Alex Gabriel

Writer. Reader. Romancer.


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On Fanfiction

maple-leaf-638022My views on fanfiction can be summed up very briefly with: YES. Yes, please.

To me, fanfiction is one of the greatest compliments an author can hope to receive. Fanfic doesn’t take anything away from either the original author or the original work, and it doesn’t harm the author’s vision in any way. How could it? Readers are never passive “recipients” of a story, anyway; they are always the ones who create the story in their minds through the act of reading. There are already as many different versions of the story as there are readers.

If someone finds an author’s fictional world and characters so compelling they want to pour their time, effort and creativity into spending more time within this world, engaging with it, and transforming it, then that cannot be anything but a good thing.

I read fanfic. I write it. I love it. And should someone create fanfic about one of my books, I’d be thrilled.

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Still Waters

Usually, I have a hard time writing to prompts – but I risked it for the Goodreads M/M Romance group’s “Love Is an Open Road” event, in which group members write free image- and prompt-inspired gay romances. And I am very glad I gave in to temptation, because I was lucky enough to snag the perfect prompt for me! It’s by Kathleen, and reads simplyI only have two words for you: ginger merman! Everything else is up to you.

Still Waters Cover

My myth-inspired novella “Still Waters” is roughly 30k long and will be published this summer – first in the M/M Romance group, then in all the usual places. And it will be entirely free!

This is the book’s blurb – extract to follow.

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A reformed nix.

Drakjan has been living as a harmless freshwater merman for so long he sometimes almost believes in the lie himself.

Almost.

A deadly hunter.

Hraban has dedicated his life to taking down creatures like Drakjan, protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

An uneasy truce.

When fate forces them together, the nix and the hunter discover a dangerous attraction… and a threat that can destroy everything Drakjan has come to love.

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(Why, yes. Faced with a prompt consisting of two words, I still managed to avoid complying with both of those words, if you want to get technical. Ahem.)


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Writing about Beavers, Demigods and Shadowy Government Agencies

Right now, I have three books lined up waiting to be written… plus a challenge story involving a ginger merman, and a potential sequel to First Contact. I also have what seems like a negative amount of time, but I refuse to let that stop me. Time is a state of mind. Ahem.

background-647559_1280Amazingly enough, I already have titles for most of these stories – and even a book cover for one of them! I really do seem to have overcome my title impairment of yore, I’m glad to say. So really, there’s very little standing in the way of me just finishing them already.

The merman challenge story is up first, and will involve beavers, corpses, lots of singing and (probably) no fluff at all. Possibly a Little Matchgirl and/or other eldritch horrors. We shall see.

After that I want to return to an m/m urban fantasy I’m already about a third of the way into. It needs to be extensively rewritten for reasons of both creeping chastity and general plot, but I think I have a good handle on how to tackle this now.

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Falling in Love with the Cold-Blooded

Several people have asked where I got the idea for “Love for the Cold-Blooded, Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero”. I’ll try to answer this as briefly as possible… which is still not very brief at all.

You rang?

A little over a year ago, a friend recounted several interesting anecdotes from an article about serving the extremely wealthy. There was a family who entirely forgot about one of the many estates they owned, for example, while the estate in question was kept in top shape by staff: a ghost mansion running smoothly along in constant readiness for a visit that never came.

mansion-425272_1920My friend also mentioned that most of the fiction she read got the details of extremely rich people’s lives wrong. Hmm, I thought. Yes, I’ve also read stories like that, and those details have always rung false to me. Fictional characters living in a billionaire’s mansion check what they have in the fridge and fix themselves a sandwich, making a mental note to go shopping because they’re almost out of ham; they call out for fast food; they forget to do the laundry; they discover they’ve run out of their favorite cereal, and squabble over who ate the last portion; they split chores like making breakfast and doing the dishes. All perfectly ordinary activities – all things that a very rich person living in a mansion would never ordinarily do.

What might a story that got it right be like…?

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Villain Cookies

Are supervillains attacking your city? So sorry for the inconvenience. Here, have a cookie.

villain cookies Yes, I made villain cookies – double chocolate, of course (Nick’s favorite). If you can identify all the villains, I will be extremely impressed!

If you want to make your own and don’t have any suitably villainous cookie cutters handy, here’s a template with the shapes I made. Bear in mind that I’m not an artist, though.

I also made diagonal cake a while back. It’s not very pretty, but that makes it all the more authentic – and it tasted great. 😉

This concludes my baking spree of baked goods featured in my books… for now. (Insert deranged evil-mastermind-type laughter here.)

 


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The Quest for Titles

I love titles. Titles are essential; they are the first part of the story the reader comes into contact with. They can be works of art in their own right. They can add additional meaning, provide interpretation or focus, sound allusions… their potential is near-endless.

There are titles I admire, titles I love more than their stories, and titles I love despite having no interest in their stories at all. There are titles I don’t initially like, but that later reveal themselves to be perfect. And, of course, there are titles I dislike; that I find awkward, ugly or ill-fitting, or so lacking they do their story an actual disservice.

For a long time, finding titles was a trial for me. Continue reading