I’m currently getting my culture on at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. So what better than a snippet from my novel Slam! which was actually inspired by, and partly set at, the festival?
Here, our hero Jude is just about to head off from his mum’s house to a poetry slam:
“Want to come to the slam with me?” I mentally crossed my fingers, feeling guilty. I’ve never performed my poetry in front of my mum, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to start. I’d probably end up feeling like I was in the school nativity play again, and while it hadn’t been all bad—I’d loved the dress they’d put me in, and the sparkly angel wings—I’d taken one look at Mum’s face in the audience and dried up totally, crushed by the weight of parental expectation. The teacher had had to step in: “What’s that you say, Gabriel? You bring glad tidings of great joy?” Mum had never let me live it down.
Don’t forget to check out the rainbow snippets Facebook group for more little excerpts from a whole host of talented authors.
Limericks, lies and puppy-dog eyes
Jude Biggerstaff is all the way out and loving it—mostly. The Anglo-Japanese university graduate is a carnivore working in a vegan café, an amateur poet with only one man in his life. His dog, Bubbles.
Then there’s “Karate Crumpet,” a man who regularly runs past the café with a martial arts class. Jude can only yearn from afar, until the object of his affection rescues him from muggers. And he learns that not only does this calm, competent hunk of muscle have a name—David—but that he’s gay.
Jude should have known the universe wouldn’t simply let love fall into place. First, David has only one foot out of the closet. Then there’s Jude’s mother, who lies about her age to the point Jude could be mistaken for jailbait.
With a maze of stories to keep straight, a potential stepfather in the picture, ex-boyfriends who keep spoiling his dates with David, and a friend with a dangerous secret, Jude is beginning to wonder if his and David’s lives will ever start to rhyme.
Warnings: contains a tangled web of little white lies, a smorgasbord of cheesy limericks, a violin called Vanessa, some boots that mean business, and the most adorable little dog ever. Poetry, it’s not…
WINNER of the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy