There is a NSFW illustration behind this cut. I am hoping someone will know who drew it. If you’re wondering if it’s something you want to see, I will say that it involves an erect centaur and cunnilingus, and it is beautifully drawn.
When I started publishing the GQ books, I didn’t know what I was doing. I still don’t, really. But I thought I basically had four finished books, and I thought I could put one out every three months. It really seemed reasonable! I wanted to be done by mid-June for reasons. But A Willful Romantic (GQ Book 3) took four months, which meant I only had two months to finish Book 4, which is the longest one, and needed the most retrofitting and work, and that simply didn’t happen.
It’s really important to me to finish this project (or at least the main part of it) and not be interrupted or go off on tangents, so I changed some plans, and I’m giving myself the full three months to finish. I’m hoping to put out A Collar and Tie (GQ Book 4) and the as-yet-untitled Martin story out in mid-July.
And someday I’ll have time to figure out how to format print books :)
Back in April, I took a trip to New York, which is one of my very favorite places. I visit as often as I can, which isn’t often enough. I went to go to the Rainbow Book Fair–not as an exhibitor this time, but to hang out with Leta Blake, who was an exhibitor. I’ve wanted to be in New York at the same time as her for years now, and this time it worked out. I also wanted to do some research: riding subways, visiting stations, as well as taking a couple of tours at the Tenement Museum.
I must confess, I think telling someone you love them for the first time on Valentine’s Day is embarrassingly corny–but that’s Henry. He’s sweet and sappy, and he wants to do the same things any young man in love would do. He wants his love to receive the same consideration as a “normal” person’s.
Henry is fortunate enough to be invited to attend a slave party and wedding in early February 1901. Now, I must say, my husband (who knows everything about Henry and Martin despite never reading a word I’ve written) was incensed when I told him Henry was going to a slave party. He was adamant that the slaves deserved something of their own, separate from masters, and I don’t actually think he’s wrong, but the fact is that Henry wanted to go and Martin wanted him there, so he went. I do think it was very unusual for Henry to be there, but it’s well-established that Henry does a lot of unusual things.
In Chapter 18 of A Willful Romantic (GQ Book 3), Martin reads Henry the February installment of Drake’s Progress and that’s that. There was, however, an entire sex scene that originally finished off the chapter which was cut in the final round of editing.
There are all sorts of reasons for cutting a scene, many of them well-thought-out and logical, but this one got cut because I just didn’t want it in the book, basically. I do love the conversation they have at the end, though, and I tried to think of a way to keep that, but the book’s fine without it.
In case you hadn’t noticed, as above, in either in the right-hand column (if you’re on a computer) or at the very bottom (if you’re on your phone), I’ve uploaded a graphic of the protection stones Henry and Martin give one another. Henry gave his to Martin at the end of A Proper Lover (GQ Book 2), and Martin gives his to Henry near the beginning of A Willful Romantic (GQ Book 3). Ulvar did a perfect job rendering them for me, and I’m so grateful for her talent and her patience in dealing with my requests.
Near the beginning of AWR, Henry and Martin go shopping for waistcoats at Hamilton & Sons and Henry persuades Martin to wear something a bit fancier than plain black. Unfortunately, it’s too subtle to be seen on the book cover in most formats, I think, but Martin’s waistcoat does indeed have chrysanthemums and stripes, as you can see here :)
Henry’s choice is so very, very LOUD, but I would have had it even louder if I could. However, the only way I could think of to achieve that end would be to animate it (fireworks? glitter?), and we can’t do that with book covers (yet).