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This is the review I hold to my heart whenever the topic of “can women write stories about gay men – or rather ought they to?” comes around. I wrote Captain’s Surrender partly in order to show people that you didn’t have to choose between your sexuality and your faith, you could have both. I thought if even one person got that message, so that they could stop feeling damned and/or condemned, it would justify my writing the books that I wanted to write.

Well, this is that review.

I’m so thankful for it! There are times when I feel the pressure – I’m not gay enough, I’m not male enough, I’m not persecuted enough to speak for this community. (As it turns out, I’m not straight and I’m not female either, but that’s a different story.) And when those doubts strike, I remember this review in particular, and others like it I’ve had since, and I tell myself that nevertheless, I’m still not being entirely selfish in carrying on.


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

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Thanks to Jay Mountney for this Review of the Trowchester Series

trowchesterseriestwitter

I just finished the third book in Alex Beecroft’s Trowchester trilogy so thought I’d review them all at once. The books are modern m/m romance and are linked by the location, the fictional town of Trowchester which becomes very real to the reader over the course of the stories. The main characters of one book reappear as minor players in the others which is satisfying because we get to know that lives continue after each volume ends. Alex creates very three dimensional characters, with real lives, real problems and real adventures. I found myself caring very much what happened to them all.

It’s lovely to see a review that considers each book individually but also considers the series as a whole. I’m so glad she thinks that the books work well together :)

I keep wondering if I should write some more in this series. What do people think? Is there anything you would like to know more about in Trowchester and its environs?


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

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Or: A guest post on The Novel Approach (with giveaway) celebrating the release of Blue Steel Chain–

BlueSteelChain_500x750

When False Colors came out in 2009, I still thought I was straight. I remember the furor that was kicked up by the marketing campaign for that book, which was released as part of a four book attempt to take m/m romance to the mainstream under the ill advised marketing slogan “m/m romance by straight women for straight women.” The four authors involved were somewhat startled by this because they were Erastes, Lee Rowan, Donald Hardy and me. That’s two bisexual women, a gay man, and an asexual person who really still isn’t quite sure about this whole gender business.

I’ve digressed. My point was that at the time I didn’t know that asexuality existed. I thought I was the token straight in that group. I’d always been aware that I’d never been very good at being straight. I’d always felt that there were vast areas in our culture that I just wasn’t getting. The whole business with sex, for example. What was the attraction? What was the point? I could see that it seemed to be a huge driving force in human interaction, and yet for me it was a blank space. Did that mean I wasn’t human? I sometimes felt that way.

I defined myself in negatives. I wasn’t a woman but I wasn’t a man. So I probably wasn’t trans. I wasn’t gay or bi or poly, but I really wasn’t very straight either.

How could a person who was so nothing ever actually exist at all?

That may not sound like an important question, if you’re the kind of concrete realist who can then go on to say “and yet I do, and my existence is valid.” But as an artist and an INTP, I’m a pattern maker by nature, and when I didn’t fit into any of the available patterns it did tend to lead me down the road of “then you must be a mistake. If there’s no space for you in this world, perhaps the world would be better off without you.”

An interesting thing that happened to me recently was that I began to go to a therapist (for non-writing related reasons). On one occasion I said to her “My depression hasn’t been so bad the last three years.” Another time I said “I found out about asexuality about three years ago, and that cleared up a lot of questions I’d had.” She was the one who said “You don’t think the timing of those two things is significant?”

I think it probably is.

I’m supposed to be talking about Blue Steel Chain, aren’t I? But this backstory is relevant to that book. By the time I discovered that asexuality was an actual thing, I had already lived for forty seven years. I had lived for 47 years not knowing that I wasn’t simply a failure at being a human being.

Asexuality is known as one of the ‘invisible orientations,’ because there is so little awareness in society that it exists at all. Asexual people can go their whole lives asking “what’s wrong with me?!” and never get an answer.

Naturally once I’d found this out, I knew I had to do something about it. I had to spread the news and let other people know that they too were not as broken as they might have thought. So I wrote Blue Steel Chain, a romance in which one of my main characters is asexual.

I thought I was writing it mainly for me – mainly for the thrill of thumbing my nose at all those people who assumed that I was writing romance for the sex. “I’ll show them what I really think about sex!” I thought. “That’ll teach them.”

(Because I’m clearly a very mature person these days.)

What I didn’t anticipate was that the moment I said I was writing a book with an ace main character, so many people would start saying “Yes! I feel represented. I can’t wait!”

I really hope I don’t let you down. There are as many different ways to be ace as there are people, and Aidan can’t be all of them. But I hope those of you who are ace can recognize something in him and go “Ha! Yes! It’s just like that.” And I hope those who aren’t will find it fun anyway, and useful for knowing how to deal with the Aces you meet in your life.

Judging from the latest surveys of slash writers/readers I think there are a disproportionate number of us amongst m/m fans. So the chances are you will meet one of us sooner or later. Be prepared!

 


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

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“Beecroft’s very English contemporary romance, a standalone linked with Trowchester Blues, is note perfect from start to finish.”

Publisher’s Weekly

Wow! This is the kind of thing that makes me feel like I’m a real author :)


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

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Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 12.09.09 PM

“Epic in its scope and intensity, this is a book full of very human emotions and deeply heartfelt journeys….”

How about that! :) Thank you RT!

However I do feel moved to mention that although they call it HOT here, I’m fairly sure it’s nothing of the sort. Epic scope and intensity, yes, heaps of steamy sex… not really. Regular readers will know me by now, but I don’t want any new people to expect scorching and then be disappointed.

 


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

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

What I appreciated the most is Kai’s characterization… there was a lot in his character I could relate to as sympathetic, decent and likeable, but there was always something in him that felt alien to me and I really liked that. I liked that he felt like being from another world, rather than just looking like one.

Sirius for Dear Author.

Yes! Result! If there’s one thing I can’t bear, it’s elves that don’t feel any different from humans with pointy ears. I can’t tell you how badly I wanted for Kai to feel like he was of a different species or order of being to the rest of us. It’s not an easy thing to draw a character who reads as convincingly inhuman, when all you have to go on is your own humanity. So I am so chuffed that it worked.

I reserve judgement on the issue of the coincidence in the plot. I think that fateful revelations of this kind are part of the way the fairy tale universe works, more often than not. But it’s not terribly realistic outside of storybook rules, I agree.

Thanks so much Sirius/DA :)


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

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

Hurray! I got a lovely overall B review from Dear Author for The Crimson Outlaw:

http://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/overall-b-reviews/b-reviews/review-the-crimson-outlaw-by-alex-beecroft/

Except for having m/m, action, and m/m action, this was a real change of pace from the previous Beecroft novellas I’ve read, all of which were Regencies. Impressively, not only is unusual setting beautifully realized, but the entire tone of the story is completely different.

~*~

I’m glad to say that they too were tickled by the absence of vampires in a story set in Transylvania, and they were kind enough to say that I had got away with the risky proposition of playing with whole ‘helpless captive’ fantasy without actually letting it go to any of the bad places it could have gone. That was certainly my aim. Vali is an entitled, self-confident privileged brat, and if he hadn’t been having lots of fun playing with the idea of being a defenseless hostage, it would have been a whole different story (which would certainly have involved more bloodshed.)

Thank you ever so much to Willaful on DA! :)


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

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