Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year


We may have mentioned this before, but sometimes reviews are like London buses - you can wait ages for one, and then all of a sudden two arrive together! At any rate it would seem that some reviewers have been using their holiday break to catch up on reading assignments, and as a result we are now able to bring you new reviews of two of our books. In the order we received them, therefore... Over at Reviews and Ramblings, the wonderful Elisa (does she ever take a day off, bless her?) has been reading Jane Elliot's THIS MEANS WAR. Her comments are brief but include this gem ...

They are clever but innocent pranks, and in the middle of them, Jasper and Brian enjoy a lot of sex and good friends. There is a moment of climax, no pun intended, just a touch of drama, but truth be told, I didn't need it much, to me the story as it was had already satisfied my needs

... and that last line is exactly the accolade every author strives for!

Meanwhile, at the Prism Book Alliance, we have reviewer Feliz's take on Chris Quinton's most recent title UNDERCOVER BLUES:

All in all, this was a deliciously intricate caper-mystery-spy novel that I most certainly will read again in order to (re)discover and enjoy all the tiny details that made it such an enjoyable whole. Highly recommended.

Moreover, Chris appears to have 'converted' a reviewer who wasn't previously a fan of historical novels - which strikes us as a very notable achievement indeed.

Congratulations to both authors on impressing these reviewers - although we'll quietly admit that we're not remotely surprised to learn of it! - and thank you to the reviewers for their time and their good opinions; isn't this just a brilliant way to end one year and look forward to another?

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry happy .....

To those of you who celebrate at this time of year - and also to those who don't - our warmest seasonal wishes and thanks for your company and support. Look out for a new giveaway promotion starting on Friday 26 December!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014


We'd like to apologise for dropping the ball a bit on our Author Guest Blogs recently; our author for October had to default due to family circumstances but will hope to have something ready for us early in the New Year, and as if that wasn't bad enough we're now a day late posting Chris Quinton's contribution - which was submitted in plenty of time, and the delay is Totally Our Fault. Sorry, Chris!

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The Garret Syndrome

The image of an artist - painter, poet, writer - shut away in self-imposed isolation to work their creative magic is a rather idealised picture. Yes, it happens to an extent, we all need time and space without distractions. On the other hand, the chance and the need to interact with people who share the same interests can't be overlooked. This probably explains why FaceBook and other social media have risen so quickly. If you're in a home situation where there's no one with whom you can freely discuss plot/character/writing hangups, those wider connections are doubly valuable whether they are online or in the Real World.

Being a writer, having that drive to put down on paper or screen the stories and people populating your head, can result in a logjam of ideas, or that stalling moment when you haven't a clue where you're going next despite having the storyline carefully plotted out. That's when you need the connection with others who understand the writerly mind. Sometimes an email or an online chat will do the trick. Sometimes you need that Real Life meeting with a couple of fellow writers over a drink or two of the beverages of your choice to simply talk writerly things, share ideas and experiences. More often than not you'll come away refreshed and newly inspired, and perhaps with a new slant on the current problem.

The larger get-togethers work as well, whether it's a workshop scenario, a collective book-signing event, or a full-blown conference spread over a weekend. The important thing is that connection, knowing you're among people who have the same interests, shared similar situations, know where you're coming from just as you understand them. And then there's the fact that the people you meet at the various places are welcoming, supportive, always ready to offer a helping hand and a listening ear.

Needless to say, the above remarks refer to *all* genres of writing, but perhaps those of us who write in the GLBTQ spectrum need them more than others.

A few of the publishers run Writers' Workshops, or Authors' Retreats, often over a weekend. In the UK, Manifold Press is having one for its stable of authors next spring, and I'm looking forward for a few days of uninterrupted writing and discussions on plots, characters, and anything else that fires our imaginations at the time.  RJ Scott, of Love Lane Books, is also planning a second Retreat next year.

Larger events happen in the UK, the US and Europe - and probably other countries as well, but below are the ones I know of for certain.

Here in the UK, there's the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet. It's small compared to its American counterparts, with attendance capped at 150 delegates. This means it's possibly more intimate than very large conventions, and, from my experience, it's a great chance to meet and socialise as well as attend panels, invaluable workshops, and have one-to-one chats with your favourite authors and cover artists.

A new venture is the Meet The Authors Booksigning events being organised by Sue Brown. The first one was held this year near Liverpool Street Station in London. It was a runaway success and we all had a blast. That afternoon about twenty authors attended, and many, many readers. There were readings, book-signing and buying, much talking, eating and drinking. The link is to the Facebook page set up by Sue, and next year's event is in the planning stages.

Over the Pond in America, there are two big conferences that I know of; the biggest is the GayRomLit Retreat. It is huge, people, and hosted in a different city each year. Then there's the smaller RainbowCon, now in its second year and planning for 2015

On the other side of the planet is Queermance Australia. Their next extravaganza is 7PM Friday 17th April 2015 – Sunday 19th April 2015. Queermance 2015 is a celebration of GLBT relationships in fiction. It is a chance to catch up with the authors and publishers of GLBT fiction, pick up tips, find opportunities and ask all the questions you always wanted an answer to but didn’t know who can answer them.

Nearer to home in Germany, Marc Fleischauer of the Rainbow Gold Reviews LGBT Blog is busily organising an event in Munich next year - here's what he told me... It will be July 10-12 in Munich. The event hotels will be the Sheraton and Westin Grand Arabellapark. We are very close to signing, but there were some details that we have to figure out. We figured out that the reduced hotel prices for the event are much more expensive than getting them on the website and so we have to figure that out. Everything else is planned. It will be called the Euro Pride Meet and we will include some cultural experiences like going to the Pride Parade in Munich and invite some German publishers interested in acquiring rights of translations to English M/M and LGBT stories. It sounds as if it'll be a wonderful event, so keep your eyes on this link

When it comes down to it, the trick is not to feel obliged to be alone, but to choose to be isolated in your writerly garret, knowing that when you need them there's someone ready to be there for you just as you will be ready to be there in turn.

[Edited to correct the maximum capacity of UK Meet, which is actually 150.]

Monday, 8 December 2014

Rainbow Awards 2014

Hooray! The Rainbow Awards were announced this morning (well, actually in the middle of the night UK time) and once again it's time to congratulate two of our authors:

RANDY by Jane Elliot was placed 2nd in the Best Gay Historical category


DANCE OF STONE by Jay Lewis Taylor was placed 4th in the Best Gay Historical Romance category

... both of which awards we feel are thoroughly deserved and reflect the hard work and dedication of the authors. It seems to have been a particularly tough and competitive field this year, so to have made such a good impression on the judges is no small achievement - well done, Jane and Jay, we're extremely proud of you both!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Changes afoot at Manifold Press!

As those of you who have been with us from the beginning will know, we're dedicated to improving the quality of both our books and our service. As Manifold Press grows and gains in stature, we're finding that some of the systems we needed when we started out are rapidly becoming redundant - we like to think of them as similar to the training wheels on a bike - and that as we mature we can learn to do without them. This is why we'll be closing down our online shop at the end of 2014 and selling in future through our distribution partners Amazon, AllRomance and Smashwords and their affiliates (and also CreateSpace for paperbacks).

We know some people found the online shop cumbersome, but it was important for us in the early days to have the additional revenue obtained by selling directly - i.e. without having to pay commission to anyone. It enabled us to get established, and we can't thank enough those people who understood that and still bought directly from us even after our books became available on Amazon; those sales put us in a strong enough financial position to expand and allowed us to start thinking bigger, although we hope we'll always be small enough to give individual care and consideration to every book we produce.

There are more changes ahead for Manifold Press, so watch this space (or one very much like it) for further announcements. We're off on a fascinating journey of discovery, and we're very much hoping to have your company along the way...