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)

On the one hand, conceptually it’s not earthshatteringly new. There must be millions of two-blokes above scene covers out there. On the other hand, I still really like it.

TooManyFairyPrinces600

Happily, I couldn’t quite get the word count on this one above 60,001 words without making a deliberate decision to pad it. So I left it at 59, 223 words. Samhain’s policy on length is to price anything above 60,001 words at $5.99 and those things which don’t quite make the length at $4.99. Which means that this one’s a bargain length for the price :) (Or a bargain price for the length? Something like that.)

Must go and update my website and sidebars :)


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

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

Eeee! I have cover art for Too Many Fairy Princes! Or at least, I have seen a mock up of what the cover art will be like when it has finally been made. I didn’t really have a clear idea of what I wanted to see on this cover. Maybe a view of London with the two heroes on top of it? But I didn’t see how they would manage to get a good photo of anyone sufficiently elf-like to stand in for Kjartan (who looks a bit like this:)

elflord_c

Click on the picture to get to Ulrike’s gallery

But they did! I can’t reveal it yet, but I’m ever so pleased. Samhain’s art department goes from strength to strength.

~

A second cause of squee is that I’ve also had the edits back on the manuscript of Too Many Fairy Princes, and in the “Coming Soon” section it says The Reluctant Berserker.

I hadn’t announced that The Reluctant Berserker had been accepted for publication by Samhain, because I haven’t yet had the contract, but I think that having it announced in the back of the book I’m working on now counts as official enough confirmation for me to go public with it. So look out for that one either late 2013 or early 2014 :)


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

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

So, I’ve got the contract for Too Many Elf Princes, and we haven’t quite started on the copy editing process yet, but on the content editing side, my editor said to me “I’m curious about Kjartan’s relationship to his mum, can we have a bit more explanation there? Oh, and could you beef up the romance with a capital R in the second half of the book?”

I thought “well, the first thing will be easy enough. His relationship with his mum isn’t really relevant, so I’ll just put a paragraph in early on explaining this, and that will be done.” But clearly my editor knew more than I did, because when it came to the big commitment scene, it turned out that Kjartan’s (non)relationship with his mum was pivotal, and I’ve just spent the morning crying over it as I typed.

A good editor and an obliging muse are two wonderful things.

Have an excerpt to celebrate :)

592px-Riddaren_rider,_John_Bauer_1914

Too Many Fairy Princes

In the throne room, the king had been dressed in gold, and a thin film of gold leaf had been blown onto the exposed white, waxy skin of his face and hands. The great cavern of a room faced due east, and as the sun came up, the king caught its light and threw it back in a dazzle that lit the walls.

The night’s damp air was held back by a magical shield such as closed off Kjartan’s rooms, and the scent was all dust and dryness, cracked and sifted as desert sand, spiced with turpentine and frankincense and other preservative resins.

Volmar’s eyes were dry as they gazed on his dead son, dressed still in his white sleep robe, but covered in a blanket of polar-bear fur, and with an emerald circlet in his fiery hair.

The King’s eyes could not be other than dry, the moisture in his tear ducts having evaporated a dozen years ago. They made a scratching noise when he blinked, and the hall was so silent, Kjartan could hear it from where he stood at the foot of the dais, on the circle of mother of pearl set into the floor that marked the traditional place for an accuser.

On the circle of slate opposite, Tyrnir yawned and failed to raise a hand to cover it. He could not – his hands being bound together behind him in three cords of marsh grass and one of twisted seaweed.

They stood together, dark holes in the radiance of the morning, while the conches blew harsh and mournful notes to welcome another dawn, and the silver trumpets echoed them, in threat and warning to the sea-elves. We are still watching. We are still ready. Our knives await you.

Then the sun slipped a little higher into the heavens and its beam slid off the golden king onto the floor, and in the suddenly dimmed light they stirred back to life.

“So,” Volmar creaked, looking down at the bruises around Gisli’s mouth. “After an age of stagnation, we move and strive again. Which one of you was it?”

“It was Tyrnir, my king.” The strange not-pain had given way to a kind of hollow lightness beneath Kjartan’s breastbone. It gave his voice a tone like metal, and made him feel tall as thunderclouds. “Lob here, and Tuburrow will tell you I took this…” he held out the button like a soul-stone in a palm that didn’t shake, “from Gisli’s hand as they brought him here.”

“They fall off all the time,” Tyrnir scoffed. “And he collects them. You know he does – rooms and rooms of buttons and belt toggles, boot plaques and broken pendants. And you think this is enough to accuse your own brother of fratricide?”

“I have the coat you were wearing yesterday…”

Lob held it out in two of his six arms.

“Look where the material has been torn. That button didn’t fall off, it was grabbed, wrenched, when our brother fought back against you.”

Tyrnir gave a sharp sigh and shifted his weight onto one foot, either deliberately or genuinely nonchalant. “One of the riding birds tore it off, when Gisli and I were at the scrapes yesterday. It rolled to the boy’s feet and I told him he could keep it. For his collection, you know? He was grateful.”

Avenging angel did not seem to be one of Kjartan’s talents. His lightness crumpled in on itself. He ground his teeth. “You came to ask me, yesterday, if the youngest son always won. I said yes. So you made it that you are the youngest son. You killed him, brother. Don’t try and…”

“I agree,” the king sat straighter in his seat, hitching himself upright with slow, deliberate toil. Already the gold foil had begun to flake off onto his collar, leaving him particoloured in glory and decay. “Do not try to deny it, if it’s true, Tyrnir.” He flicked his fingers towards the black clad woman who stood behind the throne, her mother of pearl skin gleaming beneath her deep hood. “Aud, does he lie?”

“He does, my king.”

“You see. Simpler then to tell me the truth. Did you kill Gisli, Tyrnir, or must we look elsewhere for our prince-slayer?”

Tyrnir cast Aud, the court’s archmage, a glance that promised retribution. She smiled, and the smug invulnerability of it seemed to puncture his resistance. “Oh,” he said, “very well. Yes, I killed him. I want to win. I will do what it takes.”

Kjartan thought his father coughed, at first – weevils lodged in his throat, perhaps. But then that part of him, inside, where the not-pain was, flinched and contracted, as it had learned to do very early in his life. Things became – if not more bearable – at least more numb. For his father laughed, laughed so wildly he had to press his arms around his middle to stop his stomach from bursting.

“Well, good. I’m glad to see one of you has some gumption. Surprised to see you’ve stopped at one, though. Kjartan stayed awake all night, I suppose?”

Tyrnir laughed and raised his dark eyes to regard his father fondly. “Kjartan is no threat. Once I’ve killed Bjarti, Kjartan will give me the kingdom freely. All he wants is to be left alone. He doesn’t care.”

And that was true enough. He didn’t want any of this. If he had stopped to think, he would have acknowledged it, stepped down, surrendered, glad to be spared the unpleasantness. But somewhere inside, squeezed by pressure into a heat like that at the earth’s core, Kjartan was angry, and his anger worked his mouth without going through his mind.

“I do care now! Now I care! I won’t leave my home in the hands of a man who killed his own brother. Don’t either of you hurt for him? He was your kin and he liked you both. How can you stand there and look at his corpse and laugh? I will have this dung-grown kingdom just to pay you both back for that.”

“Aha,” Volmar settled back with a sigh like a dying breath and gave his youngest a patronising smile. “Lose one enemy, gain another, eh, Tyrnir? Stamp on the eggs before they hatch, for even a baby dragon can give you a nasty searing. I must say I haven’t had this much fun since I died. My boys, you may just have been worthwhile after all.”

He motioned Aud forward, and with a touch of her finger the cords that bound Tyrnir fell away. Tyrnir rubbed his wrists one after another and looked at Kjartan thoughtfully. Then he smiled like the curve of a scythe as it approached a field of long grass.

“But Kjartan is no dragon, father. And soon he will be nothing at all.”


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

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

*G* I’m not sure about the grammar of that title. But I am delighted to announce that I’ve just signed the contract with Samhain to publish Too Many Fairy Princes, a contemporary fantasy on crack.

640px-Happy_balloons

Blurb:

When Dave Wilson’s boss clears out the coffers of his failing art gallery and disappears, leaving him to confront an angry loan shark and his brutal henchmen alone, the last thing he needs to find, behind the bins at the back of his house, is a fugitive elven prince.

Equally, Kjartan has quite enough to do, defending himself against his murderous brothers in the competition for the succession to his kingdom’s throne, without having to get involved with Dave’s financial problems too.

But they’re both going to have to make the best of it, because fairy tales run rough-shod over reluctant heroes. Especially if they start off with too many princes and not enough happy endings to go around.

~

I have no information yet about when to expect it. Late this year I suspect, or possibly early next. Watch this space and you’ll know as soon as I do.


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

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

So, today I have finished the first draft of The Crimson Outlaw, which came in at 31,073 words. Huzzah! I feel the need to celebrate and also to tell everyone. But, I only wrote 1773 words of my daily 3000 words before I ran out of story. So to what should I turn next?

I’m thinking I should write one more novella in first draft, and then I can start editing The Glass Floor *and* The Crimson Outlaw. By the time I’ve done those, I can edit the third novella with a fresh eye. And then I can start a new project again. I don’t seem to do well doing more than one thing at once.

Help me, Oh my gentle reader, what do you fancy most out of these choices?

6newgrange

My Evil Valentine – (sort of contemporary but with superheroes. Probably set in London. Almost certain to be crack along the lines of Too Many Faerie Princes.)

The Ice Knight  – (semi-historical set in Romania. A character turned up in The Crimson Outlaw who needs his own story.)

Hoist by his Own Petard – a romance between a morris dancer and a reenactor. (Contemporary, set all over the UK, mostly in fields and ruins.)

There’s a Tea Shop one too, but I suspect that may be novel length and I still can’t decide if it’s a contemporary or a fantasy.

Any thoughts?

~

Speaking of Too Many Faerie Princes, I should have some news to announce on both that and Pilgrim’s Tale (now renamed Leofgar And The Reluctant Berserker) fairly soon. Watch this space :)

 


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

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

So, Too Many Fairy Princes is finished, and I love it. It’s one of the few things I’ve written to which I would quite like to do a sequel. (Maybe where Drake keeps killing people and our heroes get caught up in the police investigation.) But it has no sex scene in it. It has a love story, an awful lot of UST, quite a bit of kissing, and a fade to black ending, but no sex.

I’m torn. I’m sure it would be more widely acceptable to publishers and readers alike if it had a final sex scene, but I don’t want to write one, and I don’t really think it needs one. In fact, as it’s pitched – mood wise – around the level of a Dr. Who story, I think it’s almost suitable to be classed as Young Adult, and a final sex scene would be out of keeping with the rest of it.

Rather than angst about this, I guess the thing to do is to ask my agent for her advice. Can a writer get away with fade to black romance, these days? What do you think?

Other excellent news – the cover art I did for Erastes’ Junction X is a finalist in this year’s Rainbow Awards

I’m gobsmacked by how high the standard for covers has become in the last few years. I started making them at a time when cover art was pretty dire, because I thought ‘I can do better than this.’ But now I’m thinking of hanging up my Gimp (yes, I know, don’t say it) for good, because I don’t think I can keep up with this rapid advance of excellence.

Right. UK Meet is coming up this weekend. I suppose I should go and write my talk!


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

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