Today we bring you Matthew’s interview with Author and Illustrator Ana Bosch, who considers herself a writer of more than just romance, and currently working on a trilogy about, well, why don’t you just wait and find out? Matthew began by asking her why she wrote:
Ana: There are so many reasons! Primarily, I write because I love crafting stories. I love exploring the ways characters interact with each other, and I love being able to step outside myself and into another world. I also find it cathartic. While none of my writing can be considered anywhere near autobiographical, I often find ways to make sense of the struggles of my daily life by twisting and translating them into fiction—often in surprising and unpredictable ways. Also, as someone with tastes that usually don’t fall within the realm of mainstream American entertainment, it’s really important to me to be able to share stories that are a little outside the norm and serve an audience that is often neglected by the mainstream.
Matthew: You’re also an illustrator, correct? Do you find your writing informs your illustration or vice versa?
Ana: It really does go both ways. My artistic background was a source of inspiration for Art of Death, Bonds of Death, Lifelines (the upcoming third book in my undead series), and even my Christmas story, Lucky. Art is a big part of my life, so many of my stories involve art or artistic characters. Riley, the main character from the undead series, shares my profession. But ironically, he had the job before I did. I didn’t become a freelance illustrator until after I wrote the draft of Art of Death, and I’ve had a lot more luck in the field than poor Riley. I also think my artistic background has helped my writing itself. It’s much easier for me to visualize and describe characters and settings now than it was when I had less artistic experience. On the flipside, my desire to be a storyteller definitely influences the way I create my illustrations as well. While every job is different, I prefer to create conceptual illustrations that suggest a story and raise questions in the viewer, rather than just displaying something pretty. It’s easier to do this when I’m working with my own stories, but when I’m given enough information and freedom, I try to do it with all my work.
Matthew: What makes a story worth reading for you? Worth writing?
Ana: I don’t have as much reading time as I would like, so I have to be selective. For a story to be worth reading, it has to be fresh, new, and different. It has to be either wildly creative or from a different perspective, and it has to challenge me to think. I don’t read a whole lot of fluff . . . → Read More: More than Romance: Ana Bosch
Well, I’m back after a week and a half away and I’m already behind on everything. On the bright side, I’ve managed to get quite a bit done, not the least of which done with my input and someone else’s effort: the new cover art that will soon grace the stand-alone ebook of my short story, Screens.
Click the cover for a full sized image
In non writing news, I managed to see Legally Blonde at the Lyric Theatre, climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and made it to the Fish Market for sashimi. There will be show and food reviews, which I’m sure everyone will dread, but I highly recommend Mamak, which is the best Malaysian style roti I have had in Australia, and Chat Thai in the new Sydney Westfield complex, which was picked as a food destination on account of being the only restaurant there with a queue outside of it, which is always a good sign in my books. Figuratively speaking of course.
The big technology experiment has also come to an end, and I have my desktop, mouse, printer and software packages of MS Office and Scrivener. Also, I have found TextMaker, a fantastic software package for android that allows for true track changes, which was, of course, one of my primary concerns. It’s in beta at the moment, but I highly recommend you check them out if you’re going to be doing any serious writing on an android based system. Overall, I’m happy to report the experiment a great success, the Asus Transformer works fantastically as a netbook, and having both WiFi and sim card capability, keeps you connected outside of hotspots or friends’ modems. The keyboard is easy to use and the ability to plug in a USB thumb drive gives manual document control that is not reliant on internet solutions (such as Dropbox, Google drive and of course, email). It doubles as an eReader, works as an email client with K9mail, and even allows for blog updates through the WordPress app. Frankly, I now get into trouble when someone hands me a laptop because I poke at the screen and then go ‘Why isn’t it working?’ before realising laptops aren’t touch screen and looking even more stupid.
On side note, as a true tablet, the Transformer works in either portrait or landscape mode, and the background image shifts to give a visual indicator of the screen you’re on, requiring images that work in both portrait and landscape across various slices. Currently I’m using an awesome lightning background by Lachlan Downing, and you can check out the rest of his work here if you’re so inclined.
Melbourne Docklands by Lachlan Downing
In other news, . . . → Read More: Screens Cover Art, Sashimi and Halloween
Our dear friends at banQuetpress are running a limited time only sale for both print and ebook copies of their 2010-2012 Anthologies, including banQuet Men 2011, which includes Matthew’s story, Mr. Perfect, and banQuet Men 2012 which includes Screens.
There are of course the banQuet Women 2010, 2011 and 2012 Anthologies for fiction and art about girls who like girls, and we highly recommend those as well. 2012 print books are available for $18 including shipping, and the 2010-2011 print books are available for $13 including shipping, that’s down from a cover price of $25.
Visit TryBooking to place your order, and note that the sale is on until mid-August, as long as stocks last, so if you don’t already own one of these gorgeous books, get yours today.
If you’d rather get an eBook, you can get both Men’s and Women’s 2012 Anthologies for half price at $5 each, also at TryBooking, delivered direct to your email (mobi/epub format). If you just want Matthew’s stories, you can also pick up a eBook copy of Mr. Perfect from Smashwords or Amazon-and don’t forget you can get your Kindle ebooks autographed at Kindlegraph.
Happy reading and look out for more stories as soon as we get Matthew to write a bit more!
For the blog hop against homophobia I posted stories from the people not typically heard in the fight for equality: our straight allies. Of course, once I started filming at the Equal Love rally in Melbourne, there were a lot of other people who spoke and I believe that their stories too should be shared. Plus, no one found the elusive Tellytubby. Also, I promised everyone I’d post Kendrie’s full story. So here it is:
Kendrie Coonan’s Full Story
Photo by Ali Bakhtiavandi 2012
Challenging homophobia is something I am very passionate about. As a mother of two small children I want nothing more than for my children to grow up to be accepted and respected regardless of their nationality, religion, or in this instance sexual orientation. As parents we try our hardest to bring up well balanced, caring individuals and we want them to be judged always and only for the people they are, not their circumstance.
Both my husband and I have a long history in theatre and dance and have from an early age been immersed in a culture where homosexuality is prevalent and warmly accepted. In theatre, people are people, you are judged more for your talent than anything else. I suppose not everyone has had the open and honest experiences we have been lucky enough to have, but those experiences, those interactions with fabulously lovely individuals of many different walks of nature have shaped our ideas on many things in our adult life and most importantly our parenting.
The stories I have heard of gay friends struggling to come out, being confronted by closed minded family, frowned upon and feeling the need for secrecy has always saddened me. People deserve love and acceptance, they should be encouraged to be themselves and live the life they are internally pulled to live. In our family it is important that our children know that we love them for exactly who they are.
Our kids know that when they grow up and fall in love, that person may be male or female. They understand at 5 and 2 years of age that, that is their choice and either way is more than fine with us. When my son is snuggling me on the couch and I jest that in years to come some little girl or boy will be snuggling him instead of me he giggles. Having homosexuality and heterosexuality both viewed as normal and natural in our house is paramount. I will not have my children ever question my support of them or be concerned for my acceptance. They will know from small daily interactions that our love and support is a given.
A proud moment occurred when out for dinner with some extended family recently. A member of Gen Y in conversation exclaimed “That’s so gay!” and before I even needed to say a word my 5 year . . . → Read More: IDAHO 2012: Where was the Teletubby?
Being invited to write a blog post for the International Day Against Homophobia aroused a large number of conflicting emotions within me–there’s just so much to talk about. There’s the attempt to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death in Uganda, our straight brothers and sisters being jailed in Russia for supporting the cause of equality, the still entrenched racism in the Gay community itself or the evils of religions still peddling their so called ‘gay-cure’ remedies.
All of these are serious issues, but there’s one story that we often forget to talk about–those people who are outside the GLBT (or LGBT or GLBITQA or whatever alphabet soup you choose to use) community who are championing the cause of equality. Some of them do it loudly, some not so loudly, but a lot of them do it without a lot of recognition or thanks. And some of them do it in the face of being told by their religious or cultural leaders that they shouldn’t, and quite often their faith or beliefs can be demonised by the GLBT community. So I thought, for today, in addition to giving away an ebook copy of The Secret of Talmor Manor, or my short story, Mr. Perfect, and directing you to other amazing blogs around the internet, I wanted to bring you stories and experiences from our heterosexual allies, because it’s often too easy to forget that we are not alone.
So I put a call out for people to share their stories with me, and I got a few amazing responses, some of which I hope to share with you today, as well as some video footage from the Equal Love Rally from Saturday the 12th of May. So enjoy, be inspired, please share your stories and take inspiration from the people who are all around you–all you might need to do is reach out and maybe have a cup of tea with someone you wouldn’t ordinarily talk to.
Oh and before I forget, simply leave me a comment (and don’t forget to fill in your email address) to go into the draw to win one of my ebooks–and if you can correctly tell me which Teletubby was at the May 12th Rally, you can get an additional draw in the competition!
Kerrie Bietzel of PFLAG Victoria speaks at Equal Love, May, 2012
Kendrie Coonan’s Story: Kendrie Coonan is a married mother of two with strong links to the Amateur Theatre scene in Melbourne, Australia. Although we share a number of friends in common, we’ve never met.
I want nothing more than for my children to grow up to be accepted and . . . → Read More: The Words Less Spoken: IDAHO 2012
I was recently given a copy of Glenn Cooper’s The Devil Will Come by a friend who works at a literary festival–it was a Speculative Fiction book, which is a genre he typically doesn’t read and one I often enjoy. Cooper’s book is centred around the Vatican and the Catholic faith, but unlike Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, the Catholics are not the villians of the piece. Indeed the heroine we follow is a young nun, who is tasked with uncovering the mysteries of a secret sect who have vowed to destroy the Catholic faith in the name of money and power, guided by the true power of astrology. Apparently, we’ve had the symbol for Pices wrong for a very long time.
Initially, the reading experience was very promising. Cooper’s text was well put together and the plot was compelling. There was a great drive and flow to the action that kept things chugging along, with enough twists and turns that were neither overtly foreshadowed nor spelt out in great detail before they became relevant to the plot, which has always been my greatest gripe when reading a mystery story. The characters too were well formed, although I still personally wonder if the device of creating a character (or characters) and writing from their perspective for the specific purpose of having them die in an attempt to heighten the emotional impact of their (usually messy) deaths is one that is worth doing. Personally I feel a bit cheated when I recognise the device. Still, the major characters were very well crafted, and I particularly enjoyed the interactions of the protagonist and her family, as well as the look back to the times of the Roman Emperor Nero and Elizabethan England.
**WARNING: THE FOLLOWING TEXT MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS**
However (and you knew there was going to be a ‘however’), I was jarred out of the book and the narrative on several occasions, and I personally felt like homosexuality was used in the book as a shorthand for the concepts of ‘evil’, ‘debauched’ or ‘lesser individuals unworthy of due process’, which I personally was unsettled by. It also made me ask if this was a deliberate plot device (given Occam’s Razor and that one of the situations involved the historical figure of Christopher Marlowe), and I was being overly sensitive, or whether this is a prime example of latent homophobia. Now as a proponent of diversity, I have to admit it is crucial to accept that there is nothing that prevents anyone in the GLBT community from being a villian, or bad, debauched or just plain evil. I am also hesitant to demand that any story where a gay character is penned as evil must be balanced by one that is not. I suppose what I object to in this particular work, is the idea that homosexuality is given a token treatment in a ‘that’s so gay’ fashion. As a successful author, it is . . . → Read More: The Ease of Offending
Our fantastic friends at banQuetpress are searching for stories and artwork for their Men’s and Women’s 2013 Anthologies. They’re also looking for cover art. banQuetpress is Australia’s only dedicated queer publishing house and if you have a short story, poem or piece of art you’d like to see in print, I highly advise sending them your submissions now.
banQuet 2013: A feast of new writing and art by Australian Queer Women and banQuet 2013: A feast of new writing and art by Australian Queer Men
These anthologies showcase a broad variety of innovative, engaging quality writings and art by emerging and established queer writers/artists/photgraphers about GLBTIQ sex and sexualities.
Challenge and surprise us. Introduce us to your complex and flawed queer protagonists and antagonists. Take us for a ride on the seamy side of GLBTIQ lives! We’d love to look at writings and images about queers falling in and out of love or bed!
banQuetpress is especially interested in works that overtly explore a diverse range of: • sexual expressions/practices • GLBTIQ cultures (from mainstream gay to queer sub-cultures) • gender expression • relationship types • issues of sex/sexuality particular to the GLBTIQ community
banQuetpress supports community diversity.
banQuetpress will only accept original, previously unpublished material. Please do not submit material that is being concurrently considered elsewhere. Maximum of three pieces per author/artist.
Submission Deadline: Friday, 18 May 2012
Word Length: up to 3000 words Art / Graphics / Images: one or a few cells/photos/images/photostory Short Fiction Guidelines
• Well-crafted, well-written engaging short fiction – short stories, flash-fiction, etc. • A range of genres, erotica preferred for 2013 edition. • Scenarios and themes primarily focussed on LGBTIQ erotica, sexualities.
• Well-crafted, well-written and accurately researched short non-fiction, personal reflections. • Ideas, issues and information primarily focussed on LGBTIQ erotica, sexualities. • Reviews and academic essays not accepted. Comic Art / Graphics / Photography Guidelines
• One or a few cells/photos, one-page comic strip, photostories • Scenarios, issues and themes primarily focussed on LGBTIQ erotica, sexualities • Material that can be effectively reproduced/published in B/W and/or colour. • Resolution quality at least 300dpi.
Style / Formatting Guidelines
• Please do not submit your first draft. • Submit a ‘clean’ manuscript – that is, a manuscript that has been edited for accuracy and clarity in communication, as well as proof-read for typos. (Works accepted for publication will undergo a full editing and proof-reading process; however, your submission must demonstrate your professionalism as a writer/artist). • Cover sheet with your legal name (essential), pen name (if applicable), title and word count on it only. • Name must not appear anywhere on manuscript and artwork (only on cover). • MS Word document. • JPEG document for graphics. • Document Filename should include title of the work. • Standard 12 point Arial font. • Double spacing. • No paragraph indents. • No headers/footers. • Use single quotation marks for dialogue. Cover Sheet . . . → Read More: Call for Queer Fiction: banQuetpress 2013
God I feel like I haven’t sat down to write properly in ages. It’s probably the whole Midsumma festival thing. Having recently moved back into the inner suburbs I was not only able to make my first Midsumma appearance as an author at Hares & Hyenas‘ Word is Out festival–well okay, second counting the banQuetPress Anthology launch, but first appearance as an Official Festival Guest (capitals not optional), and also got to go to a lot of events I would otherwise have missed out on. So to all my writing, geeky, queer, Canadian and just plain awesome friends I’ve spent time with over the past month: thank you, I love you all. It’s almost sad to wind down and notice the weather changing away from the blistering hot days of sunburning intensity, but it’s also been a joy to be able to sit down and crack open my Prophecy file and start writing again. I will conquer you yet elusive second book!
Also, I have recently been asked to do a reading at the brand new, extra funky, literary bar/cafe, The Moat, as part of a Meet The Residents night hosted by SPUNC (Small Press Underground Networking Community), and Writers Victoria. It’s a free night, and an opportunity to meet fellow writers and publishers in Melbourne’s Indie Press scene, and looks like it’ll be the start of a fun night–and an awesome series of happenings at The Moat. Details below–hope you can make it!
When: Thursday 16th of February, 5 PM Where: The Moat Bar & Cafe, Basement 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Price: Free More Information Writers Victoria
Matthew Lang will be live on blog talk Radio’s Other Worlds of Romance net radio show on the 16th of January @ 11 PM(American Eastern Standard time), or the 17th of January @3 PM Australian Eastern Standard time. He’ll be reading an excerpt from The Secret of Talmor Manor, and will also be available for questions. He’ll also be giving away an ebook copy of the novel to one lucky listener. So if you’d like to hear him read live, win a book, or just ask a really embarrassing question, tune in and chat to one of the hottest young authors on the m/m scene!
Technical details: You can listen live at the the show’s website, call in to the show (see webpage) to lodge a question or head to the show’s chatroom. Basically, come hang out and immerse yourself in mystery.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of the year again–the weather is starting to get hot and sweltering, and it’s looking like the heavens will bucket down on us for another wet year, but you have to make gay while the sun shines, and Midsumma is back for another season of art, culture, and just plain partying fun–and while you might find Matthew at any of the other events (except the naked camping one, as he doesn’t do that sort of camping to well), you’ll definitely find him at the following events, so grab a ticket, come on down to Hares and Hyenas and say hi.
Novel Conversations - Midsumma Premiere Event
A Word is Out favourite makes a welcome return, as we present five authors of recent Australian fiction reading a section of their choice, with an open Q&A to follow.
Authors include Andrea Goldsmith, award-winning writer of Reunion, The Prosperous Thief and Under the Knife, among others; Geoffrey Knight, author of erotic adventure novels including The Curse of the Dragon King, The Cross of Sins and Riddle of the Sands; Matthew Lang, author of modern gay gothic novel, The Secret of Talmor Manor; and Steve Dow, ex-Melbourne, now Sydney-based journalist and author, who will read from his satirical e-novel paean to Sydney, All Sorts (available from Amazonand iTunes); and speculative, genre-defying writer Kim Westwood, author of The Daughters of Moab and The Courier’s New Bicycle.
Hosted by Crusader Hillis and including a public Q&A at the end of the session.
Where: Hares & Hyenas Date: Wednesday 25 January Time: 7:30pm Price: Full $15; Conc $10; Group 6+ $12 +BF Season pass: Full $150; Concession $100 Click book for the entire Hares & Hyenas season to purchase a season ticket to attend all H&H events. Duration: 60 mins approx. Info: www.hares-hyenas.com.au
banQuet 2012 Book Launches
banQuetpress is thrilled to launch two new collections of stories, poetry and art which showcase sensual, edgy and sweat-inducing tales of GLBTIQ desire, romance and erotica. These contemporary collections are brimming with provocative queer protagonists who push all the hot buttons and shove all the boundaries of sex and sexuality!
Enjoy an evening of spoken word performances from contributors and pick up your signed copies. Bookings essential – limited capacity.
Where: Hares & Hyenas Date: Friday 3 February Time: 7pm Price: Full $15;Concession; $10 +BF Season pass: Full $150; Concession $100 Click book for the entire Hares & Hyenas season to purchase a season ticket to attend all H&H events. Duration: 90 mins approx. Info: www.banquetpress.com