Not dead, but certainly a little ill.

It seems I was a bit premature in claiming I was back, last month. All that happened was that my stomach ulcer returned, leading to another month of pain through the chest, exhaustion, loss of appetite and finding it hard to breathe. Forget exercise, I can’t even play the pennywhistle because the sustained breathing is too painful.

So, I’m back on the tablets for that, and hopeful that since they greatly improved it last time, this time a double dose will see it off altogether.

However, it does mean that this year has been something of a washout as far as new writing goes. I have finished edits on Too Many Fairy Princes and The Reluctant Berserker. I have finished the plot-plans for the two follow-ups for The Glass Floor, and sent the manuscript of The Glass Floor off to Tor US and Tor UK. (If they don’t get back to me before February 2014, I can consider it a rejection.) And I have finished Blue Eyed Stranger, which is ready to submit to publishers. So I haven’t been entirely inactive, but I haven’t written any first draft words since May.

Which means that I find myself in the position where I’m about to start a new novel from scratch, with nothing but a vague idea to go on. Would it be a good idea, I wonder, to blog about the process of writing it from start to finish? Writing a novel in real time, including the process of getting from vague idea to plot plan, might be something interesting to talk about. What do you think?

On the plus side, I heard from Aleks Voinov this morning that The Crimson Outlaw got a review in Pink Tongue, a GBLT magazine from South Africa:

The Crimson Outlaw is the newest release from masterful historical storyteller Alex Beecroft.

“Masterful historical storyteller”? I like that!

Comments (6)

HJSeptember 23rd, 2013 at 8:27 pm

So sorry to hear of your ills. I’m amazed how much you have achieved despite them! Would it help you to blog about writing a novel as you do it? Or would it add to your work-load and slow you down? Interesting as it may be to us, I think you should think first about using your limited time and energy in the way most beneficial to you.

CharSeptember 24th, 2013 at 12:34 am

How awful! I hope the meds kick in right away.

Still, it is incredible that you have 4 different stories edited and/or submitted.

Ditto HJ’s thoughts on blogging about the writing process. If you have the time and energy to draft new words and blog, more power to you! But the most important thing – besides your health – is writing that next novel! 🙂

lillian francisSeptember 24th, 2013 at 5:32 am

newest release from masterful historical storyteller Alex Beecroft.

Praise indeed. I’d be getting that printed on all my Christmas cards this year if I got a comment like that. (If I remembered to send cards in time for Christmas! Because, yeah, memory of a Goldfish.)

Considering the length of your books I think that’s pretty impressive on the output front. A blog is an interesting idea (especially if its a historical because for me the process of research is of interest), but I find when I’m deep in the middle of a first draft things like blogging go out the window. I do have a very slim window of time to devote to my writing, though.

Hope those meds kick in and you feel better soon.

Alex BeecroftSeptember 25th, 2013 at 9:44 am

Thanks HJ 🙂 Fortunately typing on a computer seems to be the last thing that goes, so as long as my brain’s feeling OK I can at least manage that.

I am still undecided about the blogging thing. They do say that talking about a book before you write it can result in you not wanting to write it. And they also say ‘don’t talk about your ideas in case someone steals them!’ But I really want to, and I’m not sure what I would talk about if I didn’t talk about this.

I’m supposed to have some kind of web presence as a way of promoting my books, but I’m still grappling with what on earth that might mean, and I don’t know if it even works anyway. So who knows? *Existential doubt all around* 🙂

Alex BeecroftSeptember 25th, 2013 at 9:54 am

Thanks Char! I suppose it isn’t a bad turnout now I think about it. Plus The Glass Floor is 140K long, so it’s as good as two shorter novels. I do have a tendency to go long.

I feel obliged to blog about something, although I might be better off doing something else like chats on the Yahoo groups or something. I just wish I had the faintest idea what worked for exposure and what didn’t. They say that self promotion is terribly important, and yet I really don’t do any of it.

Alex BeecroftSeptember 25th, 2013 at 10:00 am

Thanks Lillian! Yes, The Glass Floor is long enough for two normal novels, but then Too Many Fairy Princes is quite short and Blue Eyed Stranger is more of a long novella.

I guess I’m excited at the prospect of starting out with a new book, and I’ve never been in the position before where I was starting to research a new book in a gap where I had nothing else to talk about. I think I’ve always tried to avoid talking about the things that were actually interesting me at the time, and as a result I’ve been just boring all around. IDK! Also I feel guilty for not doing the kind of self-promotion we’re expected to do. I keep launching out on it with good intentions and then falling off again.

This one’s a fantasy, I’m afraid, but I usually base my fantasy societies on real historical societies, so I’m reading up on the Etruscans for it.

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