Finding the People and Stories That Matter Online
By Erica Mills, Executive Director of NineStar Press
Seven years ago, I took a chance on making a new friend. That split-second decision opened up a whole new world to me.
Back then, I was a college student finding my feet in my writing career. I wanted to write LGBTQA fiction. The problem was, I didn’t know anyone who wrote what I wrote. I was living in a small town in Ireland. While I have a great bunch of friends from that town, none of them identified anywhere on the LGBTQA spectrum, much less had the desire to write about it.
So I joined an online writing group. A couple of months after joining, I spotted a post from someone looking for a writing partner. Her name was Lisa Cox, I discovered, and she was living in Ireland, too. Importantly, she was writing the kind of fiction I wanted to write.
It’s crazy to think of it now, but I almost didn’t respond to the post. I wrote out a message, deleted it, and then wrote another. My finger hovered over the mouse for what felt like eons before I hit send. But I thought, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Turns out, a lot of good happened.
That friend turned out to be one of the most important people in my life. She’s a truly impressive person—an editing and LGBTQA fiction powerhouse. I watched in awe as she conquered the LGBTQA fiction market, both as an author and as an editor with some of the biggest e-publishing presses around.
So when she sent me a message saying she was thinking of starting her own publishing press for LGBTQA fiction, I didn’t hesitate. I told her she had to go for it—and I knew I had to get involved as an investor and a member of staff.
Lisa and I had had some long conversations in the past about trying to find good-quality LGBTQA fiction. We’re both voracious readers as well as authors and editors and though we’ve been able to find a lot of male/male romances, we had long lamented how few publishers were actively catering to the rest of the spectrum. With NineStar Press, we want to change that. We want to produce the best lesbian, bisexual, trans*, queer, and asexual fiction on the market.
For all of the debate about the pitfalls of the internet, my experience since meeting Lisa online has highlighted one of the greatest benefits of the ’net. Used properly, the internet is a place to come together, to find the kind of community and friends that can last a lifetime. It’s where you can go to disappear into a world of books and stories to suit your tastes and interests—not just what traditional publishers dictate you should be reading.
We want to open up that world and community even further for people like us. We’re doing that by sourcing and publishing stories from the best LGBTQA writers around the globe.
When you buy a book from NineStar Press, you can be guaranteed that it was put together by people like you: people who know the value of finding a place to be yourself, a place where you can explore your interests, and seeing yourself reflected back in what you read.
Finding that kind of resource online is invaluable. I speak from happy experience.
NineStar Press launches on the 23rd of November. See what’s in store for you from NineStar Press: go to http://www.ninestarpress.com now.
Fans of quality LGBTQA fiction have been anticipating the launch of brand-new publisher NineStar Press. Following the company’s “soft launch” in July, they’re ready to launch fully on November 23rd, 2015.
NineStar Press was created to meet the reading needs of people across the LGBTQA spectrum. The company was formed when founder Lisa Cox, who has years of experience both as an author and editor of LGBTQA fiction, noticed a gap in the market that wasn’t being filled. Though many publishing houses are focused on straight and male/male fiction and romance, Lisa saw that few were offering high-quality, professionally edited and formatted books outside of those markets.
Though NineStar Press will offer plenty gay fiction and romance, it is also committed to publishing books featuring lesbian, bisexual, trans*, queer, and asexual characters. It will release only the best, most engaging LGBTQA stories that you’ll want to read again and again.
What Can You Expect From NineStar Press?
Already, the publisher has a battery of books waiting to be pre-ordered by LGBTQA readers. The stories run the gamut of genres, lengths, and sexualities, from short male/male erotica to fantasy with a lesbian protagonist to contemporary romantic suspense.
Defiant Loyalties by Elizabeth Wilde is one of the novels to be released. It follows the story of Jack Preston, whose life is thrown into a dangerous game of lies and espionage, when an assassination attempt is made on his oppressive father’s life. He finds solace in an unlikely place—in the man who was tasked with killing his father. The heat level is high on this erotic romance…and the tension higher. Check it out at NineStar Press now.
Fans of fantasy fiction will also find much to love about Brooke Radley’s Nightshade. It centers on a young mage named Eleanor, who has to infiltrate a thieves’ guild to find the source of a drug that’s ravaging her city. But once she’s reached the inner circle of the Nightshade Brotherhood, she’s drawn to a beautiful and elusive thief called Cassandra. Can she risk betraying Cassandra to do what needs to be done for the good of her city?
Noted erotica and erotic romance writer Elizabeth Coldwell brings two initial short erotic pieces to the line-up with the seasonal Happy Christmas, Sir, about a sub who wants to please his Dom, and Trickster, about a bounty hunter who’s drawn to his handsome target.
Fans of seasonal romances and erotic stories will find a lot to choose from, too. Check out the site to see offerings from male romance writer Olley White, erotic romance writer Gillian St. Kevern, and lesbian novella writer Lucy Carey.
There are too many to list here, so check out http://www.ninestarpress.com to see what else is on offer.
No matter what your taste or interest is, NineStar Press has all the top-quality, well-written, hard-to-put-down LGBTQA fiction you could desire.
NineStar Press launches on November 23rd, 2015. If you’re a fan of LGBTQA fiction, go to www.ninestarpress.com to see the full catalogue today.
Brooke Radley is a fiction writer with a focus on lesbian protagonists. Her new release Nightshade—available to order pre-release here [link: http://ninestarpress.com/product/nightshade-brooke-radley/%5D—follows a young mage who’s tasked with infiltrating a criminal organisation to help stamp out a new drug that’s rampaging through her city.
Below, Brooke discusses her book, writing fiction, and her experiences with brand-new LGBTQA publisher, NineStar Press.
[About the author:] Brooke Radley is an office manager who lives in Chesapeake, Virginia. She has a degree in English from Virginia Tech. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading or spending time with her dogs, Rio and Gabby.
Brooke is available for follow-up questions or for further interviews. Please contact NineStar Press’s marketing manager and executive director, Erica Mills, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to arrange to speak to Brooke directly.
Interview with Lesbian Fiction Writer Brooke Radley
Only a very special book could be chosen to help launch a brand new press. But when it came to launching LGBTQA-focused NineStar Press, its directors knew that Brooke Radley’s novel Nightshade would be one of its earliest and brightest stars.
“When I started reading Brooke’s book, I was enraptured,” executive director Erica Mills says. “From the moment the female protagonist, Eleanor, was introduced on the first page, I knew this was a book we needed to have as part of our opening line-up.”
Nightshade, a fantasy novel that centres on a lesbian central character, is a page-turner from start to finish. So what made Brooke want to tell this story?
“I got my start in fanfiction when I was twelve,” she says, “but I’ve always thought about writing fantasy. I started reading Female/Female (F/F) fiction in college, and I noticed there were very few F/F fantasy novels. It’s gotten better in recent years, but I never could shake the desire to write one for myself. So I thought, why not?”
Her desire resulted in a breathless, mystery-soaked fantasy novel that rivals any written with a straight protagonist.
As a keen reader, Brooke took inspiration from books—experiencing a moment of revelation while reading.
“I had just finished reading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch and was halfway through Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige when I realized that my favorite stories always involve a character pretending to be something they aren’t. The next thing I knew, I wanted to write about a woman going undercover into an evil organization and attempting to bring it down from the inside.”
So that’s exactly what she did. The story of Nightshade centers around a young mage named Eleanor who infiltrates the criminal guild, the Nightshade Brotherhood. She’s tasked by her city’s council with proving they’re the ones responsible for the distribution of a hallucinogenic drug called tangleweed.
But once she starts her mission, Eleanor learns quickly that an attractive distraction could sway her from her purpose.
While on a trial mission for the thieves’ guild, she meets the elusive Cassandra. From there, things get complicated for Eleanor. “There’s an instant spark between them,” Brooke explains. “Eleanor makes it her objective to learn more about Cassandra—for her mission and her own curiosity.”
After crafting such a labor of love, Brooke knew she had to find just the right home for Nightshade. Finding a publishing house that would appreciate her book proved harder than she thought.
“I did a lot of research before submitting, and I saw that while a lot of publishers were interested in LGBTQA fiction, many of them were more focused on other genres,” she says. “Very few were interested in a fantasy novel featuring LGBTQA characters.
“I stumbled upon NineStar Press. When I saw how passionate they were about LGBTQA fiction, I knew I wanted to submit to them.”
The experience proved to be a very positive one for the nascent author.
“I enjoyed working with my editor. From the beginning, she was open with me about what worked and what didn’t. Her feedback really helped improve my writing. I’m also really pleased with how the cover of Nightshade turned out.”
Though she’s earned a break, the author isn’t resting on her laurels when it comes to writing. She’s already completed another book and has another in the pipeline.
“My next book that’s coming out with NineStar is called But First Must Come the Storm. It’s about a student and her relationship with her professor.”
She’s also working on a sequel to Nightshade with the working title of Sunstalker.
Check out NineStar Press to pre-order Nightshade now http://ninestarpress.com/product/nightshade-brooke-radley. Or to see what else is available to buy, check out the full complement of pre-release books now at http://www.ninestarpress.com.