Bywater Books, Inc. represents the coming of age of queer literature.
The Bywater Books mission is to publish well-written commercial literature primarily targeted at lesbian, sapphic, and wlw readers. Our definition of “lesbian, sapphic, and wlw” refers to women or nonbinary persons identifying as lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, Two Spirit, sapphic, homo/bi/pan-romantic, asexual, and/or queer—this includes trans women.
The Amble Press mission is to publish fiction and narrative nonfiction by LGBTQ+ writers with contemporary resonance in our changing world, and with a primary, though not exclusive, focus on queer writers of color.
At Bywater Books and Amble Press, we are all stories.
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
Marianne K. Martin
Director of Operations
Director of Creative Services
Ann McMan is the Director of Creative Services for Bywater Books. McMan is a two-time Lambda Literary award-winning author with more than thirty-five years of professional experience in graphic design, marketing, and brand identity. Her design work has received national and international recognition. In recent years, she has become one of the most sought after brand developers and cover designers in LGBT publishing and is a four-time winner of the Tee Corinne Award for Outstanding Cover Design.
Editor and Proofreader
Interim Managing Editor, Amble Press
Eric Peterson (he/him) is a novelist, playwright, and essayist. His debut novel, Loyalty, Love & Vermouth won the 2021 Gay Scribe Award for Fiction and a Spring 2022 Gold Medal from BookFest in the “LGBT Fiction” category. In addition to writing, Eric has been a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practitioner for over 20 years. Former and current clients include advertising firms, member associations, healthcare organizations, performing arts organizations, telecommunications companies, and more. He currently operates Red Seven Consulting, his own DEI consulting firm, and is the recipient of the Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award from the National Conference of Community & Justice. He has been sourced as a DEI expert by NBC Out, CNN, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and others. He lives in Washington, DC.
Director of Social Media
Cathy Pegau is the Social Media Director for Bywater Books. She is an award-winning author of horror, science fiction, and fantasy novels, and lives in Alaska with her spouse and critters, preferring to hunker down in front of the woodstove with a good book to outdoor activities.
Managing Editor, Bywater Books
Kit Haggard (she/her) is a freelance editor, teacher, and award-winning author of speculative fiction and critical essays on queer literature. Kit’s fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Electric Literature, and The Masters Review, among other places; critical essays on queer literature and fabulism have appeared in a number of outlets. Haggard is the recipient of the St. Botolph Emerging Artists Award, the Rex Warner Prize, and the Nancy Lynn Schwartz Prize for Fiction. She is also a 2022 recipient of the Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellowship and a Bread Loaf Scholarship. She holds an MFA from Emerson College and lives in Boston with her spouse.
Rachel Spangler is the award-winning author of a bookshelf full of lesbian romance novels and has spent more than a decade learning the fine art of writing romance from some of the best teachers in the business. They bring this significant experience to Bywater Books by working with many of our romance authors to help them get the very best from their characters and storylines. Rachel authors the widely popular Wonder Boi Writes blog, where they are on a never-ending quest for new and better ways to build a bigger table for the queer literary community. Rachel lives with their wife Susan and son Jackson in Western New York.
Editor Emeritus, Amble Press
Michael Nava is the author of an acclaimed series of seven crime novels featuring gay, Latino criminal defense lawyer Henry Rios. The Rios novels have won seven Lambda Literary awards, and Nava was called by the New York Times, “one of our best.” In 2001, he was awarded the Bill Whitehead Lifetime Achievement Award in LGBT Literature from the Publishing Triangle. A native Californian and the grandson of Mexican immigrants, he divides his time between San Francisco and Palm Springs. Michael had a distinguished legal career, earning his law degree from Stanford University—he retired from the law in July 2016. Michael took over as the inaugural Managing Editor of Amble Press in 2019 before leaving in 2023 to focus on writing the follow on to The City of Palaces.
Editor and Proofreader