It is autumn. My son has had his first week at university, leaving me in the house on my own. Naturally I had to be busy busy busy in order to justify my right to existence.
Rather than actually tidying the house (I did do some of that, but it never lasts), I have been beavering away on several writing projects at once.
I narrowed down the whole of history into a focus on 50ad, and the whole of the world into a snapshot of the area of Britain belonging to the Brigante tribe, letting me conclude that the novella I intended to write for my newsletter would involve Queen Cartimandua, notorious backstabber and Roman sympathizer.
I also spent like three days wrestling with the names of my heroes. Do you know if a Brigante man called Tamm whose father was called Cara would be Tamm MacCara or Tamm ap Cara? I didn’t.
Do you have any idea how to work out this Roman naming system, when the Roman in question is not a member of one of the original Roman gens? I really didn’t. I am very very fortunate to have Wulfila to talk me through it. But if I had any confidence going in, I’ve emerged from the experience without it.
And that was without deciding my Roman MC needed a Phoenician personal name because his family were still proud of being Carthaginians first. Apparently the Phoenicians (like other ancient cultures) didn’t believe in writing down vowels. So it took me most of this morning to decide on Kpr as my MC’s Phoenician name and decide it was spelled Kepir. To make it pronounceable for his mates, he would tell them it was Kepirus, or just to call him Africanus and have done with it.
That was all research. In addition, I have been plotting. *Steeples hands in a sinister fashion*
What have I been plotting? I’ve been plotting another adventure for Charles Latham and Jasper Marin of The Wages of Sin fame. This one is to be called Waters of the Deep.
In which Charles’s Latham family entitlement makes a bad situation worse when he and Jasper are called in to investigate a multiple stabbing in (the cotton mill town of) Paradise.
This will be another combination of m/m romance, murder mystery and fantasy. No ghosts, this time – other than Lily, Charles and Jasper’s adopted ghostly daughter – but other denizens of Faerie instead.
I haven’t set a firm deadline for getting that finished, other than ‘hopefully before Christmas.’
as a way of whetting people’s appetites for it, I’ve written a 10,000 word short story in the same universe. Buried With Him is a prequel to The Wages of Sin and tells the story of what happened after Jasper was pilloried that managed to save his faith.
It also manages to keep on with the theme of vaguely sinister Biblical titles, though I worry that this one in particular – though thematically appropriate – is really offputting.
That’s currently being edited, and I’m hoping to release it in mid October. Since, once that’s done, there will be two (soon to be three) volumes in this series, I’ve given the whole thing a series title of Unquiet Spirits. I hope to do at least one more novella in the series afterward, if only to justify calling it a series at all! Watch this space for more definite news on that.
Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.