Thursday 14 December 2023

Anna Larner, "Invisible"


Anna Larner is an English Literature graduate with a passion for LGBT heritage. She has master's degrees in Museum Studies and the Word and the Visual Imagination.

Anna's debut novel, Highland Fling, was a finalist in the 2018 Golden Crown Literary Society Awards. Her second novel, Love’s Portrait, was a finalist in the 2019 Rainbow Awards and in the 2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. Her third novel, Highland Whirl, featured in Lambda Literary's December 2021 Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books. Her short story "Hooper Street" can be found in the BSB anthology Girls Next Door. Her poems have been published with Paradise Press and the University of Leicester's Centre for New Writing.

Find her at her website here, or on social media. Facebook and Instagram: @anna.larner.writer.

About Invisible, by Anna Larner

Violet Unwin is convinced she is invisible. Overlooked by her adoptive family, her only solace is her uncle’s costume shop. By day, she’s an assistant no one remembers, but after hours, in the wonder of her imagination, she becomes explorer, warrior, queen. Devastated by news of the shop’s imminent closure, Violet finds comfort in an unlikely companion, the ghostly figure of her namesake, the suffragette Vi Unwin.

Medical school dropout Phoebe Frink’s life is in disarray. She has no idea who she is anymore, what to do about it, or how to tell her parents. Taken under the wing of the infamous drag king Mr. Duke, owner of the struggling Banana Bar, fate steps in when Phoebe seeks Violet’s help with costumes for the bar’s fundraising Christmas Ball.

Phoebe is captivated by beautiful, shy Violet, and for the first time in her life, Violet experiences what it is to be truly seen. But for love to be possible, Violet and Phoebe must take a risk on a future they’ve never dared to imagine.

You can read more about Invisible on the publisher's website here. Below, you can read an excerpt from the novel. 

From Invisible

“Oh, Violet, our tea.”

“Here’s hoping it’s still hot.” Violet went to the counter followed by Phoebe. She poured the tea and added the milk while Phoebe placed the cream horns on plates.

Violet watched as Phoebe tucked her napkin into the collar of her blouse.

“I’ll be careful,” Phoebe said. “Are you ready? One, two, three.”

On three they both took huge bites and giggled as the cream covered the tips of their noses and the pastry crumbs coated their lips.

Violet’s taste buds exploded. “That’s so tasty.”

Phoebe licked her lips. “Is it your first?”

“Yes, but hopefully not my last.” They couldn’t stop smiling. For this wasn’t just apple and cinnamon—it was far sweeter and far more intoxicating, pure unmistakable happiness. Violet had often heard people speak about it, but up until that moment she had never felt it. Even if many times she had tried to imagine it—waltzing round the shop with the mannequin, make-believing it was that someone special in her arms, or lying on her bed looking up at the stars on her ceiling and turning her head to the figment of the girl at her side and kissing her. How many lonely nights had she pressed her body against the soft, giving pillow until sleep stole the moment from her? It was always a young woman just like her, and it had felt so natural that Violet had never questioned it as one never questions the setting sun. And here was Phoebe, smiling at her, laughing with her, vividly real and unimaginably wonderful.

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