Nell Stark is an award-winning author of lesbian romance. In 2010, everafter (with Trinity Tam) won a Goldie award in the paranormal romance category and was shortlisted for the Foreword Book of the Year award in the horror category. In addition to the everafter series, she has published three standalone romances: Running With the Wind, Homecoming, and The Princess Affair <All of which I loved – VL>.
As well as being a Lambda Finalist for Nell its an extra special weekend as her new novel , ‘All In‘ is released today. So.. I though it an ideal time to ask Nell our 6 questions as suggested by you on Facebook.
1) Who/What is your favorite book/author? Why?
When I was eight and had read most everything in the house, my mother handed me J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring and said, “I’m not sure you’re ready for this, but why don’t you give it a try?” Within a few hours, I was hooked. I read and reread the Lord of the Rings trilogy and talked about the characters so much that my parents eventually banned Tolkien as a topic of discussion at the dinner table. Not only did Lord of the Rings pique my imagination, it also inspired my interest in Anglo-Saxon England and Old English literature–the subject I went on to study for my doctorate.
2) What has been your most surprising or interesting inspiration for a book?
The Princess Affair was inspired by the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. While watching the (beautiful!) ceremony, I found myself thinking, What if this were a gay wedding? One thought led to another, and by the end of the day, I had begun work on a proposal for my publisher, Bold Strokes Books.
3) Writing is emotional and can be isolating. From where do you get your support?
My wife, who was also my writer partner for the everafter series under the pseudonym “Trinity Tam,” is both my support and inspiration. She and I often discuss potential novel ideas–one of my favorite things to do over dinner or on a trip in the car. When I’m stuck on my current project, she calms me down helps me move forward. Every book I write will be dedicated to her!
I am also very fortunate to have a wonderful editor, Cindy Cresap, who works hard with me on each manuscript to improve both the story itself and the caliber of my prose.
4) What does it mean to you to see your work in print and then up for an award?
It’s always a thrill to finally see a book in print. To be able lift and touch your book–and to know that other people now have the opportunity to buy it–still blows my mind.
This is the first time I’ve been a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and it’s been such a treat to see The Princess Affair recognized. In late April, I participated in a finalists’ reading at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York City. The audience heard every genre imaginable read aloud: academic nonfiction, a children’s book, erotica, romance, poetry. The event highlighted the quality and diversity of contemporary LGBTQI literature. It’s an exciting time to be a queer author, and I’m really looking forward to the awards ceremony on June 2nd!
5) What is next on your personal bucket list to accomplish?
I go up for tenure next year, and navigating that process successfully is my main professional goal for the near future. With respect to my writing career, I don’t have any concrete goals except to continue improving my craft in order to create the best books possible, and to continue to see those books published.
6) What are you working on now and what’s next up for publication?
My next book, All In, will be released in the Bold Strokes Books web store on June 1st and Amazon on its official release date of June 17th. All In is set in Vegas and chronicles the love story of a female professional poker player and a casino host. I’ve never been to Vegas and am terrible at poker, so this was a lot of fun to research and a challenge to write!
And speaking of research: I’m currently in that phase of my next project, so I’m not ready to say any more at present, except that it’s going to be a historical romance… of sorts.
Many thanks to Nell for answering our questions. I will be reading All In as soon as I can – so watch this space. You can read more about her and see all he books on the Nell Stark author page right here.