Official author website/blog!

I took the plunge and created an actual Wordpress site: It's new, so there aren't a lot of posts yet, but I also linked a couple of short stories related to Love Continuance and Increasing, and you should all go look at it and see the GORGEOUS banner that [personal profile] mswyrr made for me. Which I then cleverly put on my tumblr as well, not that anyone ever sees an individual person's tumblr page, because we all read posts on our dashboards, but it's there.

I'm feeling very clever having figured out how to use the Wordpress dashboard and plug-ins and widgets to get something that feels functional.

I'm still creating more blogrolls - I mean to have one for review sites, and another one for blogs of historical interest that I follow, in addition to the ones I already have - and if you want me to link to you, drop me a note. If you have any suggestions for things I haven't done with the site that I should, let me know that too.

But I spent loads of time last night poking at it, and I think it's safe to go live!
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Love Continuance and Increasing: now available for pre-order!

A dark-haired young woman in a white Regency gown looks off into the distance to the right, her hands steepled together in front of her. Two men, one in a British army officer's red uniform of the Napoleonic Wars and the other in the blue coat of a lieutenant of the Royal Navy, gaze back at her, patient and yearning. Below the title bar, there is a seascape with a tall ship at the right-hand side.

It's here! Love Continuance and Increasing is available for pre-order from Storm Moon Press!
Lieutenant William Thorne, of His Majesty's Navy, was a man of humble origins. He knew that his affair with Major Anthony Rockingham of the 43rd Infantry couldn't last forever, not only because the war against Napoleon sent him on blockade duty in the English Channel while the major's regiment trained ashore, but because Rockingham was a viscount, and viscounts must marry. When Rockingham's letter reached him, saying that he'd chosen Miss Caroline Filmer as his bride, it was no more than Thorne had expected.
What he had not expected, when he returned home after the Battle of Trafalgar, was to find an invitation to the christening of Rockingham's son. He had not expected, when he met the young viscountess, that he would fall instantly and passionately in love with her. And he had certainly never expected that Caroline would fall just as desperately in love with him. Thorne was sure that their feelings for each other could only lead to disaster, even more so as his love for Rockingham had never gone away. While the war with France continued, he found himself fighting a war within his own heart...
e-book: $6.99 $5.59 softcover: $13.99 $11.19 bundle: $15.99 $12.79 20% discount applies until August 2 release date! Collapse )
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an unexpected party

Or, How I Wound Up At Readercon.

I hadn't planned to go. Too much studying, not enough money. But it turned out that the blood drive was short of volunteers for its signup/admin table, and I help with the blood drive at Arisia, so I was on the list that got asked for help, and they said they'd comp people, and I said "sure, why not..."

So, for the price of the gas to drive there, and a few hours helping out at the table (including playing running footman when the walkie-talkies were acting up), I got to go go a panel on Romance in SF/F, another on the works of Roger Zelazny (one of my earliest fandoms, and if you're guessing that has something to do with why I call myself Julian, you're not wrong), a kaffeeklatsch with [personal profile] ceciliatan , a few other cool panels -- I got to meet John Crowley! and finally meet [personal profile] yhlee in person! and then... [personal profile] matociquala said "come to the room parties with me."

Right. I'd forgotten that Bear always knows where to find the booze. That turned into an unplanned overnight stay.

Now I'm home, and I have a new question: does anyone have advice on how to select an excerpt for promotional purposes?

Should it be fairly close to the beginning, or should it be farther along? Should I try to have something that has all three main characters in it, or is it okay to just have two? Should I choose something that particularly sets up that it's a ménage story, or is that unneccesary? And how spoilery is too spoilery? Also, how long should it be?

Here's the two choices I had in mind:

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Or, choice two:

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So, thoughts?

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Cover art update

 I got a look at the first draft of my cover art for Love Continuance and Increasing last night.

I am SO excited!

It's a first draft, and there are things that need tweaking, but overall? WOW.

I love the layout, I love the character poses, the typography is gorgeous, and there's even a tall ship worthy of Geoffrey Hunt.

AND THEY'RE ALL WEARING CLOTHES. Which is a huge relief given how many times I begged "no naked people!" on my questionnaire.

They're even wearing period-appropriate clothes! I didn't get the "shampoo model in a prom dress" that turns up so often on the big-name historical romances.

There are definitely things that need tweaking. I won't spell them out, because I'm pretty confident they can be fixed, except for the bit where we'll never get the actors I've cast in my head to pose for the cover -- they'd have had to do it ten years ago in any case. 

It's going to be a BOOK...

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Follow-up: my faith in humanity is improved

That nice polite letter I wrote to the B-24 guy, waving my little Pride flag but leaving out the surprise!pr0n?

I got an answer:

Thanks Julian. That is really great news about getting your short story published and the bonus of having the proceeds go toward a worthy military cause is good to hear as well. It seems to me Torquere made the selection very quickly. Shoot me a link once it is published so I can read it, if it can't be emailed due to size, etc.

Interestingly, you are the second person who has contacted me this week about the portion of my family webpage dedicated to my dad's time in the war and as a prisoner of the Germans.

Definitely brightened my day.

Also brightening my day: Love, Continuance and Increasing is being proofed right now, has ISBNs, and the release date of August 2 is FIRM! The cover art is in process and I ought to be seeing a first draft soon. Yes, I do still get input on drafts! I was worried about that. Even better, Storm Moon decided that their lead artist, whose style tends to the "bare-chested elves in leather pants" school of dark fantasy (which, you know, is great for dark fantasy), was not the right one for my story (because, after all, that's not what I wrote), and they've assigned it to a different one! Whew. 

I'm gonna have a book...

ETA: holy shit. When I replied to the message above, I told him I'd send a pre-order link as soon as it was available, but here, I attached the story if you want to read it now, it's short but it's got a mild sex scene in it.

HE LIKED THE STORY. He said nice things about the character development and hoped things worked out well for Harry and Andrew!


Yes, yes they do, actually. Not that it's all easy sailing ahead of them, but they live on long enough to be one of the first couples lined up at City Hall. (They'd be about ninety. I bet people would move them up the line.)
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I still don't know if this was a good idea

But, since my story got accepted, I sent this to the author of the super-helpful B-24 page:

Dear Mike,

I'm proud to say that my story, "Lost and Found in the Pacific", will be appearing in September in a Torquere Press charity anthology - I just got the acceptance today! The proceeds from the anthology will support Outserve SDLN, a non-profit that provides legal services and support to LGBT military individuals and families, working toward equal representation and benefits.

It's a romance between two airmen, and I based the background on the events of the Green Hornet crash that Laura Hillenbrand wrote about in Unbroken, which is an amazing book. Of course, I had my pair get rescued instead of captured by the Japanese - it's only a short story, not a novel.

I'd be happy to send it along to you if you don't want to wait for the anthology to be released.


I figure, this makes me a voice for equality without filling his mailbox with surprise!sex scene, which... strikes me as a bit rude. If I get an unpleasant response, I can set up a filter in Gmail to dump any further mail from him into a folder I'll ignore. If he turns out to be more broad-minded than I'm giving him credit for, I'll send the story as an attachment, with a note in the body of the email that says it's got a mild sex scene in it along with the crash and the rescue.

Because, honestly, a lot of my doubts about sending it didn't really come from "what if he's a jerk about romance between men", but from "I really don't think a straight guy will react well to finding a story with a gay sex scene in it when he's probably expecting Wartime Adventure."

So yeah. This may end badly, or it may end better than I expect, but at least the idea is out there beyond the m/m romance readers and writers bubble.

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Lost and Found in the Pacific

That's its tentative new title. Torquere accepted the story, but they already had a "Lost and Found".

Nice to know I can knock something out in four days and still make it work!

This is for a charity anthology, and I'll just quote from the Torquere site:

For the 2013-2014 Charity event, which will premiere in September 2013, we've chosen OutServe-SLDN as our donation organization. OutServe is an non-profit that provides legal services and support to LGBT military individuals and families, working toward equal representation and benefits.
Depending on how fast Storm Moon gets their release schedule back on track, this may in fact be the first of my pieces that sees print.

Four for four, so far, with #5 still waiting for an answer. Not. Too. Shabby.

Definitely need to work on the next novel, whichever one I pick. And SOMEHOW make two new spaces for bookshelves, because I'm going to have to dedicate one to the Wars of Religion in France and another one for post-WWII queer history of NYC. Harry and Andrew from this story aren't content with a mere 6500 words. They told me about their lives right up into the 21st century, where they were one of those same-sex couples in their eighties lined up at City Hall, and they want me to keep writing.

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"I sometimes wonder whether I am a scholar at all," said Miss Lydgate. "It's all quite clear in my head, you know, but I get muddled when I put it down on paper. How do you manage about your plots? All that time-table work with the alibis and so on must be terribly hard to bear in mind."

"I'm always getting mixed up myself," admitted Harriet. "I've never yet succeeded in producing a plot without at least six major howlers. Fortunately, nine readers out of ten get mixed up, too, so it doesn't matter. The tenth writes me a letter, and I promise to make the correction in the second edition, but I never do. After all, my books are only meant for fun; it's not like a work of scholarship."

- Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night

Immensely comforting, if only I would listen.

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talk about awkward

 So, when I got "Lost and Found" submitted, I decided I'd drop a little thank-you note to the fellow who'd made this page about the B-24 bomber, because it was so helpful for me to have those diagrams, and everybody likes to get positive feedback, right?

He sent me a nice little reply saying "thanks for the nice note, glad it helped you, I'd love to read your story sometime."


See, the way I got his contact info was to go up one level on the URL, which got me to his home page. Which he has set up as a sort of "family blog" that reminds me, in tone, of the sort of Christmas newsletter people send to their extended circle. Kids' academic achievements, vacations he & his wife take, stuff related to his father who served on a B-24.

And maybe I'm not giving him enough credit. Maybe this head of a very wholesome-looking, Middle-American family, who lives in one of the more conservative US states... maybe he's broad-minded enough to appreciate a gay romance about WWII soldiers. With a sex scene in it.

But my gut is telling me that's not the way to bet.

Part of me wants to write back, if it gets accepted, and say "it's appearing in a charity anthology to support LGBT soldiers in the US military, I'm really glad it's supporting such a worthy cause," and let him decided what to do about that.

Another part of me is saying "yeah, just leave this one alone."

Most days, I look at things like the decision overturning DOMA, and striking down Prop. 8, and my own state having not only equal marriage, but anti-discrimination protection that extends to gender expression as well as sexual orientation, and I think, "YAY! Progress!"

Then I come up against something like this, and I see how my own doubts are keeping me silent... and I want to cry.
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