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So, in an email that went out to Samhain authors this morning we were asked to keep this confidential, but as it’s already out in the public here on The Digital Reader I think that part of it is moot.

Samhain has just announced that they will in fact finally be closing on 28th of February (ie in 18 days time.)

UTHBomberMoon200x133 UnderTheHill-Dogfighters200x133 TooManyFairyPrinces200x133 ShiningintheSun200x133 ReluctantBerserker200x133

If you’re a Samhain reader who’s been storing their books in Samhain’s cloud, this would be the time to download them to your own hard storage so that you don’t lose them the way readers lost books they bought with All Romance Ebooks.

Authors are getting their rights back once the closure has happened, and I intend to reformat my books and self-publish them as soon as I can. But as you know, I’m still recovering from an operation and I have a deadline for a new manuscript which I intend to turn in first, so it may be some time before I can get around to re-launching my backlist in print.

(Ebooks may be faster, depending on availability of cover art. I’m looking into buying some of my covers back from them. All the haggling with the artist that went on to make the cover of The Reluctant Berserker as authentic as possible was in my view 100% worth it, and if I can possibly keep that one I will. It’s gorgeous. But otherwise, making new cover art is quite fun, though laborious.)

If there’s a book of mine you haven’t already bought, but were idly thinking of getting on some future day when you felt like it, let me know and I’ll prioritize my re-release list to get to those ones first. But if I can beg a favour, I would ask you to hold on a little longer and get them from me, rather than buying them from Samhain now. On a callously monetary basis, I will recieve much more of the royalties if you buy from me than if you buy from them – and you will probably get the book cheaper too.

My royalties from Samhain halved during this last year, so I am quite pleased at the prospect of having my rights back from them, but I’m still sad about this. They were an excellent publisher while it lasted – which is why they have so much of my backlist. There was a time when, in my view, they were the best m/m publisher out there. The genre will be poorer without them.

It does seem to me that the m/m publishing boom has finally burst. This may yet have its good side, in that the people who leaped on the bandwagon because m/m seemed like the place to get easy sales will find somewhere else to go, and we’ll be left with the people for whom it actually has meaning. I think that’s been quietly self-selecting inside the genre for a long time anyway.

tl/dr

Download your Samhain books to your own storage now. They’ll be gone on the 28th.

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

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fantasy

Which is very cool as I didn’t actually remember entering :)

http://www.swirlawards.com/2013/06/2013-swirl-awards-winners.html

~*~*~*~

In other news, I apologise for the fading out of everything, blogging, writing, everything. I am gradually getting better after the whole “is it a heart attack? Is it a duodenal ulcer? How many blood tests can one person give without needing a transfusion?” thing, but it’s still a slow process, and they still don’t know exactly what it is.

I will, however, finally do the draw for the hop against homophobia and transphobia winner this week, sorry about the delay!


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

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I’ve been saying I should do this for a long time. Now I’ve finally bitten the bullet and done it.

In my time I’ve made a lot of book trailers, but I only have Windows Media Maker to do it with, which generally means it’s some pictures and some text with an unrelated soundtrack. I’m fairly happy with the videos of that sort that I have made. This one for Shining in the Sun still makes me laugh:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYexMsHldFo

but I thought it was getting a little passe and I should do something different next time. The difference is me! Here I am reading into a camera, horribly nervous and amused about it. I had to cut off several minutes from the beginning where I just looked at the lens and said “I don’t think I can do this.”

It turned out I was wrong :)

YouTube Preview Image

 


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

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Which struck me as a more interesting way of saying “several small things served up together.”

Evidently I’m not alone in being puzzled and even depressed by the fact that there seems to be no place in this world for m/m romance with sparse sex scenes other than being lumped in with “erotica”. Elin Gregory (she of the awesome On a Lee Shore which I highly recommend to you if you like naval m/m) is sounding out readers and authors alike on the question of whether she should start new Facebook and Goodreads groups focusing on the sweet end of m/m romance. If you think that sounds like a good idea (I do!) hie thee over to her place and tell her so: Elin’s LJ

~

A lovely review for Under the Hill: Dogfighters from RT this month

Dogfighters RT

Though I can’t get used to the way people treat them as separate books. I should expect that – the fact that you can hold one in each hand should be a clue – but to me it’s always going to be one big story packaged in two volumes.

It’s probably worth while saying that I have learned from this experience not to write such huge books. Or – if I’m going to write such huge books – to do it in such a way that the pacing is suitable for two books rather than for one. (Dogfighters is the breathless acceleration to the climax of both books, and is not structured to be read as its own entity.)

I’d like to say I’ve learned that, but then I went off and wrote The Glass Floor, which is equally huge and equally structured as one big story rather than two episodes. We’ll have to see what becomes of that before I decide emphatically what lesson I ought to have learned and actually try to put it into practice.

~

Two days ago, someone awarded this blog a “Most Inspiring Blog” award, and I thought “oh, how lovely, I’ll talk about that tomorrow.” But then I didn’t talk about it yesterday because I was distracted by the need to rant. And today, I can’t find that blog again. I only found it in the first place because somebody came to my blog through a link, and that showed up on my site stats. But my site holds the stats only for yesterday and today. I can’t get back to ‘the day before yesterday’ to re-find that link.

If that was you and your blog, thank you so much! Any chance of a link so I can re-read the rules and keep the meme going?

~

And finally, thanks to everyone who expressed an opinion on what I should write next. It was a landslide vote for Hoist By His Own Petard – a morris dance romance. (With reenactors). Accordingly, I started working on a plot plan for that last night, and am looking forward to starting to write it next week.


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

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Well, I’m going to have to stop being all passive-aggressive about RT now, as I have found out that not only have they been reviewing m/m romance for a few months now, but that this month they chose Under the Hill: Bomber’s Moon as one of their top picks. Huzzah!

BombersMoonreviewsm


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

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Lillian Francis tagged me to do this meme, saying that as I’d already done one for The Glass Floor, maybe I could do it for one of my other books. Actually, she tagged me ages ago, but things have been somewhat dire over the new year and I’ve only just started catching up. So here’s proof that I wasn’t ignoring you, Lillian! I was just flailing.

As I’ve done one for The Glass Floor, here’s one for the Under the Hill books instead. So it’s more a case of The Last Big Thing.

A Rural Fantasy with elves and WWII bombers

A Rural Fantasy with elves and WWII bombers

 What is the title of your book? Under the Hill: Bomber’s Moon & Under the Hill: Dogfighters

How did you come by the idea? I had just finished writing Shining in the Sun and thought I would cleanse my palate with a short fantasy novella before starting to do another long historical novel about WWII. I was listening to Steeleye Span, I think, and thought it would be easy to do a gay version of the story of Tam Lin. Then, when I started to write it, it just kept growing, and before I knew it I had such an enormous novel on my hands that it needed to be split in half to be printed economically.

What genre does your book fall under? Contemporary Fantasy? Magic realism? It’s not High Fantasy, is it, because that’s always set in a different world. It’s certainly a sub-genre of Fantasy, but that’s as far as I can go with certainty.


Which actors would you choose to play your characters if it were a movie? Do they have to be still alive? If not, Tom Hardy for Chris, Rik Makarem for Ben, Errol Flynn for Geoff.


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? The elves at the bottom of the garden are coming back – with an army.

Will your book be self-published or traditional? Published by Samhain Publishing.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? It’s hard to tell. I didn’t make a note of it, and there were holidays and edits for other things in the middle of it. Maybe 9 months? Something like that.


What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? There are a lot of similarities to Violetta Vane and Heidi Belleau’s The Druid Stone, without them being at all alike.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? It wouldn’t have been the book it is if I had not been inspired by the heroism of the Lancaster bomber crews I was reading about for an entirely different project. That project may never actually see the light of day, but UtH would be poorer without it.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? Amusing amateur ghostbusters! Battling Faerie Queens! Dragons fighting WWII planes! Morris dancers versus elves! The vicar wears red Doc Martins. It’s all very English and stiff upper lip :)

 


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.

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five-star- -DIK-read-2

I’m so relieved – that gap between first publication and first review is always so full of angst. Will anyone like it, or will I have to change my name and tattoo someone else’s face on top of mine just to show myself in public again?

But mega thanks to Leslie S for a review that made me squee repeatedly. (Yay, so delighted that Mr. Smith gets a shout out. He was a favourite of mine too.)

It’s too long and detailed a review to sum up here. I’ll just link you to it

http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/2012/04/04/bombers-moon/

and quote the conclusion:

“This is quite simply a perfect story—no slow moments, no ‘meh’ characters, gorgeous writing, a complex and coherent plot. I cannot wait to read the second part, Dogfighters, which is released in May and which I’ll be reviewing later this month. Fantasy fans absolutely must pick up this book—and if you’re not a fantasy fan, I urge you to get it anyway—you won’t be disappointed.”

Thank you so much, Leslie!

~

And to celebrate both the review and the heroism of Mr. Smith, here is that excerpt I promised you yesterday.

A bit of background – Ben knows the elves are trying to kidnap him. He’s been given an amulet to protect him, which is basically a teaspoon of holy water in a BPAL imp. With this on him, the elves do not seem to be able to touch him directly. However, they are clever creatures and are slowly figuring out ways to get around that.

At half past one, Ben went back to work after lunch, spent a good couple of hours doing filing in the haunted basement. He’s just come out to the bank proper again, and discovered that it is still half past one. And that’s only the start of the creepiness:

EXCERPT


Read the rest of this entry » )

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

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LOL! Well, perhaps that was slightly exaggerated for effect. But hurray! UtH: Bomber’s Moon is out today, *and* it’s available at a reduced price on the Samhain store. Down from $5 ish to $3 ish, which strikes me as a bargain.

However, and this is the sort of thing I’ve come to expect on a release day, because the universe likes you not to get too much of a swelled head, this apparently coincides with Samhain’s entire site being down.

I believe that the buy link for UtH: Bomber’s Moon is http://store.samhainpublishing.com/under-hill-bombers-moon-p-6712.html

(I hope so, because that’s what I’ve put on my links on my website and sidebar.) But I can’t actually check at the moment. I hope it comes back up while the bargain price is still available, because that was a good deal and it would be annoying not to be able to take advantage of it.

Of course, I could conclude that the site crashed because so many people all rushed to buy the book at once… But then I think the universe would have to humble me some more, and I’d rather not go there.

Anyone fancy an excerpt and a give-away, once I’ve come back from taking my youngest around town?


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

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I may have mentioned before that I’m not the kind of writer who sees a movie in their head and writes down what happens from that. I’m the kind who has a head full of grey fog above a dark and unseen lake of words. I don’t have pictures of anything. If I want to know what something in the book looks like, I have to stop writing, make a concerted effort to visualise and then reach for the words.

And I can do that fine for scenery. Houses, reed beds, dust bowls, Elven spaceports? No problem. But I don’t seem to be able to do it for people.

This is why I now go out and find photos of people who look relatively right for my characters, gather them together in a folder on my computer, and periodically revisit them so I can hold their faces in my mind. Previously I’ve only bothered to cast my two heroes this way, but for Under the Hill I did all of the main cast.

Having done it, I thought I might as well share them. If you don’t like having someone else’s picture of what a character looks like thrust upon your imagination, look away now :)


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

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So apparently the idea is that on a Sunday, you post six sentences out of whatever book you please, and then link to it in a central place at http://www.sixsunday.com/

I’m not sure I’m doing it right. Partly because it’s only Saturday (but if I tried to do it on Sunday, I think I’d fail due to time zone differences,) and partly because I’m not sure I understand the instructions for putting your link on the SSS site. Still, we’ll see.

Here are six sentences from Under the Hill: Bomber’s Moon, in which Flynn trades fifty years of his life for the chance to go home. This turns out to involve some very unpleasant surgery:

~

His eyes snapped open at the squirm about his wrist, the saw-edged slide of something hard and dirty into his flesh, and so he was in time to see her needle-pointed nails lengthen, slick out from her fingertips and drive through his skin, up the veins of his arm, parting the muscle, winding about the bone. Augh! No. No, no no! He screamed, tried to wrench himself away, but it held him fast, the barbed tips of the nails sinking into the joint of his elbow.

Exquisite pain—the kind of pain that shredded reason and left him howling, nothing behind his eyes but the enormity of agony. Then it eased and he found himself human again, collapsed onto his knees, one arm curled about his head, the other still held in that obscene grasp.


Bonus background factoid: the description of the pain is highly influenced by my experience of what it’s like incautiously jogging your arm when you are in the painful ‘freezing up’ stage of frozen shoulder. Fellow frozen shoulder sufferers? You do not get enough sympathy in this world, but you have mine.


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

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I suppose they could just be being thorough, in reading the second book in the series to see how it ends, but it’s still a thrill :) They call it a “brisk and engrossing sequel to Bomber’s Moon” and say “it’s a treat for readers who like their romance with a healthy dose of adventure.”

Full review here: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-60928-725-2

They weren’t so sure about my scenery this time around, but I put that down to the fact that this half of the book is set in Elfland, and I felt I had to describe it more carefully than I described the stuff in our own world. My theory being that I shouldn’t rely on the reader to fill in the setting from their own experiences, since it was unlikely any of them had visited it.


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

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Last time, I was complaining that I don’t seem to be able to do the first draft of one project while brainstorming or editing another. This may be because my mind doesn’t easily hold two stories at the same time, or it may be because I’m just lazy and once I’ve put in the hours of writing necessary on the first draft, I don’t feel obliged to do anything on the other project. Out of those two possibilities, it’s hard to tell which one is the real reason. Maybe it’s both?

However I do have a concrete example of what happens if I try to write the first draft of one project while researching for another. That would be what happened while I was writing Under the Hill.

As is typical of me, I first planned UtH as a novella. It was going to be a little palate cleanser between Shining in the Sun and the next big historical I intended to write – a simple little story which I didn’t have to concentrate on too hard. It would be a  modern, gay version of Tam Lin, set in an area I know well from where I grew up, thus requiring very little research and not much plotting, and freeing my mind to work on the bigger novel I meant to do next.

That bigger novel was going to be called Whirlwind Boys – a 100,000 word gay historical set in World War Two, in which careful grammar-school boy Danny, enrolled in the RAF as a navigator, fell for reckless bad-boy Michael, the pilot of his Lanc. They were going to be shot down over Holland and have various adventures with the Dutch resistence while having an epic journey home.

The trouble was that as I wrote Under the Hill, I fell in love with it. I loved the characters. I didn’t want Ben and Chris to have such a short adventure together. I hadn’t expected to find the way they sniped at each other so charming. I hadn’t realised that Chris’ air of haunted mystery would make me want to poke at it with a stick to find out what was underneath.

At the same time, I hadn’t expected to be so utterly blown away by the romance (in the old sense) of the Lancaster bomber – the cameraderie of the crews, the quiet, terrified, stiff-upper-lip heroism of facing death night after night for your country and then coming home to find out your government is ashamed of you.

So, on the one hand I was in love with Chris and on the other hand I was in love with these quiet and dogged heroes and I had only the rather inadequate filters of my own imagination to keep them apart. Naturally both loves began to bleed together. Wouldn’t it be fantastic, I thought, if Chris was a bomber pilot? That would explain why he was so weird and old fashioned. He didn’t seem like a guy out of his time, he really was a guy out of his time. And that would fit with the theme Under the Hill seemed to have developed while I wasn’t paying attention – the theme of having lost one’s whole world, of trying to find yourself when everything that once defined you is gone.

But the idea of a pilot being in love with his navigator was a persistent one. That was the emotional core of the WWII book, the reason I wanted to write it. And it was left hanging about, seriously injured now that Chris had taken over about 90% of Michael. It was kind of inevitable that Danny should also make his way into Under the Hill. Because he didn’t have to be grafted on to an existing character, he could come in wholesale, though under a changed name, and become Geoff, Chris’ long-lost wartime sweetheart.

Once that had happened, it was like a bolt of lightning striking the mad scientist’s laboratory and fizzing down the copper conductors. Under the Hill lived! It LIVED, I TELL YOU!!!! HAHAHAHAHAA!!!

But Whirlwind Boys died on the table, with all its parts cut out and stitched into the monster Fantasy.  I don’t think I will ever write it now the spark of life that once animated it has gone somewhere else. And although Under the Hill is immensely better for it, I’m not sure that it’s an abomination experiment I ought to repeat.


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

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Wow, the Under the Hill books have just had their first review and they’re not even out yet. What’s even more exciting is that it’s a good one, and it’s by Library Journal Reviews, so I guess I can keep my fingers crossed for the books to be available in a few libraries once they’re out. After all the furore about RWA recently, it’s also nice to see them listed with two m/f romances and no attempts at segregation at all.

The review is by Kristi Chadwick and concludes “From World War II to Faerie, ghosts to dragons, war to romance, there is a little bit of everything in these books. Beecroft (By Honor Betrayed) weaves together a wonderful pair of books with interesting characters and more than enough twists to keep the reader surprised until the end. …. Those who enjoy complex fantasy stories with nontraditional pairings will enjoy this ebook duo.”

Full review here.

Huzzah! Thank you Kristi. It’s always scary waiting for the first review and wondering whether it’s going to be good or bad. I’m really relieved to have it so successfully behind me before I’d even started to worry :)

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

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Gosh, my titles are imaginative, aren’t they? But I got the final version of my cover art for Under the Hill: Dogfighters last night and had logged on to post it for people to see, when I came across the Hobbit trailer. That made two things to squee about instead of just one, so here they both are together, unconnected except by my enthusiasm.

UnderTheHill-Dogfighters300-2

Look! I have a dragon! And a Mosquito bomber, and mehndi, and countryside that looks like it really is the Peak District, and a model I can easily picture as Ben – he has just the perfect attitude. So cool! I can’t wait to get both this and Bomber’s Moon in paperback. They’re going to be such handsome books :)

~

As for the Hobbit trailer

 

I’m loving all of it except for the completely random Galadriel/Gandalf shipping. What?! As someone who spent three years writing Celeborn/Galadriel fanfic, my feathers are mightily ruffled. Why must everyone in the world disregard my favourite elf?

Apart from that, I loved the Dwarvish plainsong, and I particularly love “Can you promise that I will come back?” “No.”

So, on the whole I’m guessing it’ll be like the other films – mostly excellent, but with some bits inserted that make me tear my hair out. I wonder which part will outweigh which.

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

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A bit of a round-up post today, mainly consisting of things which I think of as good news. First of all, thanks to everyone who commented on my branding questionnaire post. I’ve thought about it over the week and decided that I can’t really handle historical and fantasy under completely different pen names, because there will be many situations in which I’ll be doing something that’s historical fantasy or fantasy historical. So all three things bunch together.

I have, however, come up with a new tag-line to describe the sort of historical and/or fantasy writer I am, and re-vamped the header on my website to match. I like it more the more I see it. At least it’s not as grim as the old ones. What do you think?

The new historical, fantasy and historical fantasy header revealed :)

Other nice stuff for me – I’ve just sent in the final line edit of Under the Moon: Dogfighters. So now I can wrap and send presents with some hope of them arriving on time. Even better, Samhain tell me they will get Dogfighters available for pre-order just as soon as the cover art is OKed.

Under the Hill: Bomber’s Moon is already available to pre-order, which I think is astonishing and very cool, as it’s not out until April. It has a new blurb, rather better than the one it’s been using in the past -

The faeries at the bottom of the garden are coming back—with an army.

Under the Hill, Part 1

When Ben Chaudhry is attacked in his own home by elves, they disappear as quickly as they came. He reaches for the phone book, but what kind of exterminator gets rid of the Fae? Maybe the Paranormal Defense Agency will ride to his rescue.

Sadly, they turn out to be another rare breed: a bunch of UFO hunters led by Chris Gatrell, who—while distractingly hot—was forcibly retired from the RAF on grounds of insanity.

Shot down in WWII—and shot forward seventy years in time, stranded far from his wartime sweetheart—Chris has been a victim of the elves himself. He fears they could destroy Ben’s life as thoroughly as they destroyed his. Chris is more than willing to protect Ben with his body. He never bargained for his heart getting involved.

Just when they think there’s a chance to build a life together, a ghostly voice from Chris’s past warns that the danger is greater than they can imagine. And it may take more than a team of rank amateurs to keep Ben—and the world—out of the elf queen’s snatching hands…

Warning: Brace yourself for mystery, suspense, sexual tension, elves in space and a nail-biting cliffhanger ending.

~

Gay historical romance fiction by Alex Beecroft

On the free story front, thanks to Gaye who gave me the heads up that the link to Insubordination (the Captain’s Surrender tie-in) was not working on my website. I’ve fixed that, and – in the process – I’ve made the story into a .pdf with a nice new cover. It’s now back up and available for anyone to download to their e-reader or computer.

I’ve also fixed the link to Communion (the Wages of Sin tie-in) which is also available in pdf form suitable for your e-reader.

I’ll work through and give the other freebies their own cover art in due course. And possibly also put up Wildfire for anyone who wants it. Now I really need to get wrapping!

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

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When I get ill, I have a tendency towards melodrama. The truth is that I have a tendency towards melodrama at all times, but when I’m ill it manifests itself in the purest form – in weeping and loud declarations that I can’t bear it any more and I want to die. My life is over, I will never again be well enough to achieve anything. I might as well just give up now and allow myself to gorge on chocolate and sleep.

The sleep part is problematic because long periods of having no time alone (such as weeks in which at least one member of my family is at home all day long because of illness) give me stress, and stress gives me insomnia. So I spent a large part of last night on the sofa unable to sleep because of the ticking of the clock, while unable to sleep in my bed because my husband was breathing. How unreasonable is that?!

The chocolate part is problematic because I’ve been on a low fat diet for over a year, and I know that if I once let it slip I could pile the three stone lost back on in as many weeks. I’m only at the ‘I resent the fact that I can’t have chocolate’ stage as yet. I’ll have to be much more wrecked before I actually give in and eat.

So my righteous misery has been gathering speed for so long, deprived of my normal sources of comfort, that I was quite unprepared for it to be interrupted by cover art. But lo! Cover art I have, and it is good ;)

In fact I think it may be my favourite cover art ever. The guy looks like Chris! The stone circle is stone-circley! The Lancaster is a Lancaster! And the over-all colour scheme is lovely. I like the text, I like having a single character rather than a pair on there. I like the fact that he’s got clothes on – I like everything :)

I was quite on course for a well deserved tantrum today, but now I think I’ll just look at my cover art again and chill. Life is possibly worth living after all.

UnderTheHill-BombersMoon72lg

Mirrored from Alex Beecroft.

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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.

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