Not two but THREE new titles announced today!

We are announcing three new titles today, one from R.A. Padmos – and two from authors new to Manifold Press! They are all available for pre-order now, and will be published on 1 August.

Under Leaden Skies by Sandra LindseyThis is the Press’s first novel from Sandra Lindsey, and we certainly hope it won’t be the last! UNDER LEADEN SKIES begins in the early days of the second world war. ‘Teddy’ Garston is finally prompted to confess his love for his friend Huw Roberts, and they spend a few hours together before Teddy must travel north to Shetland to take up his duties piloting Sunderland flying boats. The story follows Teddy throughout the war, while all the old certainties seem lost in the turbulence of change and loss – until at last he can head home again, and try to find a way of building a new life with those he loves.

Eleventh Hour by Elin GregoryElin Gregory has long been a good friend to the Press and all who sail in her – not to mention a well respected and much loved author of all things historical – so we are dead chuffed to be publishing her delightful novel ELEVENTH HOUR. Elin lovingly evokes old adventures of espionage and derring-do in this tale set in 1920s London. If you are nostalgic for ‘couples only’ boarding houses and nosy landladies, bath houses and suave gents spying for foreign powers, not to mention the necessity of tea and a good overarm bowling action, then this is the yarn for you!

Our third title to be published on 1 August is our first ESPRESSO SHOT – which is our new informal imprint, featuring long stories and novellas. If you want to read more about this imprint, please check out our blog post.

Like People by R.A. PadmosAs we have come to expect from R.A. Padmos, her LIKE PEOPLE is a superb historical novella which really tells it like it was. Karl Meisner has been fighting for five years in a war he never wanted, for a nation-state Karl knows very well wants him dead – for Karl Meisner is a man who loves men. We follow him through the last days of the war as he survives being shelled by the Russians, manages to walk in a state of exhaustion with other soldiers and refugees to the river Elbe, and surrenders to the Allies. From there he ends up in a prison camp in England – where he meets Nathaniel Cyfer, a man who must have no reason at all to ever like let alone love him.

As you can see, these titles feature the Press’s new cover design – and we think they are beautifully evocative, and worthy follow-ups to the covers for ACROSS YOUR DREAMS and CARAVAGGIO’S ANGEL.

The ESPRESSO SHOT cover will be the same for all titles published under that imprint. Given that it will grace stories of potentially all styles and all genres, we chose an image that evokes the comforts – and the stimulations – of the reading experience itself.

Launching our new ESPRESSO SHOTS imprint

Cup of espresso and coffee beans on a Shabby background, top vieOur plans – or at least our fond hopes! – are that 2016 proves to be a year of real change and growth for Manifold Press. We felt it was time to shake things up a bit and take them to the next level.

As part of those changes, we are proud to announce our new imprint ESPRESSO SHOTS. (Yes, we went with a coffee-related theme once more!)

This will be a relatively informal imprint, which will showcase shorter works of LGBTQIA fiction, ideally between 18,000 and 41,000 words. (If that seems an odd range, it’s inspired by how the Rainbow Awards defines a novella.)

We won’t have a fixed publishing schedule, as we do with our longer works – or at least not to start with. Instead, we will be driven more by the submissions received and, frankly, the workload we can cope with. (We always place quality above other considerations, and that can take up a lot of time and energy.)

Readers will be happy to hear that we’re releasing three new titles on 1 August – two ‘regular’ novels, and one Espresso Shot! The details will be announced on 1 July, as usual, on this blog and on Manifold Press’s website. However, if you sign up for our newsletter as well, you’ll receive other goodies, too!

Authors are cordially invited to consider us for the submission of either longer or shorter works. You can find all the necessary details on the Submissions page on our website.

Thank you for reading! We hope you’ll enjoy this increase in our output as much as we do.

Have you registered for Queer Company 2…?

Queer Company iconAs you may have heard already, we had a problem earlier this year with our registration form for the Queer Company 2 event (to be held on Saturday 5 November in Oxford). The form was out of action for a short while, due to increased security at our web host in their ongoing efforts to defeat spam.

We got it all fixed, and thought we’d managed to knit together the registrations and payments – but it seems that at least one extra person managed to slip through our nets.

If you have heard directly from me about your registration for this year – and if you are on the illustrious list below – then you are safely registered, I promise. But I’m afraid it might be worth double-checking.

Thank you so very much for your patience and understanding. I will be sure to order extra cake as a reward!

Current registrations are:

  • Alex Beecroft
  • Lily G Blunt
  • Julie Bozza
  • Sue Brown, UK Gay Romance, sponsor
  • Anna Butler
  • KJ Charles, keynote speaker
  • Morgan Cheshire
  • Kelly Clemmons
  • Charlie Cochrane
  • Joanne Crowther
  • Joanne Flowers
  • Petronella Ford
  • Elin Gregory
  • Mara Ismine
  • Alex Jane
  • BJ Jansen (Izzy van Swelm)
  • Josiegoodreads
  • Sandra Lindsey
  • Clare London
  • Fae Mcloughlin
  • Farah Mendlesohn, guest speaker
  • JL Merrow
  • Eleanor Musgrove
  • Fiona Pickles, Manifold Press editor
  • Chris Quinton
  • RJ Scott
  • Anna Tif Sikorska
  • Aleksandr Voinov, MC

I am so looking forward to spending the day with you all!

All Romance eBooks Ultimate Summer Sale

ARe Summer Blast

Manifold Press is delighted to be taking part in the All Romance eBooks Ultimate Summer Sale. All our titles are 25% off for one day only: Monday 20 June, from midnight to midnight based on US Central time. (For UK-based customers, that takes us through to 6 a.m. on Tuesday.)

Click here to view all our titles on the ARe website!


The Valley of the Shadow of Death

THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATHThis novel began life some years ago as a screenplay for a film, as that seemed the ideal format for the story I wanted to tell. A cop and a mobster in Chicago finding an unlikely connection, and living for months in a dangerous limbo between their different worlds. Settings included homes and warehouses, a walk-in freezer and a bar fronting a gambling den, police stations and offices and courtrooms, a claustrophobic safe house and a few stolen hours of freedom outside the city. I imagined the actors having a fine time of it with Delaney, the cop whose naivety enables him to think ‘outside the box’, and Trezini, the mobster with a sense of irony.

Such things all seemed ideal for a film, so that’s how I initially wrote it. I got some good responses to the script, but it just wasn’t going to happen. I suspect the film industry is even harder to break into than the mainstream publishing industry, and (alas!) if I was ever going to break through this wasn’t the script that would do it for me.

So, eventually I decided to retell the story in novel form – and some while after that, it found a home with Manifold Press.

I suspect the filmic origins are sometimes obvious in the novel – especially the montage sequences! (I love a good montage.) There seemed no point in scrapping the whole thing and starting again with a blank page – though maybe I should have…? Instead I ‘converted’ the screenplay to prose, scene by scene. I was glad to be able to add in extra material, as there is a lot more room available in a novel. Also, I had to find ways of telling / showing elements in prose narrative rather than visually. Film is a very visual medium, and is far more about the visuals than dialogue. Of course, novels are all about the words, though they may convey visuals.

Another change I had to make was to be more specific about certain things. A film is a real team effort, involving all kinds of talented professionals. Hence, one of the rules about writing a screenplay is that you don’t try to tell those professionals how to do their job. You give them the necessary information about the story, perhaps including a few details that evoke the mood or specify the function of a scene. And then you step away and let them apply their own skills and experience to helping create the final result.

For example, if it’s absolutely vital to the story that the viewer can or can’t see a particular thing on screen, then say so in the script. Otherwise, let the DoP work the magic of cinematography! If it’s vital to the story that a character do or say something in a particular way, then write it that way or say so. Otherwise, let the actor interpret and present the role, and add their own layers to it. Film is a real collaboration, and is all the richer for it.

… You may have gathered by now that there’s still a part of me who is a frustrated film writer! And, indeed, even when I’m writing novels and stories, I still think in terms of film. That’s how I see the story play out in my mind, and my task is then to convert it into words. Which at times is far easier said than done!

If you’d care to read the results in this particular case, click here for the details of The Valley of the Shadow of Death. You may like to know, however, that while this is a love story, it is not a romance!


IN THE PRIVACY OF THEIR HOMEWe’re delighted to find that Dennis of Love Bytes Same Sex Book Reviews enjoyed IN THE PRIVACY OF THEIR HOME by R.A. Padmos. This story considers the impact of the watershed change that occurred in the UK in 1967 – that’s in living memory for some of us! – when homosexuality was finally decriminalised.

It was interesting to read a story that talked about the past and showed how far we have come and the sacrifices that were made not so long ago.

We’re sure that other readers will also appreciate the novel for this perspective – and for many other reasons, too!

Only 153 sleeps to go until QUEER COMPANY 2!

Only five months now to QUEER COMPANY 2 on Saturday 5 November in Oxford – and we’re delighted to be able to bring you up to date with our plans – which are, we’re happy to say, maturing nicely!

Our distinguished Guest Speaker this time is Farah Mendlesohn, Professor of Literary History and Head of the Department of English and Media at Anglia Ruskin University.  Her session is entitled ‘Georgians aren’t Victorians: how to dump everything you thought you knew about nineteenth century morality’ – and to be perfectly honest we can’t wait to settle in and enjoy this – it just sounds like tremendous fun.

Our Keynote Speaker is the much-celebrated KJ Charles, known among other work for the Society of Gentlemen trilogy (published by the Loveswept imprint of Random House), which is about Regency gentlemen, radical politics, class divide, nice clothes, murder, sordid goings-on at all levels of society, and why you should never trust puce (THIS IS IMPORTANT).  KJ will also be launching our new anthology for us, A CERTAIN PERSUASION, which deals with off-the-page relationships inspired by the works of Jane Austen.

Getting into the spirit of the occasion – as well as holding all this together (we hope!) – will be our illustrious MC, Aleksandr Voinov.

In addition there will be two panel discussions:  ‘A Sense of Place‘ chaired by Elin Gregory and ‘How Much Reality do We Want in Our Fiction?‘ which will be chaired by Alex Beecroft.  (Other panel members are still to be selected, so if you have a particular fancy for joining the team on either discussion please let us know – we love a volunteer!)

Once again we’re hoping to raise some money for the Royal British Legion with a raffle and a charity table, so if there is anything you’d like to donate to be sold on their behalf we would love to hear from you.  We’re also happy to consider giveaways to include in the goody bags we’ll be handing out to everyone attending, so please contact us if you have anything to contribute.

Please do register, if you hope to attend! Numbers are strictly limited to 50, and we’re over halfway there already. Queer company is good company – and we’re looking forward to yours!


Elaine White has reviewed CARAVAGGIO’S ANGEL by Chris Quinton for Divine Magazine – and it seems fair to say that she was impressed! There are so many parts of the review that we’d love to quote here, but we’ll content ourselves with the conclusion:

Overall, this was a beautiful story of love, life, and self-discovery. Paul had one incredible journey, and I wouldn’t be opposed to reading more. The Caravaggio art work, history and the man himself were treated with great respect and care. The research was both well done and nicely twisted to fit the story. Fantastic!

Thank you very kindly indeed, Elaine! We’re delighted with your detailed response to Chris’s wonderful story.

Release Day review of ACROSS YOUR DREAMS

Mark and Sally at Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews buddied up to review our Great War charity anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES, and now a year later they have done the same for the new title from Jay Lewis Taylor, ACROSS YOUR DREAMS. We first met the four main characters in this novel in Jay’s two stories in that anthology – though as Mark and Sally agree, the novel can be read as a stand-alone. They also agree that Jay knows how to tell a cracking good story!

I loved that very grown up attitude where they [Kershaw and Hamilton] had found a balance between love and duty. The romance between the two young infantry officers, posh Russ and more prosaic Lew, is newer and so more intense but they are also separated by duty. … Apart from being a superbly written book and a heart wrenching M/M romance this book for me belongs to those historical novels that illustrate the complete destruction, futility, aftermath and utter senselessness of young men on active duty. Just like the classic ‘All Quiet on The Western Front’ by Erich Maria Remarque, another classic that has to be read by any serious bookworm.

No author or publisher could wish for a finer response! Thank you for your time and attention, Mark and Sally, and we’re delighted that you feel it was well repaid.

Go forth and prosper, new titles!

It being the first of May, we are delighted to release our two new titles into the wild, boldly flourishing their beautiful covers! We feel sure they will find their way into many good homes.

ACROSS YOUR DREAMSJay Lewis Taylor’s new book ACROSS YOUR DREAMS deals with a web of relationships among a group of young gay men who meet, love briefly and then part again – for varying lengths of time – during, and in the immediate aftermath of, the Great War. It’s a tale of love and loss, of beginning again, and of finding something worthwhile to cling to in the rubble of a world destroyed. Readers who liked Jay’s two short stories in our anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES will also enjoy this much more detailed portrait of some of the same characters.


CARAVAGGIO'S ANGELWe are fortunate to also have a book by Chris Quinton which was recently relinquished by another publisher. CARAVAGGIO’S ANGEL, now amended and extensively re-edited, is the story of Paul. Arriving in Malta to deal with the estate of his great-uncle, he finds himself drawn to the enigmatically beautiful Angelo – who, intriguingly, seems to have been both model and inspiration for more than one of the island’s successful artists.


It’s a Bank Holiday weekend in England, so we are hosting our regular Q+A on Monday 2 May – and this time we are trying something a little different, by hosting it on Facebook. We’d love for you to drop by for a chat with Jay, Chris and our other friends at the New release Q+A event, from 6pm BST / 1pm EDT / 10am PDT.

And of course we very much hope you’ll enjoy reading our new titles!