Read and Write with Pride 2015

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So I want to tell you all about the Read and Write with Pride event that just happened, because I’m so excited about my first reading event. I’ve read things aloud in the past, and I have no issues with public speaking. But I’ve never read my own work to an audience before!

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It wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be.

This all started two weeks ago when my friend Heidi Belleau, a very well-known author who writes for Riptide Publishing invited me to this event. Of course, I accepted the invitation immediately.

This week was Pride week in Edmonton, hence the Pride reading event. We had quite the array of authors reading, which was great fun.

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Danielle, our lovely host from Audrey’s Books introduced us all. Audrey’s is an awesome little local bookstore, and it has an entire LGBT section! I was really happy to see that.

First up was Rob Browatske, a local author who opened us up with a trip down the rabbit hole with the first chapter of his book Wonderland. This excerpt took us deep into the psychedelic gay club scene.

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I was up next. I read an excerpt from Sky Knights, which is my lesbian fighter pilot novel. I read a fight sequence, which are always my favourite to write, and I have a feeling also my favourite to read.

Next was Marc Colbourne, who read from the memoirs of gay Iranian activist Arsham Parsi in Exiled for Love. We were given a real look at how a gay man in Iran comes to terms with his sexuality.

We inter-spaced our prose with some poetry. Marina Reid Hale performed some slam poetry for us. My personal favourite was one that didn’t have a title, but was about bisexuality.

Next up was Sheldon L’Henaff, who read from his gay fiction piece Joy (Maybe this Christmas), which is a Christmas story that involves drinking, dancing drag queens, and a very naughty Santa.

Heidi Belleau, our event organizer, went second to last. She read from Wallflower, which features a genderqueer protagonist! The section that she read from that made me laugh, and most of the audience as well!

Lastly, Laurie MacFayden, well-known local poet read us some poetry from her books White Shirt and Kissing Keeps us Afloat. She has some fun, quirky poetry about romance, but I particularly loved the poem “White Shirt,” about picking someone up at a bar.

I think our event was a great success, and I’d love to do another reading like this anytime!

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