Tag Archives: interviews

Red Haircrow’s March 14th #Interview on Deutschlandradio Kultur’s Kompressor

Here’s the direct link to listen online to the interview on Deutschlandradio’s Cultural Radioshow “Kompressor”, sharing news on Native current events and talking about directing (and currently filming) “Forget Winnetou! Going Beyond Native Stereotypes in Germany”. Our documentary is on Native stereotypes in Germany, racism and colonialism, of which the 19th century created but still popular pseudo “Indian” Winnetou is the ultimate symbol. At the webpage, interview in German is at the top. To listen in English, the link is at the end of the article.

Please also visit our film website, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and help support our bringing it to the world. Our funding campaign is still live on IndieGoGo. Both my co-director Timo Kiesel and I are available for interview. Very welcome to share the links, thanks!

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Filed under Announcements, Culture, History, Interviews

Interview: Michael Drakich, Latest Release “Lest The Dew Rust Them”

DSCF08011From the author: “No awards, no accolades, no writing degrees or diplomas, only a deep rooted love of reading and writing. You can find me at Goodreads.”

Lest The Dew Rust Them is a thriller released on February 23, 2013. Blurb: “Terrorism in America has a new game…decapitations!”


Description: “Homeland Security Director Robert Grimmson faces the task of catching five men in New York City. They call themselves the Sword Masters with a single minded plan of terror through decapitations.

Barely has the task begun when a new arrival at JFK is a man importing thousands of swords! Alexander Suten-Mdjai is a trainer in the deadly art of swordsmanship and Robert cannot help but believe there is a connection between him and the Sword Masters.

As he goes about the task, each step in his search is made more difficult through the interference of politicians, the media and his own government. Robert’s examination constantly draws him back to Alexander who regales him with a tale of swordsmanship from his lineage featuring events of mankind’s bloody past and often oddly having a connection to the case before him.

With the clock ticking as New York collapses into a deep panic, he must catch the Sword Masters before it is too late!”


What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

I consider myself a speculative fiction author as I write mostly science fiction and fantasy. My first two novels were exactly that. My first was a science fiction adventure entitled, Grave Is The Day. The second is an epic fantasy entitled, The Brotherhood Of Piaxia. Saying that, I have strayed just a little with my most recent release, a thriller entitled, Lest The Dew Rust Them. I’m currently working on two new novels, another science fiction entitled, The Infinite Within, and an epic fantasy entitled, Demon Stones.

As a youth, I grew up in the sixties and seventies when science fiction was entering its heyday. Authors like Isaac Isamov, Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke were filling the market with great reads. Fantasy was also making itself known. Already out there was J. R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings, but a number of new authors, Terry Brooks and Stephen R. Donaldson for example, were making an impact. Needless to say, their works had a profound impact on me and why I chose the genre’s that I did.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Strangely enough, it arose out of reading what I considered a horrible novel. I have a habit of visiting the large Chapters/Indigo bookstore at the major mall. They have a Starbuck’s right in-house. My usual modus operandi was to buy a large vanilla almond latte and peruse the mark down shelves for something to read. Often, the book I ended up buying was cheaper than the coffee, but I digress.

Some seven years ago I picked up a novel that was part of a very successful epic fantasy series. It is always my habit to read in its entirety any book I purchase. This one was a task. I found it abysmal. No sooner had I finished the book when what to my surprise, they had made a television serial out of the series. I was flabbergasted.  If what I considered a very bad novel could have such success, then anybody could do it. I sat down at my computer to prove it. On Monday, February 20, 2006, at 5:23:53 PM, I began my writing career.

Over the next ten months I kicked out my first novel. Feeling like a proud papa I showed it to family and friends. The lukewarm reception it received was enough to tell me the truth. It was crap. But in the meantime, what had happened was I had been bitten by the bug. I wanted to be a writer. I dedicated most of my spare time to joining a number of online workshops and honed the craft. The results are the novels I am producing today. I’m proud to say they are being well received and getting glowing reviews.

Do you remember the first novel you read?

Amazingly, the answer is yes. I want to qualify it as not including children’s books such as the wondrous works by Dr. Seuss. I was ten years old and in the school library I chose Moby Dick by Herman Melville as my first reading project. I remember my teacher, Mrs. Bickerton, advising against it as being too difficult for a youth of my age. I set out to prove her wrong.

Your Writing Process

What excites you about writing?

Without a doubt, it’s the entire creation thing. You start with an idea and over the next several months you expand it into something formidable – a complete novel. If you know Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, then you can appreciate how the pinnacle, Self-Actualization, is achieved through writing. It is a most rewarding experience.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Be prepared for the long haul. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t take short cuts. They all end up in dead alleys. Don’t get discouraged. There are many roadblocks you will have to circumvent. I like to think of the character, Captain Peter Quincy Taggart, from the movie Galaxy Quest and his famous quote, “Never give up! Never Surrender!”

How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission?

I don’t think you can pinpoint a specific amount of time. Different novels are different lengths and I usually only write about fifteen thousand words a month. I still do have a full time job as other than a writer. Using my current release, Lest The Dew Rust Them, as an example, including the editing process, it’s about eight or nine months.

Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter?

There is a trend in speculative fiction for writers to write series. They are all bent on producing the next best trilogy, or quadrology or octology or whateverology they can produce. As a reader, I find it most frustrating to read a novel and discover it’s the first part of a series where the rest of the books have yet to be written or released. I’ve decided to make my novels stand alone. Saying that, my current work in progress, Demon Stones, is set in the same world as The Brotherhood Of Piaxia, but one would not have had to read both. The links between the two are small.

What would you like readers to know about you the writer?

My style. My editor describes me as an easy style. Simply put, it flows. I think one of the most distinctive things about it is my practice of never using dialogue tags. Instead, when necessary, I use actions to identify speakers. It gives the reader a visual as to what is occurring during the dialogue.  Filling up a novel with a number of – he said – she said – is disconcerting to the reader. And don’t even get me going on descriptive dialogue tags! If you are unable to portray the way a character says something without having to use words like mumbled, whispered, screamed, and taunted, or whatever, you need to hone your craft. It disturbs me to see their use becoming more prevalent in writing today. It’s the lazy way out.

Your Books

When a new book comes out, are you nervous about how readers will react to it?

When I released the first novel, absolutely. I’m only human in looking for acceptance. In the early days of learning the craft of being a writer I suffered my share of indignity from those critting my work. It was, at first, a hard pill to swallow. My apologies for the cliché but I think it is the most appropriate term I can use. Now, I’m no longer so concerned. I have faith in my work as a result of the good acceptance of my earlier novels. With success comes confidence and with confidence comes the strength to write even better.

What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?

This is an important issue to me when writing. I have always recognized the order in the title, science fiction. “Science” is the first word. I want my science fiction to have some measure of believability. I am an avid watcher of the science channel, the NASA channel, and the history channels. They are a great source of ideas and information. Programs such as “Through The Wormhole” are filled with mind bending concepts.

Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?

I haven’t really ever found a problem with my muse. Whenever I sit to write I am able to roll out the prose without having to wait for my muse to kick in. As to deadlines, I like to think of an entertaining quote from the author, Douglas Adams. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

Your Characters

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I believe characters are everything. As a writer it is imperative to get the reader to emote with your characters. Failure to get this connection is certain doom for your novel. They must love them, hate them, and want to be them. Understanding this concept is what drives how a character is portrayed. I visualize how I want the character to be perceived then drive the makeup of that character in the direction needed. I would be lying in saying that is the be all and end all of their makeup. In some, I insert certain attitudes to resemble my own. Call it a weakness.

Is it hard coming up with names for your characters?

Normally, no, but in Lest The Dew Rust Them, it was a challenge. The diversity of the cultural backgrounds required a lot of research in selecting names. All I can say is “Thank God” for Google.

Which of your stories would make a great movie?  Who’d play the lead roles?

I believe they all would. I have even had reviewers comment so. Rather than address all three I would like to keep my focus on the new release, Lest The Dew Rust Them. The three central characters are Homeland Security Director Robert Grimmson to be played by Tom Hanks, lead terrorist David Crombie by Leonardo DiCaprio and enigmatic sword trainer played by Johnny Depp.

Is there a character from one of your books that resonates deeply with you?

Not a character, but a name. Early in my writing career I wrote a short story entitled, The Intrepid Explorer. The main character was named Bartholomew Higginbottom. Since then I have reinvented this character in a number of ways to appear in my novels – sometimes as a cameo, sometimes a major character. Each reincarnation is unique. It’s just a little quirk of mine.

Other works by the author:

Grave Is The Day CoverMDRAKICH COVER 2

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Filed under Interviews, Suspense/Mystery, Thriller, Writers and Writing

Interview: Richard Coady, Author of The Maya Papyrus

authorGlobal Ebook Award Winner 2013 Best Historical Novel (Set Before 500 A.D.)


Richard Coady was born and raised in Warrington, England, where he now lives with his wife, Miriam, and his son, Adam. After gaining a degree in history, he was a journalist for just long enough for him to realise what journalism actually involves before starting a career in computers. The Maya Papyrus is his first novel.
* * * *
Description: “In the Valley of the Kings, a team of archaeologists has unearthed a secret Front cover for Kindlethat has lain buried for over 3000 years. Hidden in Nefertiti’s tomb is a bundle of papyrus sheaves. Although badly decayed, the documents have survived well enough to tell an epic tale of war, murder and treachery…
Thuya is a woman who craves greatness. Her son, Aye, is a man who will stop at nothing to attain it. Together they will concoct a scheme so monumental in its scope that it will mould the reigns of Egypt’s kings and rewrite the future of the known world.The Maya Papyrus is populated with some of the most extraordinary characters in history:
Tutankhamun, the boy king; his father, Akhenaten, the deformed tyrant; Akhenaten’s queen, Nefertiti, whose beauty remains legendary three millennia later.Who among them can stand against a man willing to risk everything to achieve immortality?”


About the Author


What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

The Maya Papyrus is a historical novel. It’s my first book, set in ancient Egypt around the time of Tutankhamun. I wrote it because I thought the story was amazing, and I thought other people might think so too. Unfortunately I can’t claim the credit for that, though. It’s based on what some Egyptologists believe may actually have happened.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I remember when I was about 7 years old hammering out stories on an old manual typewriter onto pages ripped out of a reporter’s notebook. I don’t remember much about them. One was about vampires and the other was about astronauts. My grandmother wasn’t happy because one of the astronauts said ‘blimey!’ and she thought that was a bit strong. We lived in a different world in those days.

Who or what was your inspiration for writing?

The initial spark was a documentary by an Egyptologist called Bob Brier. I didn’t have any prior interest in ancient Egypt and I stumbled across the programme while I was channel hopping one night. I was immediately hooked. I turned to my wife as the credits were rolling and said: “That would make a great book!” Of course, I didn’t know at the time that those words were the start of a 13 year undertaking…


What do you like to do when you’re not writing?    

As little as humanly possible. But don’t tell my wife I said that. I still haven’t put that shelf up.


Where do you hang out online? Website URL, author groups, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc?

You can follow me on Twitter and find my website at www.richardcoady.com. I find that Goodreads.com is an excellent way of spending any time that I should be using more constructively, so feel free to look me up there as well.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

The Sekhmet Bed by Lavender Ironside

1,227 QI Facts To Blow Your Socks Off by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson (Did you know that kangaroos have three vaginas?)

Do you remember the first novel you read?

Shoot on Sight by Michael Hardcastle. I think. There was another one around the same time about an Eskimo (who wasn’t Nanook).

Who are your favorite authors and why?

This is the sort of question that’s going to bother me for days. Robert Graves, Joseph Heller, Louis de Bernieres, Andrew Crumey. Oh, and Thomas Hardy. Nobody could write like Thomas Hardy. Recently I’ve been reading a lot of David Mitchell. For me he’s the best writer in Britain at the moment.

Your Writing Process

Why do you write?

Because everybody should do something each day that they love.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Finish that the thing that you’re writing. And then worry about every word in every sentence.

Is there any other genre you have considered writing in?

Although The Maya Papyrus is a historical novel set in ancient Egypt, I don’t consider myself an ‘Egyptian’ writer. It’s looking likely that my next book will be set in World War II Poland. If a great science fiction story occurred to me, I’d write that.


Do you listen to music or have another form of inspiration when you are writing? 

I tend to write in silence. If I put music on I find myself staring into space and listening to the music instead of actually getting anything done.

How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission?

The Maya Papyrus took 13 years.


13 years? Why so long?

I know, I know. I have no excuse. For the first two years I didn’t write a word. I just spent the time researching the story and the era as deeply as I could and planning the story. And then, for the next 11 years I wrote when I could whilst holding down a job and being a father and husband. In my defence, it’s a big book (nearly 700 pages) and the first draft was another 400 pages on top of that. I spent a lot of time editing. My next book is going to be a pamphlet.


Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter?

I can’t ever imagine myself writing a series. I have nothing against them – I’ll read them – but I think I’d get bored writing one. Once I’ve done something I like to move on to something completely different.

Do you have a system for writing?

I’m not a writer who can make it up as I go along. I have to have every aspect of the story planned from beginning to end, often chapter by chapter. Of course, a lot of the time something will occur to me as I’m writing and the story will take a sharp turn in a direction I wasn’t expecting, but that’s all part of the fun.

Do you track word count or write a certain number of hours per day?

I’m strangely obsessive about word counts. I keep all the details in a little spreadsheet, with subtotals tracking my progress. I really need to get out a bit more.


What was the most uplifting moment you’ve experienced during your writing career?

Probably reading the reviews on Amazon. Even though I thought I’d written a good book there was always a nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me that I was no judge and that I only thought it was good because I was biased and that nobody was ever going to buy it or enjoy it. And then I look on Amazon and see that a complete stranger has written that she ranks me alongside the ‘truly great’ authors of the genre and that my book was a ‘masterwork’ that left her ‘breathless’… well, it can’t get any more uplifting than that.

Your Books

Your book is now in the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel?


What story haven’t you written yet but would like to?  Is there anything holding you back from writing it?

I have about half a dozen books in my head. At the moment, the only thing stopping me making a start is deciding which one to do. It’s like half a dozen people all trying to get through a doorway at the same time. There’s lots of noise and bother but nobody’s actually going anywhere. Odds on favourite at the moment is the Polish one, though.


What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?

I loved researching The Maya Papyrus. I worked for a long time with an Egyptologist on getting the little details right – the sort of thing not readily available in books. I discovered a whole world I knew virtually nothing about.


What was your first published work and when was it published?

It was a short story in a horror magazine about 25 years ago. I forget the name of the magazine or the story. But it was awful.


Your Characters

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

All but the most minor characters in The Maya Papyrus are real people. How close the book’s characters are to the historical people is another matter. I’ve taken what information there is and built the characters around it. For example, just like in the book, the real King Amenhotep really did write a letter asking for women to be sent to him to be his wives, and he really did add a postscript to the letter saying, “Send none with harsh voices.” And that made me think – there must have been a reason for him to add that. So from that little snippet of information I was able to picture a king slightly browbeaten by a wife who wasn’t afraid to tell him what she thought. I tried to populate the world of The Maya Papyrus with real people from scant information like this. Unfortunately, this far back into history, scant information is the best we’re going to get.


Is there a character from one of your books that resonates deeply with you?

I have to admit to being very fond of Maya. I think he’d rather have his teeth pulled than be in the middle of so many momentous events. But despite that I think he’s a hero (although he would deny that). I don’t think you can be a hero if you’re not scared first, and Maya spends a significant portion of the book overcoming his fear to do the right thing.

Random Question

Where do you get your daily dose of news?

You can’t go far wrong with the BBC. I don’t read newspapers much because, as an ex-journalist, I know that pretty much everything in them is made up.

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Interviews, Writers and Writing

Interview: Mark Brisby, Author of “Untoward”

markbAbout Mark Brisby:

“A self published author looking to expand my audience.  I am from Fairfax, Virginia and published my book through Amazon in January, and it’s called Untoward.  This book is the first of a forthcoming series (as yet unfinished).  The ISBN is 978-0615750118 and it is 488 pages long.

Description: Daumis always knew that turning thirteen was unlucky, but when he sees Denizens (evil magicians who kidnap children) he decides to stop them from abducting someone else.  When he stumbles into a botched rescue of Cewyn, the son of the local duke, he is also captured, starved, and tortured for his pluck.

Enter hero Tadrec, a graduate of a prestigious magical university, recently the only member of his party to survive a cursed artifact.  He is stoned on witchreed and morning his friends with absolutely nothing to do.  When he’s asked by the president of his alma mater to rescue Daumis and Cewyn because they’re the most powerful magicians to be born in a century, he agrees.  For a price.

Tadrec, Daumis, and Cewyn must encounter golems, insane monks, cannibals, giant badgers, an undead army, and a demigod all just before they can reach the magical, floating city of Horizon.  Not to mention the fact that they are in company that they do not necessarily like, trust, or can even stand in the form of a pompous Citizen who used to pick on Tadrec, an old, blind seer who likes to spit on people, a drunken minstrel, a homicidal metal shard, the sickeningly-perfect teacher and student combo, and a royal vizier who just doesn’t want to go bald.  With the forces of evil gaining ground from behind them, no matter what all the three of them go through, it always seems to Tadrec and the boys that their destination moves ever-farther away from them…In fact, it flies.



What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

I choose to write fantasy and science fiction genres.  I like my entertainments usually to have some sort of other-worldly aspect to it, so I find it’s easiest to write in those genres because I find them to be the most stimulating to my imagination as well as just plain fun.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was very young, in elementary school.  Probably the fifth or sixth grade.  I still have original works that I’d done, but looking at them now, I’m glad I’ve improved my vocabulary.

Who or what was your inspiration for writing?

I have always been creative.  In my youth I used to draw and I would try to emulate my favorite artist, M.C. Escher, but I hated the math involved with tessellations.  But reading books when I was young was probably the main reason. I’ve always wanted to inspire the same fears, loves, anguished, and well the rest of the range of human emotions in others.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing I work at my full time job as an admin assistant.  In my free time I usually love to read and/or become lost in bookstores for hours, bowling, cooking, watching TV and movies, listening to a variety of music, and spending time with friends.

Where do you hang out online? Website URL, author groups, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc?

If I go online at all it’s usually to check the sites update:

FaceBook (http://www.facebook.com/mark.brisby.5)

Twitter (https://twitter.com/MarkBrisby13)

And my blog (http://markbrisby13.wordpress.com/)

What books are currently on your nightstand?

The Birth of Classical Europe (A History from Troy to Augustine) by Simon Price and Peter Thonemann and Conan the Barbarian (a collection of original, unabridged stories) by Robert E. Howard.

Do you remember the first novel you read?

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

Who are your favorite authors and why?

Colleen McCoullough for her First Man in Rome Series, so thorough and sharp, steeped in details and tidbits of forgotten information. I envy her research skills.

Agatha Christie for her Hercule Poirot Mysteries, completely, captivatingly genius.

Your Writing Process

Do you listen to music or have another form of inspiration when you are writing? 

Music is a major component to my writing process.  Headphones in, iPod usually playing something that I like but is soft enough to fade into the background.  If it’s too loud or jarring, I end up concentrating on the music or lyrics and less and less on what I’m supposed to be doing (say, getting a character out of a sticky situation).

Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s the most unglamorous thing that you’ve done in the past week?

Scooped the cat boxes.  Yes, two of them.

How long does it take you to finish a book from start to submission?

I’ve never finished a project until now, usually losing faith in it/myself.  But this time I pushed through.  It took four years to write it and about two more for the editing process.

Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter?

I actually prefer to write the books (and in general think of them) as a series.  I have big plans for each major character I’ve written for, and I plan on carrying those machination out.

Your Books

What is your novel about?

It is a fantasy novel in which two boys are kidnapped by evil magicians only to be rescued by someone they don’t necessarily trust or even like.  They must journey with this rival magician to the magical, floating city of Horizon where the boys will learn how to protect themselves from other evil magicians.  Basically the entire book covers the journey to safety through savage lands and must encounter cannibals, giant badgers, insane monks, an undead army, and a demigod.

Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?

I need deadlines or else I usually end up putting writing off for some mundane activity/vice.  A time table by which I have everything read is key to motivating me.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I just start writing.  I begin with one sentence and then see where it takes me.  If I ever do make an outline, it’s usually several chapters in when most of the characters have been established.  It’s mostly just so I can keep track of what’s coming up so I know how to transition between the two.

If your book is available in print, how does it feel to hold a book that has your name on the cover?

It feels like a life-fulfilling moment.  I was shaking with adrenaline so much that I almost dropped it.

Your Characters

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

I tend to make up a persona for someone, but I might some comprise it of different pieces of people (either in my life or just that I’ve encountered).  I take the good and the bad and place them inside each character, because I want them to be likable and humanly fallible.

Is it hard coming up with names for your characters?

I’m a wiz when it comes to naming characters, pets, vehicles, inanimate objects.  Names just jump out at me, but sometimes it does take a mixture of several different choices until I’m happy with it.  Also, I feel the names should fit the characters, even if the character themselves do not feel their designations match.

Have any of your characters ever haunted your dreams or woken you up during the night demanding attention?

Yes, a particularly vain and arrogant magician taunted in me in my dreams, offerinf suggestions about how I could get him out of the mess I had thought up for him in the first place.

What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?

Good chemistry is always nourished by conflict.  If characters start off hating each other, they will usually grow to like/love/respect them by the end of it…at least just a little.  The reverse can happen too of course.  Conflicts and arguments between the main characters not only let the readers become engaged in the debate so that they might also choose sides, but also makes for amusing dialog.

Is there a character from one of your books that resonates deeply with you?

The main four characters in Untoward have pieces of me and a few other people too.  Speaking for myself: Tadrec has my wit, Daumis has my interest in studying human interactions, Cewyn has my logic, and Rilliam has my scheming nature.

Random Questions

Name one website you visit every single day.


Where do you get your daily dose of news?

I usually get it from either CNN (because it’s on at work), FaceBook or from word of mouth.


Filed under Announcements, Books, Fantasy, Interviews, Writers and Writing

Lichen Craig’s “Fireside” is Official! An Inside View of GLBT Books & Publishing


From the GLBT Bookshelf website:


Lichen Craig invites you into the Bookshelf’s study for an inside, close-up view of the world of GLBT books and publishing and the world of the arts and entertainment as  it pertains to GLBT literature. Sit beside the fire, pour yourself a glass, and listen in as Lichen talks to some of the most interesting and influential people in the industry: writers, publishers, illustrators, filmmakers, actors, reviewers and other movers and shakers. Each has a unique point of view, each looks at the world of GLBT books from his or her own unique perspective.

We will also look at trends within the GLBT publishing industry and trends in other areas such as current events, film, music, academics, and societal mood that influence GLBT literature.  Lichen brings you news from these arenas, and sits down by the fireside to chat with personalities that can bring you the most interesting and helpful insights into these fascinating worlds.

Step inside, pull up a chair, and make yourself comfortable!





Please visit their website for more information…

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Filed under Announcements, Gay Fiction, Gay Interest, Gay Romance, GLBTIIQ, GLBTIIQ Interest, Interviews, LBGT, Lesbian Fiction, Writers and Writing