When we hear the word innovation, we often think of scientific breakthroughs. But innovation isn’t always technological advancements – it can also be taking creative risks, making new forms of poetry, art or writing. Nottingham has seen an increase in LGBT+ writing and creative events in the past year, so we sat down with lesbian fiction writer Lise Gold to discuss her work...
Can you tell me about your most recent work?
Living sends a message of love and hope while addressing poignant and pressing topics of depression and suicide. It's a slow-burn, coming-out romance about loss, love and life.
Depression is a terrible affliction that unfortunately many people have experienced and can relate to, but I wanted to highlight the fact that it can be overcome, and I aim to send my readers away with hope and smiles in their hearts.
Out of all of your titles, what is your favourite and why?
I’d have to say Living, because it’s still fresh in my mind. As with any craft, you improve over time, so I feel my writing flows best in this one. Depression was a difficult subject to write about, but the book carries a message of hope. It also reached number one in the lesbian fiction and lesbian romance charts on Amazon for four weeks.
Which of your characters do you most identify with?
I think there's a little of me in all my characters, but if I had to pick one, probably Lily from my debut novel, Lily’s Fire. I didn’t realise I was gay until I was 27, and Lily goes through the same experience. I wouldn't say her character was based on me, but there are definitely similarities.
How would you describe your writing process?
I usually travel to the place where the book is set and start writing there. It tends to inspire me and enable me to put myself in my character’s shoes. I always start with some names, but other than that I just write away and see the story takes me. Sometimes I have a topic I'd like to delve into, like addiction in Fireflies. I always research the subject in depth, so I make sure I talk to the right specialists in order to handle it appropriately.
What brought you to Nottingham?
My wife and I moved here for my job. I’d never been to Nottingham before and had absolutely no expectations, but we've grown to love the city.
Nottingham has a lot of great places but I tend to stick to what I know. I like to write at Coco Tang Cafe, on the roof terrace. There are also several amazing Middle Eastern restaurants on Alfreton Road. The pub I visit the most is probably The Dragon, just off Market Square.
In your opinion, what is the UK like to live in, as an LGBT woman?
I think it's great. I've personally never had any negative experiences here. I know that I've been lucky, since there are so many others who are discriminated against daily. I think Nottingham is a very open-minded city where anyone would feel welcome.