I recently had the honour of being interviewed by Planet Nation. I had to dig deep to answer some interesting and probing questions. I have just been told that the the interview is now live on the Planet Nation website. Wow!
You can read it here. 🙊
Sam Skyborne author profile on Planet Nation.
Toni Mendez, a former London cop turned P.I. is not coming to terms with the changes in her private life very well. The more Toni tries to damp down and deny her growing feelings and desires… the more they seep out in her dreams.
This tells the story of one of her dreams — about taking Lizbeth on a stakeout. The unforeseen events and steamy situation lead to a very bizarre and sizzling hot evening — as can only happen in one’s dreams.
This is a Toni Mendez and Lizbeth DuCannon fan fiction short, intended as an auxiliary to the lesbian fiction romance thriller Risk: Three Crime-fighting Women Risk All for Love, Lust and Justice, also available on Amazon.
Hope you enjoy.
If you did, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave me a little review on Amazon.
For those who don’t have a copy of Simulation: The Dawn of a Superhero or RISK: Three Crime-fighting Women Risk All for Love, Lust and Justice or who are stuck on what to give their lover, partner or bff for Valentine’s…. Why not give them a copy of these action packed love stories?
I am running a promo starting 1st of February. From then they will be available at a reduced price on Amazon. But, get your copy soon because there is a limited number available on this offer.
PS Please do not forget to leave me a review afterwards if you enjoyed the stories. Thank you!
The plot concept, though not completely original, is a definite favourite fantasy: Down-and-out jobbing actor, Lacey, meets A-list star, Quinn, because (and this is where there is a delicious little lesbian twist) A-list star hires jobbing actor to be her fake girlfriend.
In this novel, perhaps true to Hollywood, beauty starts out skin deep since Lacey is ostensibly chosen on the strength of her looks alone, initially. But, luckily, it does not take long for us to get acquainted with Quinn and Lacey’s unique voices, true depth of character and substance.
The plot thickens when the potentially shallow business arrangement is complicated by unforeseen events that place pressure on both Lace and Quinn separately and together. This forces them to drop their barriers and soon they are thundering along a roller-coaster of joy, love, betrayal and despair. But what does this ultimately mean for them contractually, professionally, and privately behind closed doors?
<< Click the image to get your copy.
Friday evening I was invited to read at the Kenric Drop in at London Friend. The event saw an amazing turnout despite the cold and the wet London weather and the usual London transport difficulties. I felt very honoured. Needless to say I did my best to entertain and reward my audience for all their effort.
I read an extract from one of my first forays into writing, a book very dear to my heart, called High Rack: The story of an unlikely friendship between a fox and a baby chick. The idea for the story was born from real life events, in Catford, one late autumn. I had hoped, and still do, to one day see High Rack as an animation film or a graphic novel. The invitation stands… If anyone can draw or animate and would like to collaborate on this dream.. DO LET ME KNOW!!
Thereafter we got down to business which was reading from my latest novel RISK: Three Crime-fighting Women Risk All for Love, Lust and Justice. It was recently described very aptly by a reviewer as “a sexy coming out crime thriller”. My reading went down a storm and I managed to hold my audience’s attention despite a few unruly dream catcher’s interference, 😉 which proved very amusing.
However, the meaty bit of the evening was undoubtedly the unrelenting probing by my very astute and formidable host, the lovely Anny Knight (@AnnyPoet). She holds no prisoners and would not allow an ounce of prevarication on my part.
Anny, it was once again an honour! Thank you! And thank you to Kenric (@KenricUK) and all you wonderful ladies for coming to see me. It was nice to meet some of you as well as catch up with some old friends. A big thank you especially to those who were there to support me behind the scenes. I could not do it without you!
Hope to see you all again soon!
I am very pleased to say I finally managed to get a sample sorted of Simulation!!
You can get the details of how to download it below.
Simulation – Free Sample!
The Dawn of a Superhero
A Lesbian action adventure superhero romance!
For Adults ONLY!
Sam can manage the grueling physical trials, but will her heart survive? Captain America meets a lesbian twist in this gripping sci-fi adventure.
Set in a dystopian future when, after a decade of war, the United Kingdom is on its knees, ruled by strict martial law and where any ‘deviant’ behaviour is punishable in a manner worse than death–the perpetrators are forcefully ‘reset’. Samantha Fielding, an emotionally scarred war hero, struggles to adapt to ‘normal’ life so she enlists in a top secret scientific research programme. Here, not only is she pushed way beyond her physical and emotional limits in order to unleash powerful and potentially lethal dormant human abilities, she also finds herself dangerously falling for the principal scientist, Dr Victoria Henderson – risking everything.
Get your Sample here:
“An Absolutely Wonderful Book” – Amanda
“A real page-turner!” – Miss E. Mumford
“Wow! What a mesmerizing page turner” – Geraldine Robertson-Brown
“Kick-ass and definitely someone I’d like to meet” – Alice
“This is a very atmospheric and compelling read…” – Anny
“This is a great read, full of tension, a good plot.” – Wayne
Or Buy NOW:
More Reader Reviews
“Wow just finished your novel-brilliant. Never read anything like it… Really got drawn into the characters and intrigue of the plot – can’t wait to read the next installment. I’m off to Cornwall soon too! A lighthouse will never look the same again.” – A Reader
Good pacing, interesting storyline
Although I found the start a little slow and I wasn’t quite sure where it was going, it soon took off and ripped along at a good pace. I warmed to Sam once she and Victoria met and the real crux of the story came through, and I thought the ending was really good, especially as it hinted at more to come from these characters. A good debut. – Angela
Buy this book!
This is a great read – a real page turner with believable and engaging characters and a gripping storyline, set in an all too possible uncomfortable future. I loved it and can’t wait for the next book in the trilogy. Sam’s my kind of hero! A great debut. I’ll definitely be looking out for more from this author. – Amazon Customer.
kick-ass and definitely someone I’d like to meet
A gripping futuristic story.. Sam is my new hero. She’s hot, kick-ass and definitely someone I’d like to meet. Can’t wait for the next instalement! – Alice.
I loved this, couldn’t put it down once I started …
I loved this, couldn’t put it down once I started it. Beautifully written, intriguing plot and very real characters. Looking forward to finding out what happens next! – Lily.
Wow! What a mesmerizing page turner
Superbly well written, a real page turner… I vow you’ll not be able to put it down until finished. Truly believable characters and ones you warm too. Don’t let its category of Lesbian Fiction, put you off, its all subtle and tastefully executed. Hopefully like me you’ll end up wanting more… Definitely a sequel waiting to be written….. Even better a film. – Gerry Bell.
A real page-turner!
I read this book from start to finish in one sitting – I couldn’t put it down! The plot is truly original, particularly in the genre of lesbian fiction, and is full of unexpected twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end. The characters are well drawn and compelling and the relationships are very believable. A really great read! – Ms E Mumford.
The very graphic prologue sets up the backstory brilliantly, and the contrast of locations from rural Cornwall …
This is a very atmospheric and compelling read with a wide range of characters from the very loveable to the very scary indeed. The very graphic prologue sets up the backstory brilliantly, and the contrast of locations from rural Cornwall to the intimidating futuristic research laboratory creates a world that is simultaneously now and not now, here and not here. The narrative whips along at a furious pace and keeps you guessing, the characters are complex, and when the book ends I was wondering what happens next? I’m really looking forward to reading the next part of the trilogy. – Anny.
If you’re a fan of sci-fi, superheroes, science or lesbian novels then you should go read this book
The character of Sam is very well written and at times I felt like I was right there with Sam, seeing what she was seeing, hearing what she was hearing and feeling what she was feeling. I loved the little twist at the end, I really wasn’t expecting it but I was glad that it happened.
Overall a very well written story with two fantastic characters that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about. If you’re a fan of sci-fi, superheroes, science or lesbian novels then you should go read this book, even if you’re not you should read it. – Planet Nation.
A great read with a mixture of angst and happiness
Whether or not we are living in a simulation right now .who knows..but this was an exciting read with an easy ability to identify with and warm to the main characters.I hope this will be followed with another story extending the futuristic journey of Sam and Victoria For I believe the basis of this book may well run parallel with our true world. – Amazon Customer.
I enjoyed this story. It is not my usual cup of Rooibos but I was interested in Mma Precious Ramotswe from the get go. I think this is a wonderful example of how to give a character a wonderful authentic voice. Personally, it was also nice to hear about vaguely familiar things that reminded me of my distant past. I liked the ending.
<< Click the image to get your copy.
I decided in 2018 that Simulation: The Dawn of a Superhero needed a bit of a cover refresh. So here are two propositions. Which do you prefer?
What do you think? Get your new copy here: Simulation: The Dawn of a Superhero
If you have read it, please leave me a review on Amazon (Reviews are our reward!) and tell your friends about it. 😉
I am very pleased to announce that I’ll be doing an author reading from my latest novel RISK: Three Crime-fighting Women Risk All for Love, Lust and Justice on Friday the 26th of January at the Kenric Drop In event at London Friend. This event will be hosted by the lovely Anny and she will be no doubt subjecting me to one of her grueling Q&A’s that will include telling you more about my next exciting project due out later in the spring. Afterwards we will probably decamp to a local watering hole for a more casual debrief.
So, please, come along and join us.
To find out more about how to attend, please visit: Meetup.
Note: there are only a limited number of spaces available so sign up soon to avoid disappointment.
FYI… There will also be a very limited number of signed paperback copies of my novels available on sale.
I look forward to seeing you all there!
I really enjoyed the concept of this book and it has fuelled my imagination no end and I sometimes wish I had written this book. However, I do not envy the author for having to struggling with the conundrums and complexities this concept must have presented. A fantastic intellectual and emotional challenge I suspect.
The only down side, if there could be a down side to such a wonderful book, I would say was the ending. But then, how does one deal with the problem of infinity nice and neatly in the final pages of a novel?
<< Click the image to get your copy.
2017 has been another exciting year for Sam Skyborne. My adventures include:
- Hosting and reading on an LFEST Author Panel
- Participating in two book readings at Sappho International Women’s Festival in Lesbos.
- Attending the marvellous Caro’s Camping weekend in Dorset.
- Going on research trips to:a) Maldives – for a romance series I am working on.
b) South Africa – to fill in the gaps of my memories of Cape Town for my current novel a thriller called Alice (working title).
- Taking a couple of trips and retreats to the South West that really helped me hit some key deadlines.
The highlight of my year was to finally publish RISK: Three Crime-fighting Women Risk All for Love, Lust and Justice. This project has been in my WIP box or buried in my drawer for a few years now. So, it felt particularly good to finally set it free to be all it can be. I’m very proud to say that so far, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Thank you to all my readers and to my wonderful close circle of supporters on this journey!
In addition, I have also published, “Saying Sorry” and “Cat Sitting” as short story & short film combos. This was an experimental endeavour, which I think has also worked very well – once I helped my readers realise that they were getting a bargain, in the form of a book and film in one package — something that has not really been done before.
I’m really pleased to say that the first draft of my next story, the thriller called Alice (working title) has been completed and I am now steadily working my way through the rewrite. I always find this draft the hardest, since it requires one to be cautious and critical of one’s own writing and to be bold and adventurous in equal measure.
Alice is the story of a young ingenious woman who accompanies her patriarchal husband and his ageing mother to South Africa from the United Kingdom. While in South Africa, the beautiful environment and the situations she finds herself in, collude to present her with a life changing decision:
a) Return to the UK to resume the safe secure life she knows with a husband who is somewhat flawed but who provides for her and, more importantly, to an identity and life purpose that is already set in stone…
b) Stay in South Africa and start from scratch, reinvent herself, alone, unprotected, in this beautiful but wild and sometimes scary world…
Please sign up to my mailing list here (http://DukeBox.life/subscribe) for updates on Alice’s publication date and to hear about other exciting promotions and author readings that I have coming up in 2018.
A very big THANK YOU to all my readers and everyone who helped, supported and contributed to making 2017 such a wonderful year! May 2018 be even better, with more fun, laughter and wild adventures all round.
Wishing you a Happy New Year – and enjoy your reading!
I loved the “Dark Materials” trilogy and was super excited when I discovered here was another opportunity to meet up with Lyra and go on adventures in her fantastical world of daemons and dust. This prequel did not disappoint. It is certainly another, hugely imaginative, awe inspiring, action packed quest to save the magical child set in Oxford, England.
Personally, I would have liked to have known more about some of the characters, especially the more mystical ones. The baddie, in particular, was an intriguing, very sinister character that certainly captured my imagination. However, I would have liked to know more about him. What made him the way he was? And, I would have liked to understand his motivation for pursuing the main characters, a bit more fully.
<< Click the image to get your copy.
I have written a short little fic distantly related to the Toni Mendez (RISK) universe called “Stakeout”.
It’s a steamy little dream Toni had about her long term friend and occasional colleague, Lizbeth, one night on a stakeout and what happened afterwards during the early days of her realising her own feelings…. There is no hiding from one’s own unconscious!
Not only because it’s Christmas… but it is a small token of my gratitude to you all for your kindness and support.
I am very pleased to say I finally managed to get a sample sorted of RISK!!
You can get the details of how to download it below.
RISK – Free Sample!
Three Crime-fighting Women RISK All for Love, Lust and Justice
A Lesbian Crime Thriller & Romance!
For Adults ONLY!
Hot new crime thriller – A gripping, racy page-turner, starring three strong, sexy female protagonists on the hunt for a psychotic killer.
“In the dark domains of crime, lust and love – innocence and guilt mix like blood and water. Will Toni RISK it all to catch the psychotic killer?”
Toni Mendez, an ex-cop turned private investigator in London, takes on a case to find the truth behind the violent murder of the young wife of a successful entrepreneur, Lucille Ransom-Evans. Little did she know that this case would bring to her door Maxine Bennett, a feisty, opinionated, American detective, on the hunt for a serial killer.
Maxine not only infiltrates Toni’s working life presenting a sore reminder of a profession she once loved, she also invades her private life by seducing her best friend, Lizbeth Du Cannon. As the investigation continues, Toni is immersed more and more, both professionally and privately, into a subculture she knew only from a distance – the LGBTQ+ world. She is forced to reassess everything she thought she knew about herself and the foundations of her long-term friendship with Lizbeth.
Get your Sample here:
“A complete thrill!” – Melonie
“Don’t read on the Tube! – TOO HOT” – Rosie
“A gripping and sexy page turner” – Patty
“Great sex!” – Jane
“A new depiction of our world. I like it!” – Jake
“I like the combination of crime and sizzler!” – Pepe
Or Buy NOW:
More Reader Reviews
“It is 2am. I’ve just finished this book. I picked it up last night at 9 thinking I’d read a few pages. Now I am buzzing! 😉 Loved it. Loved the fact that it was sexy and also engaged my brain in a good story.” – Jacky
A really good read
“I really enjoyed everything about this book. The characters are excellent & you really feel you get to know them and can relate to them. There are lots of twists & turns along the way which you don’t see coming & which keep you turning pages. RISK cleverly combines crime, romance, and some brilliantly written sex-scenes, and is a great read from start to finish. I really appreciate the fact this book has a real story line and plot, and that the additional romance within its pages just happens to be between women. Definitely recommended.” – Lily
A thoroughly enjoyable read
“Risk is a fast – paced, exciting book with a host of interesting and relatable characters and a lot of hot intimate scenes! I read the whole book in one sitting and was kept guessing right up until the end. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates good crime writing and strong female characters!” – Elly
Stimulating Page turner
“Not your usual detective novel, yes it has a crime, intrigue but this book offers more, much more.
The sexual tension between the detectives is well,…. Very tense.
This is a gripping page turner in every sense of the word, both for plot and characterisation.
Yes it deals with lesbian relationships which are often fraught. But it is not your usual shallow lesbian novel, this spreads it’s wings further, it captures your imagination and draws you in.
This book is definitely a Risk worth taking” – Gery
FIVE STARS for another great read from Sam Skyborne
“Bought this from the author at #LFest and I couldn’t put it down!!! It’s a brilliant read – I’ve been waiting for another story from Sam Skyborne and RISK doesn’t disappoint. It’s a real page-turner: a great story, fast moving with lots to it as well as three strong – and sexy – female leads. Now all we need is a follow up, please!” – Ally
Fun Sexy Read!
“I really enjoyed this book. I hate to sound cliche but….I had a hard time putting it down. The crime aspect is well thought out and kept me engrossed and to be blunt…it is sexy as hell (and that really kept me engrossed). The squirming sexual “awakening” of Toni was fun to follow. I don’t like reviews that give away the entire plot so suffice to say….I really enjoyed it, it was a fun read, and I recommend it!” – Musiclover
So.. some of you might have heard of the odd book reading or two.. and let’s be honest mostly they can be rather dull… but not always. Here is a clip taken of one of my readings in Skala Eressos in September during the Sappho International Women’s Festival.
Get your copy here: Simulation: The Dawn of a Superhero my futuristic lesbian sci-fi fantasy.
If you’d like to receive notification of my new posts or new book/film releases and promotions, please add your details here to my private mailing list.
And see the right side column for some of my other books.
Twinkles is very pleased to announce that we are currently running a special promotion of “Cat Sitting” the short story and short film combo box, wherein she is undoubtedly the DIVA. 💅🏻
Be sure to get your eBook or Paperback copy from Cat Sitting on Amazon SOON. The promotion ends on Thursday the 30th November 2017.
What do you think? Does Twinkles’s performance is worthy of her DIVA status?
📌 Also check out the right side 👉🏻 column for some of my novels 📚.
As so often happens with holiday romance stories… sometimes one can get carried away. 🙄 “He”/”she”, who seemed like “Prince/ss Charming” at the time, turns out to be a real toad as time goes by and they forget to text or write or message….
So, just to prove that I was not making it up, I thought I’d post two lovely holiday snaps of my tall dark handsome stranger.
Needless to say he has not texted or written or messaged .. 😔 .. but with climate change he has promised to come visit.
If you’d like to receive notification 📧 of my new posts or book/film releases and promotions 💫🎉 , please add your details here to my private mailing list >>
Check out the right side 👉🏻 column for some of my novels 📚.
*** Other NEWS: Promos ***
I am running a special promo for “Simulation”, “Cat Sitting” and “Saying Sorry” during the next two weeks on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Find out more here >>
It is a true story, even though the telling of it is creative…
He was a tall (2.5 meter long) dark stranger. We met one morning in late September just off the shore of a beautiful tropical island. I can honestly say, for me, it was love at first sight.
As often happens in these situations, when they sneak up on you, I was not looking at my best. I was wearing an ill-fitting bikini which was clinging a little too snugly across the bulges that had come to rest on my midriff during the recent over indulgent summer holiday. To add to the ensemble, I had a red over sized life-jacket tightly strapped over the top making me look like a beached baby whale in a corset. I had patiently waited my turn to take the plunge off of the twelve foot luxury yacht that had brought us out for our morning snorkel excursion. When it came to it I tried, but I suspect failed, not to plop too inelegantly into the azure water.
I was still catching my breath from the shock of submerging my small rotund self in the chilled salt water, bobbing uncontrollably like a buoy, when he glided up next to me, catching me by surprise. In contrast to my frenetic splutters and splashes, his large, lithe form was confidently languid, moving with effortless grace. His wise but little eyes gave me the once-over and then with an imperceptible nod he invited me on a tour of his world. Yes, he invited me, or so it felt, even though there was a whole gaggle of snorkelers clambering over each other (literally swimming over one another, fighting, flapping fins in faces) to get closer to him.
Very, very calmly and considerately he took the lead, gently guiding our path. Like a true gentleman, he’d slow down when I could not keep up, or I got water in the spout, or I steamed up my goggles. Once I’d caught my breath or he thought I might be getting bored, he’d speed up again, alternating in just the right proportions between diving down, swimming deeper to show me interesting things on the ocean floor, and surfacing to snuggle in closer for a more intimate exchange. Together we danced an intoxicating dance through the cobalt blue of the Indian Ocean and for three short hours I felt like the queen at the prom and he was my king.
Then, when it was over and my ride was ready to leave, I thanked him and blew him a kiss. Like the mysterious tall dark stranger he is, he nodded, bid me farewell “until we meet again” and disappeared off into the deep blue distance.
And we, Hooky and I, will meet again. I’m sure of it.
It was a brief but awesome encounter – the type that will feed fantasies for a lifetime.
If you’d like to receive notification of my new posts or new book/film releases and promotions, please add your details here to my private mailing list.>>
I have been asked quite frequently why I decided to create the Lesbian Erotic Stories COMBO Collection. Why did I feel the need to rewrite the stories of already great little short films?
Well, the answer is this. These films, like many others, not least a number of lesbian films, have been subjected to the “kiss CUT TO: The morning after” syndrome.
There are many reasons for this I am sure. I suspect is because:-
1) Writing sex scenes is rather difficult. I certainly am only just learning and starting to experiment with how to do it. Filming a good sex scene is even harder.
2) Filming sex scenes is often prohibitively expensive and certainly not often viable for a short film.
3) By leaving it blank the writer or filmmaker opts out of taking any stand. They tactfully allow the readers or audience to fill in the blanks in ways that are personal and suit each individual.
These are all very valid reasons and often the story does not require a detailed extrapolation on the sex scenes.
However, by taking this as default position I believe we miss out on an opportunity to give a view, to engage in a discourse on a topic which is essentially a part of our identity, our sexuality.
“Lesbians” and “sex” are not often mentioned in the same sentence in any non pornographic/more serious capacity unless it is a discussion on “Lesbian bed death”.
I exaggerate. True!
However, my point is, in my experience, lesbians and lesbian life-style is not commonly associated with adventurous sexual activity. In fact, it is quite commonly believed that most lesbians lead a more or less platonic life with their life-partners, favouring intellectual, spiritual or pure emotional connections with their significant other…. right in between digging up a flower bed in their communal allotment or brewing an herb tea. 😉
Gay men on the other hand, have a completely contrary reputation and very little is talked about the more lasting, deeply emotional connections between gay men and their life partners. But more about that later.
I am often told that there is no reason to fill in the blanks and that most explicit depictions of sex is gratuitous. I believe differently. There should be a good balance. I believe it is important that lesbian sexuality is visible, presented, discussed and enjoyed.
So what is it then? What do lesbians do in bed?
I am sure there are probably as many variations in lesbian sex as there are women on the planet, if not more.
So, with the L.E.S COMBO Collection I try to fill in the blanks by giving A VIEW of what could possibly happen in the absent CUT TO scenes. I also hope to demonstrate a sex scene can be an essential part of the story—without it the story is only half told. It was my hope to fundamentally change/augment/provide a twist to each of these stories in someway, by the addition of a meaningful sex scene.
What do you think? Did I succeed?
If you’d like to watch the films and read the stories they can be found here:
L.E.S Combo I
Sometime after a messy breakup, Alex finally agreed to do the cat sitting for her ex-lover, Teresa. She knew her first visit back to what she used to call ‘home’ would not be easy. However, she could never have imagined such an unexpected turn of events! =)
Saying Sorry (On Pre-order Now)
L.E.S Combo II
Having screwed-up again, Jo finds there is no easy way to say sorry. Repentance and forgiveness is a two-way interaction and the journey is not always easy, nor predictable. Each person needs to find their own way to the same end.
So, for those of you that don’t know, the 12th of May is quite an important day. For starters, it comes after “Twilight Zone Day” on the 11th and before “Blame Someone Else Day”, would you believe, on the 13th.
It is not only “Limerick Day” and the beginning of the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations, but also happens to be the birthdate of Florence Nightingale.
To most of us, in the Western World at least, Florence and her amazing impact on health care is quite well known, perhaps not as well known as the Queen, but nevertheless. We mostly understand why she is so important and why there would be a number of statues, hospitals, stained glass windows and other laudations in her honour scattered around London, Derby and the rest of the UK, including seeing her face on a £10 bank note for a few years.
Through the number of films, theatre productions, and our standard education we may know that she came to prominence while “serving as a manager of nurses trained by her during the Crimean War, where she organised the tending to wounded soldiers” and that she “gave nursing a highly favourable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture”, especially as ‘The Lady with the Lamp‘ while making rounds to tend to wounded soldiers at night.
She has even been heralded as a pioneer in the concept of medical tourism as a result of her 1856 letters describing spas in the Ottoman Empire. She detailed the health conditions, physical descriptions, dietary information, and other vital details of patients whom she directed there due to the treatment there being significantly less expensive than in Switzerland.
Even though we mostly associate sanitary reform in the UK with Edwin Chadwick, a few of us know that Florence Nightingale was instrumental in getting the Public Health Acts of 1874 and 1875 passed that required owners of existing properties to pay for connection to mains drainage. She also combined with Edwin Chadwick to persuade Stansfeld, the minister responsible for the Public Health Bill, to devolve powers to enforce the law to Local Authorities, eliminating central control by medical technocrats.
We might even know her as a trail blazing statistician and that she was elected the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society and later became an honorary member of the American Statistical Association.
Even though we might disagree on whether she was a positive or a negative force for early feminism, we can all agree she was not insignificant in the history thereof and that “Cassandra”, the best known essay of an 829-page, three-volume work, which Nightingale had printed privately in 1860, which until recently was never published in its entirety, is regarded as a major text of English feminism.
According to more modern metrics, in 2002, Florence Nightingale was ranked #52 in the BBC’s list of the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote.
However, what very few of us do know, is that from the age of 37 until she died at 90 years of age, she suffered from chronic depression and potential PTSD. She also spent long periods of time completely bedridden as a result of potential undiagnosed brucellosis and associated spondylitis thought to have been contracted by ingesting unpasteurised milk or undercooked meat during the Crimean War.
And then there is the question of her personal and private life. What little we know has been presented to us through the filter of a repressed and conservative male dominated heterosexual world—presenting views that we only very recently have dared to question.
“Some scholars of Nightingale’s life believe that she remained chaste for her entire life, perhaps because she felt a religious calling to her career.” Does this not perhaps sound like a suffocated interpretation of a potentially very different reality. A reality society could not speak of then. Could it be possible that her “several important and long-lasting friendships with women” were of a more significant and perhaps less chaste nature? Could Mary Clare Moore or Mary Clarke have been her life long loves or even her lovers?
Could her seemingly damning judgement of women: “I have never found one woman who has altered her life by one iota for me or my opinions,” not be seen as slightly too dramatic for a rational assessment but more likely her emotional response to a woman’s scorn?
Could the fact that she often referred to herself in the masculine, as “a man of action” and “a man of business” potentially suggest that she regarded herself on the spectrum of transgender or as “non-binary” at the very least?
Even if we will never know the truth, the prospect that any of these are possibilities exist, as well as her formidable achievements in her life and her vast legacy is what has made her such an interesting character to me. This is why I chose to pay tribute to her in my latest novel, Simulation (Simulation: The Dawn of a Lesbian Superhero).
One of the main characters in the novel is a very intelligent highly successful medical scientist, Dr Victoria Henderson, who was partly modelled on Florence and the archetype she represents.
The obvious comparisons in intellect, field of work and achievement is only the beginning.
Like Nightingale, Henderson is “a man of action” – A pragmatic, over achieving, seemingly slightly repressed, woman with a “masculine” mind, who keeps the company of men because they only engage her mentally and analytically which helps her to avoid needing to face the demons straining within.
Additionally, I also loved the imagery and symbolism embodied in the idea of “The lady with the lamp”, the person with holds the knowledge and the key to…. salvation? (substitute your own aspiration here) In fact, I found the dynamism of this theme so compelling that I allowed it to develop from a single lantern into the the formidable lamp of the lighthouse and even its extreme incarnation as a blazing fire–too much knowledge can burn?
If you would like to read my book you can get your copy here:
Simulation: The Dawn of a Lesbian Superhero (Novel)
The Lighthouse Chronicles: Book 1
Set in a dystopian future when, after a decade of war, the United Kingdom is on it’s knees, ruled by strict martial law and where any ‘deviant’ behaviour like homosexuality or lesbianism is punishable in a manner worse than death–the perpetrators are forcefully ‘reset’. Samantha Fielding, an emotionally scarred war hero, struggles to adapt to ‘normal’ life so she enlists in a top secret scientific research program. Here, not only is she pushed way beyond her physical and emotional limits in order to unleash powerful and potentially lethal dormant human abilities, she also finds herself dangerously falling for the principal scientist, Dr Victoria Henderson – risking everything.