alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Edited quickly because this felt like something to share with my friends-list. HaikuJaguar on publicity and artistic insecurity:

http://threejaguarscomic.net/

~*~*~*~

Here is a lovely review of Captain’s Surrender http://julian-griffith.livejournal.com/27644.html which makes me smile not only with the joy appropriate to a good review but with the additional joy appropriate to a review that really seems to get what you were trying to do.

I’m also hugely pleased and honoured to have The Wages of Sin reviewed in Wilde Oats http://www.wildeoats.com/review_WagesOfSin.html which is a lovely magazine to which I keep meaning to submit a story or two, but never seem to write anything short enough.

Thanks so much to both of you!

2606230-captain_jack_harkness

And on a completely different note, I was very happy to find both asexuals and the gender fluid on this list, but while the factoid about Captain Jack Harkness makes so much sense, I suspect they might be wrong on the osmosis front. At least, it’s never worked like that for me.

In fact, seriously, go to the tumblr for more Facts about Queers. I never knew the reason why I had such difficulty with computers was because I was non-binary, but that makes so much sense too :)

~*~*~*~

I have a few ideas for some longer blog posts, hurray! But now it’s just a matter of sitting down and writing them. And as one of them is about the fact that I have converted my computer desk to a standing desk, this might be easier said than done ;)


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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If you knew me in real life, you’d know that I was the one who sat in the corner of every meeting, listening and not saying anything. On rare occasions I might burst out with some wildly odd opinion on which I held forth for half an hour before realizing that everybody’s eyes had glazed over and people mainly wanted me to just shut up again. But mostly I would be practicing the shutting up and lurking appropriate to someone who is generally an outlier in any statistical curve.

Which means this whole blogging thing is very against the grain for me, and I have, yet again, run out of things to say. So I’m going to throw the floor open and say “ask me something! Anything!”  Is there anything you want my opinion on? Post it here and I will answer it if I can :)

Tentatively relevant picture:

Meno_Mühlig_Holzsammlerin_weist_Ritter_den_Weg

Asking for directions.

It’s either that or I go back to the idea of Sunday Snippets – posting an excerpt from one of my books every week – and does anyone really want that?


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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*g* It’s a slightly inflammatory title, I admit, but I do have a point, though it would be clearer if I rephrased it as “History and Historical Fantasy, is there a difference?”

467px-JosephWright-Alchemist-1

I’m discussing this over on the Samhain Romance blog https://www.samhainpublishing.com/2013/03/history-and-fantasy-is-there-a-difference/

and although I wouldn’t say I was 100% serious about it, having seen how easily the contributions of women have been written out of the history I was taught, giving an entirely false impression, I’m not really 100% joking either. It would be nice if we could be sure history was more than just a story made up from various different viewpoints to try to fit whatever small scraps of evidence we have left, but I’m not sure if we can.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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Oh, I am a bad blogger. I spent yesterday blitzing the house – which now looks pretty damn fine, I must say – and utterly missed the fact that it was my day to post in the Stuff Your Stockings Blogfest

http://www.longandshortreviews.com/promo.htm

Fortunately, I’d handed the text of the post in months ago, so I didn’t let them down with no post at all, but I haven’t commented or promoted it until today. Better late than never, there, I hope! Every post comes with a giveaway, to which you are entered if you comment, so it seems like a great opportunity to get hold of some new books for free, if nothing else.

And I’d like to think I’d been a little interesting, albeit unashamedly Christian, on the subject of Christmas and why this year it’s been a source of hope to me, rather than one simply of anxiety. (The anxiety is always there too.) Can anything new be said on this subject after 2000 years in which it’s been talked about every year? I doubt it.

http://wcguest.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/stuff-your-stocking-blogfest-alex.html


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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I’m blogging over on the LGBT Fantasy Fans blog today on a subject close to my heart – ritual dance.

http://lgbtfantasyfansandwriters.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/dancing-with-destiny/

Which was prompted by a great time at Mill Road Winter Fair at the weekend. One problem with playing music for one side while dancing for another comes when both sides turn out to the same event. Then who do you support? Crisis! Clash of loyalties! Woe is me! Who should I let down this year? Or can I figure out a composite kit and support both? I will give you a clue:

There seems to be no rule that the waistcoat you wear for the Riot can’t be black. So with a black waistcoat and a zebra blanket thrown around the shoulders for those chilly muso moments between dances, I mostly fitted with both sides at once. And boy did I need that blanket! It was perishing.

I must say, it’s excellent practice for your breath control – finishing a dance, then taking half a minute to throw on a hat and cloak & going out to play the whistle. I was out of breath most of the time, but I don’t think it showed.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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Just here http://www.samhainpublishing.com/2012/11/biting-off-more-than-i-can-chew/

And wondering why the first week of NaNoWriMo has to coincide with half term, so I will start out at 500 words a day if I’m lucky. Why, people? Why are there so many damned holidays during which I’m all but forced to stop work?

No, stop that, Alex. No more resenting things you can’t change. Call this a reading week instead, and buckle down to reading Roumanian Journey, Songs of the Valiant Voivode, The Earl and his Butler in Constantinople and this amazing site. That should keep you gainfully occupied for a while.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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Heh, or perhaps it just feels like that. I’m still struggling with Frankenstein’s computers, but in keeping with the spirit of the month I’ve managed to do a post about vampires. Appropriately enough, this is an undead post, which had to be resurrected in pieces after the upstairs computer died from exhaustion and confusion due to having to run the WP interface.

http://lgbtfantasyfansandwriters.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/october-is-for-bloodsuckers/

Now I’m off to stand on the roof and shake my fist at the oncoming lightning while laughing maniacally. Currently, laughing maniacally sounds like a damn fine idea, possibly with a glass of flaming absinthe in the other hand.

 


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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In all the excitement of getting our eldest’s A level results and confirming her place at university (and immediately getting to work trying to find her somewhere to live, because the halls of residence were already full) I forgot to mention that I was guesting on Jessica Freely’s website today.

http://www.friskbiskit.com/2012/08/guest-post-alex-beecroft.html

In which I am – as usual – contrary on the subject of cliches. That is, I am often contrary, and this time I’m being so about cliches. Note to self: champagne is detrimental to coherence (but possibly worth it.)

Do come and visit me over there, and possibly win a copy of Bomber’s Moon :)


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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with a rant called Holding the Left Hand of Darkness, in which I talk somewhat angrily and incoherently about the subject of gender in this, one of my favourite books ever.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Ah, if only all blogging was this effortless! Today, courtesy of Charlie Cochrane, I’m talking about the differences between m/f and m/m romance on the Flirty Author Bitches blog:

http://flirtyauthorbitches.com/2012/06/not-your-mothers-historical-romance/

Thanks Charlie!

I’ve also recently started using Pinterest. I’m always curious to try out the latest new thing in social media – largely in a vain attempt to find one that will suit me. Often I make a great, enthusiastic start and then lapse into silence again. Who knows whether that will be the case here or not? But I will say that I actually see a way to use Pinterest in the cause of writing.

I’m currently doing galley proofs for the Under the Hill books, and then I’m going to move on to editing The Pilgrims’ Tale (and then I’m going to move on to editing Elf Princes’ Quest.) So I’m saving my “but I still need to write, or else I’ll go insane” brain by doing 500 words of a new vampire novella in the morning before I get to work on all that editing. And – coming slowly back around to the point here – Pinterest is being brilliant for keeping all the research pictures that I’ve never known what to do with before.

Now if I Google “18th Century Wallachian Boyar” I don’t have to just look at the picture and try to remember it, or bookmark it, or download it and upload it into an awkward research folder somewhere. I can just pin it, and then I can go and look at all my similar pins together and get a pictorial overview which is wonderful for giving a feel for the atmosphere. And I can organise all of this by book, which makes lots of sense to me, and also ends up looking very pretty.

http://pinterest.com/alexbeecroft/

So yes, I can see myself using Pinterest on a regular basis. I have no idea whether it will be of any use, social media or promo-wise, but I suspect that’s always been very secondary to me anyway. As a research tool, it’s prime :)


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Which we weren’t ;) I’ve just blogged on Samhain’s blog about my problem with bad guys. The trouble is, there’s rarely a villain I can’t sympathise with, or a hero I can’t despise. Can you help me get over this terrible affliction?

http://www.samhainpublishing.com/2012/05/oh-villain-vile-lets-talk-about-the-bad-guys/

Sorry about the continuing lack of blogging on here. I have the feeling that the dry patch is coming to an end now, and I’ll be back in communication for a while. But I won’t jinx that by being definite about it. Watch this space ;)


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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Well, her blog title is “Alex Beecroft put to the question,” so I thought I’d follow the theme ;) I’m guesting today on Elin Gregory’s blog, where she asks me all kinds of fascinating things such as “what makes a hero?” and “is everything better with elves?” and “your characters – which would you snog, marry or avoid?” Even though I’m not a great blogger, it’s hard to be boring when asked such interesting questions. To see whether I managed it nevertheless, go here http://elingregory.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/welcome-visitor

:)

Thank you, Elin.


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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I’m sorry! I know you must be even more bored of me going on about UtH: Bomber’s Moon than I am, but I did mention something on Tuesday about a giveaway. So I thought you might like to know that I’m running a “give away a copy to a random commenter” thingy over here on the Coffee and Porn in the Morning blog where I’m also waffling on about my love of rural England, Wallace and Grommit, and Dogrose Morris’s Beer-tray dance.

I hate it when people hard sell stuff to me, so I’ll just say ‘come if you want to, stay away if you want to, it’s all good :)


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

So, after the excitement of Saturday I got steadily sicker, until by Wednesday it took me the whole day to write 700 words. On Thursday I gave up and awarded myself a sick day, which I spent reading blogs.

As a result of Chuck Wendig’s “promote yourself” post I added a whole load of new blogs to my friend list, which is good. But this morning I find the RSS feed thingy has given me all their recent posts in one huge slab of ‘OMG, my FL is broken!’ I hope that will settle down from now on or some of them will have to go again. I don’t mind reading one post of a particular blog a day, but I can’t cope with five.)

~*~*~

As if the prospect of learning the 5000 tunes in my handwritten, photocopied stack of ‘essential music for morris musicians’ sheet music on the whistle wasn’t enough, I seem to have decided to take up the pipe and tabor. This is the original morris one man band – a three hole pipe that you play in one hand, while you simultaneously play a drumbeat with the other hand, like so:

 

This makes the overblowing you do on the whistle to get the second octave seem like child’s play. To get a single octave on the tabor pipe you have to overblow once and twice, and to get the higher octave, three and four times. (What am I talking about? See here: http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Pipe_and_tabor)

I can feel my brain protesting, but I can at least play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” with drum accompaniment, and almost play the morris tune “Balance the Straw” with rhythm. I’m fairly sure that this time next week I could do a good job of “Balance the Straw,” if I practiced it every day between then and now. Maybe that’s what I’ll do.

Mustn’t stop practicing the whistle too, though, or this will just end up destroying the progress I’ve made on that.

~*~*~*~

What is this ‘promo op’ of which you speak? Well, I thought it was a really good idea of Chuck Wendig’s to throw open the comments section of his blog to people who wanted to promote their book/blog/vid/editing/dogwalking service/any other thing. So naturally I thought it would be a good idea to do it here too.

Basically, if you have a new book out, or any other thing you want to shout about, leave a comment here. I don’t guarantee I’ll reply to them all, but I’ll see them all and so will anyone else who comes here. And it can’t hurt, right? :)


Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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I occasionally also froth at the mouth about this subject, and have crossed one publisher off my list of ‘people I will ever work with again’ because they tried to take my wases away. But I have been too lazy/ill informed to ever write a proper post about why using the verb ‘to be’ does not constitute passive voice, why you can’t just take it away without deforming the language – and why passive voice isn’t always such a terrible thing anyway.

Fortunately for my laziness, Patricia C Wrede has written her own post about it, and it is wonderful. Have a look at this:

Misunderstanding grammar

~

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

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It must be nice to be one of those writers who feels expert enough in things to answer other people’s questions. Wednesday’s blog post aside, I’m not really one of them. I have a head full of questions and doubts that rarely if ever seem to get resolved.

Today I’m airing my questions and doubts about genre and the single writer over on Jessewave’s blog. Do you think a writer who changes genre ought to also change their name for ease of reference? But what if they then combine those two genres into one crossover novel? Whose name goes on that? Should they, in fact, not write the confusing crossover at all? Should they have a third name for those? Should they keep one name and do something else?

I would be delighted to see anyone who has any opinions on these questions over here:

http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/2012/01/13/do-you-cross-the-line-by-alex-beecroft

I don’t guarantee I will take all advice I’m given, but I do promise that I will consider it carefully.

Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

starts up today! Every day until Christmas, at about 2pm, there will be a new post about something festive, and an opportunity to win either a free book or something else just as exciting.

My post isn’t up until the 23rd, but I’m going to be clicking on it every day because there’s something interesting every day for a month, and you can’t always say that about the internet ;)

Check it out over here: Speak Its Name Advent Calendar

Mirrored from Alex Beecroft.

alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

Woo!  I have a duology.  That sounds very fine.  Even better is the fact that I can now say that Under the Hill: Bombers’ Moon should be out in April 2012, followed in May 2012 by Under the Hill: Dogfighters.  I sent off the cover art sheets today, so it’s all beginning to feel a bit more real.

On the blogging front, I’ve been second guessing myself again recently.  One of my many problems is that I do have a tendency to follow advice, and in this case it has been the advice to think of my blog as a marketing tool and a way to build my authorial ‘brand’.  I read, all over the place, that should commit to updating it on a regular basis, and I should make sure I only put stuff up on it that reflected my brand.

The result of which was that I made a resolution to post once a week on a Monday.  And then I immediately couldn’t think of anything to blog about.  I have a group of interests that looks like a lotus flower, it’s got so many separate petals, but whereas all the things that interest me are united by virtue of interesting me, that’s about all the link there is.

I should (according to this advice) remember that I’m a m/m romance writer, and blog about m/m romance.  But that’s terribly limiting.  Besides, all my friends are writing about m/m romance, and covering all the topics I could possibly think about better than I could.  Also – to be frank – I find it easier to say what I want to say (if anything) by writing a story than I do by sitting down and attempting to analyse it in some kind of meta post.  I enjoy reading other people’s theories, but formulating my own feels like letting the genie out of the bottle.  That genie could have been powering a story instead.

I could write about writing – but what do I have to say that’s different from what everyone else is saying?  No one needs my inchoate thoughts when they could just buy a ‘how to’ book and get it all in one spot.

So I think I’m going to go back to posting whenever I like, about all the stuff that is irrelevant to my brand but interesting to myself.  Since my brand as an author is to be the author that I am, surely nothing I find interesting is irrelevant to it?  Even if it is Nazi talking dogs or Steampunk cell-phones.

.
alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

I appear to have completely failed to tell anyone about this guest blog that I did on Julia Knight’s blog.

How to stay sane with social media

so I thought I would link it now.  I do, in fact, try to keep up with Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Livejournal and my list of blogs I read in Google Reader, but the post is the fruits of the fact that I started out keeping up with them more and ended up being too depressed and hassled to write.

And on a completely different subject, what is probably the coolest thing ever (if you’re me).  False Colors is being taught by Eric Selinger as part of the upper-division (advanced undergraduate) course on popular romance fiction at DePaul university.  I was terribly curious to know what kind of things the students would be asked about it, and thrilled when Eric posted about that very thing on the Teach Me Tonight blog.

The “is penetrative sex considered by women to be the apex of sex?” question is of course something that’s been discussed in slash-writing communities for some time.  It’s therefore something I actually thought about when writing the book.  But I am surprised to find that the violence in the book is a talking point.  I suppose there is a lot of it, but I hadn’t really thought of it as a notable feature before.

I just can’t say how much I’m thrilled to think False Colors can stand up to being  subjected to sustained intellectual study.   (At least, I hope it can.  I don’t know what the students actually think of it!)

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