Book Buzz July 2009

Hannah Free, starring Sharon Gless and based on Claudia Allen’s acclaimed stage play about the unabashed love of two women over several decades, will premiere at Outfest Los Angeles on July 10. As the film schedules future festival dates, Bella Books has acquired the print and digital rights to the novelization of the play, which Claudia will also write.
Big news from the world of horror fiction: Vince Liaguno and Chad Helder have won the prestigious Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement from the Horror Writer’s Association for their anthology, Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet . To learn why this is so important, read our Q&A with Vince and Chad below.

Icarus, the new quarterly of gay speculative fiction (fantasy, horror, SF) from Steve Berman’s Lethe Press, is officially out. Meanwhile, Lethe Press recently grabbed electronic and print rights to Ann Somerville‘s speculative novel, Somatestesia.

Attitude Books, the new imprint from Spinsters Ink, has published its first title, Rhiannon Argo’s debut novel, The Creamsickle. Attitude’s mission is to publish a new generation of edgy, young queer writers.

Don Weise, editorial director of Alyson Books, has acquired Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla‘s second novel, The Two Krishnas, for a February 2010 release. The dramatic saga, set in 1970’s Kenya and contemporary Los Angeles, centers on Pooja Kapoor, an East Indian banker’s wife who discovers that her husband has fallen in love with a Muslim boy about their son’s age. Dhalla’s first novel, Ode to Lata, was adapted as The Ode, an indie feature film released last year.

Garrison Keillor has read several poems by Lammy-winning poet Ellen Bass on National Public Radio and she’s got the podcasts on her website (
Lesléa Newman has been awarded the Burning Bush Poetry Prize for her poem, “What the Angel Really Said” from her book, Nobody’s Mother (Orchard House Books). The poem will be published by Burning Bush Publications in the online journal, In Our Own Words, this fall.

Longtime Advocate cultural editor Mark Thompson has signed with Rebel Satori Press for a collection of biographical essays entitled Advocate Days & Other Stories, charting his journey as both witness and participant in the gay liberation movement. Look for it this fall. Also later this year, Rebel Satori’s Queer Mojo imprint will release the first volume from SM Johnson’s DeVante trilogy of vampire novels, with books two and three to follow. Johnson’s DeVante’s Coven was the grand prize winner in Project: QueerLit 2008.

The Latecomer Legacy Project at A&M Books is officially underway, soliciting women’s stories of their first experience with lesbian literature from the 1970s to today. (The project takes its name from The Latecomer by Sarah Aldridge, the first title from the legendary Naiad Press.) If you’d like to contribute your personal story, check the project website for details.

Jere’ Fishback
‘s YA LGBT novel, Josef Jaeger, published by Prizm Books, received a “Top Choice Award” from Flamingnet Reviews, where teens review books written for teens of all sexual orientations.

Double Whammy: Bonnie J. Morris has not one but two books out this summer: Revenge of the Women’s Studies Professor (Indiana University Press), based on her one-woman play of the same name exploring academic homophobia, and Big and Strong, I Belong! (Diversion Press), an anti-bullying tale.
Jeffrey Beam has been honored as Poet of the Week on a new blog operated by North Carolina Poet Laureate Kay Byer, which also runs news about poets and poetry.
Patricia Nell Warren’s Wildcat Press has sold the audio rights to The Front Runner to Audible, Inc., while Blackstone has released the audio version of her 1991 historical novel, One is the Sun.

Finally: A couple of years back I had the honor of mentoring a young gay writer in PEN Center USA’s Emerging Voices fellowship program. Based in Los Angeles, it nurtures and supports talented aspiring creative writers who, for various reasons, lack access to mainstream publishing and writing opportunities. Now in its fourteenth year, the eight-month program provides, in addition to one-on-one mentoring, free classes at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, intimate Q&A evenings with professional writers, master classes by genre, workshops, and a $1,000 stipend. This year’s applications are due August 14. For more information, visit their website or contact Libby Flores at

I’d also like to call your attention to the Lambda Literary Foundation’s new Directory of Professional Services. Among the writers offering their editorial support for a fee are Nancy K. Bereano, Stephen Evans, Lesléa Newman, Patricia Nell Warren, Terry Wolverton, and yours truly. Look for more names in various areas of writing, publishing, and publicity as the directory continues to grow.

That’s all the Book Buzz for now. So, go read a book!