Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday's Montage Mantlepiece: A Pride of Poppies-Modern GLBTQI fiction of the Great War

Modern GLBTQI fiction of the Great War

Ten authors - in thirteen stories - explore the experiences of GLBTQI people during World War I. In what ways were their lives the same as or different from those of other people?

A London pub, an English village, a shell-hole on the Front, the outskirts of Thai Nguyen city, a ship in heavy weather off Zeebrugge, a civilian internment camp … Loves and griefs that must remain unspoken, unexpected freedoms, the tensions between individuality and duty, and every now and then the relief of recognition. You’ll find both heartaches and joys in this astonishing range of thought-provoking stories.

***Please note: All proceeds will be donated to The Royal British Legion.***

The Stories
No Man’s Land by Julie Bozza
Drew was born neither boy nor girl, but he was raised as a man, and now he is desperate to enlist to prove himself. His lover, who fought in the Transvaal twelve years before, is just as desperate to dissuade him.

I Remember by Wendy C. Fries
Time goes tick-tock forward, turning boys into men and men into soldiers, but sometimes a man is left behind. Christopher Timlock meant to join the London Regiment with James Gant, but the British Army had other ideas. So Chrissie made a promise: he would wait for Jamie, for as long as it took. And he would remember.

War Life by Z. McAspurren
During the war, people lived their lives in different ways. Even separated by a country, however, a sister and a brother’s thoughts circled around similar ideas. One was a worker in a factory, and the other was on the Front Line; both had something important taken from them because of the war, and the thing they’d lost had a way of always entering their minds.

Lena and the Swan or, The Lesbian Lothario by Julie Bozza
While the men are away, Lena will play … She delivers the mail, and happily takes advantage of some of the women on her route whose husbands are at war. But then a Miss Cawkwell moves into the house at Fields Corner, and Lena’s world begins to shift.

Inside by Eleanor Musgrove
Alfred Schuchard is a baker, the English-born son of a German immigrant, and stuck in a civilian internment camp for the duration of the war. The last thing he needs is for life to get any more complicated. But then a new arrival at camp turns what little still made sense in his world on its head.

Break of Day in the Trenches by Jay Lewis Taylor
Escaping from the German lines hasn’t gone to plan. Second Lieutenant David Lewry is sheltering from the barrage in a German dug-out, literally thrown together with Captain David Russell-Hansford-Barnes. Although the two seem to have nothing in common beyond their first name, they share two things: a desire to get back to the British lines, and a desire to live. Then, as they talk through the wait for dawn, the realisation comes on them that they share still more.

Per Ardua Ad Astra by Lou Faulkner
Summer, 1916. The survival of the young aviators of the Royal Flying Corps depends, more often than not, on absolute trust and teamwork. On the eve of the Somme, two such young men watch the storm-clouds gathering, and prepare themselves as best they can for what is to come.

The Man Left Behind by Eleanor Musgrove
Henrietta’s not happy about the men – her brother included – marching off to war, of course not. But perhaps every cloud, however dark, does have a silver lining?

Hallowed Ground by Charlie Cochrane
A doctor, a padre, a packet of Black Cat cigarettes and a night in a shell hole; an unexpected confession provides a ray of hope in the darkness.

A Rooted Sorrow by Adam Fitzroy
The war has an effect on those at home, too. Mrs Mercer, preoccupied with thoughts of her son, learns about Simon’s love for Alfred – a startling contrast to her own unhappy marriage. But what will the implications of this knowledge be, and how might it possibly influence their future lives?

At the Gate by Jay Lewis Taylor
Aboard HMS Arion, ploughing southward in heavy weather to a rendezvous off Zeebrugge, Surgeon Lieutenant-Commander Alan Kershaw has much to contend with: seasickness, anxious messmates, and the depredations of the ship’s rat on his medical texts, for a start. Worse than all of these, however, is having to keep his grief secret when anyone else would be allowed to mourn …

After & Before by Sam Evans
It is 1918 and the Great War is drawing to a close. Life in Britain has changed. Men are returning home injured, traumatised and severely damaged by what they have seen on the Front Line. Dr Robert Wallace was never one of those men. Disabled by a motorbike accident and unable to fight, he now cares for the men who went out there and did their duty – men like Wilfred Cahill, Robert’s lover, who left him four years before to go to war.

Ánh Sáng by Barry Brennessel
They met as boys in the Tonkin region of French Indochina. Years later, as war rages in Europe, the relationship between Bùi Vân Minh and Ngô Công Thao is tested in ways they never imagined. France clings desperately to her colony as a growing surge of independence sweeps through Tonkin, Annam, and Cochinchina. The two men are caught up in wildly different circumstances, but the one constant they have is each other.

Author Bios:
Julie Bozza 
I was born in England, and lived most of my life in Australia before returning to the UK a few years ago; my dual nationality means that I am often a bit too cheeky, but will always apologise for it.

I have been writing fiction for almost thirty years, mostly for the enjoyment of myself and my friends, but writing is my love and my vocation so of course that’s where my dreams and ambitions are.

In the meantime, technical writing helps to pay the mortgage, while I also have fun with web design, photography, reading, watching movies and television, knitting, and imbibing espresso.

Barry Brennessel 
When Barry’s first collection of stories was read aloud by his second grade teacher, the author hid. As the years flew by, he wrote more, hid less (not really), and branched out to Super 8 films and cassette tape recorders. Barry’s audience—consisting solely of friends and family—were both amused and bemused.

Since those childhood days, Barry has earned degrees in English and French from the State University of New York College at Brockport, and a Master of Arts in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University.

Tinseltown, a Finalist in the 24th Annual Lambda Literary Awards, is Barry’s first novel. His novel The Celestial won the Gold Medal in the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards and was a Finalist in the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards. Reunion, a collection of linked stories, was a Finalist in the 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards.

His work has appeared in SNReview, Perspectives, Time Pilot, Liquid Ohio, Nocturnal Lyric, Midnight Times, Gival Press’s ArLiJo, and Polari Journal. His stories, novels and teleplays have won awards, including a 2008 Pushcart Prize nomination; 3rd Place in the 2010 Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) literary contest and finalist status in the 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2013 PNWA contests; 3rd Place in the 79th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition and a winning entry in the 2013 WILDSound Screenplay competition.

When not embroiled in his own writing, Barry sips wine, nibbles on chocolate, and watches films and TV—both the classic and the cheesy. (Mmm…cheese!)

Charlie Cochrane 
As Charlie Cochrane couldn't be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice - like managing a rugby team - she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, predominantly historical romances/mysteries, but she's making an increasing number of forays into the modern day. She's even been known to write about gay werewolves - albeit highly respectable ones.

Her Cambridge Fellows series of Edwardian romantic mysteries were instrumental in seeing her named Speak Its Name Author of the Year 2009. She’s a member of both the Romantic Novelists’ Association and International Thriller Writers Inc.

Happily married, with a house full of daughters, Charlie tries to juggle writing with the rest of a busy life. She loves reading, theatre, good food and watching sport. Her ideal day would be a morning walking along a beach, an afternoon spent watching rugby and a church service in the evening.

Sam Evans 
Sam Evans lives in the North West of England in a town semi famous for its rugby. By day she works for mental health services in Manchester. By night she put the words in her head onto paper but only if a shiny computer game doesn’t distract her first.

Having found her way to the genre through a pack of wolf shifters, she was pleasantly surprised when the fictional characters her head fit into place when only men were involved. Now she can’t shut them up.

Sam is thankful for a boyfriend who makes her cups of tea and who doesn’t mind that she isn’t a domestic goddess.

Her stories are set in and around Manchester, with the odd excursion to the British coastline (or Cyprus for the weather).

Lou Faulkner
I live in a little house with a big garden in the far south of the world, and most of my life has revolved around books: selling them, lending them out, and more recently, writing them. Apart from bibliophilia, I’ve done a variety of different things, including years spent learning falconry, and I enjoy trying hands-on pursuits that might give me material for my stories: blacksmithing, tall-ship sailing and flying. I will attempt things in my writer’s persona that I would never contemplate as myself: this does not, however, extend to bungy-jumping.

Adam Fitzroy 
Imaginist and purveyor of tall tales Adam Fitzroy is a UK resident who has been successfully spinning male-male romances either part-time or full-time since the 1980s, and has a particular interest in examining the conflicting demands of love and duty.

Wendy C. Fries
Wendy C. Fries is the author of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson: The Day They Met, and has written hundreds of features on high tech, personal finance, and health and wellness. She’s fascinated with London, theatre, scriptwriting, and lattés.

Z. McAspurren
Z. McAspurren is an aspiring writer from Scotland, with a larger Disney DVD collection than she’d like to admit. She holds a BA in Social Sciences, focusing on history and criminology, and continues to study the world’s history informally in her free time.

Eleanor Musgrove
A young author just starting out, Eleanor Musgrove likes to dabble in as many types of story as she can think of - just as long as she's writing. As well as the books listed on Goodreads, she writes for the fantasy World of Caladria.

Jay Lewis Taylor
Despite having spent most of my life in Surrey and Oxfordshire, I now live in Somerset, within an hour’s drive of the villages where two of my great-great-great-grandparents were born. Although I work as a rare-books librarian in an abstruse area of medical history, I am in fact a thwarted medievalist with a strong arts background.

I have been writing fiction for over thirty years, exploring the lives of people who are on the margins in one way or another, and how the power of love and language can break down the walls that we build round ourselves.

Julie Bozza

Barry Brennessal

Charlie Cochrane

Sam Evans

Lou Falkner

Adam Fitzroy

Wendy C Fries

Eleanor Musgrove

Jay Lewis Taylor


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for such thorough support! :-)