Bywater BLUE
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September 2011
Welcome to Bywater Books

Dear Readers,

It's fall and the evenings are drawing in. What better time to settle down with a murder mystery? Trick of the Dark is the latest from Val McDermid, who's widely acknowledged as one of the very best crime writers today. To find out why Val is loved by fans and writers alike, see Author Profile below. And for details of Trick of the Dark, check out Hot off the Press.

Soon we'll be publishing the new novel by Georgia Beers, 96 Hours. The story is set in Gander, the town in Newfoundland that played host to passengers whose flights were grounded on 9/11. What happened in Gander has been told this week on From Our Own Correspondent on BBC Radio 4, and the program is available to listen again via the BBC i-Player. You should be able hear it for the next seven days. (The segment about Gander is featured toward the end of the program, about 22 minutes in.)

We'll be launching Georgia's book at P-town this year. And taking part in plenty more events besides. For more details, see P-town 2011 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

Author Profile

Val McDermid (Bouchercon)
By now, Val McDermid knows her limitations. "I get bored very easily," she says, "and I can't write two books back to back with the same characters without wanting to scream."

And so, while Conan Doyle came up with only one detective (Sherlock Holmes) and Raymond Chandler also made do with just one (Philip Marlowe), Val has created at least three: the journalist Lindsay Gordon; the private investigator Kate Brannigan; and the partnership of Carol Jordan and Tony Hill. (So, does that make three or four?)

As a result Val has now reached a point "where it's my body of work and my achievement overall that are being acknowledged." This year, she will be an International Guest of Honor at Bouchercon 2011 (September 15-18), the annual convention celebrating mystery and detective fiction. She recognizes the honor ("it's extremely gratifying") but admits that it makes for "a very strange feeling. I still feel like a Young Turk rather than one of the old guard. And I am as determined now as I have always been to break new ground with my work."

Such ambition means that Val guards her ideas carefully. And she won't rush them, either. About her latest novel Trick of the Dark, she says, "The central ideas had been lurking in the back of my head for a long time. Every time I dragged them into the daylight and tried to find a way to knock them into shape, they seemed to wither and die. . . it just wouldn't come together. I had about 20,000 words that I had rewritten so many times they had no life left in them."

At that point, you'd forgive her for moving on. But Val has experience now and "I wasn't too worried . . . I've grown accustomed over the years to waiting a long time to discover the structure for a story." The problem she had was this: ". . . as House says, everybody lies. But while they can all lie to each other, I can't lie to my readers. So I have to find a way to get . . . unreliable information out there" — without compromising the story.

The result is a maze of lies and truths and half-lies and half-truths, and readers of Trick of the Dark may well get lost — along with Charlie Flint, a clinical psychologist who's seeking the truth only because her own career lies in tatters. Flint is a character Val doubts she'll revisit: she enjoys writing series, but she also likes standalone novels. That way, "I'm always writing stories that excite and interest me. Whatever job you choose to give your series' protagonist, there are limitations to the kinds of investigations they can pursue. But because I write standalones too, I can follow my heart and my head and write whatever story pushes my hot button. That way I never have to write a book out of a sense of duty. It's always out of love."

That's something her fans recognize and appreciate. In fact, one reader was so impressed by a previous novel A Place of Execution that she sent her copy to book groups across the United States — click here for the story, told on the Bouchercon website.

Also on the website you'll find a tribute to Val from fellow crime writer Stuart MacBride — click here. She gave him her support when he was starting out — and she continues today to do what she can for new writers. Ask her why and she insists that she's merely paying her debts: "When I was starting out, there were some established and successful authors who held out a supportive hand to me, among them Reginald Hill, Sara Paretsky and Sue Grafton. I've never forgotten how welcome they made me feel. . . I grew up in a culture that had a strong belief that if you were successful, you should put something back. And so that's what I try to do."

by Caroline Curtis

Hot Off The Press
Trick of the Dark
Trick of the Dark

by Val McDermid

When Charlie Flint is sent a mysterious package of newspaper clippings about a brutal murder, it instantly grabs her attention. The murder occurred on the grounds of her old Oxford college — a groom battered to death just hours after his wedding. As his bride and wedding guests sipped champagne, his alleged killers were slipping his bloodstained body into the river.

Charlie doesn't know who sent the package, or why, yet she can't get the crime out of her head. But it's not the best time for Charlie. Her career is in ruins. Pilloried by the press, under investigation by her peers, she's barred from the profiling work she loves. Charlie understands that this may be her last chance at redemption.

But as Charlie digs into the past and its trail of bodies she starts to realize the price of truth may be more than she wants to pay.

Val McDermid has published twenty-four novels. An internationally bestselling author, her books have been translated into over thirty languages. She has won more than a dozen major awards, including the 2010 Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for outstanding achievement in the field of mysteries.

"Val McDermid is one of the bright lights of the mystery field."
The Washington Post

"She's the best we've got." —The New York Times Book Review

Lesbian Fiction 398 pages ISBN 978-1-932859-82-9

At fine stores everywhere
or order directly from Bywater Books.

Bywater Trivia

To win the Bywater title of your choice, simply answer this month's question:

How many books are there in Val McDermid's series about Lindsay Gordon?

E-mail us at or by post to the address in the column below — see To Order Books.

News from Bywater
Joan Opyr published her third novel Shaken and Stirred earlier this summer. It's picked up some great reviews. The latest rave comes from Lynne Pierce: "'My surgeon lied to me.' may go down as one of the best opening lines in literature." Describing the "tremendous humor that reverberates through the pages, she says too that "Joan Opyr writes about family in the way that most people experience it and few have the nerve to discuss it." To read the whole review, click here.

Fans of Marianne K. Martin have been enjoying her lastest novel The Indelible Heart. Terry B, a lesfic fan based in the UK, posted this review on Amazon, September 8. She says, "In my honest opinion, we don't get enough works from Marianne and when a new book does come out, it has to be savored and read slowly. This will join the rest of Marianne's excellent books on my shelves to be re-read again and again." For the whole review, click here.

Marianne was also interviewed by Dara Girard of Novelist's Inc. To hear why Marianne helped to establish Bywater Books and what she thinks of self-publishing (hey, she can see the advantages), click here.

In Kissed by Venus magazine (Issue 3), Lindy Cameron celebrates the art of procrastination. She reckons she's got it down to a fine art — which makes her wonder how she ever became a writer who became an editor who became a publisher who became a conference organizer. Find out what happened here.


Marcia and Barrett
y, Marcia Finical appeared alongside fellow author Barrett at the Range Café in Bernalillo, New Mexico. She read from her novel Last Chance at the Lost and Found, the first winner of the Bywater Prize for Fiction.

P-town 2011
Bywater is looking forward to being part of Women's Week once again. This year, events run from October 7 thru 16.

Georgia Beers, Sally Bellerose, and Marianne K. Martin will be reading alongside Kate Clinton at the Fairbanks Inn. The host will be Lynn Ames, and the event takes place Thursday, October 13, at 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Bywater will be joining up with Womencrafts to launch the new book by Georgia Beers, 96 Hours. Join us Thursday, October 13, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Georgia, Sally, and Marianne will be appearing at the Harborside Lounge, alongside Lynn Ames, Fay Jacobs, and Andrea Myers. Come and have a drink with them all on Friday, October 14, from 11 to 2:30.

Kate Clinton, Georgia, and Sally will take part in a discussion about writing and life. Hear them speak at the Crown and Anchor on Saturday, October 15 at 10 a.m.

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

Get Booked!

Calling all Book Groups:

Ever wanted to know what an author thinks about her own book?

Choose a Bywater title to discuss at your Book Group, and we'll arrange for the author to join the conversation — in person, by webcam, or over the phone.

Book Group Leaders, feel free to write us for a complimentary copy of any Bywater book for your review.

E-mail our Publicity Dept at

Bywater Events
All Things Gay is the first gay radio show in New Hampshire, airing on Portsmouth Country radio,106.1 FM, on Mondays at 8 a.m. The show can also be streamed at
Over the next few months, All Things Gay will be talking to Bywater authors. Interviews will be 45 minutes — long enough to get properly acquainted:

Bett Norris
, September 26
Sally Bellerose
, October 10
Lisa Gitlin
, October 17

Woman Stirred Radio airs on WGDR, 91.1 FM, a community radio station serving the Central Vermont region. Woman Stirred Radio is hosted by Merry Gangemi on Thursdays at 4-6 p.m. The show can also be live-streamed; click here.
Sally Bellerose
will appear on September 22

Georgia Beers
will be appearing at the Pride Center of Western New York on Thursday, October 6. To celebrate the opening of the new Lending Library, Georgia will part of an evening of Lesbian Fictions Authors. All will give a short reading, and this will be followed by a panel discussion. The event starts at 7 p.m.
The Pride Center of Western New York,
206 S. Elmwood Avenue,
Buffalo, NY 14201-2156
For more details: (716) 852-7743 or click here.

Sally Bellerose
· will be reading from The Girls Club on Saturday, September 24, at 3 p.m.
Forbes Library Community Room
20 West Street
Massachussetts 01060
For more details: (413) 587-1011
· will appear on the panel Plot: Shaping the Story at the Write Angles Conference. Saturday, October 22 at 9:30 a.m.
Willits-Hollowell Center
Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA
· will be appearing in November's meeting of Drunken Careening Writers at the KGB Bar, NYC. The event will be hosted by playwright Kathleen Warnock. Thursday, November 13 at 7 p.m.
85 E. 4th St
NYC 10003

The Virtual World

Your favorite authors also write blogs, have their own websites, and can be found on social networking sites.

Georgia Beers
Click for her website.
Click for her
blog. Find her on Facebook.

Lindy Cameron
Click for her website, and for news of her press.

Cynn Chadwick
Click for her website.

Stella Duffy
Click for her blog.
Find her on LibraryThing, MySpace, and Twitter @stellduffy.

Elana Dykewomon
Click for her website. Find her on Facebook and Red Room.

Z Egloff
Click for her website. Find her on Facebook and Red Room.

Marcia Finical
Find her on Facebook.

Katherine V. Forrest
Click for her website.

Lisa Gitlin
Find her on Facebook.

Jill Malone
Click for her website. Find her on Facebook and MySpace.

Marianne K. Martin
Find her on Facebook, MySpace, and Red Room.

Val McDermid
Click for her website. Find her on Facebook.

Bett Norris
Click for her blog. Find her on Facebook.

Joan Opyr
Click for her website.

Mari San Giovanni
Click for her website.
Find her on
Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter @MariSanGiovanni.

Sally Bellerose
Click for her blog. Find her on Facebook.

You can also follow Bywater Books on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter @BywaterBooks. And tune in to our YouTube channel. Subscribe to it, and you'll be alerted each time a new video is posted.

Issue: 25
In This Issue
Author Profile
Hot Off The Press
Bywater Trivia
News from Bywater
P-town 2011
Get Booked!
Bywater Events
The Virtual World
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Ann Arbor MI 48106

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