Alex Beecroft, Giveaways, Riptide Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Blue Steel Chain Blog Tour with Alex Beecroft

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We’re so pleased to welcome author Alex Beecroft back to The Novel Approach today, on the Blue Steel Chain tour. Enjoy Alex’s guest post and then be sure to leave a comment to enter in Riptide Press’s tour-wide giveaway of a signed paperback from Alex Beecroft’s backlist (Any title which has a paperback edition, excluding Blue Steel Chain).  Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 1, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

And please be sure to leave your email address in your comment so we can contact you at the close of the competition.

Good luck!

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When False Colors came out in 2009, I still thought I was straight. I remember the furor that was kicked up by the marketing campaign for that book, which was released as part of a four book attempt to take m/m romance to the mainstream under the ill advised marketing slogan “m/m romance by straight women for straight women.” The four authors involved were somewhat startled by this because they were Erastes, Lee Rowan, Donald Hardy and me. That’s two bisexual women, a gay man, and an asexual person who really still isn’t quite sure about this whole gender business.

I’ve digressed. My point was that at the time I didn’t know that asexuality existed. I thought I was the token straight in that group. I’d always been aware that I’d never been very good at being straight. I’d always felt that there were vast areas in our culture that I just wasn’t getting. The whole business with sex, for example. What was the attraction? What was the point? I could see that it seemed to be a huge driving force in human interaction, and yet for me it was a blank space. Did that mean I wasn’t human? I sometimes felt that way.

I defined myself in negatives. I wasn’t a woman but I wasn’t a man. So I probably wasn’t trans. I wasn’t gay or bi or poly, but I really wasn’t very straight either.

How could a person who was so nothing ever actually exist at all?

That may not sound like an important question, if you’re the kind of concrete realist who can then go on to say “and yet I do, and my existence is valid.” But as an artist and an INTP, I’m a pattern maker by nature, and when I didn’t fit into any of the available patterns it did tend to lead me down the road of “then you must be a mistake. If there’s no space for you in this world, perhaps the world would be better off without you.”

An interesting thing that happened to me recently was that I began to go to a therapist (for non-writing related reasons). On one occasion I said to her “My depression hasn’t been so bad the last three years.” Another time I said “I found out about asexuality about three years ago, and that cleared up a lot of questions I’d had.” She was the one who said “You don’t think the timing of those two things is significant?”

I think it probably is.

I’m supposed to be talking about Blue Steel Chain, aren’t I? But this backstory is relevant to that book. By the time I discovered that asexuality was an actual thing, I had already lived for forty seven years. I had lived for 47 years not knowing that I wasn’t simply a failure at being a human being.

Asexuality is known as one of the ‘invisible orientations,’ because there is so little awareness in society that it exists at all. Asexual people can go their whole lives asking “what’s wrong with me?!” and never get an answer.

Naturally once I’d found this out, I knew I had to do something about it. I had to spread the news and let other people know that they too were not as broken as they might have thought. So I wrote Blue Steel Chain, a romance in which one of my main characters is asexual.

I thought I was writing it mainly for me – mainly for the thrill of thumbing my nose at all those people who assumed that I was writing romance for the sex. “I’ll show them what I really think about sex!” I thought. “That’ll teach them.”

(Because I’m clearly a very mature person these days.)

What I didn’t anticipate was that the moment I said I was writing a book with an ace main character, so many people would start saying “Yes! I feel represented. I can’t wait!”

I really hope I don’t let you down. There are as many different ways to be ace as there are people, and Aidan can’t be all of them. But I hope those of you who are ace can recognize something in him and go “Ha! Yes! It’s just like that.” And I hope those who aren’t will find it fun anyway, and useful for knowing how to deal with the Aces you meet in your life.

Judging from the latest surveys of slash writers/readers I think there are a disproportionate number of us amongst m/m fans. So the chances are you will meet one of us sooner or later. Be prepared!

~Alex

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BlueSteelChain_600x900Blurb: At sixteen, Aidan Swift was swept off his feet by a rich older man who promised to take care of him for the rest of his life. But eight years later, his sugar daddy has turned from a prince into a beast. Trapped and terrified, Aidan snatches an hour’s respite at the Trowchester Museum.

Local archaeologist James Huntley is in a failing long distance relationship with a rock star, and Aidan—nervous, bruised, and clearly in need of a champion—brings out all his white knight tendencies. When everything falls apart for Aidan, James saves him from certain death . . . and discovers a skeleton of another boy who wasn’t so lucky.

As Aidan recovers, James falls desperately in love. But though Aidan acts like an adoring boyfriend, he doesn’t seem to feel any sexual attraction at all. Meanwhile there are two angry exes on the horizon, one coming after them with the press and the other with a butcher’s knife. To be together, Aidan and James must conquer death, sex, and everyone’s preconceptions about the right way to love—even their own.

Available from Riptide Publishing on July 27.

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About the Author: Alex Beecroft is an English author best known for historical fiction, notably Age of Sail, featuring gay characters and romantic storylines. Her novels and shorter works include paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary fiction.

Beecroft won Linden Bay Romance’s (now Samhain Publishing) Starlight Writing Competition in 2007 with her first novel, Captain’s Surrender, making it her first published book. On the subject of writing gay romance, Beecroft has appeared in the Charleston City PaperLA Weekly, the New Haven Advocate, the Baltimore City Paper, and The Other Paper. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association of the UK and an occasional reviewer for the blog Speak Its Name, which highlights historical gay fiction.

Alex was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She lives with her husband and two children in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.

Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has led a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800-year-old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.

She is represented by Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Literary Agency.

Connect with Alex: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter: @Alex_Beecroft | Goodreads

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26 thoughts on “Guest Post and Giveaway: The Blue Steel Chain Blog Tour with Alex Beecroft

  1. susana says:

    I did not know about asexuality… I am really interested about it, though. I think it may explain many things I’ve been wondering about for some time now. Thank you for the post and giveaway. I’m really looking forward to reading Blue Steel Chain
    susanaperez7140(at)gmail(dot)com

    Like

    • Thanks Susana! If you need to know more about asexuality (because there’s a whole spectrum of identities that fall under that umbrella, including demi-sexuals and aromantics and grey aces) I thoroughly recommend AVEN – The Asexual Visibility & Education Network. I tried to link you but the comment didn’t go through. But I’m sure you can find it by googling. Good luck!

      Like

  2. Angela says:

    Thanks for this post. Blue Steel Chain sounds like a really good read. Congrats on the release and thanks for the giveaway chance.
    ahpg(at)ziggo(dot)nl

    Like

  3. Pingback: Alex Beecroft – Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction » Blog Archive » Forty Seven Years

  4. Sue says:

    Oh my goodness, you just described me! I finally figured out at age 47 that I’m grey ace. I’ve been married since I was 18. I love him very much and he’s my best friend, but I’ve just never really been interested in the whole sex thing. I was so relieved to find out it wasn’t “just me.” I’m definitely going to be reading this book, especially since it was released on my 30th anniversary. :)

    Sue

    dejasue7(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Like

    • Thanks Sue! Isn’t it a relief to finally find a label that gets more true the more you think about it, and to have found that you’re part of a community, not just a solitary freak? It certainly was for me at least. Congratulations on the 30th anniversary! It’s my 25th this year, so I feel pretty confident in saying that it’s as perfectly possible for an asexual character to have a HEA as it is for anyone else :)

      Like

  5. Tamesis says:

    It’s great to see a book that features an asexual character. I’ll be interested to read it. tamesisgreer(at)gmail(dot)com

    Like

  6. Pingback: Blue Steel Chain by Alex Beecroft Blog Tour, Guest Post, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway! | MM Good Book Reviews

  7. Neene says:

    It’s definitely great that there’s more visibility for asexuality. I think I have known a couple of persons who probably were ace – it would have been nice to know back then.

    I’m looking forward to reading this book :)

    (neeneiv at gmail.com)

    Like

  8. Carolyn says:

    Lovely post! I think the addition of one more ace character in the book world is a wonderful thing. And it goes without saying (but I say it anyway), I love that the world has more ace-identifying people in it! I’ve been thinking a lot about what every identity and sexuality brings to the table, and I kind of think of asexual people as the ones who can see through a lot of bs. When you’re not clouded by the fog of lust (to whatever degree), there’s a certain clarity of thought that exists.

    caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com

    Like

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