Before I left home for the Golden Crown Literary Society annual conference in July, I got an invitation to submit work for the Fall 2016 issue of BiWomen Quarterly. The issue’s theme would be “does gender matter”. As I have no shortage of opinions on that issue, I hoped to come up with something worthwhile to submit.
Then I immersed myself for four wonderful days in workshops, panels and fun with writers and readers for whom gender matters very much – they want stories of any genre featuring women who love women. One of the women I met on the first day was the Israeli-American author Victoria Avilan. I watched her walk across a room, listened to her introduce herself, and immediately texted my wife. A very important character from my work-in-progress was in the room! (Not aware of her own double identity, of course.)
When I saw Victoria and her wife and two friends sharing drinks in the hotel lounge later, they graciously let me crash their party. We talked about writing, Victoria’s two published books, and other things. I promised to get myself a print copy of each book, from the vendor room, but not read them until the plane ride home. It was reassuring to be in the company of people who understand why starting a good read on the wrong day can imperil sleep, making it to work and other mandatory appointments, etc.
On the last evening of the con, A Small Country About to Vanish won a Goldie in its category; and I was very pleased to have my copy packed in my carryon bag. Once on the flight, though, I handed it to my wife and started The Art of Peeling an Orange first, instead. I finished that wild ride the following day, glad to have taken the day off work for laundry, sleep and general travel recovery. And then I started right into the second novel.
After a brief chance to absorb the two very different works, I remembered the call for submissions, and thought how well a review might fit the theme. But these days, anyone can post a review to Goodreads, Amazon, Smashwords, etc (and should, if you want an indie author to be found by other readers there – reviews are key, and can be brief). So I asked Victoria to do an interview, and explained what I had in mind. She accepted, and we worked together by phone and email.
The interview begins on page 12 of the Quarterly, and can be read online if you aren’t a mail subscriber. Since they could not include links to the books or all of the photos Victoria supplied, I have included those here.
The process was easy, not too time-consuming, and an enjoyable way to collaborate with and support another author. If you are a writer I know, and have a publication (with open submissions coming up) in mind, let me know. My email and FB link are on the Connect page.