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December 2009

Welcome to Bywater Books

Dear Readers,

The holidays are coming, the countdown begins!

This month, we're turning the spotlight on Katherine V. Forrest. She's one of the most significant writers of her generation, and we're delighted to publish a collection of her short stories, Dreams and Swords. She has also edited an anthology of short stories centered around the holiday season, All in the Seasoning.

Just in time for the holidays, Cynn Chadwick and Bywater have created the Micro-Fiction Mystery Contest. We're asking you to tell us whodunnit–in no more than 250 words. And you'll have to be quick: we take submissions for just 10 days. (Give it a go! I played guinea-pig, and had a lot of fun.) For more details, see Bywater News below.

In our last newsletter, we promised you that we'd have a link to the panel discussion our authors had with Kate Clinton. It's ready now, so for more details, see P-Town Live! below.

As always, we at Bywater strive to bring you the finest in
lesbian romance, mystery, and literary fiction.

Till next time!

Kelly Smith
Marianne K. Martin
Val McDermid

Dreams and Swords
Dreams & Swords

by Katherine V. Forrest

Once upon a time we were all children and short stories taught us how to read fiction. And in the hands of a true storyteller, they can still take us back to the very heart of why we love to read.

Katherine V. Forrest is one of those true storytellers. This collection of her short stories showcases the brilliance of her gift, displaying the scope of her imagination and the range of her voice. From the erotic speculation of
O Captain, My Captain to the incisive investigation of homicide detective Kate Delafield; from moral dilemma to chilling horror; from peril to passion, Forrest takes us across the vivid landscapes of her remarkable mind.

A writer who has inspired both writers and readers, Forrest demonstrates her breathtaking versatility.
Dreams and
is not only the perfect introduction to her
work–it's also a delicious treat for her legion of fans.

So sit back and enjoy the ride.

Katherine V. Forrest is an author of international renown. A four-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award, she created the Kate Delafield mystery series, and the lesbian classics Curious Wine and Daughters of a Coral Dawn. Her novels are in translation worldwide, and her articles and reviews appear in both national and international publications.

Lesbian Fiction 232pp ISBN 978-1-932859-37-9

At fine bookstores everywhere
or order directly from Bywater Books.

All in the Seasoning
All in the Seasoning

edited by Katherine V. Forrest

Celebrate the holidays … lesbian style!

Celebrate solstice with women journeying along California's rugged north coast … With a firefighter on the job in New York City … Overlooking a plain, filled with waiting children, north of Los Angeles. Experience Thanksgiving with a lesbian border patrol agent along the Arizona-Mexico border. Celebrate Hannukah, in all its ceremony and meaning, at a lesbian bar. Celebrate Christmas with a lesbian couple in South Africa … in Death Valley … in Los Angeles … in San Francisco.

Here are the stories that the celebrate our own traditions. Our diversity and strength. Stories about our love and our families and our connections. Our own holiday stories.

Indulge yourself and those you love with this sinfully rich assortment of holiday-themed tales by authors tried and true–Jane Rule, Katherine V. Forrest, Val McDermid, Lee Lynch–and by the new writers you'll be glad you found.


Lesbian Fiction 280pp ISBN 978-1-932859-26-3

At fine bookstores everywhere
or order directly from Bywater Books.

Author Profile

Katherine V. Forrest
Katherine V. Forrest

There's something about a 40th birthday that focuses the mind. At least, that's how it worked for one woman. She'd always wanted to write a book. So now, spurred on by her partner, she did.

It took a bit longer than anticipated: she'd figured on six months, ended up taking three years. But that 'it' was Curious Wine, and the author was Katherine V. Forrest. A pioneer of lesbian literature had emerged.

It was not long before she created another classic: the novella O Captain, My Captain. It became an instant favorite–it's even referenced by the writers of "The L Word"; "O Captain, My Captain" said one woman as she tumbled her lover into bed … Katherine herself ranks it among her best work. In fact, she says, "I've often thought I should have written an entire novel about Captain Drake. Several novels, perhaps. I just might." (Yes, please!)

Until last year, though, the story had long been out of print. So Katherine was delighted when Bywater republished it last year, in the collection of short stories Dreams and Swords. (We were pretty pleased too.) The edition also features a new story, "A Leopard's Spots," which features "a couple of older characters I'm particularly fond of."

Katherine's skill as a writer meant that it was only a matter of time before she "crossed over" to a mainstream audience. It's not a notion that particularly interests her. She's proud to write for lesbian readers–hey, she created Kate Delafield, the first lesbian police officer in American fiction–and when she does consider "crossing over," the people she wants to reach are her gay brothers.

But it's not just as a writer that Katherine has served–and continues to serve–the gay community. For ten years, she was a senior editor at Naiad Press, and she is currently a supervising editor at Spinsters Ink. She sits on the board of trustees of the Lambda Literary Foundation, and is currently its interim president. (Not too busy, then.)

Katherine lives in Half Moon Bay, CA, with her wife Jo, and two cats.

Bywater Trivia
Every month Bywater holds a prize draw. To enter, just answer a simple question — it's always about our authors or our books.

Usually, we're looking for a correct answer from you. This time round, we're just curious to know which of Katherine V. Forrest's many books is your favorites. So all who reply will get their names thrown into the hat. The first one out, wins!

So this month's question is:

What is your favorite Katherine V. Forrest book?

The winner will receive the Bywater Books title of their choice!

News from Bywater

Bliss Town
Cynn Chadwick
and Bywater Books invite you to submit to our First annual story contest, Micro-Fiction Mystery!

The challenge here is to write a
piece containing all the elements of a traditional mystery story–setting,
characters, whodunit, and a resolution–and all in 250 words.

We've done some of the work for you: the setting is the mysterious village of Little Bliss (see above). For more photographs, from the inspirational camera of Elenna Rybicki, visit Cynn's blog.

As for what happens there, that's up to you. And if you want to know what 250 words look like, that's exactly how many words we've used to tell you more:

Each year in early December, far off in the ribboned Blue Ridges of a mountain range, rising magically from misty hills, appears a village known as Little Bliss.

No one knows for how long the town has come and gone, just that it always emerges after the first snowy blast of winter turns the ancient hillsides a cool blue-white, freezing ponds and rivers. Houses and storefronts shimmer, trimmed with glistening icicles that dangle from gutters. The brush of wind paints frost across windowpanes that frame Christmas scenes within cozy homes.

Main Street, lined with shops and cafés, wraps itself around a wintry park where townsfolk gather at the skate pond to share hot cocoa. A Christmas-tree lot on the riverbank is run by two men, who have adopted a baby together. Bustling along sidewalks, villagers go about their business: shopkeepers greet customers, children build snowmen, a carpenter strings lights while her partner, the hockey coach, goes to the grocery. Mothers hurry baby carriages through flurries to cottages, and once warm inside they sip wine, waiting on husbands drinking up bonuses at the Blissful Pub.

Across the railroad tracks lies a ragged grid of dirty streets known as Tinker Town. Behind Bobby's Gas Station, gamblers and thieves count loot, hookers above the saloon rise after noon, and now there's a rumor going round: a stranger's on the way. If those townsfolk from Little Bliss get wind of it, they'll think twice before crossing the tracks for a jiffy lube and oil change.

Be quick! We're accepting submissions from December 1 to
December 10

Send them by e-mail to:

Mark the subject line Micro-Fiction Contest. And in the body of the e-mail, don't forget to include your name and your snail-mail address.

The winning entry will be published on Cynn's blog, as well as here, in the Bywater Books Newsetter. And the winner will receive Cynn Chadwick's Cat Rising trilogy: Cat Rising, Girls With Hammers, and Babies, Bikes, and Broads.

The runner-up will receive a copy of Jill Malone's recently published second novel, A Field Guide to Deception.

Val McDermid will choose the winning submission!

First-round Judges include Cynn Chadwick, Mari Sangiovanni (Greetings From Jamaica), and Bett Norris(Miss McGhee).

Bywater Events

Cynn Chadwick
will be signing the books from her Cat Rising trilogy–Cat Rising,Girls with Hammers, and Babies, Bikes, and Broads. Come meet her at Malaprop's Bookstore and Café in Asheville on Friday, December 18 at 67 p.m.
55 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28001
For more information: 828 254-6734

Elana Dykewomon
will be reading and signing in the Distinguished Author Series at the Stonewall Library & Archives, on Thursday, January 7 at 7 p.m.
The venue is wheelchair accessible.
1300 East Sunrise Boulevard,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
For more information: 954 763-8565

Z Egloff
will read from her first novel, Verge, at Copperfield's Books in Santa Rosa on December 9 at 7 p.m.
2316 Montgomery Drive
Santa Rosa, CA 95405.

P-Town Live!

As regular readers will know, Bywater Books teamed up with Kate Clinton to host the first annual Laugh Out Loud panel. Mari SanGiovanni played host, while Cynn Chadwick, Z Egloff, Marcia Finical, and Bett Norris talked about their experiences in today's book business. All the proceedings were videoed, and the film is now up on the web. A word of warning, though: the camera started rolling as the panel was setting up, and the video editor didn't get the scissors out, so press play, then go make yourself a cup of coffee. By the time you come back, the panel will be ready to start. Click here!

For a short, very silly recording of our authors getting ready to sign their books, click here. (You might like the cleavage shot.) You'll see Cynn, Z, Marcia, Mari, and Bett as well as Marianne K. Martin.

Bywater Media

In November, Lambda Literary News reviewed Verge, the first novel by Z Egloff, published earlier this year (and featured in our August newsletter). The verdict? A book that begins quietly before picking up pace and "sweeping the reader up in a whirlwind." To read the review, click here. And look out for another mention in December's issue of Curve.

Curve features an article with Val McDermid, who describes her childhood growing up in a mining community. The interview coincides with publication of A Darker Domain featuring a new character, DI Karen Pirie "as fascinating and nuanced as any McDermid character yet".

Crime fiction has become a talking point recently. In our November newsletter, we linked you to an article in The New Yorker. This time round, Val also features in a discussion about The State of the Crime Novel in the Huffington Post.

For an interview to tie in with last month's broadcast of A Place of Execution, Women and Hollywood, Val was asked once again about violence — and women writing about violence. (And yes, she admits to getting pretty frustrated about being misquoted and misinterpreted.) She also gets to explain how the book was adapted for television. And she's got some great advice for any writer just starting out. Take a look!

Finally, you never know what you'll find on YouTube:
· Marcia Finical certainly didn't ever expect to see Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush discussing Last Chance at the Lost and Found. But seeing is believing — click here.
· And Bett Norris was surprised that Sarah Palin took time out from promoting her own book to discuss Miss McGhee with Hillary Clinton — click here.
(In case you're wondering, we don't know who set up the interviews, either …)

The Virtual World

When they're not writing the books you love, your favorite authors are writing their blogs, creating websites, and updating their social networking sites.

Lindy Cameron

Cynn Chadwick

Stella Duffy
You can also find her on Library Thing and

Elana Dykewomon
You can also find her on Facebook and Red Room.

Z Egloff
You can also find her on Facebook and Red Room.

Marcia Finical
You can find Marcia on Facebook.

Katherine V. Forrest

Jill Malone
You can also find her on Facebook and MySpace.

Marianne K. Martin
You can also find her on Facebook, MySpace, and Red Room.

Val McDermid

Bett Norris
You can also find her on Facebook, MySpace, and Red Room.

Mari SanGiovanni
You can also find her on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter — her user name is MariSanGiovanni.

Issue: 7

In This Issue
Author Profile
Bywater Trivia
News from Bywater
Bywater Events
P-Town Live!
Bywater Media
The Virtual World

Quick Links

Bywater Books

About Bywater

Bywater Prize for Fiction Submissions

Bloody Brits

Win! Win! Win!

With every newsletter, you have a chance
to win.

This month we're giving away an i-Tunes gift certficate — to the
value of $10.

Everyone who orders books from us during December — whether online, by mail order, or by phone — will be entered into a
prize drawer.

Join Our Mailing List

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PO Box 3671
Ann Arbor MI 48106

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