erastes: (Default)

Congrats to everyone I know on this list: JP Bowie, Mykola Dementiuk, Steve Berman (Lethe), Victor J Banis, Josh Atervois, James Lear, DL King, Cecelia Tan, Lawrence Scimel and Richard Labonte (and I got shortlisted too!  *dies *)


Read more... )
erastes: (Default)

Only one “professional” review as yet, but I live in hope.

For Transgressions

Library Journal

“this story exudes historical detail and will please historical fans”

Hans is Great

“the development of David and Jonathan's characters was outstanding…..I don't mind telling you I had a hard on the entire time.”

And for False Colors

“It was truly brilliant. …  The writing is exquisite; the romance is lovely; the research is meticulous; and the action keeps going and going.  It breaks your heart and then keeps going on.”

erastes: (transcover2)

I sent Chris Smith a copy of the ARC of Transgressions because she's been very good to me recently and she read the entire thing in three hours - here's her review.

I don't expect everyone to like the book - it's a much darker read than Standish (and I know some people who thought that was dark!) and for those who have come to me through more polite Regencies like Frost Fair and Hard and Fast, it will come as a bit of a culture shock--but Chris' reaction is almost exactly what I was hoping for.  If I can affect just some people in the same way I'll be happy. It was a dark period in English history, so it wouldn't do to make it fluffy. And seriously, you wouldn't want Erastes to do fluffy, right?

Anyway, thank you so much, Chris.

Le Malfoy has returned, after 24 hours on the razzle. No alien pirate abduction, then apparently. Either that or it was just a short flight.

erastes: (Default)
Slashy Movie Reviews - excellent site, there's a Livejournal feed here.

Blazing Trailers - one of the best promotional sites I've ever seen. The pages are comprehensive and informative. You can upload reviews, links to your site, the trailer itself, even an excerpt of your book. Whoever runs this is a STAR!  *applauds*

I just about finished Chapter Four of Mere Mortals last night which pushes it up to 10K. I'm liking how it's shaping up. I'm still getting the feel of the characters and letting them introduce themselves. I love this part of the process; I once tried to create character sheets - you know, the really detailed ones where you write down every single thing about your character before you even start writing but I simply couldn't stick to it. I think this approach possibly works better with third person POV if you are going to shift characters, but for a first person POV the only person you REALLY need to know well is your narrator, because he's on the same journey as the writer (and the reader) and he gets to know the other characters in the story at the same speed as you do. It's just nice to be writing after what seems like a dry patch, but isn't really because I finished Frost Fair mid last year and the rest of the year was spent working getting Transgressions ready for publication. I know I haven't been working as hard as I should have, though. When I get chapter four finished I'm going to start on a short story.

There are a TON of anthologies open right now. This is great, because last year seemed a little thin on the ground. I have sent out two or three short stories to places in the last couple of weeks, which is exciting, and I'll be biting my nails until the results come in. But there are loads of new markets and I'd really like to get something done for them. Steampunk, gods, superheroes - there's a lot out there right now! If you haven't seen them, troll over to [ profile] erotic_authors. And if you see a call that's not on there - let me know!

I have a headache. Don't know why. Possibly stress related )

What am I giving up for Lent? Not writing.

Dollhouse )

Heh. Robin Hood was from Yorkshire. Ee by gum!
erastes: (transcover2)
Look what arrived via UPS ten minutes ago....

so pretty.... )Yes, it's only the ARC, but still. *sobbing*.  I really really wish mum was here today. Not that I don't wish that everyday, but she had so much faith in this book. "this is the one that will sell mainstream," she said. Ain't it annoying when mothers are always right? I'll be a real mess when I get the real authors copies. Now I have to work out what to do with these six... My hands are shaking.

Ooo - and just found out that Alex Beecroft got her copies yesterday too. She got eight, but I think it's possibly that Transgressions might be a bit bigger, not sure. :)

This is why it's worth it. Not the money - this. Holding the copy in your hands.
erastes: (Default)
It may be a Romance.

But it's dark. All right?

erastes: (transcover2)
Here you go!  Have to say, I'm a bit happy with it, yes, it's short, but I think trailers should be short. Oh - and it's very work safe, btw.

Enjoy! This is an upbeat one, I'm planning another one which will be much much darker. Bwahaha.
erastes: (windmill)

Well, Transgressions is done.

Galley proof cut into pieces, edited, scanned, emailed off. I just hope that someone else other than me is editing it (i'm sure there is!) as I'm sure I didn't catch all the errors.  Thanks to Lisa (the editor) it's a much better book now. This is the scary part - because that's it. There's nothing now I can do. It's out of my hands and for better or worse, I've pushed it out into the world to be trampled!

May I just say that our New Year's Fireworks (at the London Eye) were a bit rubbish?  Designed by some enfant terrible of the Firework World apparently, and I for one, wasn't impressed.  Bring back the old school, I say.

As to Hangingstone Hill, it's all changed. As I posted on The Brit Writers recently, I was going to set it in Dartmoor, but then realised that 1. I don't really know much about Dartmoor and 2. It's been done to death and 3. I can only research online as it's a bit blooming far to drive.  So - as I live in one of the most evocative mysterious beautiful places in England, and certainly it's unique, I've decided to set it on the Norfolk Broads instead.  No hills, though, so the name will certainly have to go.

And because I haven't done one for a while, a meme.

100 questions about me )
erastes: (overworked)
Ok - thanks to another day with Dad, where I can wibble at him endlessly about plotting and bunnies and god knows what and never never bore him because he forgets about ten minutes later I've come to the realisation that I'm completely approaching the new book in the entirely wrong direction.  If you are writing something with mystery elements there's no bloody point Explainin' It All in the first two chapters. D'oh.  So, I'm going to have to dump 2 chapters. *weep*  They will serve as author's notes though, so that's something I suppose. I've created four characters in those chapters so it was useful for something. And named them!! And as you know that's a big bug bear (try saying that ten times fast!) of mine, so that should help things along. But I have (another!) starting point, and I think I can work on this one. So I'm determined to get bloody started. As I've said before, if Transgressions is a success and Running Press goes "oh yeah! What else you got?" Then "Nuffing" isn't really the best answer to give.

Plus I'd like to do another novella for Linden Bay or Samhain if they still want me.

In gooder news - the copies of Frost Fair arrived in the post.(which are so PRETTY, despite not really explaining what the book is about). Can't really call them author's copies as with LBR you have to pay for your own copies, albeit discounted. But I'll be posting them off to the people I promised them to and to those who won them. Hope I have enough! And the scanner arrived so be warned! I'll be able to share stuff I never shared before! Hurrah!

There's a massive "Welcome to Samhain, Linden Bay Authors" chat over at - There's no entry requirements, so you can just pop in, join for the day and then pop out (as it's a VERY active group, so best not to stay on it for individual messages for more than a day) and lots of lovely excerpts.  Linden Bay will be giving away books too - and I'll be doing a giveaway as well. I'm the giveaway queen at the moment!  But then, anyone who knows me well will say I've always been that, long before I started writing.

Still no word on whether we can release the Transgressions and False Colors covers.  *gnash*  I'd dying to share them.

Some bugger CAPTURED all my legionnaires. I have none left!!
erastes: (grumpy bluebird)

I have a very aggressive little robin in the front garden this morning.  I bought a packet of "song bird mix" which is probably like caviare to birdies, and he's been guarding the bird table all morning!  Every time the sparrows try and get some he charges at them. I knew that they were territorial with other robins, but I'd never seen them chase other types before.  I'll have to put some up in a different spot so the sparrows have a chance - and hang some peanuts up.  It's nasty weather now, so they need the help.

I've been trying to do more editing--I say "trying" because the furry monsters are driving me mad. everytime i sit down at the table one or other of them joins me, sits on the warm pile of paper and then flops onto their side and bats their eyelids at me.  Severus was patently BORED this afternoon and kept biting my free hand as if to say, Don't keep doing that, tickle me!!!

I wish I had a camcorder so I could record it for you lot, like that chap did with the cat on his shoulders when he was trying to write.

Most amusing line found in the editing so far: He left the kitchen to see to the livestock. Now while this makes sense in a literal way, if you read it the other way it's hilarious. I doubt the kitchen will be any help with the livestock at all. When Jonathan comes back he's going to find the cows unmilked and the chicken unfed. Kitchens can't do animal husbandry!  No thumbs!

erastes: (tadzio default)
Just received the proof copy version of Transgressions via UPS. An enormous parcel containing 300 pages of A3. It made me tear up, I have to admit, (as in weepy, not going into a paper ripping frenzy) seeing the book all in book layout form. It looks very very pretty.  So that's what's going to be keeping me busy for the next few days - going through it and finding any further errors.  How to deal with getting the corrections BACK to them is another problem. I ordered a scanner which is useless now as these sheets are A3, so I'll probably be typing the corrections out like I do with Linden Bay.

They also included a copy of Running Press's Spring 2009 catalogue which is a paperback book the size of a graphic novel and beautifully produced. And in double spread on page 24 and 25 are Transgressions and False Colors with their covers and blurbs.  I assume that I'll be able to let you know what the covers look like very soon. I'd do it now, but I need the formal OK from the publisher.  There's also an article on M/M fiction to introduce it to the booksellers.  Nice phrases like "a ground-breaking new line" and "first m/m romances to come from a mainstream widely distributed publishing house" which makes me feel weak at the knees.

And they are going to be advertising in Romantic Times and Affaire de Coeur. I shall be watching to see if RTs actually REVIEW them (as per their agreement "place and ad, get a review)....However, famously they don't review ANY m/m even when an advert is placed which has caused much furore. However: they DID review Suzanne Brockmann's book. So we'll just have to see.

Oh - and Running Press and the books in particular will be a presence at the RWA conference too.  What a bloody shame Alex and I both live in the UK, eh?

It's all a bit exciting. *goes weak*

In other links - the inimitable Alex Beecroft has a wonderful first post on what promises to be a series about writing. Fanfic vs Profic which is wonderfully interesting Read the comments too, as there are some great points of view.

Don't forget the Advent Calendar!  What's wrong with you guys? Don't want a free book?  I've had TWO entries to today's competition. Two!! If I continue to have two, they'll BOTH win a prize, because that's hardly fair, is it, a 50/50... I don't know - I can't give books away... *grumble*  Ok - the question needed a bit of google searching but it wasn't HARD!!
erastes: (statue xmas)
Day Four of the Advent Calendar. Enjoy!

I have a "Spotlight Spot" up on Jessewave's Blog and she asks me lots of unusual questions.

I've just heard from the Running Press editor of Transgressions - and the copy edits will be with me next week.  I need to get them back as hard copies, which is a problem - so I've just ordered a scanner. This is a desk problem now, the desk I have simply doesn't have the space. I have the screen and a printer on the deskspace -  However there is a space next to the desk on my right about 3'x3' - so I could possibly stick a small table there and put the flatbed on that...  I do need a scanner, and it can double as a photocopier too, so it's an expense I'll have to bear.  I'll really have to ask someone how tax concessions work, because I have NO clue and I'm sure I can get some money back for promotion and hardware? *feels incredibly dim*

It's bloody freezing again, blowing a gale and raining. Really unpleasant and I need to go to the library. I can't even be bothered to get out from under this knee blanket. The cats are all snuggled up warm, and yes, we still have a Lucius! It's a miracle!  He's been scoffing artery clogging fat making stuff such as cream and butter and he's put on all the weight he lost through being ill. If I could get him to put a bit more weight on, I'd be happy, but I'm afraid that he's probably always going to be like his namesake, tall and willowy.

Right. off to stare at the WIP.



Nov. 3rd, 2008 02:24 pm
erastes: (eek!)
Happy birthday [ profile] treva2007! Have a good one!

HELP! I have a real dilemma.  Most of my sources - books, internet, historians - tell me that Charles I was executed on 30th January 1649.

However!  Look at this.  An actual newspaper reporting the death of Charles I - gives full details of the execution and the speech....

in 1648...!!!!!!  What's a historical writer to do? Aside from panic, that is? It's not just on page one that is say 1648 -it says it on the last page too.

OMG - True Blood. What a great show - just gets better all the time.  Makes me gag, makes me giggle, makes me go awww, and rowrl (over moody broody Eric).  Loving it.  I wish they hadn't spoiler )
erastes: (fishslapping)
It's things like this that make my research head all light and happy. 
Newspaper on the day of Charles I's death 30th January 1648

Self-sporkage for today:

"He fropped to his knees."  Who do you think you are? Lewis Carroll?
When a character is peeling an apple AND stroking someone's hair, this means they have three hands, you nitwit.
If you say a town is "bustling and lively" - do not, two paragraphs later, say that there are "few people about."
stop writing things like "he stood UP" and "he sat DOWN".  Just stop.

*despairs of self*

Question:  If I wrote: "He opened a press and took out his greatcoat" would you know what I meant?  Or should I make it easier and just say wardrobe even though that's anachronistic?
erastes: (being a writer)
After Elton have a poll for the best gay books ever, my five? The Charioteer, At Swim Two Boys, As Meat Loves Salt, Swordspoint, Wicked Gentlemen. Perhaps the latter two aren't in the EVAH category, but the best I've read for a while - and ones that stick in my head, which is the point. Belimah sticks with me just as hard as Laurie for example.

I've bitten the bullet and told my editor that she'll have the rewrite done of Transgressions done by Sunday.  This means I need to do 50 pages a day starting today.  I'm hugely impressed with her work, actually - after the bad time I had with the edit of Standish - she's not done an historical before but she's working bloody hard to get her knowledge up to snuff - reading about the time period and - get this - checking just about every word for etymological correctness. (!!!)

Words that she's queried under the cut.

You can't say that! )

Now this is an interesting dilemma because how far does one draw that line in historical fiction? I've seen this argued over and over again on the Historical Novelists Society. One can't actually write the speech in the exact manner that the people of the time really used because it would be 1. pretty impossible, due to dialects and boring the reader so how far does one really go in using anachronistic words?

Granted the term Adam's Apple wasn't around when my Cavalier is kissing his lover's AA - so does one erase it? Is it ok to use it in narrative but not in speech? Such as "The sweat glistened on David's skin, and his Adam's Apple jumped as he nervously contemplated what Tobias had in mind." but not in direct thought/speech? Such as: "The hollow of his throat and that lump is adorable" Hmmm. One must have had SOME kind of word for these concepts even if the word wasn't used. Plus of course, etymology uses the first written record of these terms, so perhaps we can give some ideas the benefit of the doubt.

Stuff like Draconian, mesmerism and sadism though - she's bang on target and I am slapping my hands for even putting these words in, but I find it fascinating, because I'm a word geek, that these words and concept are so much a part of our speech that I can call my Witchfinder a sadist (which he SO is) without even questioning where the word came from even though I know where it did.

'Tis a puzzlement. However - I'm going to try and winnow out as many of these words as I can - I don't think stuff like "presumably" is necessary - but most of them can be replaced.

What do you think? How far would you go?  What about further back? Step back from the 17th century and the language becomes even more obscure.. I'm planning to do an Elizabethan one at one point - and I'm certainly not going to be writing the entire thing in nonnys and nuncles.

In other news, the cover is done and I should have it soon. I'm crossing EVERYTHING for a good one.
erastes: (ACCIO)
It's moving along, but gah! the mistakes one finds !!

I'm describing the Battle of Edgehill and I go and say that the right flank of the King'S cavalry attacked the right flank of the Parliament's.  Idiot!

Only if

1. they galloped diagonally across the flood plain OR

2. They were both facing in the same direction.

*kicks self*

I also mention SHRAPNEL.  Yeah. In 1642.  Riiiiight...... That would have been hard to live down as my fellow historical novelists laughed in my face.

It's a worry!
erastes: (Default)
Happy Birthday [ profile] pfodge!

Campaign for Junction X:
(I thought if I posted updates, it would remind me work on selling it instead of doing nothing)

Three agent queries sent out.

I got the edit part one back for Transgressions today.  In the post! I wasn't expecting a handwritten edit... I've asked the editor what she wants me to do, edit this hard copy or do the Word version in tracked changes.

I have a query about POV that I need help with though, please - because I just don't get POV much of the time...please help the stupid person )

And we now have an Erastes Stud.

Adopt one today!Erastes Syringa
Adopt one today!Erastes Conflagrate
Adopt one today!Erastes Obscura
Adopt one today!Erastes Windwillow
Adopt one today!
erastes: (Default)
This is not a surprise, I suppose.  But this is!  I was cruising Amazon today, adding tags and the like... and found this!

Transgressions for pre-order!


We haven't even started the editing yet.  And I can't wait to see what cover they come up with.

Alex Beecroft's False Colours is also there as they'll be coming out together, so double squee! (Both on the English Amazon too)

Would you like a sneak peek?  No?  Tough. You are getting one.

England 1642. David is the son of a blacksmith in the town of Kineton, Jonathan his father's apprentice.  Two days before this excerpt the English Civil War began with a terrible battle near the town - at Edgehill.  David, desperate for news of his lover, Tobias, had risked his life and had gone onto the battlefield and was injured. Work safe snippet )
erastes: (Default)
I think it says it all. I like the shape too.
erastes: (slashy dance of joy)

Ok. I've been sitting on this news for WEEKS and I thought at one point I was going to explode with excitement. You'll see it everywhere I am, so I apologise for the cross-posting but hey - I never do it normally.


Perseus Books has picked up Transgressions!!!!!!  Running Press to be precise.

I KNOW!!!!  *bounce*  It's a long story, which I can't really detail yet because the other person involved hasn't signed their contract yet, but they have said that I can go ahead and squee due to my recent bad luck. And the publisher said that I could announce it weeks ago but I didn't want to for superstitious reasons. And I signed my contract today!! So. SQUEE!

Perseus have a good name, but this is a new venture for them and a risky one too I suppose, they do a little bit of gay fiction, Simon Shepperd and others, but not a huge amount.. The idea is (as far as I know at the mo) is to try out some gay romance - put the books into bricks and mortar stores and see how they run. It's all still very much ground floor stuff so I have no more details to share but.. well, let's say that the author advance is an average for a new author in a genre market - proper professional rates. (Although - unless it's £500,000, I'm not that bothered about an advance because it just means you wait longer to earn anything else, but still, it's still nice to get a professional rate!)

I'm excited personally, of course, but more than that I'm excited for the genre as a whole. Both Transgressions and the other book being published at the same time (Spring 2009) are gay historicals so I hope that people buy these books and it will lead the way for Perseus picking up more and more gay romance in the future. With Alyson selling, and with pubs folding left right and centre, it's great to see someone running with a new venture isn't it? And yes, it's risky but where's the fun in life if you don't risk? 
It was also nice to see recently that Waldenbooks were putting gay romance on some of their shelves and it was running out of the store!

In other news: I found it very amusing when Catherine Tate relayed the story of her cat's adoption. Apparently she was going to take one cat from the shelter but they said "there's a problem" - turns out that it had a prolapsed anus so she decided not to adopt.  A little later they called her and said they had another she might like... "but... there's a problem" they said. "What's the problem?" she asked. (thinking it would be more icky medical stuff "Well... he's GINGER..." 

In fury, she adopted him immediately!!

erastes: (Default)
Happy Birthday [ profile] treva2007! I don't think i've ever actually heard from you, but hope you have a good day anyway!

I just received "Maurice & Alec in America" which I'd really been looking forward to reading, and was puzzled why it was self published. I think I know now, Despite the writing (from a quick flick through) being really good, it's A.U. (Alternative Universe) and the author blatently admits this. hmmmm.... )

Good grief. Beowulf? Why the smeg isn't that going straight to DVD? Ray Winstone???? Who's deluded sense of imagination thought that he would be at all good in that part? "Oi've cum ter kill yer Monsta" *ashamed*

Character meme - gacked from [ profile] evremonde

1. Choose a few of your own characters (five at the most).
2. Make them answer the following questions.
3. Then tag three people.
4. Feel free to go ahead and add some questions yourself.

Ambrose (from Standish)
Michael (from Transgressions)
Valerie (from Junction X)
Read more... )
erastes: (trans)
So - I've heard from the publisher - they think the book is "epic" (squee!) and they say they do want another Erastes novel which is nice to hear, but they think that the book needs a lot of fixing.  I have to agree, actually - regular readers will know that I got bogged down in the middle of it and I'm the first to admit that it shows. They have reservations about some of the sex, too, which is easy to fix, I think - but they also don't much like one of the relationships, and that's going to be harder to sort out, as it's rather vital to Jonathan's downward spiral.  But I think I can do it; it's just the IDEA of wading back into the book and rewriting after all this time. [ profile] rwday was utterly right in her advice; "nothing is sacred" - it's very easy as a new novelist to consider your book "your baby" and you can't change anything, and I did feel like that at one point, but I guess it's time and experience - I can reshape it.  It's too dark for a Romance and people won't like certain aspects.  I can save the dark for non-romances.

How about you guys? How do you manage your time when you have a current WIP on the go and a rewrite to do?  I love hearing other people's experiences on their writing.  Right now I'm "bunny in the headlights" - this week was going to be 1960's and now I have to get into the Tardis and nip back a few hundred years.

I've just finished "Earthly Joys" by Philipa Gregory, and I have to say that in the main I enjoyed it - what it didn't do was captivate me totally. It was one of those books that I had by the bed and dipped into it from time to time- it took about a month or so to read, whereas some books (most) I read enthrall me and I can't let them go until completion. It was a good characterisation of loyalty, and obsession and an obsessive personality and the parts I found most interesting were the plant-hunting parts.  I'll be doing a longer and more explanatory review on Speak Its Name later in the week.


erastes: (Default)

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