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.

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

OK, there may not be such a word as ‘bewonderment’, but I’m sure there should be. In this case I’m using it to mean ‘a state of wondering about’ my works in progress.

I’ve finally re-read Elf Princes’ Quest, which seriously still needs a better name. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I laughed aloud in parts, and I stayed up reading late into the night because I wanted to find out what happened in the end. This is always a good sign.

The trouble is that it’s nothing like the kind of book that I might write. It’s the light-hearted elvish rom-com that Under the Hill was meant to be before UtH swallowed Bomber Command and turned into a two volume epic. It’s… it’s a meringue of story, where I normally make fruitcake. Meringue is a lovely thing, crisp, light and sweet, but when I’ve only ever offered heavy and rich before, people coming to me for Christmas cake are going to be disconcerted to get pavlova instead.

Enough with the comestibles! To speak more plainly, I mean that normally I do serious, earnest stuff, with themes and everything, whereas EPQ is a tongue in cheek romp with no deeper meaning at all. I am thinking that perhaps the thing to do is accept that it’s nothing like an Alex Beecroft novel and publish it under a different name.

The Glass Floor is just rubbing EPQ’s strangeness in, because The Glass Floor is doing my much more normal thing of ramifying beneath my hands: “But muuum, I don’t want to be a novella! Muuum, I want to be a trilogy. I want you to learn everything about the Balkans in the 18th Century. Why can’t you become an expert on the Ottoman Empire in a couple of weeks? They can visit the Sultan! There could be a cool scholarly antagonist who was a Turkish physician, and the second book could be from his POV, so we see that he’s a hero too….”

Radu doesn’t want to be the hero of some petty little domestic drama, he wants to FREE HIS PEOPLE FROM CENTURIES OF OPPRESSION. He’s decided that Dracula is his role model after all, and he’s somewhat peeved that he got named after Vlad’s passive, syphilitic little brother. (I keep telling him it’s only because I thought it was a cool name – you may have noticed that I like saying it whenever I can – but he’s not happy.)

Naturally, this means a complete re-plot. But I can handle that. I’m encouraged, in fact, as it’s very typical of my longer novels. To go back to the baked goods metaphor, it’s like adding yeast to bread dough and letting it rise, knocking it back and kneading it and letting it prove again. If a story doesn’t swell in the telling, I’m never quite sure if it’s properly alive.

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

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

From me, anyway. I have finished editing and polishing The Pilgrims’ Tale. Woohoo! Now I can launch it into the wide world (or at least I can give it to my agent so that she can find a home for it) and start work on the edits of EPQ.


I’m having second thoughts on EPQ, to be honest. I wanted it to be lighthearted and fairytale in a similar mode to the lighthearted fairytale episodes of new Dr. Who, now Moffat’s in charge. But now I’m worried that it’s just far too silly. I’ll have to hope that when I open it for the first time in months, tomorrow, it turns out to have enough good in it to be worth salvaging.

That’s a worry for tomorrow, though. I have 30 minutes of today left to savour the fact that I’ve finished writing a new book. The whole nailbiting “will any publisher want it? Is it any good?” thing can have an evening off while I celebrate the mere fact that Pilgrims’ Tale exists 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)

So, last Saturday was the first time since that terrifying day in September when I appeared at a public dance-out as Coton Morris Men’s solo musician, and the first time I’ve played for them as their solo musician and been in Coton kit. Here is the proof:


(Coton musician’s kit = anything you like as long as it’s black and white.)

I felt very official, and – while nowhere near as nervous as the first time – still pretty shaky-legged. But I was proud of myself for playing at four different venues around the town, in front of two other morris sides at each spot. Each with its own musicians who almost certainly knew the tunes better than me.

I’ve even managed to master the morris-musician’s magical ability to direct a focussed blast of air at the dancers, to keep them up during the highly technical levitating dances:


It was a great day. As you can see, it was warm enough to stand around in shirtsleeves (in March!) and we danced alongside Fenstanton Morris, Manor Mill Clog Dancers, Little Egypt and of course The Riot. The Riot were the hosts of the day and I was sorry not to be dancing with them, but at the same time I really felt like an essential part of Coton for the first time since I joined. I’m not quite sure which is ‘my’ side any more. Both, I suppose.

A dishevelled man swims out of the sea, crawls up the beach and with trembling hands holds up a sign that says “And now for something completely different…”

It will probably come as no surprise, to anyone who knows how I work, when I say that I’ve reviewed my progress on Elf Princes’ Quest and decided that with 11 scenes down, 22,000 words so far, and 17 scenes still to go, this is looking like a short novel instead of a novella. The whole “planning by scenes” thing is still valid, I suppose, as long as I remember that my scene length is a little less than twice what I think it’s going to be. I was going for a 30,000 word novella, and it looks like it will be a 50,000 word novel instead.

By this time I suppose the surprise is that I ever manage to write anything short 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)

September 2017

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