This story has a remarkable story of disasters, obstacles overcome and dogged persistence all of its own. It’s possible that some of you may remember the first time I announced the sale of what was then a long short story called 90% Proof to Freya’s Bower. I can’t now remember how many years ago that was, but it was supposed to go in an anthology with various other stories. It got through two rounds of editing before the editor became ill and all the authors in the anthology were offered their rights back.
After that, I took out all the editing that had been done on it, reverted it back to how it had been and sent it elsewhere. The second publisher I sent it to accepted it but said that it might take a little while to assemble some other historical stories to go with it to make up an anthology. So I waited a little while, and a little while became two years. At the end of two years I decided that probably they were not quite as enthusiastic about the story as I might have hoped. I asked for the rights back and got them.
Then I thought “well, it’s already a long short story, and I think it would be improved if I gave the POV of both men instead of just one. And it really needs to start earlier if Hal isn’t going to come off as a completely obnoxious git. And I should really show Robert being a prankster rather than tell people about it. Perhaps I can rid the story of its curse if I re-write it as a novella.”
So I rewrote it as a novella, retitled it Poison and Poetry and sent it off to Carina, where it has now gone through all of its edits and been given a release date of 18th of June 2012. I’ve learned better than to suppose it will now be published – there’s plenty of time for something to go wrong again – but this is certainly the furthest it has managed to get down the publishing road so far.
It has also been given a new name. Carina have a special department for titles, apparently, specially for thinking up properly romantic things to call their stories. They’ve outdone themselves this time, I think – I don’t think I could have thought of anything that said “old school Romance with a capital R” better than this.
Drumroll please…. Anyone who wanted to read 90% Proof, you should soon be able to find it under the title His Heart’s Obsession.
It’s perfectly appropriate to the novella, which is indeed a story about the differences between love and obsession, but I have to admit it does make me laugh and suspect that there’s going to be decorative swooning on the cover. If we could have Rob carrying wounded!Hal in a bridal carry, surrounded by the smoke of cannons, so much the better
Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.