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Global Ebook Awards 2013, Best LGBT Fiction: “The Agony of Joy” by Red Haircrow

2013 GLOBAL EBOOK AWARD WINNER: BEST LGBT FICTION

“From London to Berlin, to the frozen seas of far east Russia, this is an unforgettable journey of rebirth, revelation and redemption as two men struggle to overcome their separate past agonies and allow themselves to experience friendship and love.”

It’s one of those things…well, it’s one of those things I never actively think of: winning an award, but I know what The Agony of Joy meant to me. It’s fiction, but it’s also my story in that it is based on real life situations I’ve dealt with (and still do in some ways) and what others close to me have experienced. Being a child abuse survivor, devastatingly losing a beloved to suicide, parental distance and strife.

It took me almost ten years to complete, from beginning to end, because it is a very vividly realized novel, which can have “triggers” for survivors like me. Triggers refers to those phrases, suggestions, scenes or dialogue that “trigger” memories of abuse or some other traumatic episode, but my point wasn’t to force that: it was simply to present the reality we live with every single day.

The moments we have to fight through when others are oblivious, just to keep going: to keep walking, to keep working, to go about daily activities. Sometimes it is excruciating physically, mentally and emotionally, but we go on because that’s what we know to do, and because those ones who hurt us didn’t ultimately break our hope or belief in goodness or in trying to do good for others because that is what helps us keep living.

There’s an anonymous saying: “Always be kinder than necessary. You never know what someone is going through.” That is CANON. Too few people ever consider such a thing, only thinking of themselves, their own needs and wants for even the most minor thing.

Almost ten years. I had to take a hiatus from writing AofJ because my own memories were close to overwhelming me at times. Like the character Adrian Lee also, the family divide because of choices and sexuality, the disrespectful and insulting treatment hurled my way was tearing me down. But I completed the book eventually.

And then you submit your book. And you receive replies like:

“This is ordinary….”

“This didn’t grab me….”

“This is too unreal, unbelievable….”

When it was my life. It was the life of men I’ve known, loved, and some of whom are now dead because the crushing disappointment  of being dismissed, disbelieved or disrespected became too much for them. Most of the scenes/locations in the novel are based on actual places, restaurants, places I’ve lived and explored.

I believed in this work. It was a complete labor of love, hard fought and won. I didn’t let the literal couple of hundred of rejections get me down, but I also didn’t go with a couple of acceptances as the understanding of what the novel is was important for the story and for me. I knew it was a story I had to tell because it was important not only for me, but for millions of others who have lived or are living in such situations regardless of social status, religion or belief system, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, etc.

No, awards aren’t everything. There are many great books out there that don’t get the attention they deserve. This award was important for me because I know publishers, especially traditional ones, are very dismissive, often editors only go by their own whims or reading tastes, and what they THINK readers want. I’m glad the judges of this award were more objective and recognized Agony for what I tried my damndest to present just as it had been lived.

My latest interview for this novel was at the AuthorQuiz website, where you can read more details about its writing and background. The book trailer is below. It was first published at Smashwords, and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo and other online distributors.

Other of my posts about The Agony of Joy:

Description: “Former model turned actor Adrian Lee can barely list age range ’23-29′ on his resumé anymore nor stand his life of empty social events and appearances, meaningless roles and casual partners. When he meets Alexander Skizetsky by clever arrangement of his agent, the enigmatic yet infinitely attractive Russian kindles a little light of hope in his aching heart. Yet even the beginnings of a friendship and love beyond his wildest dreams cannot assuage a life spiraling out of control.

The long estrangement from his devout Irish Catholic parents and family and the dark secrets they all share combine to drive him to the brink of despair, though Alexander is determined to stay by his side. After locking away his own memories of betrayal and loss, the Russian had decided never to love again but something in Adrian spurs the noblest intentions in his formerly jaded heart. Returning in pilgrimage to his homeland, he brings Adrian along on a journey of rebirth, revelation and redemption.”

“Christmas in July” Coming Soon: A Limited Omnibus Edition of Enigma 1&2 by Nephylim

limitedtrialMID

Exclusively on Smashwords, releasing on July 1st, 2013 and available only for one month, this limited omnibus edition will combine books one and two of the Enigma series: “Enigma” and “Fighting The Man” by Nephylim. Over 650 pages will include original artwork by the author and Maria K. as well as the bonus story, “Silver’s First Christmas.”

Leading up to the release, a number of other authors and blogs will host Nephylim, who will be providing more background about the characters and themes through interviews and excerpts, as well as having contests for giveaways. Promos start June 3rd!

The blog sites:

Cia’s Stories http://ciasstories.blogspot.com/
M.A. Church http://machurch00.blogspot.com/
Andy Gordon http://andrewqgordon.com/category/my-writing/
Talismania http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.co.uk/
Chris T. Kat http://t.co/h6Kn4uYhRV

The books:

EnigmaXsmEnigma, Book 1 of Enigma:

“Can love ever be forbidden? Can the strongest of all human emotions be denied because someone tells you it cannot be? When Silver made his decision he very nearly paid with his life. Now River is faced with his choice believing that it is only his career at stake. However, when Silver’s past catches up with him River finds that there is more at stake than he could ever have imagined.”

enigma2MIDFighting the Man, Book 2 of Enigma:

“River had always known that living with a freed slave, even one as sweet as Silver, was never going to be easy. It gets a lot harder when his parents are killed leaving him to care for his young brother. When Social Services get involved he has a choice to make. Unfortunately, he makes the wrong one.”

* * * *

About The Author:

 

Born into a poor but loving mining family in the United Kingdom, Nephylim grew up in the beautiful and history rich South Wales Valleys, becoming the first in her family to attend university. As a lawyer practicing Family Law for several years, the profession allowed Nephylim to learn more about human nature at its worst and best moments, and develop empathy and a view of life not limited by social standing or background.

Tapping into the heritage of her people that throughout Earth’s ages welcomed the wandering bard into the hearts of their villages as keepers of lore, Nephylim trained as a Druid and brings the richness of her Celtic past and spiritual training to enrich and elevate her writing. Since a child Nephylim has been fascinated with other worlds, which exist within and alongside her own and has reveled in creating worlds and characters for others to enjoy.

Despite lack of family support, Nephylim continued writing privately and eventually found the Gay Authors website. With the positive response and a warm welcome received, she found the confidence to pursue her passion to a greater degree. Feeling gay fiction was a woefully neglected corner of the market where readers were all too often presented with what amounted to erotica, Nephylim strives to write quality gay fiction where sex and sexuality is not the central premise. Instead, concentration is given to character and narrative development through storytelling that goes beyond the physical.

Nephylim still resides in Wales, UK, and enjoys writing, reading, art, and taking part in medieval reenactments.

Author Links:

http://nephylim-author.blogspot.com/

http://shadowofthefallen.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/Nephylim.author

https://twitter.com/SevenPointStar

Author Interviews & More on Flying With Red Haircrow

As well as being an indie publishing brand, Flying With Red Haircrow also has a review site, which accepts author interviews, press releases, and other types of promo & advertising. We also do music and event reviews for local individuals, restaurants, bands, etc. The genres and authors list is quite extensive since it opened 31 October 2010.

Latest author interviews:

All:

 

ABOUT THE SITE:

At Flying With Red Haircrow,  I respect the courage it takes to allow someone to read your dreams and imaginings because in many ways it can reflect your ideals and inner self, some aspects that might not ordinarily be presented to the world.

At this site, I am a reader and reviewer of books. In many ways I understand the creative process because I am a writer myself, but like anyone else I have my likes and dislikes. I would never promise a positive review of everything I read, but I will always be fair because I do realize the words you write are personal. Just the same, I will never be derogatory or use wording  that disrespects the author and the enormous time and effort they may have put into their work.

I place my personal background on my About Me page, so the writer can make an informed decision on whether to submit a review request, though the best place to view is my website/blog for some topics that interest me, Songs of the Universal Vagabond. It is strongly suggested authors seeking reviews at least briefly view those pages.

We cross-post our reviews and/or interviews links to our fanpage at Facebook, profile at Goodreads.com, Smashwords (if it’s possible),  Amazon.com, Twitter, The LL Book Reviews and any other venue we are associated with if it is appropriate. This provides extra advertisement both for you and our website.

REVIEW REQUESTS

  • PREFERRED: Science fiction, fantasy (all ranges speculative, etc.), historical fiction, historical fantasy.
  • ACCEPTED: Many genres, fiction or non-fiction, poetry, essays on a case-by-case basis.
  • NO ACCEPTANCE: Anything regarding politics, political themes, religion and religious beliefs, fiction or non-fiction. Any material supporting the belief of superiority of one group over another, in any form. Romance, Children’s, Young Adult.
  • RATINGS: We accept all levels, with the one clause whether its sexual explicitness or violence: they need to be relevant to the story itself in some ways. Not just description for description’s sake.

“Read An Ebook” March 3-9 At Smashwords: Check-Out Our Titles 50% Off!

“Read an Ebook Week, the world’s largest global celebration of ebooks, kicks off this Sunday at Smashwords. The celebration runs March 3-9.” Smashwords Blog.

Thousands of authors are offering their titles, with a special catalog compiled so readers and others interested can find all categorized listings whether books are 25%, 50%, 75% or FREE. http://www.ebookweek.com/.

 

Flying With Red Haircrow Titles In “Read An Ebook Week”

aofjfont2 500750“Finding the courage to face the pain of the past in order to have a future.”

  • Title: The Agony of Joy
  • By: Red Haircrow
  • Published: February 17, 2013
  • ISBN: 9781301334520
  • Length: 350 pages
  • Genre: Contemporary Fiction, GLBTIIQ Interest
  • Coupon Code REW50

“For many survivors of child sex abuse, there is a lifelong battle for understanding and acceptance, not only from others, but also from themselves. From London to Berlin, to the frozen seas of far east Russia, this is an unforgettable journey of rebirth, revelation and redemption as two men struggle to overcome their separate past agonies and allow themselves to experience friendship and love.”

Book Trailer on YouTube.

A Rainbow Award 2012 Winner In Category BEST LGBT Biography/Memoir

Description: An imaginative collection of memories and observations written from the perspective of a young man who was orphaned early, who was gay, deaf and Russian. He was simple and complex, light-hearted and serious, whimsical and infinitely strong, and when he loved, he loved with all his heart and soul.

A former sex worker and later a husband, he was an amateur activist and philosopher, a startlingly intelligent, passionate individual able to intensely appreciate even the small wonders of the world and the people for whom he cared.

Part diary, part dialogue, and part rhetoric, “Silence Is Multi-colored in My World” is based on actual experiences. It is a literary portrait of a man with nothing to hide and everything to reveal. It is a slice into the willing veins of a mental and emotional free bleeder. Winner in Rainbow Awards 2012 category: best biography/memoir.

“When all you ever wished for is the last thing you ever wanted….”

Description: “Cierrai is running away from a past that’s still breathing down his neck. Jack has no past, his memory wiped in the accident that killed his parents. They meet and their lives move forward like stones skimming the surface of the water, dipping into memories that want to surface and those that want to lie buried forever.

Together, they struggle to come to terms with what happened in the past and where they want to go in the future, but can Jack cope with a man who likes to dress in leather mini-skirts and silk kimonos? Can Cierrai trust Jack with the secrets of his past; secrets he can’t escape, secrets that are snapping at his heels?

When those secrets catch up, forcing Cierrai back to the life he’d left, a life that was slowly draining his life away, he and Jack’s love is both threatened and tested by forces from without and within.”

Description: “Troubled residents come and go at the Care House where River Caulfield is a caregiver, working towards fulfilling his dream of becoming a nurse. When Silver arrives, a patient found on a roadside near death after suffering terrible abuse, River finds his previous personal detachment is compromised. Seeking to help the mysterious and enigmatic young man locked inside his own mind and memories, River finds his professionalism slipping as Silver begins to open up and live again.

But as their relationship begins to blossom, the roots of Silver’s past abuse and the abuser who forced him into such a mental state sends forth new shoots of darkness enveloping them in dangers threatening not only Silver’s sanity, but their very lives. With River’s devotion and help, will Silver finally be able to break away from his past? The answer lies in the words of a priest, a painting and a long walk through a churchyard harbouring the secrets of the enigma that is Silver.”

Description: “River had always known that living with a freed sex slave, even one as sweet as Silver, was never going to be easy. It gets a lot harder when his parents are killed leaving him to care for his young brother. When Social Services get involved he has a choice to make. Unfortunately, he makes a choice that leaves the relationship in jeopardy as much as the master who returns to claim his former pet.”