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Sheena (our fearless leader at The Lesbian Talk Show) was chatting with me on facebook about how I write characters, after the review of Mother of Souls came out at The Lesbian Review (her other project), and it ended up turning into an interview for her series The Write Stuff.

Today I have a reader question from Andrei, who has kindly allowed me to answer in this blog:

I really enjoy your books. Lately I've been reading a history book on pre-Revolutionary France and it noted that the Christian message that was preached to the masses by the post-Reformation Catholic Church was one of a angry God, a God of vengeance and wrath that demanded penitence and misery. This sermon that Yves Michel Marchais delivered to his congregation in Western France in the 1780s is quite illustrative:

I just got an acceptance letter from Lace and Blade 4, an anthology of...well, of stories that the words "lace and blade" conjure up, for "Gifts Tell Truth", a new Alpennia story about Vicomtesse Jeanne de Cherdillac in her wild 20s (and a French spy/opera singer). The anthology won't be coming out until 2018, so that's plenty of time for you to get excited about it.

Except for the book release re-boot series, I haven't been blogging as regularly as I like to. May has been a bit crazy in terms of travel/conventions and work pressures (you know, the job that pays my bills). I've had enough LHMP posts in the can to carry my through (though I need to record a podcast tonight that I haven't finished writing yet! The Civil War diaries have been a dropped ball for the last couple weeks. But I keep plugging away at the first draft of Floodtide, day by day.

One of the protections that my Alpennian ladies have for their personal lives is the willingness of Rotenek society to look the other way. To enter enthusiastically into the belief that “nice women don’t do that sort of thing” and therefore that two women who are well-born and respectable could be the closest of romantic friends without ever stepping across the line into forbidden desires.

Have I done a writing blog lately? I've gotten so random with everything except the LHMP and the LaForge diaries that I'd have to look in the blog roll to see.

My day-to-day writing project is still Floodtide. I'm continuing with the tradition that every book has a slightly different writing process. This one feels a bit like I've circled around back to my process for Daughter of Mystery in that I'm just sort of spilling story onto the page as it comes to me with only a bare outline to guide me.

One of my readers (a fellow writer) gave me a topic that could easily turn into a book rather than just a blog, but I’ll try to keep it concise. They asked if I could talk about techniques I use for implying/showing the development or existence of a romantic relationship between characters without simply having the characters state it outright (perhaps because the characters are still working their heads around it) and without using sexual intimacy/desire (whether because the relationship is non-sexual or simply because that isn’t how I choose to depict it).

I've discused previously how the way that Alpennian characters talk to and about each other, and even what terms the use to think about each other, provides a constant commentary on their relationships and attitudes, whether it's of status, intimacy, or affection. But in some ways, I always had an out in that I was writing in the third person. A very tight third person, to be sure, but if Barbara thought something about the princess and called her simply "Annek" in the privacy of her thoughts, that could be chalked up to shorthand.

Jennifer Linsky is a Twitter friend who graciously agreed to write a guest blog for me.

Note added 2017/04/30: Please see the additional information in the biography section below. This is not information I had available when this guest blog was posted.


Hello! My name is Jenny, and I’ve been invited by Heather to do a guest post this week. Since much of Heather’s blog content is about her great-great-grandfather’s civil war diary, I thought I would write a bit about my Ojii-kun, my grandfather, and an entirely different war: the war in the Pacific.  

No more Mother of Souls teasers! So while I'm plugging away at Floodtide I'll have to come up with some new writing-related things to talk about.

I received a lovely bit of fan e-mail from a reader last week, and she had some questions that she has graciously allowed me to use as a jumping off point for a blog. The first question was whether I put my Alpennian research and development notes somewhere (presumably, somewhere that an interested reader could look at them!) and the second was whether I had a map of Alpennia.

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