A guest blog post by Sandra Lindsey
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Elin Gregory on a sunny day in her home town. Among the many things we discussed were sequels, as we’ve both been working on sequels to our books – UNDER LEADEN SKIES, and ELEVENTH HOUR – which were released by Manifold Press on the same day in 2016.
“Do you regret killing off [character]*?” she asked me at one point. My answer was an enthusiastic, “No, not at all!”
I don’t want to give the impression here that I’m an author who scribbles away joyfully killing off characters, but for the story I was telling in UNDER LEADEN SKIES it is necessary, not only from a plot point of view, but also because it felt dishonest to write a book set in wartime without losing at least one major character. I’m lucky not to have lived through such times, but in all my reading, research, and stories of the war I heard growing up, I’ve not come across a single account where loss of friends or family doesn’t feature. To write a story where all my most beloved characters remain alive felt like a betrayal or denial of the grief that war brings into people’s lives.
That said, the death of that character being so firmly written and out in the world in published form has presented me, as the author, with a bit of a dilemma. Ever since he first appeared on the page – and hijacked the story, pushing it onto a different and more interesting path than my original rather pedestrian ideas – I’ve wanted to write his story as well. He’s such a strong character, with an infectious charm and light-hearted view of life that I’d love to write it in a similar way to UNDER LEADEN SKIES, as the character’s own memoir, but with the ending I’ve already written to his life, it’s taken me a while to work out how to do that without delving into the world of ghosts or suchlike. I think I’ve finally found a solution, though, and in time I hope to share the resulting tale with you as well.
All the work I’ve done so far on the sequel has confirmed one thing in my mind: I really regret giving Teddy’s grandfather a title other than “Mr”! Pass the Debrett’s, would you?
*Anyone who has read UNDER LEADEN SKIES will know which character I am referring to.
Our lovely friend and colleague Elin Gregory has been interviewed, over on the blog of Studioenp, about her highly-successful romp ELEVENTH HOUR.
Wander on over there for more about Elin’s current working methods, and her future writing plans!
Two recent reviews by Stevie over at The Good, The Bad and the Unread have just reached us, and they’re both wonderful – as, indeed, are the books!
Of Sandra Lindsey’s UNDER LEADEN SKIES, the reviewer has this to say:
“I loved this book, both for the story told within it and for the style in which it is told – addressing the reader throughout, as Teddy passes his story on to an individual whose identity only becomes clear at the very end. There’s a lot of scope for sequels – and possibly a prequel about Teddy’s grandfather here – so I hope this isn’t the only visit we pay to the characters and their world.”
And Stevie’s response to Elin Gregory’s ELEVENTH HOUR was equally enthusiastic:
“I loved this book. All the characters felt very real, even those who make only brief appearances, and there are plenty of back stories connecting various of them to each other that I would love to read more about. Miles’ butler and his theatrical friend deserve their own book too. Highly recommended.”
I think we can safely call that a vote in favour of two sequels and/or spinoff titles, then! Thank you for your comments, Stevie – and we totally agree with you; we would love to see more of the adventures of these characters, too!
To nobody’s great astonishment, Elin Gregory’s wonderful ELEVENTH HOUR is still making new friends out in the review community.
Reviewer Sarina, writing for Love Bytes Same Sex Book Reviews, has this to say:
If you enjoy historical novels but would like something a little less Victorian and a little more modern, you really need to check this one out! This was a great book to introduce me to this author but it certainly won’t be the last I read.
Which is brilliant news all round, as we’re sure you will agree – and thank you, Sarina, we’re very glad that you enjoyed the book!
We were delighted to see a new review of the very popular ELEVENTH HOUR by Elin Gregory. Anya at Binge on Books says:
What to Expect: Delightful slow-build spy romance with a cross-dressing MC
What you will love: Intricate world building, intrigues and plot twists, sex scenes that will leave you HAPPY and wanting more, MILLIE is everything and Pritchard is the best manservant ever!
Thank you, Anya. We’re so glad you enjoyed this story as much as we do!
We’re really delighted that our lovely readers seem to love ELEVENTH HOUR by Elin Gregory as much as we do! Not only has it been flying off the virtual shelves and into e-readers like the proverbial hot cakes, we now find that readers have voted it into the Top 20 of the Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews Readers Choice Awards as Book of the Year 2016.
Thank you so much to everyone who nominated ELEVENTH HOUR and to everyone who participated!
If you would like to visit Sinfully and vote for your favourites in Rounds Two and Three of the Awards, that would be wonderful. There’s some awesome prizes for readers to win, and you just might find some new favourites, too!
We’re delighted to see the Press well represented in the Goodreads M/M Romance Members’ Choice Awards 2016. Elin Gregory’s ELEVENTH HOUR, in particular, has proved very popular indeed!
If you are a member of the M/M Romance group, then please head over to vote for your favourites – and no doubt add to your To Read pile(s) while you’re at it! These are reader-driven awards, so every vote counts.
Nominations for titles by the Press are:
Well done to our authors! We couldn’t be prouder.
We were delighted to wake early this morning to see how well our authors had done in the Rainbow Awards 2016! Of our five eligible titles, a very respectable four earned Honourable Mentions and were Finalists – and three went on to earn themselves places in the final results.
ACROSS YOUR DREAMS by Jay Lewis Taylor: This significant ‘Great War’ novel came first in the Best Gay Historical category, and was equal fourth as the Best Gay Book overall.
ELEVENTH HOUR by Elin Gregory: This delightful tale of derring-do came equal fifth in the Best Gay Historical Romance category, and was equal seventh as the Best Gay Book overall.
IN DEEP by Adam Fitzroy: This intriguing story set in the enclosed world of a remote Scottish island came fourth in the Best Gay Mystery / Thriller category, and was equal nineteenth as the Best Gay Book overall.
UNDER LEADEN SKIES by Sandra Lindsey: This dramatic Second World War tale was also a Finalist – of which we are very proud.
Hearty congratulations to our own authors, and to all the other authors and publishers who took part, making for such an obviously strong field of contenders.
Last but certainly not least, many thanks are due to Elisa Rolle and her team of judges for their indefatigable efforts!
To our great delight, another of our recent titles has been distinguished with an Honourable Mention in this year’s Rainbow Awards – this time Elin Gregory’s delightful ELEVENTH HOUR! These were the responses from the judges posted on Elisa’s Reviews and Ramblings blog:
1) I will have to keep my eyes open for more stories by this author as she pulled me into this story from the beginning.
2) Thoroughly enjoyable and historically fun story of espionage and an unusual romance, with great characters.
Thoroughly deserved, Elin, and many congratulations from us all!