Bywater BLUE

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October 2010

Welcome to Bywater Books

Dear Readers,

Fall has arrived and the nights are drawing in–and we've got some new titles ready to release.

First up is Stella Duffy's Parallel Lies, a story of a world where truth is beside the point and lies are the strongest currency. (Yup, it's set in Hollywood.) See Behind the Book and Hot Off the Press below.

Lisa Gitlin's debut novel I Came Out for This? continues to win praise. (And Bywater Books has been getting a few compliments too.) Take a look at Bywater Media — where you'll also find news of Sally Bellerose and Val McDermid.

A reminder for the the writers and would-be writers among you: the deadline for this year's Bywater Prize for Fiction is fast approaching: check out Bywater News below.

Finally, Women's Week is about to start and once again Bywater will be at P-town. To find out more, see Women's Week 2010 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

Behind the Book

Stella Duffy
The worst thing about celebrities? Even when you're trying not to pay them attention, you do. That actor who went to jail this summer–you know the one I mean, don't you?

Thought so.

Celebrity culture is everywhere. And that can get pretty tedious. "… even those of us who profess not to be impressed by it, or interested in it, are still affected by it in certain ways," says Stella Duffy.

Why write about it, then? Because "it so often involves lying and secrets–and that's always good for fiction.

From that simple observation came Parallel Lies. She set the story in Hollywood "because I think there's a big shiny thing about 'Hollywood' (the reality and the myth!)" and "…film, it's all about lying and trying to make it seem real. Or being real and then allowing it to be sold as a lie, so I figured actors were the perfect cast…!" It helped too that "when I wrote this I'd been working in the US–in theatre, in San Diego and NYC, so US acting culture felt more relevant to me than it had done in the past, and I was keen to use that new knowledge in my writing work."

She did and she created Yana Ivanova, a movie star who has already become a legend–and who'll do whatever it takes to stay that way. Her fans know she's living with another actor, Jimmy. What they don't know is that the marriage is simply a matter of business: out of the spotlight, behind closed doors, Yana Ivanova is a lesbian.

Let's face it, other actors have made similar deals chasing fame. To them Stella says: "Come out, come out, come out. Be brave, stand up, get on with it, get over it. We will never overcome the homophobia of the world while we give in to our own homophobia."

She goes on to explain: "I do know some not-out performers, I don't understand their reasoning, I think it's self-centered and unaware (of how valuable all of us being out is, of how important it is for all of us to be out and not just leave the work of changing the world to a few brave ones) …"

Stella's earned the right to her views: "I'm aware this can be seen as a radical stance, but having been out for 30 of my 47 years, I'm more than a little tired of being in the vanguard of LGBT politics… (I can barely imagine how exhausting this must be for the true LGBT pioneers, ten, twenty, fifty, or a hundred years earlier!)"

You'll find these arguments in Parallel Lies, but she says "I hope they're not sledge-hammered home." Actually she's too subtle a writer for that. Besides, there's more to the story than politics. She wanted to write about "privilege, power, money," and relationships that are "dangerous, erotic and sexy" and she also wanted to write "a great swimming pool".

Yup, there's a reason for that cover; see Hot off the Press below. (I'm not going to say anymore than that, though.)

Stella lives in London with her wife, the playwright Shelly Silas.

by Caroline Curtis

Hot Off the Press
Parallel Lies
Parallel Lies

by Stella Duffy

They say the truth matters. Not in Hollywood, it doesn't. In Hollywood, you need to lie because Hollywood doesn't need lesbians.

That's the deal, and Yana Ivanova is Hollywood's biggest star. So Yana Ivanova has a boyfriend called Jimmy. And a PA called Penny. But hey, Yana and Penny live in a very glamorous closet.

But then letters start to arrive. From a writer who knows the truth. Yana fears blackmail but she is terrified of bad publicity. And she clearly has a lot to lose.

And soon there's an accident–or maybe it's murder. Not that it matters, this is Hollywood. And more than anything else, the show must go on. All anyone expects–from other people, and even from themselves–is what Hollywood needs: Parallel Lies.

Stella Duffy is an acclaimed writer of both crime fiction and literary fiction. She has won the Short Story Dagger Award, and she was Stonewall Writer of the Year in 2008.

"Wealth, celebrity, sexuality and a tangled web of secrets . . . Oh boy, what a mix. And it works . . . It was my first introduction to this writer and I'll be coming back for more" Irish Examiner

"A fine piece of writing . . . a powerful talent . . . a tough, poignant book"


"Highly entertaining . . . offers a salutary corrective to the airbrushed picture presented by the Hollywood publicity machine" —Daily Mail

"A tart look at glitzy hypocrisy infused with sex, drink, drugs and general naughtiness . . . Duffy's style is punchy, spare, contemporary and completely convincing"

Evening Herald

"Smart, sexy and suspenseful"


"Parallel Lies has it all–sex, movie stars, threatened blackmail, scandal and murder. Duffy's story rattles along at breakneck speed . . . [it] easily confirms her place in the pantheon of contemporary British authors"

–Gay Times

"A book that almost turns its own pages"

Sunday Express

Lesbian Fiction 208 pp ISBN 978-1-932859-75-1

Bywater Trivia

We've brought back the Bywater Prize Draw! To enter, just answer a simple question. (It is simple: you'll find the answer on the website!)

All the correct answers will be thrown into a hat. The first one to be picked out will win.

This month's question is:

Stella Duffy was born in London, but where did she grow up?

The prize this month is a copy of our new release Parallel Lies.

Send answers to us by e-mail at or by post to the address in the righthand column above — see To Order Books.

Bywater News

Before anyone is a writer, she's a reader. That's why we're keen to publish only the best fiction. And it's why we established the Bywater Prize for Fiction, to encourage the best new and emerging voices, including women who've never been in print before.

In the years since it began, the Prize has found Jill Malone, the winner of the 2010 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction; Z Egloff, nominated for the 2010 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Debut Fiction. It also brought us Bett Norris, Marcia Finical, and Mari SanGiovanni.

Sally Bellerose is our most recent winner, and we will be publishing her novel The Girls Club next year.

The deadline for this year's contest is October 31. For further details, see Bywater Prize for Fiction opposite.

Bywater Media

Earlier this summer, Lisa Gitlin published her first novel, I Came Out for This?, and worried that the only people buying it would be family, friends–and anyone else she had in an armlock.

Well, the reviews have been coming in all summer, and they've all been generous with their praise. The latest comes from Lambda, the website of the The Lambda Literary Foundation, and it could hardly be better.

I Came Out for This? is not just "funny," "unbelievably witty," "gut-wrenching," and "immensely readable". The reviewer, Victoria Brownworth, reckons that "one of the best-looking lesbian books this season" may be "another Lammy winner". She concludes by saying:

"It's difficult to imagine who wouldn't love this book. If it's not on the list of finalists next year for a Lammy, there's no justice, as Joanna Kane herself might claim.

"Get this book and read it and then give it to someone else. It's that good."

To read the rest of the review, click here. (And yes, she did describe Bywater Books as "a press to watch." But you knew that already.)

Sally Bellerose, the most recent winner of the Bywater Prize for Fiction, has just published a short story in the current issue of Shaking Like a Mountain, literature about contemporary music. To read it, click here.

Val McDermid has recently come back from Australia, where she gave an interview that discusses writing, crime, lesbian writing, violence, women writing — and more! Check it out, on the website of The Scavenger, here.

Bywater Events

Lisa Gitlin
will present her book at the Mayerson Jewish Community Center, as part of Jewish Book Month, on November 11 at 7 p.m.
Amberley Village
8485 Ridge Road,
Cincinnati, OH 45236.

Elena Dykewomon
· will be appearing at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) in New York on October 8-10, as part of the event In Amerika they Call Us Dykes: Lesbian Lives in the 1970s.
This is "a weekend-long event/conference/festival of lesbian history, culture, arts, scholarship, discussion, and performance from Friday, October 8th to Sunday, October 10th. The event will call upon experience, memory, and scholarship to represent as fully as possible the broad and wide experience of lesbians in the 1970s."
Elena will sit on two panels and give a reading.
The Graduate Center
City University of New York, Room 7.115.365
Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016
For more information: (212) 817-1955 or

· will perform with Barbara Ruth, Teya Schaffer, Dominika Bednarska and Mothertongue Feminist Theater Collective as part of A Year Honoring Lesbians with Disabilities, a project of Fabled Asp
Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room
SF Main Library, Lower Level
100 Larkin St. (at Grove)
San Francisco
For more info: (415) 557-4277 or click here

Stella Duffy
· will be appearing at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in Cheltenham, UK on Friday October 15, 12 to 1 p.m.
She will sit on a panel called Ancient Heroines, in which panellists choose a woman they admire from the Ancient World.
On Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th, she will lead a Starting to Write workshop.

· received a Eureka Commission from Comma Press, to write a short story on the subject of scientific breakthroughs. She will read it for the first time on Saturday October 23 in Manchester, UK.
Godlee Observatory, Sackville Building
Manchester M6

· will be appearing at Homotopia in Liverpool, UK on Saturday November 6, 4 p.m.
She will be reading from her latest book Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore and will then be signing books.
The Box, FACT
88 Wood Street
LIverpool L1 4DQ

Earlier in the day, 12 to 2 p.m., she will sit on a panel to talk about her experience of getting published.
The Treasure House, World Museum
William Brown Street
Liverpool L3 8EN

P-Town 2010

Once again, Bywater will again be part of Women's Week, running this year from October 8 to 17.

Mari SanGiovanni and Marianne K. Martin will be signing books and having fun at Womencrafts on Thursday 14th at 2:30 to 4 p.m. and Friday 15th at 2:30 to 4 p.m.

First-time novelist Lisa Gitlin will join them on Saturday 16th, at 1:15 to 2:45 p.m.

As in previous years, Bywater will be holding A Night of Wine and Cheese and M&Ms. This will again be hosted by Womencrafts, and will take place on Thursday 14th at 6 to 8 p.m.

And on Saturday morning, at 10 a.m., Kelly Smith and Marianne K. Martin will be on a panel with Kate Clinton. They'll be asking Can You Hear us Now! as they talk about literature, technology, social networking, and growing up–or should that be growing old? Join them in the Cabaret Room at the Crown & Anchor.

We'd like to thank the Crown & Anchor for its support–so please enjoy a meal at the Central House.

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.

Katherine V. Forrest

Lisa Gitlin
is about to go live with her website. Watch this space! Meantime, you can find her on Facebook.

Jill Malone
You can also find her on Facebookand 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.

Joan Opyr

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

Georgia Beers
A second blog can also be found on Women and Words at
You can also find her on Facebook.

Lindy Cameron

Cynn Chadwick

Stella Duffy
You can also find her on Library Thing and MySpace.

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.

Issue: 16

In This Issue
Behind the Book
Hot Off the Press
Bywater Trivia
Bywater News
Bywater Media
Bywater Events
P-town 2010
The Virtual World
Quick Links

Bywater Books

About Bywater

Bywater Prize for Fiction Submissions

Bloody Brits

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Bywater Prize for Fiction

At Bywater Books we celebrate books written for lesbians, about lesbians, and we're here to publish the best authors.

If you're writer with something to say, please enter the Bywater Prize for Fiction.

The winner will receive $1000 and publication by Bywater Books.

For those in second and third place, there is a prize of $200 and $100 respectively.

The deadline for this year's competition is October 31, 2010.

What are you waiting for? We're looking forward to hearing from you.

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