Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Guest Post & Giveaway: Story Out of Silence by Alex Beecroft
Hello! I am Alex Beecroft and I'm taking over this blog this morning on a tour to promote the re-release of my novella Blessed Isle, which came out from Riptide Publishing on the 31st of December. Thank you to readers for joining me, and especially to Pants Off Reviews for having me here :)
As a giveaway on this tour I'm offering either the two books of the Under the Hill series, or any other two ebooks in my back catalogue.
The giveaway works like this; with every post on the tour, I'll ask a question about Blessed Isle. If you're interested in entering the competition, email me the answer to the questions off blog (ie, not in the comments.) Then at the end of the tour, I'll make a list of everyone who got all the answers right, and out of that list, I'll pick a winner at random.
Today's question is “What is the name of the Captain who chains Harry and Garnet to the deck of his ship to await summary execution?” Email me the answer on firstname.lastname@example.org
Story out of Silence
And on that note, I was answering some questions from Josh Lanyon the other day, for the next edition of his 'how to write m/m fiction' book, Man Oh Man. One of these questions was about how I reconciled the needs of Romance for a happy ending with the fact that I was writing about a historical period in which gay men were persecuted and – if found out – executed for their love.
I thought it was odd and very relevant that that question should come up now that Blessed Isle is about to make its way into the world as a stand-alone ebook. I'm not much of a writer of non fiction – if I have something to say, I'll tell a story to say it in – and Blessed Isle is my complete answer to that question.
The evidence that we have for the conditions for gay men in the 18th Century comes largely from the law courts. The stories we hear are the stories that were discovered, and being discovered were punished. This means that we get a false impression of how dreadful things were – we only hear the bad things, we only hear from the people who were unlucky or unwise, we only hear about the unhappy endings.
Naturally, relationships that survived long term, that were never exposed and never punished, never actually made it into the records. Their success made them invisible.
Blessed Isle is my attempt at telling one of these stories. The idea of the novella is that it's a diary, filled in by both lovers, recounting the perilous journey they went on together, how they faced and escaped the judgement of their society, and how they came to a place where they could live happily ever after together. Because this story can't be told in their own time, they deposit the diary in a bank account to be released when it is safe to do so.
Imagine if all we had of m/f relationships in the past were the records from the divorce courts, full of legal language that made everything sound ugly. So many beautiful love stories we would have missed out on. That very much is the case with the great gay love stories of our real life past – they're lost forever beneath the tide of prejudice. Blessed Isle is my attempt to recreate one. I hope it does them justice, but you must be the judge of that.
Lust quickly proves to be the least of his problems, however. The deadly combination of typhus, rioting convicts, and a monstrous storm destroys his prospects . . . and shipwrecks him and Garnet on their own private island. After months of solitary paradise, the journey back to civilization—surviving mutineers, exposure, and desertion—is the ultimate test of their feelings for each other.
These two very different men each record their story for an unfathomable future in which the tale of their love—a love punishable by death in their own time—can finally be told. Today, dear reader, it is at last safe for you to hear it all.
You can read an excerpt and buy Blessed Isle here at Riptide.
Alex Beecroft was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She studied English and Philosophy before accepting employment with the Crown Court where she worked for a number of years. Now a stay-at-home mum and full time author, Alex lives with her husband and two daughters in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.
Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has lead a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800 year old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.
You can find Alex on
her website, Facebook, Twitter or her Goodreads page