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Sapphic Author Mental Health Blog

To mark World Mental Health Day on October 10th, a group of sapphic authors have all penned pieces under the brief "What Mental Health Means to Me", in order to try and start and eoncourage open, honest conversations around mental health in our community.

Follow us on social media, or come back and click on the links each day to read a new piece from some of your favourite authors. 

October 1st - Welcome & Why

October 2nd - Rachel Bowdler

October 3rd - TJ O'Shea

October 4th - Jacqueline Ramsden

October 5th - Kat Jackson

October 6th - JJ Hale

October 7th - Hayden Quinn

October 8th - MA Binfield

October 9th - Katherine Blakeman

October 10th - Ami Spencer


Want to know more about the world of Mage's and Magick? 

The definitive text and the one book all Mage students use during their studies is A Brief History of Magick by Professor Alice Nutter. 

Click on the cover to learn more...

  • aspencerwriter2

So I asked a while ago for questions on Twitter for a little bit of a "get to know me" blog...and I've finally got round to answering them!

1. What was your best childhood vacation?

Childhood holidays for us were always finding somewhere we’d not been to yet in the UK. There was always some form of “educational” visit, like to a museum or a historical place, but it was never boring. There was one trip to a historical working village I remember when my parents got us all to dress up in period costumes and have an old sepia photograph mu probably has it hidden somewhere to bring out at the most embarrassing moment! I'm sure I looked cute in a bonnet though!

It’s the simple things kids remember, and I guess that's what I now pass on to my kids when I take them away on holiday. These days we love nothing more than camping, then exploring the woods or coastlines around where we are staying.

2. What keeps you up at night?

My children! Haha!

3. What’s one thing you do that others perceive as weird?

Probably plenty! But in my wife’s family, I’m the only one who likes hot custard on my pudding. Like, who wants cold custard?! But no, I’m the weird one for insisting mine is hot!

4. Do you typically start with characters or plot?

Characters. Or more specifically, interactions or conversations between characters. Then I try to work a plot around those.

5. Do you write beginning to end, or just random bits as they come to you?

I’m a total pantser! Usually I will have an idea for a particular scene or scenario, and then build up the next few chapters around it. Then I go back and read it and mark out where I need transitions or more background and plan those. Rough drafts will have lots of notes which just say “FINISH WRITING THIS BIT!”

6. Do you like chocolate?

Yes! And I’m immediately distrustful of people who don’t! Although if I have to have anything, my one weakness is Haribo Tangfastics.

7. What’s a boring fact about yourself?

Holy crap! I’m very boring…take your pick!

8. What are your tattoos/how many do you have?

  1. A celtic pattern on my left shoulder (it was my first, I was 21, and it now looks pretty crappy. But I can’t see it so I’m not that bothered!)

  2. An all seeing eye style triangle with a bird flying out of it on my right shoulder

  3. A illusion piece on my top right arm; it can either look like two astronauts in front of the Earth, or a skull, depending on your view

  4. A sleeve depicting the Abduction of Persephone on my right lower arm (it’s not because I like the abduction part, but the story relating to Demeter creating the seasons to match her mood when Persephone is in the underworld)

  5. A mother elephant overlooking two infant elephants on my inner left arm (this one is for my kids. Elephants are some of the most maternal animals known)

  6. A floral piece containing chrysanthemums, fuchsias, alstroemeria, and irises, each flower for a different grandparent.

9. When do you find time to write?

This one is usually asked by family members when you consider I have a 6yo and a 3yo and a partner who works shifts! The answer is whenever I can find the time; lunch breaks, when the kids are busy watching TV or playing nicely (that ones a rarity) but mostly in the evenings when the kids are in bed. A good chunk of my second book was written during night feeds with my youngest

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  • aspencerwriter2

The very lovely Melissa who hosts the podcast Through LGBTQ+ Eyes has picked and reviewed "Broken" for this month's podcast!

She also talks about the lesfic community and what it means to readers and writers.

To listen to the podcast click here.

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  • aspencerwriter2

Well, what a few weeks it's been!

When I set about the process of publishing my first book, I never expected that it would gather the response that it has. Since it's release, its climbed to the #2 position on the US charts for lesbian fiction, and #3 for lesbian romance. In Australia, it reached the top 5, and in my home country #4 in the new release chart. For a newbie author it was overwhelming and unbelievable. And this morning I woke to find it sitting nicely next to the awesome Erin Zak's latest, Guarding Evelyn (which if you haven't read, you must. It's a-maz-ing!)

I wish I could say that deciding to publish was some massive, life-altering decision which took loads of thinking and deliberating. The truth is, once the ball got rolling, it all just kind of happened. One minute I was saying "oh I've finished it at last!" and the next I had an editor, then a cover, then I was posting promos, and creating an ARC team and then WHAM! It was out there for everyone to read.

And I honestly had very low expectations. Feedback from my ARC team was amazing, and gave me a little boost that I wasn't setting myself up for a massive fall, but I couldn't have ever anticipated just how many people were going to pick it up and rate it. But I'm the kind of person who has the motto "if your expectations are low, then you can't be disappointed."

One of the most nerve-wracking things about letting people see my writing was the response to Callie's mental health struggles. I won't say anything here, because, "shh, spoilers Sweetie", but to hear that people resonated and felt with Callie was both inspiring and humbling. To know that they went through every emotion she did, related to how she reacted, recognised the way she was feeling, both physically and emotionally in those moments was so incredibly emotional, for both me as a writer and as a person. They say "write what you know". Callie, in those moments, was very much what I know. Everyone's experiences with their mental health is different, but none is no less valid. Just know you are not alone, and there are people out there who understand you.

Finally, a massive thank you to everyone who has taken the time and chance on this baby author; I appreciate every read, every review and every rating.

And, who knows, Callie and Jackie may be back to continue their story in the future...

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