Join Prism Book Alliance® as KJ Charles goes Outside the Margins today.
So, my new book A Gentleman’s Position published yesterday, and a huge chapter in my life just closed.
Spring 2014. Susan Lee of Boys in our Books asked me to write a short story for a historical anthology. I thought up a Heyer-with-gay-sexytimes Regency, about a game of cards played for very high stakes. The story included, as throwaway backstory, that one of my Regency bucks was part of a group of very particular gentlemen.
Summer 2014. I handed in my three months’ notice from my publishing job to go freelance as a writer and editor. A senior person said, “You’re going to write for a living? Good luck with that,” and laughed.
My agent, Deidre Knight, was encouraging me to put together a synopsis for a trilogy she could sell to a publisher. My Regency gentlemen came to mind, but I didn’t just want to write gentlemen and aristocrats. I’d set the first story in 1818 for no reason except whim; now, thinking about it, I realised how close that brought me to a defining moment in British history, the Peterloo Massacre, when a crowd demanding electoral reform was mown down by cavalry, kicking off a period of draconian Government repression. I remember sitting out in my garden one summer night as the twilight faded, with a cocktail and a notebook, plotting out the stories and the people and the conflicts. A dandy, and a reluctant radical who had to be turned into a gentleman. A loyal government official enforcing order, and a radical seditionist risking his life for the overthrow of the ruling classes. A lord who embodied the best and worst of aristocratic paternalism, and the servant that both social station and human decency forbade him to touch. I sent the synopsis to Deidre; she told me to write chapters.
Autumn 2014. About a week after we started selling the sample chapters, Deidre told me that Loveswept, an imprint of Penguin Random House, wanted to publish my trilogy. Which meant that when the Senior Person asked me, “How’s the writing?” at my leaving do, I could say, “Oh, just sold a trilogy to Penguin, thanks,” and smile. (And then I had three massive blue drinks in a row. I felt I deserved them.)
After that, I spent a year writing, plotting, intertwining the stories, revising, working with advance readers, more revising, editing, proofing. I found out more about Regency politics 1819-20 than any reasonable person would want. I filled a shelf with costume references and London street maps and obscure reference books. I sat in swimming pool seating areas and soft play cafes while the kids rampaged, reading books with titles like Radical Underworld: Prophets, revolutionaries and pornographers in London 1795-1840, and got the sort of looks you’d expect. I wrote some 220,000 words in my characters’ stories and a ton more in the way of blog posts and promo as each book published, and now an additional interlude story to fill in between books 2 and 3. Probably a quarter of a million words, all told.
And the last book was published yesterday, and the characters who’ve been occupying somewhere between 10% and 95% of my conscious brain for the last two years are done. Finished. That’s your lot.
And I don’t know what to do.
Well, that’s not true. I have a new trilogy commissioned with Loveswept, a new book in the process of selling, a new series (Rag and Bone) to continue, a joint project in the planning. I have loads to do, in fact.
But I’ve spent two solid years of my life with the Gentlemen and their complicated, interwoven lives and loves and friendships. Lord Richard Vane and his cousin Harry and his friends Dominic, Julius, Francis and Ash; Harry’s radical mentor Silas Mason; Richard’s valet Cyprian; Cyprian’s allies Quex and the Shakespeare siblings. I live near the location for Richard’s country house; I walked past its site (if it had existed, which it didn’t, but after two years of this it’s possible to get confused) just yesterday, along the route that Julius rode while falling in love, or at least lust, with Harry. I recently did a podcast in which I talked about something that happened ‘five years ago’ when I meant 1815. And now it’s done and I have to think about something else all the time.
This is the end, my beautiful friends. And I reckon I’m allowed to be sad about saying goodbye.
Oh, what the hell. Maybe I’ll do a Christmas coda.
A Gentleman’s Position is out now.
A Fashionable Indulgence won 2nd place in Gay Historical Romance, Rainbow Awards 2015
Find KJ on Twitter @kj_charles
Title: A Gentleman’s Position
Author: KJ Charles
Publication Date: 04/05/2016
Among his eccentric though strictly principled group of friends, Lord Richard Vane is the confidant on whom everyone depends for advice, moral rectitude, and discreet assistance. Yet when Richard has a problem, he turns to his valet, a fixer of unparalleled genius—and the object of Richard’s deepest desires. If there is one rule a gentleman must follow, it is never to dally with servants. But when David is close enough to touch, the rules of class collide with the basest sort of animal instinct: overpowering lust.
For David Cyprian, burglary and blackmail are as much in a day’s work as bootblacking—anything for the man he’s devoted to. But the one thing he wants for himself is the one thing Richard refuses to give: his heart. With the tension between them growing to be unbearable, David’s seemingly incorruptible master has left him no choice. Putting his finely honed skills of seduction and manipulation to good use, he will convince Richard to forget all about his well-meaning objections and give in to sweet, sinful temptation.
About KJ Charles
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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