I was tagged by Dianne Hartsock to do this meme – the idea being that one answers questions about ones WIP then requests 4 other people to do it. It was supposed to be posted yesterday but I sort of lost a day – that happens when you’re old. 🙂
Anyhow – here it is:
Next Big Thing
What is the title of the book you’re currently working on?
“On A Lee Shore”
Where did the idea come from for the book?
From curating an exhibition about Welsh pirates and realising that some of their true stories were more bizarre than anything I could make up. Also from George Macdonald Fraser who wrote a book called Pyrates that made fun of/paid tribute to the whole genre of pirate films of the 1940s and 50s. You know the kind of thing – Errol Flynn in an open fronted shirt being sexually menacing to Olivia Dehavilland in Hollywood’s idea of 18th century costume on the quarterdeck of a ship the size of the Queen Mary. I suppose my book is an affectionate spoof with a stab at historical accuracy – though I’m expecting HUGE criticism from experts in the field – with a boy’s own story plus matelotage.
What genre does your book fall under?
Action Adventure with a little bit of same sex romance to up the odds? We desperately need a new tag for books that while they may be marketed as M/M don’t conform to the “OMG teh hawt man-sex” expectations that the M/M tag seems to invoke.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Ah, I can do this one! I was chatting with a friend and she said that my descriptions of Kit, the hero of OALS reminded her of a British actor called Aneurin something and since we had a Kit I thought we ought to have a Griffin so googled for ‘male, blond, phwoar’ and Facundo Arana popped up. No idea what either of them are in or do – they are just faces that I have borrowed with no ill intent. Another character, Jago Stockley, is Robert Newton as Blackbeard only without the method acting and restraint. No ladies – my book fails the Bechdel Test HORRIBLY.
What is a one-sentence synopsis of the book?
Lt Christopher Penrose, RN, falls in with pirates and finds all his assumptions about good and evil challenged, not least with regard to affairs of the heart.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The book has been accepted for publication by Etopia Press. I’ve done the first round of edits and am waiting for the next set and for some idea of when it might be published.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
18 months. The first half was Nanowrimoed – OMG the typos! – in 2010. The rest was fiddled with between writing other things and finished off in february 2012. Then it was edited a lot, but probably not nearly enough. I did the Angela James self editing course after submitting it and really wish I had hung on and given it another going over. I reckon I can lose 10k words off it easily just by following some of her suggestions.
What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
It would be incredibly presumptuous of me to ‘compare’ my book to anything. But I aspire to write like mainstream authors like Colin Iggulden, Bernard Cornwell, Patrick O’Brien, Dick Francis and Rosemary Sutcliffe. As far as genre goes then I aspire to being in the same league as people like Tamara Allen, Charlie Cochrane, Edmund Manning, Parhelion, and my mentor Erastes. I should say Mary Renault too, but nobody writes like she did. Aspiration is good. It makes you try harder.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
See question 2. But also Alex Beecroft. I read False Colours and thought “OMG it’s possible to write a M/M novel without shagging in every chapter!! I want to write something a bit like that”.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Damn, I don’t know. There’s a lot of UST in it? That’s ‘unresolved sexual tension’ if you’re not familiar with the term. That’s because one protagonist is determined not to do it while the other one knows damned well that he desperately wants to and plays him like a fish, poor soul. Also there are all the pirate cliches you can think of. And, let’s face it, if you can get over the fact that most of them were bloodthirsty ruffians lousy with STDs and rotten teeth, who doesn’t like pirates?
And that’s it!!
Now I’m supposed to ask people to do it but the only one I’ve found who hasn’t already been asked is Jessie Lansdel. If you want a go have at it! Let me know and I’ll link to your post when the time comes.