Thursday, 24 May 2012

First review of 'The Walled Garden'

Erastes at Speak Its Name has just posted the first review of F.M. Parkinson's THE WALLED GARDEN, which we're sorry to see is a little less than wildly enthusiastic. However impressing a specialist reader of historical m/m fiction was always going to be a challenge, and we hope that in due course F.M.'s book will find its audience amongst those more general readers who enjoy their fiction with a leisurely pace.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Hop Against Homophobia draw winner

We put all the names in a hat - well, it was actually a box - and we asked Cruncher, our accountant, to close his eyes and pick one out. The winner was Gaycrow, who entered the draw via the Press's LJ; we'll be contacting her immediately to find out which Manifold Press book she'd like to receive. Thank you to everyone who took part, and who helped to make this Hop so successful.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Hop Against Homophobia

Since we're taking part in the 'Hop Against Homophobia', we thought this would be a good moment to say a little about discrimination and prejudice as we've experienced them personally.

As you've probably gathered, most of the people involved in Manifold Press are significantly over the age of 21 and have been reading and writing M/M fiction for a considerable number of years. During that time we've encountered quite a lot of anti-gay sentiment, one way and another, and we've had our literary preferences described as 'dirty', 'perverted' and just about every other epithet you can imagine. Even though most of our output is not especially steamy, we are often shunted into the genres of 'erotica' or 'adult' work simply by virtue of the participants being men and the presumption that sex between men is somehow less acceptable to the general taste than heterosexual sex.

Whilst we're quite prepared to believe that the majority of the world is heterosexual - or at least thinks it is - we don't feel that in any way invalidates the lifestyles of those who are not. We've been told some utter falsehoods about gay people in the past, by people who thought they knew what they were talking about - that gay men don't kiss, for example, or that gay sex is always rough and painful and always involves violence. We hope these ill-informed views are on the decline, and we're trying to do our little bit towards promoting understanding through our books.

To us, gay men are neither disgusting creatures to be reviled nor wondrous beings to be fetishised; they're just men who happen to be gay. They live, love, laugh, work, eat and sleep just like anybody else; they have the same everyday concerns as the rest of the world - money, health, their own safety and that of others, the list is endless. That we choose to read and write about them should be of no greater importance than if we chose to read and write about cooking or art or dogs or railway engines; this is simply what we know about and what we like to do.

The prejudice encountered by M/M authors is a pale shadow of that encountered by people who are gay, although it's part of the same phenomenon. We have never understood why genuine love and affection - or indeed the honest exchange of sexual pleasure without emotional commitment - should be anybody's business but that of the people involved. We do not consider ourselves politically-minded in any way, and we are certainly not a campaigning organisation, but when we're given an opportunity like this to be part of a protest against homophobia we are only too glad to stand up and be counted.

Please comment on this post to enter a draw to receive the free Manifold Press book of your choice, the winner to be announced on 20 May.

ETA: If you have difficulty leaving a comment here, please leave one on the equivalent LJ post and we'll include them all in the same draw!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

New titles go online

We're delighted to report that, as of a few minutes ago, THE WALLED GARDEN by F.M. Parkinson and UNSPOKEN by R.A. Padmos are both available to purchase via our online shop module. We're looking forward eagerly to seeing what readers make of these two novels, which shed light on some of the problems facing gay relationships in times less enlightened than our own.

While we're here, this would also be a good moment to bring you up to date on direct sales statistics for April. We didn't have an overall top seller; Chris Quinton's FOX HUNT and Julie Bozza's THE DEFINITIVE ALBERT J. STERNE (yes, the original 'Albert' book, not the sequel!) tied for the honour, and our average response time for the month was respectable enough at five hours and 34 minutes.

Progress on our two 1 August titles is pretty spectacular; most of the work on them is done already - covers designed, much of the proof-reading dealt with - and we're now turning our attention to November instead. (Indeed, the weather here at Megaheadquarters makes this seem perfectly seasonable!) Naturally we'll keep you up to date with everything new that happens!