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charliecochrane [userpic]

Dreamwidth and Wordpress and just making my life simpler

[sticky post] January 5th, 2017 (12:36 pm)

2017 will see me - hopefully - completing what I started in 2016, which is simplifying my online presence. My website address now relocates to my Wordpress site, where I also have an active blog, so the next step is to co-ordinate this blog and my dreamwidth one. Like many folk, I'll be heading to dreamwidth for my main blog, although I'll keep my mylodon presence for all things fandom.

Come and link up at Dreamwidth/Wordpress!

charliecochrane [userpic]

The definitive (at present!) chronological list of Jonty and Orlando stories

May 4th, 2020 (11:58 am)

Early twentieth century:

Lessons in Love November 1905 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Desire August 1906 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Discovery  November 1906 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Power Spring 1907 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Temptation July 1907 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Temptation missing scene July 1907

What the Mathematician said to the Statue Summer 1907

Lessons in Seduction September 1907 Re-issue coming soon!

What the Mathematician said to the Engineer November 1907

My true love sent to me December 1907

My True Love sent to me postscript

Lessons in Trust Summer 1908 Re-issue coming soon!

Resolution January 1909

Lessons for Suspicious Minds Summer 1909.

On the occasion of their anniversary November 1909

Wetting the baby's head missing scene, November 1909

Bloody Mathematicians Spring 1910

Lessons for Idle Tongues Summer 1910

May our days be merry and bright Winter 1910

A fit employment for a gentleman Summer 1912 (crossover 'fanfic')

Once we won matches Aug 1912

Ring in the New December 1913

Game of Chance 1916

All Lessons Learned Spring 1919 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons for Survivors, Autumn 1919

Lessons for Sleeping Dogs 1921

The Boy from Kings 1932

A random collection of silly things:

The Inadvertent Adventures of Johnny Stewart, Jonty's great-nephew.

Orlando's opinion on Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.

Pride, Prejudice and all the rest.

Drabbles 1 Edwardian

Drabbles 2 Edwardian

Splitting Infinitives Edwardian, crossover 'fanfic'

Ten plus five plus eight = twenty three Edwardian crossover 'fanfic'

Love Letters, 1911 to 2011

Lessons in Disco 2010

charliecochrane [userpic]

Blog tour continues at My Fiction Nook

March 22nd, 2017 (01:24 pm)

Am delighted to be at My Fiction Nook today, where I'm discussing the link between Chicago and Twelfth Night (there is more than one) and why Shakespeare's Antonios intrigue me.

charliecochrane [userpic]

Sitting in the Comfy Chair

March 20th, 2017 (12:48 pm)

Am being interviewed over at Elin Gregory's blog today. She asks a good question, that girl, and she's also included a rather cheeky (literally) picture of Shane Williams in amongst the text.

Do drop in and see!

charliecochrane [userpic]

Guesting at Diverse Reader to celebrate release day!

March 18th, 2017 (12:50 pm)

In The Spotlight is out today, so I'm guest author at Diverse Reader, answering some excellent questions from Meredith. So drop in and find out what first sparked my interest in mysteries, which mystery author I'd like to invite to dinner and which of my series I'd like to see adapted for television.

in_the_sportlight

 

charliecochrane [userpic]

Newsletter 171

March 17th, 2017 (08:06 pm)

Since my last epistle, I’ve rather blotted my copybook with Mr Cochrane concerning that rugby game last week which I’m not allowed to mention. I just made an off the cuff remark wondering how many England might have scored against Scotland had we had our first choice team playing… 

News 

In The Spotlight”  comes out tomorrow! Nice little mention for it at the Romantic Novelists Association blog. And yes, I’ve created a “publisher” name for my self published works – most of you will realise what “The Right Chair Press” alludes to. 

As part of the usual release hoo-hah, I’m blog touring (all over the place like a rash, one might say) and most of these appearances give you a chance to win either a copy of “In The Spotlight” or something from the back list. So for starters, there’s: 

A week of giveaways at The Diverse Reader - I was one of those on day 3.  I’m guest author there tomorrow, too.

There’s a whole month of giveaways at The Romance Reviews anniversary event. My question will show up in a week’s time, on the 24th 

My main writing job at the moment is sorting out some edits for Broke Deep, which is available for pre-order at the Riptide site. Really good offer for the e-book/print combo. Then I need to get my head down over the edits for “Better to Die”, my story for the Manifold Call to Arms anthology. Still a couple of months before submissions closes so if you’re tempted to send something along, get a wiggle on.  

And finally, I occasionally turn my hand to a bit of sketching. Yes, it's two guinea pigs driving a motorcycle and sidecar. As they do...


charliecochrane [userpic]

The Red House Mystery - some thoughts

March 17th, 2017 (11:07 am)

I wrote this originally as part of an article for Mystery People ezine, but I'm reposting it in response to some discussion at Live Journal (about the slashiness in Moby Dick! This is for you, bauhiniakapok if you haven't already seen it.

Article:

It comes as a shock to many people (it did to me) that AA Milne wrote a murder mystery. Just the one, published in 1922, but it was enough to earn him admission to the inner sanctum of crime writers.

Is “The Red House Mystery” a good book? I’d say it’s fair enough, and very much in the style of its time, which is fine if you appreciate the Golden Age of crime. It certainly has many of the classic elements – the country house, the house party, the locked room, the wastrel brother who reappears from abroad and, of course, the amateur sleuth, with his slightly dim sidekick. If the denouement draws on a plot line which is peppered throughout those Golden Age mysteries, it’s none the worse for that.

Of course, it’s a whole other discussion about whether the detective’s sidekick only really exists to fulfil the main purpose of allowing the sleuth to show off his or her genius and give fulsome explanations regarding his or her thought processes. In the case of Red House’s Bill, he appears to be at the dimmer end of the bell curve of intelligence and certainly hero worships his friend Tony, the man who solves the case.

Tony’s a really interesting character, a man of independent means who takes on various jobs just for fun. He’d have been well served by further crimes to solve with his sidekick. I could envisage a whole series of cases in which our two heroes pop up at house parties and the like, tackling crimes, causing chaos and generally having a whale of a time. Alas, those books were never written.

Somebody even suggested that Bill reminded him of Piglet, but Tony and Bill makes me think of Raffles and Bunny, not least because of the “slash”. I usually say if you’re not sure what slash is, get your mother to explain when you get home. This time I’ll give a definition, straight from Wikipedia. “Slash fiction is a genre of fan fiction that focuses on interpersonal attraction and sexual relationships between fictional characters of the same sex.”

Milne himself objected to love stories getting in the way of the detection, so he takes Bill’s love interest “offscreen” pretty rapidly, then – ironically – proceeds to give us an almost love story between his two leading men. If you picked up this book without knowing the author or context, you might think you were reading a romantic mystery, with a gay bloke (Tony) who pursues, and then is all over, another man. From the moment Tony serves Bill, first in a shop and then in a restaurant, "Something about [him], his youth and freshness, perhaps, attracted Tony". He arranges a proper introduction to Bill and they quickly become "intimate". Yes, that word clearly didn't mean quite the same in 1922! As the story proper gets going, Bill is flattered, delighted and proud to be liked (and needed in the cause of investigation) by Tony, who soon after tells Bill he's wonderful for describing someone so well, at which Bill is happily embarrassed.

Should I mention how often Tony takes Bill's arm when they're walking? I know that this practice was not uncommon between men in the early twentieth century, and nobody batted an eyelid, but they seem to be at it all the time. Then there's the hand holding; Tony tells Bill he's the most perfect "Watson" before taking Bill's hand in both of his to say, "There is nothing that you and I could not accomplish together..." (That's the sort of thing he says a lot.) Bill responds by calling him a silly old ass, and Tony replies with "That's what you always say when I'm being serious" which is very similar to a tense, flirtatious interchange between Laurie and Andrew in Mary Renault’s "The Charioteer".

They even end up sharing a bed, although strictly in the way the characters share a bed in “Three Men in a Boat”. That’s another element which is hard to interpret innocently with modern eyes, although those of us who were brought up on “Morecambe and Wise” know that Eric and Ernie weren’t “at it” when the lights went off.

So what the heck was going on in “The Red House Mystery”? It’s terribly easy for us to look back at books written so long ago with our “slash goggles” firmly in place and see things which the author didn’t intend. Perhaps we see things which aren’t there at all. You only have to look at the volume of Holmes and Watson romances that have sprung up to find people interpreting old stories in a very present-day fashion. But gay men did exist in the 1920s (and at any point in history) and gay or lesbian characters can be found, thinly veiled, in classic books such as “A Murder is Announced”.

Maybe Milne was just being observational in his writing, basing Tony on somebody he had known, weaving in elements of conversations he had heard, as so many of us do. I have little doubt that he had no intention of giving us that romantic storyline, but he did so, nonetheless.

charliecochrane [userpic]

Fancy winning an e-book of mine?

March 15th, 2017 (08:20 pm)

And indeed many another goodie. Over at Diverse Reader there's a week of giveaways, including mine. While you're there you can find out what this genre means to me. Will you be surprised or will you say, "Charlie, you are so predictable?" Why not nip over and see?

charliecochrane [userpic]

Poems by cats (and an offer you can't refuse)

March 14th, 2017 (09:11 pm)

Our local Oxfam bookshop is an Aladdin's cave. My latest acquisition is a hilarious little volume called "I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats". If a moggy didn't actually dictate these I will eat my titfer. My favourite so far is "I Lick Your Nose".

When I'm finished I'm happy to pass this on to a good home, so comment somewhere if you want it. (More than one show of interest and I'll pick a name out of that titfer.)

charliecochrane [userpic]

Rainbow snippet - If Music Be (from In the Spotlight)

March 12th, 2017 (01:13 pm)

In The Spotlight is out next week and available for pre-order. The second of the two stories in the combo is a story of love, loss and the healing power of the Bard. Rick's just agreed to take part in a production of "Twelfth Night".

“Okay. I’ll do it. Just for you.”

“Magic. It’ll be good to have you as my wingman again. Although I promise it won’t be as bad an experience as ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’.”

“I’m pulling out if it is.” Rick shuddered in remembrance of a particularly spiky old bat who’d played one of the lead characters. “E-mail me with all the details.”

“I’ll do it right now.”

Eddie had a good, logical mind, and he was a doer. He also possessed a disconcertingly honest streak that meant he’d soon tell Rick if his return to the stage wasn’t working out. This might turn out all right. Maybe.

“Am I barmy doing this?” he asked Coldstream, but the cat just went back to licking his tail.

in_the_sportlight

Lots more excerpts at the fantastic Rainbow snippets group.

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