or write struck a particular chord for me, as did his comments about writing what YOU want to write and ignoring what the market seems to be demanding.
I was delighted to spend some time with Elisa Rolle and am excited to hear that she has written a non-fiction book due to be released in December!
I hugged Marc Fleishauer, who is doing so much to promote gay literature on his review blog.
I met Hendrick DeJong, writer of stupendous sci fi, and bought his book.
I met Julie Bozza! Author of The Definitive Albert G Sterne and The Apothecary’s Garden, which actually made me cry dammit! Way to go, Julie, and I can’t wait to see you again.
Monique Lehane, wicked lady, discovered she could make me blush to order!
Mark Wills – thank you sweetheart.
I kept missing Susan Lee! I saw her on panels and across the room but we never coincided. Hugs next year then, sweetie.
I was kissed on the cheek by a handsome young man with a bare bottom, which startled me so much that I bit my cheek and it bled for an hour. But I think I can say it was worth it. 🙂
The Aleks Voinov/Lori Witt double act was as good as ever.
I loved getting to know luminaries like Sarah Granger, Sam Evans, Jay Northcote, Annabelle Jacobs, and finally getting to meet Rebecca Cohen.

Oh this list is so long and I know I’ve left people out. It’s really not intentional – my memories of the weekend are just a whirl of colour and kindness and happiness.

Thank you all so much and millions of thanks and hugs to the organisers. Charlie, Clare, Jamie, Jo and Liam, ably assisted by Cathy – you made the event supreme. 2015 can’t come soon enough.

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Here we go with the first author interview of the roster from the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology of British themed stories from Dreamspinner [cover and buy links to follow when available!] And our first brave interogatee iiiiis Becky Black.

Hi Becky.

Have you always lived in the UK? If not what drew you back?

I’ve always lived here, and in fact I’ve never travelled far away from the place. I live in the north east now, which is where I was brought up. I did live in London for a few years as a student. But the north is much nicer!

Is there any place that is a must-see for any visitor to the uk? In how many counties have you lived? Cosmopolitan or rural?

London is the most obvious must see of course. But I think the best part of the UK is our amazing coastline. And it’s especially beautiful up here on the north east coast, with our golden sands and sights like Bamburgh Castle.

I think I’ve lived in six counties over my lifetime, all of them urban. I am a city girl at heart.

What inspired you to write your story for the anthology?

I’ve always wanted to write a story about rival ice cream sellers – right back to the days when I wrote fan fiction. When this anthology came along, called “Not Quite Shakespeare” then it seemed to fit perfectly to do a story about star crossed lovers of rival Italian families – who happen to sell ice cream. The fact there are a couple of famous Italian family owned ice cream firms in the seaside towns near to where I grew up and where my mother was from was in influence too, I must admit.

Could you tell me a little about it?

It’s called 99 Problems and is about two young men who have taken over the running of their family ice cream businesses, one of them very reluctantly. With their families having been rivals for years them having a romance would be a really tricky situation for them – so of course they fancy each other at once… It’s a story of forbidden romance and family rivalry, but nobody is going to stab or poison themselves at the end – because hey, it’s only ice cream!

Could you please tell me about your other work?

Mostly I write science fiction m/m erotic romance novels. I currently have eight published with Loose Id. I’ve also got another short contemporary published with JMS books. I’ve also self published a couple of non-romance science fiction stories, which are available free.

What are you working on at the moment?

Right now I’m drafting the third in my Red Dragon space-opera series. It’s planned to be the final book, but I do have a possible spin off in mind. And I can never leave characters alone, so who knows if more ideas for those guys might come up? But I’ve got lots of other plans on the go – including possibly a f/f story, which would be a departure for me.

Please could we have an excerpt?

Here’s a snippet from the first scene of my anthology story 99 Problems.

“Chez?” he said, approaching them, holding out his hand. “Is that you?”

“Rob?” Chez said.

A briefly startled expression crossed his face. His frankly gorgeous face. He had not been this pretty when Rob saw him last, almost a decade ago when they were both sixteen, and Chez had gone off to one sixth-form college and Rob to another. His skin had cleared up, for one thing.

“Mrs Bianchi,” Rob said to Liliana. “We have met before. Rob Catteneo.”

“Oh,” she said, eyebrows raised. “From the new firm.”

The new firm, yes, since the Catteneo family had only been selling ice creams in this town since 1973, a mere forty years. Unlike the old firm, the Bianchi family, who’d come over from Italy in the early 1950s.

“I was at school with Chez,” Rob reminded her.

“Chez?” She looked up at her great-grandson. “What is this ‘Chez’ he calls you, Cesare?”

“It’s what my friends call me, Nana.” Chez swept wavy black hair out of his eyes as the strong wind off the sea blew it across his face. “They called me that at school.”

“School? This is not school. This is church.” She looked at Rob again with recognition in her dark eyes. “Ah yes. Roberto. The cheeky one.”


Rob grinned. “You do remember me.”

“It’s Robert, Nana,” Chez said. “Not Roberto.”

Her snort told Rob what she thought of that. The Bianchis hung onto the old ways, the old names, and, whenever they could, the old genetics. His last name might give him away, but since his dad had married a local girl, Rob looked as Anglo-Saxon as most other men in this town. Chez looked like he’d just stepped off his Vespa in Milan to go buy a cappuccino.


Many thanks, Becky for answering my questions.

Readers – don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a copy of Not Quite Shakespeare.

You can follow Becky at the links below:

email: beckyblackbooks@gmail.com
website: http://beckyblack.wordpress.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/beckyblackbooks
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BeckyBlackBooks
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4557505.Becky_Black
Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/tumblelog/beckyblackbooks
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/beckyblackbooks/

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So Excited!

UK Meet Registration for this years UK Meet is open. Just click on the image to get to the website.

This year the UK’s foremost conventiion for readers/writers/lovers of LGBT fiction will be held in Manchester from July 12th to 14th, with a full weekend’s worth of activities! Last years Meet in Brighton was a blast. I’m sure that this years will be even better!

Hope to see you there.

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