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The History of a Novel

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My recent novel-in-stories, The Ada Decades, got a boost recently when PRX released an interview I did back in April with host Guy Rathbun. The interview was a great experience for me, because the radio host was so engaged with the book and with LGBT history in general. We talked about everything from Stonewall to the National Park Service theme study of LGBTQ historic sites.

You can check out the interview here!

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All you book lovers out there … My publisher, Bywater Books, is having a super sale this weekend on every one of their titles, including two of my historical, LGBT-themed novels: Out of Time (Lambda Award winner) and the recently published The Ada Decades. You can pick up copies for 25% off the list price, including print and ebooks.

Check it out and take advantage to stock up on some terrific writers like (ahem) myself, Fay Jacobs, Ann McMan, Rachel Spangler, Bonnie Morris, Cheryl Head, Ellen Hart, Marianne K. Martin, Judith Katz, Elana Dykewomon, Georgia Beers, and many, many more.

Just visit the website and use the coupon code BANGBANG when checking out.

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I just got back from a five-day residential workshop* at Hollins University, called Tinker Mountain Writers Workshop. Although I didn’t realize until I got there, Annie Dillard attended Hollins and wrote her iconic Pilgrim at Tinker Creek when she lived in the area.

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Tinker Mountain

It’s a beautiful place that I didn’t get to explore because I was inside most of the day talking fiction and craft! But the landscape of the area (the Blue Ridge Mountains) and of the school itself were both inspiring.

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View from the porch of the main administration building, Hollins University

I was in a workshop of eight writers called “Advanced Novel” with author/professor Fred Leebron, and got excellent feedback on the first chapters of my historical novel-in-progress, Clio Rising. We did various exercises related to the future marketing of our novels, like writing the log line and back cover copy. To whet your reading appetite, here’s the log line I came up with for Clio:

In 1980s New York, a newly out gay woman embarks on a job as companion to a literary giant of the “Lost Generation,” a closeted lesbian who accomplished just one great book.

Now it’s on to revision!

 

*My attendance at TMWW was made possible by a Regional Artist Project Grant from the Arts and Science Council – Charlotte/Mecklenburg and the North Carolina Arts Council.

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Independent bookstores need LGBT support! They don’t just sell books, but often act as local community centers as well. I had the pleasure of reading at two recently – Malaprop’s in Asheville, NC, and Bluestockings in New York City. Remember, these stores often carry titles by small presses (like LGBT and feminist publishers) that the big box stores don’t stock. You can find an indie near you by checking IndieBound. Even if you aren’t located near an indie store, you can order books through their websites and support their important work. Happy shopping!

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Reading at Bluestockings Bookstore on June 4, 2017

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What’s that in the front window at Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, N.C. – one of the greatest indie bookstores in the country? Could it be the cover of The Ada Decades, my new historical LGBT-themed novel? I’m reading there tomorrow evening at 7pm, if you’re in the area … or are in the mood for a trip to Asheville. (And really, who isn’t?)

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LGBT Readings

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LGBT Pride in Asheville, October 2014.

Asheville is a beautiful LGBT-friendly city in western North Carolina, and I’ll be reading there on May 19 at 7pm from my historical novel, The Ada Decades, at one of the truly great independent bookstores, Malaprop’s. Joining me will be three other well-known lesbian writers: fellow Bywater authors Fay Jacobs and Ann McMan, plus Lynn Ames. Should be a gay old time!

I’ll also be reading at the LGBT Center in Raleigh, NC, on May 21 at 1pm. Drop in, y’all!

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Read this smart, thoughtful review of my historical novel, The Ada Decades, in North Carolina’s LGBT newspaper, Q Notes! Torie Dominguez calls it “a work of quiet wisdom.”