Author Archives: Erastes

About Erastes

Erastes is an author of gay historical fiction. Her novels cover many time periods and locations. She lives in Norfolk UK with demanding cats and never seems to have enough time to serve them.

Character vs Plot YMMV by Erastes

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I’ve been asked time and again – and I’m sure many readers and writers have been asked the same – “what do you prefer: plot led or character led stories?”

Usually, when put on the spot, I’ll ramble and say that both are equally as important to me, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently and I think I have to come down on one side of the fence, firmly and squarely and say that it has to be characters. Not so much character-led, because I’m not entirely sure what that means, but the characters not only have to be engaging and I have to have a certain amount of empathy for them, whether they are antagonists or protagonists, not the most important thing for me is that they are *memorable.*

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Reed All About Tit by Erastes

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Self-publishing is a good option for keeping hold of your creative control. It gives you the major share of your royalties and these days it’s a cheap option—I remember when it cost many thousands, before the days of digital.

But….

If there are many quality self-published books in the gay historical genre, then please Show Me Them, because I’m having a hard time loving self-publishing when book after book after book that I read is an appalling confused mess.

I don’t judge anyone for going after the self-publishing option. In today’s market, it’s a good option—although it’s unlikely to be at all lucrative. You may be writing something – like literary stream of consciousness m/m that publishers just aren’t ready for. Most of the e-pubs who want m/m are after romance or erotica, and if you are exploring the inner mind then it might be a tricky sell. I understand this.  You might have an old novel that has been published before and no-one wants to take it on, and you think that it would be nice to bring it out yourself. That’s fine. It’s probably already been professionally edited anyway.

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A Touch of Class

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Class: John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett

This week I’m going back to my “Ask the Audience” post – and answer something that Tam asked:

Erastes: Do you think British men in romance novels in general (or m/m specifically) are accurately portrayed or do all of us in NA just fall for the accent and we either romanticise them (they are all James Bonds) or do we not give them enough credit (they are all Mr. Bean)? What about movies with British guys? You would know British men (not all of them obviously ;-) ) better than I. (Although I’ve known a few in my life – but never in the Biblical sense, more’s the pity.)

Thanks, Tam!

Well, as usual, I’m going to address this from an historical perspective because I read very very few m/m contemporaries, and I think the only contemp m/m one I read was by a British writer (A Dangerous Man by Anne Brooke) .

In general, in m/m historicals, I’d say yes. A tentative yes, at least.  Continue reading

Yes, I hate the green-eyed man

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Guest post by Erastes

This is what I told Wave to say when she asked me about this week’s post.  “Just say that,” I said.  I didn’t explain myself to her either, so she’s probably written me off as a loony.  Actually, that was probably a long time ago…

I want to talk about nomenclature.  I love that word.

First of all, I want you to imagine you are having a long conversation with your other half, or your best friend.  Continue reading

Bucket of Water Please!

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Guest post by Erastes

I had a more sensible and serious discussiony post planned but I’m feeling a bit rough today so I’m going to talk about sex instead because that cheers me up.

For obvious reasons this post has no pictures!!

I think that any book these days that deals with any kind of relationship is going to have to deal with sex at some point. It doesn’t have to be a romance to do so, your guys can be spies, shagging frantically against a damp brick wall in post war Berlin, keeping out of the way of patrols–they can be adventurous explorers, risking mossie bites and god knows what else worse as they bare their bits in the jungle.  Even inspirational books – and it’s about time we saw more inspirational gay books (is anyone publishing them?) have to deal with sex – even if they don’t describe the sex scenes themselves.

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Not so hostile witness

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Guest post by Erastes

Not Erastes

Most people who read books get to choose what they read.  There are many ways we are tempted to pick that book off the shelf, as we know – a cover, a blurb, a tempting display, that kind of thing.  Within our genre, too, there’s only just enough to satisfy the hungriest of readers.

For those of us who do reviews however, we have to read whatever comes along.  I’m lucky here on Wave’s blog, because she treats me like the fussiest of Persian Cats: she waves tasty morsels under my nose and says “would you like to review…?” Continue reading