February 2023: Small Shimmers

February 2023: Small Shimmers

Hello pals,

Hope you had a beautiful Imbolc and are welcoming Spring with open arms – I certainly am! Like January, February is full to the brim with bookish celebrations, gorgeous live music, and quality time with friends.

Pages: Writing

I have almost finished the first draft of my queer poly fantasy on the high seas! I’m quite superstitious about titles, so I’ll be keeping it under wraps for now, but it features swords and sorcery, seafaring adventure, magical creatures, a found family ragtag crew, and a bunch of queer joy. The manuscript is going off to my agent soon and I can’t wait to start working on revisions and making it shine. I can’t wait for you to read it!

I’ve also submitted the revisions for ‘Mango Heart’, which is forthcoming in Reclamation: A Climate Change Anthology forthcoming from Outland Entertainment. The crowdfunder will be coming later this year! This is my quiet eco-fiction story about sapphic love and the tangled web of grief, illness, and death.

Off-Page: Events

I’m going to be at Paisley Book Festival on a panel discussing marketing yourself as an author, alongside freelance writer and editor at gal-dem Katie Goh and Canongate senior marketing executive Jamie Norman on Friday February 17th at 2pm. There are several other fabulous industry expert sessions that day which I would highly recommend!

I’m delighted to be returning to Granite Noir, one of my favourite festivals! I’ll be chairing Sarah Armstrong for Literary Lunch at 1pm Thursday February 23rd, panelist for Horror with Haunt at 5pm Thursday February 23rd, and panelist/performer for Nightime Noir with Scottish BPOC Writers Network at 8:30pm Saturday February 25th. Let me know if you’ll be there, always happy to chat in my capacity at Creative Scotland, or as an author/chair.

Pages: Reading

There Will Always Be Nights Like This by Cipher Press
I bought this chapbook when it published during lockdown and reading it now feels like being pulled right back to the strange waters of 2020. A collection of essays and poems by a variety of authors with profits going to The Outside Project, the UK’s first LGBTQI+ homeless shelter and crisis center, these pieces get to the nub of touch, the intangible movement of time, and maintaining and creating hope and joy.

Slow Down #4: Still Slow, Still Furious by River Ellen MacAskill
River is an old friend and I’ve enjoyed so much of their work, including their self-published lesbian road trip novel Coasting. Slow Down is a series of zines covering art, gender, community and so much more. Both humorous and raw, it’s like receiving a gloriously rambling voice note from a friend. River includes drawings, photographs, and things they’ve been reading and listening to. You can purchase Slow Down and other publications at River’s Etsy shop.

Cusp: A Collection of Feminist Writing Exploring Bodies, Myth, and Magic by Ache Magazine
This is another treasure I pulled from my shelves: a magazine of speculative fiction, poetry, and essays covering women’s bodies, mythologies, and magic with artwork by Nell Brookfield. I loved so many pieces in this magazine and was also challenged by a lot of the work, especially around ill-health, both physical and mental, and grief. You can order the e-book here and buy a gorgeous limited edition cover poster with donations going to Voices of Children Foundation.

Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World’s Most Notorious Diaries by Rick Emerson
The stars aligned when my favourite podcast You’re Wrong About, aired a multi-part podcast on Go Ask Alice, with one of my favourite authors Carmen Maria Machado. The podcast is a deep-dive ‘book club’/debunking of the notorious purported ‘diaries’ of teenage tragedies in the 1970s featuring Satanic Panic, the ‘war on drugs’, the Vietnam War, youth counter-culture, and the mess and moral quandaries a la Bad Art Friend, Catperson etc.

Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey
What a bizarre and enthralling novel! The novel follows Vera as she returns to her childhood home and her estranged dying mother. A haunted house full of secrets, difficult parents, an exploration of trauma and grief, and the ethics of true crime. Gailey packs so many things into this book which was an absolute page-turner and the mystery was balanced so beautifully with emotional pull and atmosphere.

Until March, stay soft, light, slow
Kat x

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