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

First interview of 2016 goes to Dr Jo Stanley, FRHistS, for her fascinating blog Gender, sex, race, class – and the sea.

“Using a cultural studies approach, this blog explores the impact of women, LGBT people, working-class people and people from a range of ethnic backgrounds, on the sea and shipping. And it questions the ways that the sea and ships in turn affect such people’s lives and mobility.”

INTERVIEW
I find Alex’s novels about this world deeply enjoyable and satisfying. And I’m intrigued that they are written by woman who isn’t even a boatie; read by metropolitan men who certainly didn’t sail in the 18C; and relished by straight landswomen.
The bizarre nature of this phenomenon is why I have just interviewed Alex by email. Here are the replies she kindly sent:

Q. Why did you start writing queer Age of Sail books? Did you feel something should be explored about the hidden potential sexual extent of those close on-board relationships in history books and in novels such as those by Patrick O’Brian?

Read more here


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

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

*g* This rather delights me. I deliberately wrote False Colors with one hero who had to figure out a way of reconciling his Christianity with his homosexuality because it seemed clear to me that not enough people were telling readers that you could have both. To me it was fairly obvious that it was a Christian book as well as a m/m romance – a gay inspirational, if you like – but this is the first time I’ve been reassured that there are readers who see that too:

http://teachmetonight.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/book-news-and-questions.html

It’s been a bit discouraging that it’s been seen as a gay book first as if it couldn’t possibly be both.


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

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

Forgive the slightly cynical title there. I don’t actually know whether it’s still the case that RT will include adverts for m/m romance if paid, but won’t give m/m books the free review a paid advert entitles a m/f romance. I hope that the fact that they’ve published an article about m/m romance indicates they’re starting to soften towards the genre.

Apparently m/m romance is a torrent, flooding the defenceless market of romance.

http://www.rtbookreviews.com/magazine-article/its-raining-men-tackling-torrents-malemale-romantic-fiction-flooding-market?page=1

Given that m/m romance – from a m/m writer’s POV – hasn’t even made it into the mainstream yet, I suspect this is something of an exaggeration. Possibly of the same sort that says women are taking over SF if there are two female characters on a show with a six man team. IE, anything more than tokenism starts to look like a lot.

Having said that, the article is nowhere near as sneering as some of the early ones on the subject, and though it treads old ground it does so without scattering caltrops as it goes. Pretty damn positive, I think, on the whole.

Cynical I might be towards RT, but I’m absolutely not cynical about seeing two of my books featured as readers’ top picks in the historical section. Wow! I do the unalloyed happy dance over that :) Thank you so much to those readers! You are stars!


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

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

I recently had a lovely email from Gert Alenhall, who is the person in charge of making and keeping the 18th century clothes of the mariners on the Swedish ship Götheborg. He also runs a business of his own, designing and making all kinds of costumes. Check out his website here www.ateljealenhall.se )

He said (I paraphrase) “I was very surprised to see the cover of your book, False Colors, because that’s my ship on there, and I keep the archives of photos and don’t remember that one.”

I had no idea where the photo came from, as the cover was made by Larry Rostant and I had nothing to do with it, but I was simply amazed that it’s a real ship at all. How lovely!

I’m not making myself clear, am I? But breaking news is that the ship at the bottom of this cover:

FalseColors_300x200

is this ship:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6theborg_%28ship%29

Here she is exchanging gun salutes with HMS Belfast on her way back home to Sweden after visiting London:

How cool is that? I would say “very” but I am biased :)

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

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!)

.

Thud!

Dec. 22nd, 2009 11:47 pm
alex_beecroft: A blue octopus in an armchair, reading a book (Default)

That crashing sound is the sound of me swooning inelegantly and falling off my chair with ever so slightly embarrassed but overjoyed shock.  Wow!

False Colors is picked as joint number #14 on Dear Author’s Top 100 Romances list.

As if this wasn’t flabberghasting enough, this isn’t their ‘top 100 of 2009′, it’s their ‘top 100 romances since 1970′ list.  I can’t say how stoked I am that False Colors ranked so high – and how wonderful it is to have m/m books considered in the same league as m/f ones.  I’m trying to think of something appropriate to say but – after a long day of driving and flat-pack-sofa assembling – I’m just happily speechless.  Wow!  Thank you, DA!

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