Clare London (clarelondon) wrote,
Clare London


Today's guest is the author Erastes, well-known for her historical fiction. Her first novel Standish (Regency) was nominated for a Lambda award and her second, Transgressions (English Civil War) is part of the ground breaking line by Running Press which is attempting to bring gay historical romance to the mainstream romance reader.

She's a reviewer of books in her genre and a regular blogger at sites like Jessewave's. Today she's encouraging authors never to give up with their submissions - and aim for the stars! :)

Her Blurb: Erastes has been writing all of her life, in one way or another, letters, emails, diaries used to satisfy her need for the written word. She simply didn’t think she could write, make plots that people would be interested in. Then one day in 2003, she simply started, a few short stories, and then a novel and then…well, she hasn’t stopped writing since. She lives in Norfolk, UK, and when she can be dragged kicking and screaming away from her computer, she enjoys walks by the Broads. She likes cats and cheese but has discovered only one of those is any good with toast. She likes her men like her fiction, dark, with a hint of danger, romantic and intelligent without being too wordy. She believes in the GDM and bases her dodgy morality on Heinlein’s Intermissions.
She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Director of The Erotic Authors’ Association and the creator of Speak Its Name, the only place on the planet which concentrates on reviews and news of Gay Historical Fiction.


When the skies are bright canary yellow
I forget ev'ry cloud I've ever seen,
So they called me a cockeyed optimist
Immature and incurably green.

I have heard people rant and rave and bellow
That we're done and we might as well be dead,
But I'm only a cockeyed optimist
And I can't get it into my head.
from South Pacific: A Cockeyed Optimist

I can't help it.  I'm not actually a very chirpy person; I'm grouchy, and grumpy.  I lose my temper easily, especially when I see idiots wanking online and often jump in without thinking. I'm cynical and sarcastic, turning into Donald Duck at times - but when it comes to writing, surprisingly I'm a hell of an optimist.  In fact when it comes to writing, I'm not a glass half empty person, or even a glass half full person.  I'm that person that Terry Pratchett wrote about. I'm the one going: "This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!"

Perhaps I got this from my mother, who was much the same, and we both are often unrealistically so. For example, we'd buy lottery tickets on Saturday and then look through the property pages for the house we were going to buy the next day, firmly convinced that we'd win.  My mother even had a list of where her winnings would go, and my Dad never understood this--he'd sit there and say "what on earth do we need fifty acres for?" And when mother would say "for the elephants" he'd roll his eyes or make some disparaging comment about the kind of car we'd chosen.

Thanks to my mother and her complete belief in my writing, I have this kind of armour when it comes to submitting to publishers.  For a start I submit to the biggest publishers first--and I wish more m/m writers would do the same. I know of a couple of others only that do this - and like me, they get rejected regularly.  But what have we got to lose?  It's only one rejection, and I feel that I'm just as likely to get rejected from Harper Collins as I am from Lethe Press or Ellora's Cave - and as it has been shown, with several m/m books appearing at Harper Collins and Running Press - sometimes this pays off.  Publishers may be saying "oh bah, there's no market for it," but perhaps that's because out of all the manuscripts they are getting, one out of a thousand is gay fiction - perhaps (as gina_stormgrant 's post pointed out recently) they just need to realise how much there is being written, how much is being read - and they aren't going to understand this if we never send to them.

I understand publisher loyalty, I do, and no one likes rejection, it's one of the worst things about this business - but another thing my mother used to say was "if you don't ask, you don't get" - and sometimes, a bit of cheek is all that's needed.  We won't go mainstream if we don't try to do so.

So until then, until Random House starts replying to me, I'll be over here, humming a happy tune and being disgustingly optimistic.


Erastes' Website.
Erastes' Blog.



Today's Quote:
"Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols." Thomas Mann

Today's Daft Google Searches for 'Clare London':
"Ornaments: Cuirass to Gorget? An Interpretation" I think I'd need one...:)


Follow this month with Clare (look at the goodies so far...):

Jan 08 : Jessewave shares her love of bright, shiny guys but wonders - tongue in cheek - where the less shiny ones are!
Jan 09 : Anne Cain shares her books and some of her fabulous art - and also encourages us to show and tell!
Jan 10 : My latest release Upwardly Mobile is out at Amber Quill today.
Jan 11 : Author Lee Rowan discusses why love should not be a garotte.
Jan 12 : Author Jaime Samms loves writing short stories - and asks if readers prefer short or long?

Jan 01 : The New Year is ushered in with the release of the Immortal Fire anthology IN PRINT.
Jan 02 : author Chrissy Munder wonders whether following current affairs in our writing is delightful or just dates us.
Jan 03 : author Madeleine Urban describes how her characters hijacked her brain...a willing victim!
Jan 04 : author Theda Black describes how her writing has been influenced by everything from a bionic penis to the power of Pan.
Jan 05 : author Josh Lanyon shares some exceedingly good books with us and asks about *your* recent reads.
Jan 06 : author K. Z. Snow questions what all the fuss is about authors 'making shit up'.
Jan 07 : Josie aka 1more_sickpuppy compares her life and friends online and off.

Want to grab a day to pimp, pose or pontificate? Email me at clarelondon11 @ and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.
Tags: blog month
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