Greetings and such!
This website serves two purposes and hopefully you’ll enjoy both –
The first is to provide a way for me to support and promote creators of fabulous fiction. Especially but not exclusively, Steampunk fiction, LGBTQIA+ fiction and Rromani fiction.
I passionately believe that if we want to read top quality fiction in which all people are represented and all realities acknowledged and respected then we need to actively support and promote the people creating those stories because often they are Indie or Small Press creators who need to fund their own advertising campaigns, book launches, print runs, illustrations etc.
That means that you’ll find a lot of the same authors cropping up on this website again and again because once I find someone who’s work I think is awesome I try to continue to support them. That doesn’t mean you won’t find variety here, I’m constantly being approached by new faces and actively searching out new reads to cram my kindle with but what you won’t find is many big shiny mainstream superstars amongst my reviews because everyone reviews them, you can read those reviews anywhere, I’m more into exposing hidden treasures than pointing at the sun. Where I have interviewed or reviewed someone like that it’s because a) their work was amazing on an unusual level and b) their work / ethos outside of their writing is something incredible and inspiring and needs to be supported. But that situation is rare.
I don’t get paid or benefit in any way from my reviews – I did toy with amazon affiliates for a few months but it didn’t feel comfortable so no more of that. Because my only motivation for reviewing is to draw attention to really amazingly good fiction I’ll only publish 4/5 star reviews of books I really loved. If I didn’t love it, I won’t review it because the world has enough negativity in it and I don’t have time to waste writing negative things. The one exception to this is if the book was obviously really really good, just not my particular cup of tea… then I’ll take the angle of ‘this is who would like this book.’
The second point of this website is as an outlet for my need to sometimes pretend to be an octopus. There. I said it. Everyone knew it. Now it’s out in the open.
So I had to create a world in which I could indulge in this mad pretense and The Scattered Isles Of Ire was born and continues to grow.
The illustrations on the website are by Robin Eissenberg and I am now working with one of my favourite illustrators in world, Rae Smith, to publish the illustrated novels that tell the complete story of Max, Collin, Mrs Baker, Smith and Skarry and all the other characters who inhabit the Scattered Isles.
I hope you enjoy finding your way around, do jump in and say hi in the comments section, do get in touch if you want a review or interview and do remain always,
Utterly Yourself 😉
Penny Blake – firstname.lastname@example.org