This is a lesson in heresy. Britishness comes with an over politeness, and a self effacing reticence that means we often don’t ask, and don’t get. We hold back, which to other cultures can come across as aloof and rude. If you don’t get it, follow Very British Problems on Twitter. Lucknowites have it too, and regular readers of my blog will know of my connections there. So I have this thing squared.
Except, once, and only once, I put it aside. Those lovely, life affirming, literature loving people at Transmundane Press were running an open call for submissions. After the Happily Ever After is out now and I urge you to buy it, even though I’m not in it. It is significant because I emailed them and asked.
The question was about The Lesser Evil (my Harry Potter fanfic).
It fits the brief, I wrote, but… copyright.
The inestimable Alisha wrote back: I like it, but… copyright. Send me something else.
I emailed them a 26k novella. Like Clockwork. They liked it. They’re going to publish it. It’s coming soon.
There’s the lesson in heresy. Sometimes you just have to ask.
And now you’re asking: What’s it all about Ali?
Here’s where the teasing starts. It is a gothic suspense/horror/mystery/anti-romance with some steampunk elements set in Victoria England.
It is also a bit Hornblower without the sailing. I worked with the Royal Navy for a year in a civilian, entirely non seafaring capacity, almost twenty years ago. I still look back on that time with great fondness, and Like Clockwork is a hat tip to the wonderful people I worked with. The etching of Portsmouth Harbour hangs over my desk, and was, among other things, a parting gift from the project team. No client gives consultants parting gifts, but they did to me. The image below is of the note on the back.
* Project CAPITAL rolled out the MoD’s financial management system. 2SL/CNH = Second Sea Lord, Commander in Chief Naval Home Command, which is the part of the implementation I joined.