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  • Writer's pictureChristian Baines

Happy September, my darklings!

A table with books for sale. Stuffed black cat sits on top of one pile.
Sharing the table with some fabulous authors (and Grace Jones) at a reading in Brisbane. HIGHLY recommend Serpent's Wake: A Tale for the Bitten, by my friend and sometime editor L. E. Daniels.

Greetings and late summer lethargy my fellow darklings and queerdos. Are you still feeling proud? Two months after the corporate rainbows fade away and I check myself in the morning (yup, still gay), I find myself doing a quick double take on what ‘Pride Month’ meant, and maybe more importantly, what it changed. Of course, June isn’t Pride for everyone. I’m excited for example to be going to my first ever Phoenix Pride on October 21 and 22, again with the fabulous folks of Bold Strokes Books, and meeting readers in beautiful Arizona, so tell your friends who live in the area to stop by! If you’re in Eastern Canada, I’ll also be at the not explicitly LGBTQ+ but very queer-inclusive Can*Con again this year in Ottawa, October 13-15 in all its Canadian Spec Fic goodness.

Okay, shameless event plugs over.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with a dingo at Taronga Zoo, Sydney
She-nunigans with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at Taronga Zoo, Sydney for WorldPride.

But as I’m writing this. Am I still prideful? I mean, between the fabulous adventure that was Sydney WorldPride, which I’ve got to say is probably the most fun I’ve ever had in that always amazing city I was lucky enough to call home for several years, and Denver, which is always a blast (Readers who came up to tell me how much they enjoyed books they’d bought in previous years? I see and love you!).

Central NY Pride in Syracuse was its own special delight. It was only one day and there were only two of us at the Bold Strokes Books tent, but thanks to everyone who came out. From 'so near yet so far' Toronto, it was great to meet some of our Queer fam across the lake (and introduce you to Grace Jones, of course!).

But August… I don’t know, August is always a strange month, where the northern summer (or southern winter) just kind of outstays its welcome, but you don’t want to complain because you know what’s coming six months later (not the time to rub it in, California). Last August I got to go to Edinburgh for the first time, during the Fringe Festival which was an incredible experience for this travel and theatre nerd.

Author Christian Baines at Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach. Everything you've heard.

This year though, I’ve been a stay-at-home nerd most of summer. So, I’ve been busy working on the fourth Arcadia Trust book which I know has been a long time coming, but I promise will absolutely be worth the wait, particularly if you’ve been wanting to delve deeper into the shady world of the Shapers. Also, it’s getting to that point in the series where you’ll want to have read the previous books. So, if you’re looking for a 2023 Halloween tingler, it’s a great time to start The Beast Without, followed by The Orchard of Flesh and Sins of the Son. That’s it, that’s the order for the best Arcadia Trust experience. Beast, Orchard, Sins… and the upcoming Tears in Time.

There you go. My ‘Happy September’ gift to you. Book four will be called Tears in Time. I can also tease that this might not be the only Arcadia Trust tale coming in 2024. I can’t reveal much more, except to say that it won’t be book five, but a very different style of Arcadia story.

Pride March on Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Huge thanks to Kevin Klehr and Warren for inviting me to be part of the historic Sydney Harbour Bridge Pride March.

Anyway, Pride? I’m still feeling it. What I love about Pride month, and yes, those of us, at least those who are fortunate enough to have community and who can be out and spend time in LGBTQIA+ spaces, Pride is a 365-day deal. That is a huge privilege that we can’t take for granted. I hope, even if you’re not yet in that kind of safe and supported position (and it’s easy in the current political shitshow NOT to feel overly safe or supported right now) you continue to feel proud, continue to feel seen and affirmed for the person you are. Because I saw, met, and talked to so many amazing people in Sydney, Syracuse, and Denver, who I’ll never know. I don’t know their stories or what their journey’s been like (Cheers to the guy who came up for a chat last year who’d just got out of prison. Hope you’re doing well sir.) But I hope no matter where you’re coming from or what you go back to after Pride, that your own Pride continues 365 days a year, even if it’s something that’s just for you… and hopefully your bookshelf.

Keep checking back on the blog as I’ll be posting flash interviews with more amazing LGBTQ+ authors, and movie recommendations both queer and spooky, particularly as we close in on October… and you know what? Even after October. It’s like Pride. Why should ‘spooky season’ only be one month? I want my dark little heart to tingle (picture that as you will) from amazing stories year-round! My top recommendation right now? A24's Aussie supernatural thriller Talk to Me.

Love to all of you, and if you’re a newcomer to my books, my site, or my newsletter, welcome!

San Francisco house window with dolls dressed for Pride.
Come on Barbie, let's go... to Pride!

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