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I’ve been tagged by Fiona Glass to do this meme. Her post was on the 6th and can be found here – well worth checking out, as are all the others, so follow the chain! I was thrilled to be tagged, too!


What is the working title of your book?

Gentleman of Fortune – although I’m not won over by it. It seemed right to start with, but now I’m seeing that title might suit a medieval mercenary sleuth rather than one in the era I’ve chosen to write in. I hope something else comes to me. I doubt Gentleman of Fortune will be its published title, to be frank!


Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’m not really sure! I’ve been wanting to write something set in WW2 for a while, but the research put me off (let’s be honest, the research always puts me off and yet I still refuse to write contemporaries!) and then the character of Douglas Foster popped into my head—my books usually begin with a character rather than any idea of plot. Some say they stay that way, too. *guffaw*


What genre does your book fall under?

Er… WW2 espionage adventure?


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

I have NO idea about this, as frankly, only really Douglas has emerged semi-formed and I’m still nebulous as to who he’s going to find attractive, as it’s not really a romance, it’s an adventure story starring gay men in wartime so there may be relationship forming, but not hard and fast HEA.  I am not planning any more tragedy endings, though.

Hmm. *thinks* Michael Fassbender would be smashing, particularly as he is in this portrait by Barry McCall



The POSSIBLE love interest, I sort of see looking a bit like wossit.. out of you.. know… gah. *googles*

Ok – a cross between a younger Peter Wingfield than he is here…



and Michael Wincott as portrayed here!



I think you get the idea, here. Vivian, Douglas’s faithful secretary, is modelled shamelessly on Honeysuckle Week’s character Samantha in Foyles War. *loves her with a passion*



I think that will do to be going on with!


What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

Oh dear, I suck at this, don’t I? No, no, that’s not the sentence!

*gravelly voice* Against the explosive background of the London Blitz, Douglas Foster starts his day with a seemingly routine case of blackmail, little knowing it will drag him into places even he hasn’t been before”

I think that’s suitably vague…


Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

That’s an odd question. There is the option of having it published without an agent, you know. I do have an agent, Professor James Schiavione, and he will be handling it. I won’t self publish, not until there’s no option left on God’s Green earth. But this isn’t the place to tout my opinions of self publishing!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It worries me that most of my answers are “I don’t know.”  I haven’t finished it yet. I’m thinking it will get done by Spring 2013. But it’s bloody freezing right now and I can’t function well in the cold…


What other books would you compare this story to within your genre.

If you take the genre as “ WW2 espionage gay adventure?” there aren't that many to compare it with. I think Josh Lanyon’s done one, Aleksandr Voinov’s Skybound is one, I can only hope it will be as good as those.  It won’t be as popular with the m/m readers (see how good I am at promotion?) as many books because of the “not actually a romance more an adventure story” but I hope that people enjoy it anyway. When I’ve worked out what actually happens. I’d like it to be more mainstream than my previous books—after all, there are “adventure books with gay protagonists” out there, even if there are still quite rare—but if I can’t sell it to a mainstream publisher, then it doesn’t really matter.


Who or What inspired you to write this book?

As usual, the answer is “my mother” for the most part – even though she’s been dead for six years (and no, don’t worry, she’s not living with me in ectoplasmic form) she still has a huge influence over my writing, she had so many ideas when I started to write, and a WW2 one was just one of them, I doubt I’ll live long enough to write out all of her themes! Gay men were a little more out in this time, not in any large way of course, but clubs were well established, although still very illegal and they still took a risk – we hadn’t quite reached the paranoiac heights of the Blackmailer’s Charter as detailed in that wonderful film “Victim.”


What else about your book might interest the reader?

I hope that I can pull off a book about a gay man doing a job, having an adventure, living his life without the homosexuality being the driving force behind it – that’s the sort of book I enjoy reading, so I hope I can write one, too.

erastes: (Default)

15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

This is too huge to answer comprehensively. I treat authors in much the same way as I treat music – I like some tracks, I don’t slavishly love ALL – and it’s the same with authors, I love some books, I don’t necessarily love all.

For example, I love love the Charioteer by Mary Renault, there’s not a bad line in that book- even though much of it goes over my head, but the themes, and characterisation and treatment of the time, and the way it deals with the major gay relationships are so bloody amazing I just wish I could smash my keyboard. But I'm not mad keen on her ancient world books, probably because the eras don't interest me.

I can’t really say “I admire Jamie O’Neill” (although I do) because I’ve only read his At Swim Two Boys and find that amazing, but I can’t say “I wish I wrote like that,” for to do so would be imitation. All I can hope is that one day I write something AS good, in my own style.

I suppose that’s it, really – I admire people’s style, and if there’s prose that makes me think “Oh GOD I might as well give the hell up, because I ain’t NEVER going to be able to be as good as this,” then that’s someone I admire.  RW Day – who if you haven’t read, you NEED to – is a writer like that, and along with Alex Beecroft and Parhelion are probably the two writers writing now in my the gay historical genre that I really really admire and would want to have their talent.  *trundles off feeling fangirlish*

erastes: (frilly shirt)
what story did you feel you did the best job of world-building? Any side-notes on it you'd like to share?

Hmm. Well, I don't really world build with historicals, I just slide my characters into a world that existed - as best I can, so I suppose it has to be my Sci-fi short story "Whatever the Risk" (which will, eventually, be a complete set of short stories about the same characters in episodic short stories with an overreaching arc)

Two penniless gutter-boys from Vath, a planet with nothing to recommend it other than dirt and rocks.  They come into some money and get their chance to get off the planet, and eventually end up with their own ship.  I'm having fun creating an entirely imagined universe.
erastes: (2drunk2rite)
7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

This one is easy.

No.  Not any more - I did listen to a lot of music when I was writing Standish and Transgressions - mostly Billie Holliday, oddly.  But now I have the radio on, but it's generally Radio Four.

As to characters and music, no. It's never really been important to me, so I suppose I've never made it very important to my characters - plus most of them live in a time when there wasn't the ability to just switch music on.
erastes: (E is for enabler)

3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you're writing about fictional places)?

Argh!  Names! Names are my anathema.  My nemesis.  I can be writing away happily, and I have to introduce a new character and give them a name and CRASH - I grind to a halt, gnashing my teeth.

Read more... )

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