A warm welcome to out next featured GRL author Mr Hans M. Hirschi.
Hans talks to us about awareness and brought with him a fantastic giveaway!
Welcome Hans 🙂
Writers often use their books to raise social awareness, LGBT books are no exception
Hey everybody! Thanks to Dani and Love Bytes for having me today. Boy, I can’t believe it’s already late August… In two months’ time many of us will descend upon Kansas City and the poor town has no clue what’s coming. I’m also looking forward to visit the U.S. during election season. It’s been a long time since I last experienced a campaign live, and this election cycle is probably more important than any previous ones I’ve followed. But worry not, I won’t talk about politics (much).
Let’s talk about books instead. There is a connection to politics in most fiction, even though we may not be aware of it. While most of us associate politics with money, taxes and maybe foreign policies, politics is so much more, and I’ve always found knowing what I believe in simple. My moral compass, so to speak, was always very liberal, very open minded. Sure, being a member of several minorities (gay, glasses, part gypsy etc.) always had me acutely aware of social injustices, prejudice and civil rights issues.
It’s not a surprise that many authors are also leading civil rights advocates, but not only that. In my chosen country, Sweden, one of the world’s most famous children’s authors, Astrid Lindgren, once penned a short story do decry the country’s sick taxation rules. Back then, she paid more taxes than she earned. Yeah, right. Her “Pomperipossa” article is a well known example of authors using the might of the pen to fight for justice.
J.K. Rowling is another such example, using her immense Potter-following to influence politics, to speak up against injustices. You or I may not always agree with these authors, musicians and other artists, and the causes they fight for, but in an open and free society, fighting for what we believe in is important, nevertheless. And authors take risks, including threats to their lives, as the state-sponsored Iranian fatwa against Salman Rushdie for writing Satanic verses proves. Sweden and other countries are often called upon to provide a safe haven and sanctuary for authors from countries where the free word only exists in between moldy pages of a constitution, but not in reality.
As readers of LGBT fiction, you help to further the cause of civil rights, and for that I would like to thank you. We have come far, in a relatively short time, but as hundreds of recent legal initiatives across the U.S. and elsewhere show, we’re far from done. Quite the contrary. And while there are more than one hundred thousand LGBT books available on Amazon, it’s still a tiny fraction compared to everything else that Amazon is selling in terms of books. So thank you! And a big hug from me and all those who cannot even express their gratitude.
I will bring four new books to GRL this year, making 2016 my most productive year yet, and you’ll meet four very different books, along with previous publications. Ross Deere – Handy Man, was my one-time foray into erotica, an experiment, Jonathan’s Promise, and the upcoming Jonathan’s Legacy my one-time foray into a series, or trilogy, as I prefer to call it. For those of you who loved Jonathan’s Hope, I’m sure you’ll be thrilled to have two more novels to devour.
Last not least, another first time, Shorts – Stories from Beneath the Rainbow, my first ever collection of short stories about the LGBT community. Already, this book has been nominated for two awards, making me a very proud author indeed.
As part of the GRL blog tour, we authors get a question from the person ahead of us, and we get to answer the person following us. M.A. Church asked me this: “How did you acquire the title The Queen of Unconventional Happy Endings?”
The title was “bestowed” upon me by my publisher, in an editorial review about The Fallen Angels of Karnataka. As I said earlier, authors try to make people aware of social injustices, and TFAK (as we call it internally) is a very dark story about child slavery, trafficking and child abuse. However, as a reader, I very much dislike books that don’t end well (enough of that on the news) so I write stories that end well. To pull that off in TFAK wasn’t easy, and my publisher therefore gave me that title. I just learned in one of my son’s favorite movies that only a bunny gets to call another bunny “cute”, and so, only LGBT people get to call each other queens, which is otherwise a rather negative thing to say. I was facing the choice of either let the comment pass, stone faced, or to embrace it. I chose the latter, and Her Majesty has become a bit of my trademark. Have a look at this year’s GRL program to see what I mean…
Anyway, I’m getting long-winded, so let’s round this up, with a question for author Jenn Dease: “What is the most rewarding and most frustrating aspect of your writing process?”
And finally, a give away: I’m happy to give away five copies of any of my e-books published to date (this excludes Jonathan’s Legacy which is due September 29). I’ll let Dani and her team decide who wins and what they have to do to win the prize.
Hans M Hirschi
PS: At GRL, nine author friends and I will be hosting a fun author trivia game on Friday afternoon. We’ll play a game where you can win books, you’ll get to ask us “truth or dare” questions and there will be a raffle with a fully-loaded Kindle as first prize. All financial proceeds go to the Trevor Project and their work for LGBT youth. Make sure to come visit us and play!
“Shorts – Stories from Beneath the Rainbow” is a collection of LGBTQ-themed short stories. In happy or dire circumstances, this collection offers glimpses into contemporary LGBTQ life from many different angles and perspectives, and from diverse cultures—
a beggar trying to survive, the mother of a drug addict, a groom on his wedding day, a gay family running from impending war, a refugee above the Arctic circle, a bullied kid, a gay man witnessing a crime, a rushed middle-aged man, a banker in love, a lesbian mom in Las Vegas, a public servant getting ready for her intern, an Alzheimer patient in Bombay, a cop in Los Angeles, a doctor in Atlanta, a man celebrating Christmas on his own, a ruthless killer, a survivor of a WWII concentration camp
—all different, yet alike in their humanity.
“Shorts – Stories from Beneath the Rainbow” is a kaleidoscope, a colorful sample of the rainbow in its true form: life
Jonathan’s Legacy returns to the roots of the Jonathan Trilogy: the love for those weakest amongst us, children, particularly the undesired ones, street kids who find new homes and love, just as Jonathan and Dan once had, in their youth.
We follow the Jackson family, founded by Jonathan and Dan, as they grapple with the loss of their family patriarch. Parker and Cody set out to start a patchwork family of their own, while Marc comes to terms with his loss. And who is Kim Hwan?
This is the third and final book in this accidental trilogy, a book written out of the desperate search for answers, to bring hope where there was only despair, and to find much-needed closure. Anything but a happily ever after is unimaginable.
In this trilogy:
Jonathan’s Hope (Book 1)
Jonathan’s Promise (Book 2)
Jonathan’s Legacy (Book 3)