September 2023: Deep Breath Before the Plunge

September 2023: Deep Breath Before the Plunge

Hi pals,

August was a beautiful culture haze of Fringe, book events, and international professional exchanges and I was happy to bask in it. Now I’m glad to be in the onset of autumn, a time where I feel my creative energy building.

I have completed the final draft (for now) of hijinks on the high seas!! My agent has sent out the pitch to editors, which means I’m officially on submission! And very aptly on International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Hopefully it finds the right home and readers, but whatever happens next I’m so proud of this novel and had a whale of a time writing it. This project contains some of my most ambitious world-building and has allowed me to experiment and remember the joy of discovery and play.

I’m delighted to finally share the Kickstarter launch for To Root Somewhere Beautiful featuring my story ‘Mango Heart’. Check out the beautiful cover below! It’s an eco fiction anthology featuring authors traditionally underrepresented in nature writing, and my story focuses on a queer couple navigating grief and joy at the end of one of their lives. Or fondly: ‘sad lesbians by the sea’. We only have 30 days to raise ‘all or nothing’ funds, so I’m hugely grateful to everyone who shares and supports the anthology. I’m overjoyed to be sharing these pages with some of my most admired peers who are creating such exciting work.

Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake
I had so much fun with Delilah Green Doesn’t Care and I’m happy to see more shared universe romantic comedy novels. We’re back in Bright Falls, following Delilah’s step-sister Astrid after the nuptial fall-out of the first novel. It was so nice to hang out with the pals again and a queer romance about figuring it out later in life and second chances at happiness made me so soft and hopeful. Baking, interior design, and meet uglies to boot. A little bit of spice and a lot of heart.

Marikit and the Ocean of Stars by Caris Avendaño Cruz
A quest adventure, beautiful and complex family dynamics – particular mother-daughter, and so much heart and magic Marikit lives with her mother, a skilled seamstress struggling to make ends meet after the death of Marikit’s father and brother. Marikit wishes for a pretty outfit for her tenth birthday and is disappointed by the recycled patchwork dress her mother makes instead. But she realises there’s more to the dress, her mother, and the stories she’s heard about magical beings.

What Moves the Dead by T Kingfisher
A genderqueer retelling of The Fall of the House of Usher, this short atmospheric novel hits the mark, especially if you’re a fan of the mycological horror of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic. I read Poe’s short story as a (morbid) child, but you don’t need to be familiar with the original to enjoy Kingfisher’s retelling. The unnamed narrator is a genderqueer soldier who answers their friend’s letter and arrives at the moldering Usher estate to tend the ill – their childhood friends, siblings Madeline and Roderik Usher.

Children of Paradise by Camila Grudova
I’ve been waiting for the next book by Camila since loving The Doll’s Alphabet, her short story collection. This is a strange fever dream of a novel following a group of cinema workers at the Paradise filmhouse, a decrepit movie theatre long past the glamour of its prime. There’s much which will resonate with anyone who’s worked in customer-facing roles in hospitality or retail: co-dependent bonds forged through a love of cinema in the fire of toxic workplace environments.

I’m still on a break from chairing but delighted to be invited to a panel exploring the vampire in fiction for Writing the Occult. I’m on the panel I’ve fondly nicknamed Tropes: Re-Vamped alongside Jewelle Gomez, A.W. Earl, Scott J. Moses, and chaired by Rebecca Wojturska of Haunt Publishing. Join us on Saturday October 28th at 8pm UK time.

I’m so excited we’re in autumn and the lead-up to Halloween, my absolute favourite time of the year.

Til October, stay soft, light, slow,
Kat x

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