Friday, July 27, 2007

Editing and another review

Really thrilled today to receive a review of A Dangerous Man on Writewords from Jw Bennett who says the following:

"From the moment my copy arrived, I was keen to read this novel. The intriguing blurb on the back cover and the enticing image on the front informed me I was in for a satisfying read. And I was not disappointed. A Dangerous Man relates the tale of Michael Jones, a struggling young artist in the shadowy depths of contemporary London, whose desire for success blossoms into obsession. Michael strives hard for artistic perfection and, more surprisingly, gets by on the side as an experienced rent boy. When Michael falls head over heels for handsome financier Jack Hutchinson, the stage is set for a thrilling and emotional journey. Early on, we are shown glimpses of Michael’s ferocious compulsion, the passions that drive him, hints and allusions to a troubled past. Swiftly immersed in the luxury of Hutchinson’s Islington pad, Michael thinks he has found a get out clause to all of his problems. Michael doesn’t see his sexual favours as prostitution, more as a necessary evil to edge him closer to his goal. Nevertheless, debt and desire ensnare his existence, harassment and blackmail dogging his heels. All is not as it seems ... London’s seedy backstreet life – the alcoholic desperation, gay bars, tricks for cash – all are brilliantly realised. From the grubby pub toilets to the morning cruisers along the Embankment, Brooke reveals the sleazy parameters of Michael’s world, all the while balancing the prurience with convincing erotica and the alarming hope of love. Expertly juxtaposed against the City’s squalor lies the upper class atmosphere of Jack Hutchinson’s realm – the grandiose houses, the immaculate offices, the uncomfortably polite family visits. In short, another universe completely. As Michael draws closer to the realisation of his ambitions – ambitions he’ll do almost anything to achieve – the darkness of the past comes drawing in, and the two worlds are set on a collision course. Will Michael’s obsession transcend his love for Jack? Can he meet the threat of his sordid history head on? No doubt about it, A Dangerous Man is a gripping read. I finished the novel in only two sittings, enthralled by the plot and the finely drawn characters. The novel’s insightfulness made for clear visualisation, and all the events seemed perfectly placed and never less than engaging. Anne Brooke handles her subject matter with humanity and grace, delivering an original, exciting and thoughtful read. Brave, bold, and beautifully written, A Dangerous Man is a class act."

Gosh, thanks, James - I really appreciate it. Many thanks indeed. And in one of those "If you liked that, you'll love this" moments, I do have to say that Bennett's gay novel, Unrequited, is out fairly soon, and will be definitely worth the read. Go on - put it on your book list!

Most of today has been spent editing Maloney's Law and I've actually got to the point now when I'm relatively happy with it. It's funny with novels - you write the damn things and then by the time anyone shows an interest in publishing them, it's been so long that you've actually forgotten half of what you wrote. Reading through Paul's story once more makes me remember how much in love with the bloke I was - and still am, really. But I suspect that's (probably) normal, at least for me - if I'm not in love with my main character, then I can't really do the biz. But, bloody hell, what traumas I put the poor guy through. I'm astonished he's still speaking to me at all ...

Oh, and I forgot to say yesterday that I've finished my article on straight women writing gay fiction, and will be sending it off to Mslexia on Monday when I'm next near a post office (there's one on campus). Ho ho. So expect it back round about Tuesday, earlier if they're not busy then ... After that, I'll try the usual suspects and see if someone will bite. Faith springs eternal, eh ...!

And I've just finished C E Trueman's "The Bone Cradle" - which is actually a children's book, but quite interesting. I loved the main character, but felt it was a bit too neatly tied up at the end - though wonderfully poignant. And a nice, slightly creepy, touch of magic realism too, which I enjoyed.

Tonight, I've got the champagne on ice (well, in the fridge ...) to celebrate my contract with PD Publishing, the pizza, garlic bread and ice cream ready, and the cleaning can damn well wait. Aha!

Today's nice things:

1. James' very kind review
2. Editing
3. Champagne - hurrah!!!

Anne Brooke
Anne's website
Pink Champagne and Apple Juice
Goldenford Publishers

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