W5 with Valentine Wheeler

It’s a pleasure to welcome back Valentine Wheeler for today’s W5!

Who is the star of your book?

GIVE WAY stars Kevin McNamara, a retired lawyer who’s found himself at loose ends after years of pushing himself to succeed. Now he’s got more time than he knows what to do with, and that means he’s having to confront a lot of things within himself that he’s avoided dealing with for years.

What is your story about?

It’s about getting to know yourself and finding your place in the community! Kevin has lived in the same town his whole life, known the same people for sixty years. Sometimes the way you’ve always seen yourself–the way you’ve presented yourself to others and the way they’ve perceived you–is a real barrier to self-knowledge.

When is it set?

GIVE WAY is set in 2018, at the same time as NO PARKING. While they do overlap in a few parts, they can be read in either order!

Where is it set?

Swanley, Massachusetts is a fictional town in the middle of the triangle of Boston, Providence, and Worcester. It’s a place where people know each other and it’s a little bit of a queer haven. After NO PARKING was released last year, I got a lot of comments on it saying that a town this queer (and this accepting of queer folks) was unrealistic, and that broke my heart. Massachusetts has a lot of issues–no place is perfect!–but we have towns with huge, vibrant queer communities, and Swanley is based off those towns. I wanted to build a town where people had space to be themselves while also keeping their deep roots.

Why this story?

After writing NO PARKING, I wanted to spend more time in that world. One of my favorite relationships to write was that of Marianne, the protagonist of NO PARKING, and her ex-husband Kevin. I started playing around with the idea of a story for him, and out came GIVE WAY. It’s about a man who’s spent a lot of time thinking about the kind of man people think he should be, rather than the kind of man he actually is (and it’s about how incredibly attractive postal uniforms are, too… and the people inside them!).

Places to buy GIVE WAY

Amazon

Goodreads

Ninestar

Valentine Wheeler (she/her) lives outside Boston with her spouse and child and spends her days chasing mail carriers and citing obscure postal regulations. She goes by Lis in meatspace and her life’s ambition is to eat the food of every country.

Find her on twitter or goodreads and her work at Ninestar Press and the Future Fire. She also serves as Fiction Editor and Logistics Manager for Wizards in Space Literary Magazine, as Logistics Wizard and Managing Editor for Mermaids Monthly, and as a slushreader for various genre publications.

Portrait Sketches

Sketches on A6 in pencil and white ink.

3rd November 2020
3rd November 2020
4th November 2020
8th November 2020
9th November 2020 – Dr George McGavin
10th November 2020 – inspired by
Graham Cole OBE
11th November 2020 – Giovanni
12th November 2020 – author Kevin Quigley
13th November 2020 – Roy
14th November 2020 – Donovan Scott
15th November 2020 – Daniel
16th November 2020
17th November 2020 – in memory of
Luis Troyano
18th November 2020 – Fernando
19th November 2020 – Scottie and Ron

21st November 2020

W5 with Valentine Wheeler

Today I have five questions with Valentine Wheeler about NO PARKING

Who is the star of your book? 

NO PARKING by Valentine Wheeler

NO PARKING’s main character is Marianne, a divorced 60 year old bakery owner in small-town Massachusetts. She’s lived in the same town all her life and knows everyone in it and all their secrets… or so she thinks.


What is your story about? 

It’s about finding your place. And it’s about making space for yourself when you really haven’t in a long time. It’s about taking charge of your life and your happiness, and it’s also about how great baked goods are.

When is it set?

It’s contemporary, but the history of the town is crucial to the story!

Where is it set? 

A fictional town to the southwest of Boston. Massachusetts is a small state with very distinct regions, and the towns on the edge between the Boston suburbs and the rural parts of the state walk a really interesting line.

Why this story?

I wanted to write something about older bi women–so few stories feature older queer characters, and bi women especially. I want to be able to see people like me aging comfortably into themselves and not having to struggle with their identity. This isn’t a coming out story. This is a coming home story.

Buy NO PARKING from Ninestar Press

Author Bio:

Valentine is a latecomer to writing, though she’s always been a passionate reader. Through fanfiction she found her way to an incredible community of writers who’ve taught her to love making stories.

When she isn’t writing, she’s making bad puns, yelling about television, or playing with her small child.

Her life’s ambition is to eat the cuisine of every single country.

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Thanks for stopping by, Valentine!

W5 with Kevin Klehr about WINTER MASQUERADE

Today’s five questions are with Kevin Klehr about Winter Masquerade from Ninestar Press!

Who is the star of your book?

Although Ferris is the main character, I’ve learnt never to assume who will be the star of a book. It was Guy, the insecure angel, that readers fell in love with in my first novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes.

So, in this tale, there’s a cast of whimsical characters who could be the star. There’s Janus, a miniature flying horse who helps the Detective solve cases. There’s Molly, the absent-minded mistress of The Alchemist, who is also his wife’s best friend. Or maybe it’s Cole, Ferris’s love interest who wears sunglasses and a white suit, playing it oh so cool throughout the story.

I’ll let the readers decide who the star is.

What is your story about?

In short, it’s the story of Ferris who wakes up on the Sea Queen, a mystical cruise liner sailing on a chocolate sea. He misses his boyfriends in the real world but the only person who can help him, The Alchemist, has been kidnapped.

But while the novella is eccentric and childlike, it explores dark themes within the gay community.

When is it set? Where is it set?

Ferris lives in present day Sydney, but the ship he finds himself on is timeless. It sails forever, hosting one masquerade ball after another.

Yet the world the Sea Queen inhabits is known to go steampunk from time to time.

Why this story?

I wanted to explore an experience from my own past. Several decades on I felt ready to re-examine it in a fantasy setting.



You watch the trailer for WINTER MASQUERADE here:

Author bio

Kevin lives with his husband, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

Kevin Klehr

His tall tales explore unrequited love in the theatre district of the Afterlife, romance between a dreamer and a realist, and a dystopian city addicted to social media.

His first novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes, spawned a secondary character named Guy. Many readers argue that Guy, the insecure gay angel, is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. His popularity surprised the author. The third in this series, Drama Queens and Devilish Schemes, scored a Rainbow Award (judged by fans of queer fiction) for Best Gay Alternative Universe/Reality novel.

So, with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.

Socials

Website: //kevinklehr.com/

Author Facebook: //www.facebook.com/DramaQueensWithLoveScenes/

Twitter: @kevinklehr

Instagram: @klehrkevin

Goodreads: //www.goodreads.com/author/show/4298144.Kevin_Klehr

The Lion Lies Waiting – Rainbow Award Winner

I have amazing news!


I’m incredibly happy to announce that my novel, THE LION LIES WAITING, won a 2018/2019 Rainbow Award for BEST GAY BOOK!

The awards themselves raised over $12,000 for LGBTQ+ charities and you can read a full list of winners here: //reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/5328702.html

The Lion Lies Waiting on Ninestarpress.com

W5 with Chel Hylott & Chelsea Lim

Today’s five questions are with Chel Hylott & Chelsea Lim about UNDERGROWTH!

Who is the star of your book?

Undergrowth by
Chel Hylott and Chelsea Lim

This is a hard one because the sentient carnivorous rainforest is so spooky and creepy itself, but… Mariam—she’s our narrator! She thinks she’s selfish, but when it comes down to it, she’s a survivor. Survival doesn’t preclude compassion.

What is your story about?

Undergrowth is about deals with the devil and all the terrible things that can happen when you don’t follow through, but it’s also about building family when the world around you is falling apart. Oh, and a planty apocalypse.  Can’t forget the jungle from hell.

When is it set?

It’s contemporary and set during the spring and the summer.

Where is it set?

Technically, it’s set in Los Angeles, but honestly? It’s not any LA that we would recognize. In Undergrowth, LA has been taken over by a sentient and dangerous rainforest: super smart and violent creatures, plants that can literally choke the life out of you, and of course, lots and lots of rain.  So, not really LA. But kind of!

Why this story?

Because we wrote it when we needed family.  And it seemed beautiful to make one like that, on the page, and for each other.

BUY UNDERGROWTH HERE:

Click here for AMAZON buy link

AUTHOR BIO

Undergrowth was written by two friends, Chel and Chelsea.

Chel Hylott

Chel Hylott is a Brazilian-American living in the UK with her wife and pug. When she’s not writing, she’s reading Tarot. Find her curled up on her setee reading when it’s cold and wet, basically all the time.

Chelsea Lim

Chelsea Lim is a writer and teacher living in Los Angeles, which she almost wishes were as green as it is in Undergrowth.

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The book sounds amazing! Thanks for stopping by to talk about it!

-Glenn