Projects, Team

Kick-Starting #QueerQuarrels

A lot has happened since Knight Errant Press was established in March last year. We have been slowly growing, improving and figuring things out.

Of course, the biggest project that took up most of our time and focus was F, M or Other: Quarrels with the Gender Binary. Ever since we opened our submissions, we have been trying to be a constant presence in your timeline with various updates and our most recent, and the biggest so far, has been the launch of our Kickstarter campaign.

The Anticipation

If you’ve ever planned a big project, then you might know that there is a lot of anticipation that builds up over the course of making preparations and putting things in place. The excitement, mixed with a good dose of stress, kept us on our toes the entire time. Tackling one thing (and sometimes more) at a time made it seem as if the end goal was miles away.

The team got together one day to work on blads which were to be distributed during our launch. Blads, while strange sounding, is a very straightforward concept, it serves as a sample or a taster of an upcoming book.

We mused over the right pieces and parts to include, stared intensely at a screen trying to judge whether the cover’s font should be a point smaller or bigger and tweaked all the little details while consuming large quantities of tea and snacks. I, personally, also got distracted by Rhi’s adorable cats and had to indulge in some cuddles.

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Working on the blads at our Edinburgh base (basically, taking Rhiannon’s spare room hostage).

 

A lot of us are very familiar with being stressed out over intense work. What is harder to describe is what you feel once everything you have been working on is suddenly out there, for everyone to see and scrutinise. Suddenly the thing you have poured all your energy into isn’t yours anymore, you put it out there and wait for the reaction.

The Event

Knight Errant Press hit two significant milestones at once. On the 8th of February we organised our first ever spoken word event and launched our Kickstarter campaign.

We were caught off guard by how quickly it sold out (thank you so much for that!) so expectations were already in place. We arrived early on the day to prepare as best as we could and while we were trying our hardest to be completely cool beans, we were decidedly not. The nerves definitely made themselves known, but once I was standing in the ‘green room’ (i.e the one room in the bookshop that was sort of blocked by a plant for privacy) surrounded by the team and all the authors who have so generously agreed to give us their time and performances, I felt like I was floating from joy.

Seeing our contributors together in one room, nervous, but excited and so supportive of each other was an amazing experience. Hearing them preform and utterly captivate the audience with their words made my ears tingle from all the happiness I was feeling.

There is something really special about the moment when a creator connects with an audience, that moment when their words manage to shake something up and I couldn’t be more grateful to be able to be a part of that.

I was so happy that I must have been grinning like a fool the entire time, sorry not sorry.

We have received an incredible amount of love and support for our work and the project. It is incredible to see that there is so many of you out there who want to hear these stories and believe in their importance. Every time we get a donation to our campaign or someone tweets about it, we get the warm fuzzies that fuel us to keep on working.

So thank you, again, for all the support we have received. Thank you for sticking by us, we cannot wait to share even more with you soon.

Your friendly neighbourhood Marketing Assistant,

Lenka

The Team
L to R: Lenka, Nathaniel and Rhiannon – chill beans!
Contributors, Interviews, Projects

Meet the Humans: Ever Dundas

UPDATE: We reached 25% ! Go you! Go us! Keep it up folks, share with your friends, family and comrades. 

As part of our campaign we will be introducing you to our contributors – the fabulous, creative and talented people we’ve recruited for this project.


I’m a writer specialising in the weird and macabre, with Queer Theory (problematizing the ‘normal’) forming the backbone of my work. I write literary fiction, sci-fi, horror, and faVenice 2013ntasy. My first novel, Goblin, won the Saltire First Book of the Year Award 2017. I’m currently working on my second novel, HellSans, a science fiction thriller with disability as a major theme.

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[Knight Errant Press] Is gender identity a theme that comes up a lot in your writing? If not, what pushed you to explore it this time around?

[Ever]: Yes. Growing up, I was keenly aware of how oppressive gender could be. Because the backbone of all my writing is ‘queering the normal’ and defamiliarisation, tackling the way gender constrains our lives comes up a lot in my writing.

[KEP] Has exploring gender affected your worldview and your writing and reading habits?

[E]: In terms of worldview, it makes me sad and disappointed that we allow gender to constrain our lives – there’s so much lost potential, and so many lost lives. As a writer, I see how much it constrains creativity – writers peddling the same boring gender norms just make me roll my eyes with boredom. We can do better.

[KEP] Was there a particular book, short story, poem or event in your life that inspired you to write your own?

[E]: It’s hard to narrow it down to one – pretty much every book I’ve read has been inspiring. I’ve wanted to write a novel since I was seven and the main books that cemented that ambition as a kid are Groosham Grange by Anthony Horowitz, Run For Your Life by David Line, The Great Ghost Rescue by Eva Ibbotson, and A Box of Nothing by Peter Dickinson. Films like The Princess Bride, Labyrinth and Time Bandits also inspired child-me.

[KEP] What author or book do you think is most underrated? And why? (Prime time for some reading recommendations.)

[E]: Everything by comic writer and artist Charles Burns. I love his bizarre depiction of our world, and his incisive commentary on the rot beneath the suburban veneer. He also deals well with the way children try to make sense of an often baffling adult world, and he captures the fraught tensions of teendom (particularly in Black Hole). I adore his artwork – he’s renowned for heavily stylised large swathes of black ink against crisp white, but he also uses colour to great (and nauseating) effect in the Last Look trilogy. If you want delicious art, existential angst, and lashing of strangeness and body horror, Burns is your creature.

[KEP] Is there any book, written by someone else, that you wish you’d written? Would you change it, if yes – how?

[E]: The Vegetarian by Han Kang and Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. I wouldn’t change anything – they’re both perfect.

[KEP] What’s the most famous book you haven’t read?/play you haven’t seen?/album you haven’t listened to?/film and TV series you haven’t watched?

[E]: Jane Austen’s books.

Not the most famous, but I wish I’d seen one of the professional productions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

I’ve purposively avoided all albums by Oasis and Blur.

I haven’t seen LaLaLand because I’m convinced it will irritate me. I might be proved wrong…

I’ve still to watch The Handmaid’s Tale.

[KEP] Do you ever feel like you have book FOMO (fear of missing out) because of a famous title you haven’t had the chance to read, if so, which one?

[E]: Up until a couple of years ago it was 2001 by Arthur C Clarke. Now it’s everything by Joan Didion.

[KEP] Tea or coffee?

[E]: Damn fine coffee.

[KEP] Early morning or late into the night?

[E]: The gloaming.

[KEP] Digital or analogue?

[E]: Both.

 


Would you like to support #QueerQuarrels?

GetFileAttachment

Here are a couple of the ways you can do so:

  1. pre-order the book (and other perks) on Kickstarter
  2. boost us on Thunderclap
  3. support us by sharing and retweeting on Facebook and Twitter!
  4. if you’re in Edinburgh, Scotland – pick up a copy of our preview booklet @LighthouseBooks
Contributors, Interviews, Projects

Meet the Humans: Julya Oui

As part of our campaign we will be introducing you to our contributors – the fabulous, creative and talented people we’ve recruited for this project.


Being an author and a screenwriter Julya Oui believes in keeping monsters, having nightmares, and dreaming up worlds that defy logic. While Mother Nature inspires her, mindbending curiosities motivate her. She lives in a town known as the City of Everlasting Peace, or Taiping, somewhere north of Malaysia. She is also a pluviophile and an entomophile who loves shinrin-yoku.
BioPixHiRes.JPGYou can find her here and here.

[Knight Errant Press]: Is gender identity a theme that comes up a lot in your writing? If not, what pushed you to explore it this time around?

Yes. It’s not so much of a question as to why or how but a question of being realistic.

[KEP]: Has exploring gender affected your worldview and your writing and reading habits?

Definitely. I have seen the world through different physical forms. How I was treated for being so gave me insights I have never known or seen before through a series of actions and reactions. That is why it’s always nice to read a book without having to focus on the characters’ physical forms which can easily be misconstrued for what they’re not, like how it is in real life.

[KEP]: Was there a particular book, short story, poem or event in your life that inspired you to write your own?

[J]: I grew up with Pan Book of Horror Stories, doses of The Twilight Zone, and superstitions in my little old town. But what inspired me to pursue the love of my life and kept me going was The Lesson of the Moth by Don Marquis.

[KEP]: What author or book do you think is most underrated? And why?

[J]: Jungle without Water by Sreedhevi Iyer. She made me laugh and cringe and upset at how wonderful and terrible life can be at the same time.

[KEP]: Is there any book, written by someone else, that you wish you’d written? Would you change it, if yes – how? 

[J]: The Old Man who read Love Stories by Luis Sepulveda. I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s too beautiful to change even a single word but I would like to write something as gorgeous as this some day.

[KEP]: What’s the most famous book you haven’t read?/play you haven’t seen?/album you haven’t listened to?/film and TV series you haven’t watched?

[J]: I have not read a lot of classics but I guess the most outstanding thing I haven’t done recently is to watch or read Game of Thrones. I still haven’t a clue what I am missing.

[KEP]: Do you ever feel like you have book FOMO (fear of missing out) because of a famous title you haven’t had the chance to read, if so, which one?

[J]: Yes. All the time. I’m a slow reader and I can only go as fast as my love for reading can allow me to. I would like to get my hands on Yesterday by Felicia Yap. Futuristic murder mystery? Hell, yes!

[KEP]: Tea or coffee?

[J]: Tea.

[KEP]: Early morning or late into the night?

[J]: Early morning.

[KEP]: Digital or analogue?

[J]: Both. Depending on the situation.

 


GetFileAttachmentWould you like to support #QueerQuarrels?

Here are a couple of the ways you can do so:

  1. pre-order the book (and other perks) on Kickstarter
  2. boost us on Thunderclap
  3. support us by sharing and retweeting on Facebook and Twitter!
  4. if you’re in Edinburgh, Scotland – pick up a copy of our preview booklet @LighthouseBooks