Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop
Festival EventThis event is a part of First Date Romance Festival 2024 series. Click to view more from this festival.

Out of This World: romantasy, superheroes, and more

Featured Speakers

Helen Comerford, PJ Ellis and L.R. Lam, chaired by Lily X

This event is a part of First Date Romance Festival 2024 series. Click to view more from this festival.

Romance fiction is many things, and sometimes it’s out of this world! This morning’s panel brings together three writers whose work showcases the breadth and imaginative nature of the romance genre.

L.R. Lam’s dragon romantasy (yes, that’s romance + fantasy!) Dragonfall has been described as “tight, smoldering and wonderfully queer” by Mike Brooks, and we would tend to agree! Helen Comerford’s debut YA romance questions the trope of the “love interest” who, upon being saved by the world’s newest superhero Blaze, is expected to fall in love with him instantly…! The Love Interest is an engaging and swoony superpowered take on the fake dating trope. In PJ Ellis’ new book We Could be Heroes, a superhero might just fall in love with a drag queen - it’s been described as an ode to queer joy. You can expect intriguing conversations about genre and tropes!

About our speakers:

Originally from sunny California, L.R. Lam now lives in cloudy Scotland. Lam is a Sunday Times bestselling author whose work includes epic fantasy romance Dragonfall, the near-future space thriller Goldilocks, feminist space opera Seven Devils (co-written with Elizabeth May), BBC Radio 2 Book Club selection False Hearts, and the award-winning Micah Grey series: Pantomime, Shadowplay, and Masquerade. Their short fiction and essays have appeared in various anthologies, such as Nasty Women, Cranky Ladies of History, Scotland in Space, and more.

Twitter/Instagram: @LR_Lam

Philip "PJ" Ellis is Sex & Relationships Editor at Men's Health, and the author of the novels Love & Other Scams and We Could Be Heroes. His writing has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, i-D and The Independent. He lives in Birmingham with his husband.

Instagram: @philipellis Twitter: @philip_ellis

Helen Comerford is a Black mixed-race British debut author and is passionate about Black British representation. She centres her Black British characters in narratives they have historically been excluded from and celebrates their joys, strengths and everyday teenage experiences. She is fuelled by a love of all things super-powered, feminism, and chocolate raisins. When she’s not writing, you can find Helen hiking around the Welsh countryside with her dog, Cocoa. The Love Interest is her debut novel.

Our host: Lily X

Lily X is a #1 best-selling author of clandestine cliterature. Her latest romantasy series, The Seventh Star, captivates readers with its interracial and sapphic elements.

Lily endeavors to uproot the noticeably thin and white representation in queer fiction to provide a diverse, fantasy-driven take on sapphic literature.

She lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and prays for sunlight every day.

Find her at lilyxbooks.com, and check out her Seventh Star series online.

Featured Books