Both T.A. and I were unwell at the end of last year, at different times, which meant that we were two months behind, and obviously, the December 11 publication date didn’t happen. Sure, I could have logged in and let everyone know by posting a blog entry, but, well, I didn’t. Sorry for that.

However, I do have some very concrete news for anyone waiting for Deliverance.

– letting the novel rest for 2 months was a good thing to happen. While not planned, I’ll definitely plan this in the future for anything I/we write, because the distance to the text is excellent.

– we have been editing like fiends, and while doing so, we realised that we have to write an additional part, which we are currently working on.

So, all in all, things are moving forward at a mighty pace. Most is edited, some is being written right now to be added, and then when that is edited and everything is put together and then proofread, we shall have Deliverance ready for publication.

I don’t want to raise hopes that we might not be able to fulfil (again) and thus I’m on the safe side and say March.

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I am delighted to announce that Basic Training, my new novel set amongst the Royal Marines, is now available from MLR Press.

Title: Basic Training
Author: Marquesate
ISBN# 978-1-60820-461-8 (print) $14.99
978-1-60820-462-5 (ebook) $7.99
Paperback 276 pages, 76,000 words
Publisher: MLR Press

Joining the Royal Marine Commandos is a challenge that only the toughest men should take on.

Platoon Sergeant Col ‘Bulldog’ Wilson’s world of work, gym, exercise and discipline is heaved out of its angles when the new recruits arrive with Chris Thompson amongst them. Twenty-one, handsome, tall, university graduate, triathlete, and … openly gay in an environment of institutional homophobia.

Col finds himself thrown into turmoil that is nothing like any conflict he’d ever encountered, nor any operational theatre he’d ever fought in. When this particular battle becomes personal, he has to ask himself who is the enemy.

Basic Training Excerpt

Wednesday, 3 September 2003
Lympstone, Devon, UK
“Sergeant Wilson,” the platoon commander called out and Col turned, saluting.
“Yes, Sir?”
“I’d like to see you in my office.”
“Yes, Sir.” Bloody one pip wonder. Twenty-nothing and barely passed out of the officer course, now proving himself on his first post. Commissioned, just because he’d been born with a silver spoon … but Col swallowed the grumble and made his way to the Lieutenant’s office.
“Please take a seat.” Col did, noticing the stack of papers on the officer’s desk. “I’d like you to look through some of the applications, especially the equality forms.” The second lieutenant produced a smaller bundle. “And in particular this one.” Col found a piece of paper under his nose and he took it, quickly scanning through.
“Triathlete, not bad.” Muttered to himself, “Graduate? What the hell’s a student …” and then he came to the next column. Reading it once, twice, a third time, just to make sure. “Homosexual?” He stared at the officer. “You must be kidding me.”
“Apparently not.”
“I hope the lad keeps that to himself.”
“One would hope so, wouldn’t one?” The lieutenant shrugged his shoulders and sighed. “I advise you to keep an eye on him. The recruit sounds extremely promising; high achievements in sports and intellectually above average. In fact, I was told they tried to recruit him directly into an officer career, but he refused to take the chance.”
“Why?” Col studied the form once more, then placed the bundle in his lap.
“According to the report from the recruiting officer, he was adamant that while a commission was certainly the ultimate goal of anyone, he wanted to experience the ranks, first.”
“And you believe that bullshit?” Col stood up. The ‘anyone’ was grating, and he felt targeted. Demoted, with no chance at this stage of his career to get close to a commission. But then he’d never been officer material. Too stuck in the dirt and best suited to the midst of the action. ‘Bulldog’ alright. They’d got his nickname spot on.
“Why wouldn’t I believe it? What other motives might be feasible?”
“I reckon the guy’s got something to prove.” Col shrugged, kept the forms under his arm. “And if he isn’t wise, and I don’t think he is, judging from that little tick in the wrong box, he’ll cause a hell of a lot of trouble.”
“Then watch him. Besides, we cannot be seen to discriminate against him nor anyone else, because of religion, gender, race…”
“Sexuality,” Col finished for the lieutenant. “I know, I know.”
“Indeed. If we don’t take care, we will get into trouble with the equality officers, and we cannot afford to bring ourselves into disrepute.”
“Of course not, Sir. I will keep an eye on the recruit.” Col saluted and left the office.
Christian Thompson. Twenty-one. Six foot. Green eyes. Brown hair.
He’d already memorised the vitals.

I had the publication date from MLR Press, which is next Friday, the 21st of October. I also got the galley proofs today and will be whizzing through them to make sure Basic Training will be available on Friday. It’s already on the Upcoming books page.

Lovely start to the weekend, aye?

I am writing again!

Co-authoring in fact, and having a blast. Writing in the Special Forces universe, Hooch and Matt’s story will soon be available. We are close to the finish, and it is going to be novel length.

Deliverance is the story of Hooch, a US Delta Force soldier and Matt, his Jarhead lover. It is a spin-off from Special Forces and spans the years 1998 to 2011.

Both Hooch and Matt were created by Marquesate as secondary characters in the epic Special Forces (© 2006-2009), but they took on a life of their own. Hooch in particular became a firm favourite of many readers, especially after chapter 64 in Veterans.

When Marquesate met TA Brown, it was time to finally tell the untold story of these two men.

For Hooch and Matt’s story before 1998, and to understand context and references, you must have read Special Forces.

Deliverance is co-authored by Marquesate and TA Brown © 2011. All rights reserved.

At long last! I know it has been an awfully long time in the making, but here it is and it shall be available very soon, most probably in October.

Basic Training

Joining the Royal Marine Commandos is a challenge that only the toughest men should take on.

Platoon Sergeant Col ‘Bulldog’ Wilson’s world of work, gym, exercise and discipline is heaved out of its angles when the new recruits arrive with Chris Thompson amongst them. Twenty-one, handsome, tall, university graduate, triathlete, and … openly gay in an environment of institutional homophobia.

Col finds himself thrown into turmoil that is nothing like any conflict he’d ever encountered, nor any operational theatre he’d ever fought in. When this particular battle becomes personal, he has to ask himself who is the enemy.

  • Publication date: October 2011
  • Publisher: MLR Press

Basic Training was written in 2009, but because of personal reasons, the novel’s publication was delayed for over two years. Thanks go to MLR Press for their understanding and patience.

Some might say I am a bit late with this (a bit…? Ahem…) but others, well, I (!) say better late than never, and there’s no cut-off point anyway, because readers continue to send feedback for Special Forces, which truly is a constant source of joy for me.

So, I finally did long overdue website updates today (must be the spring weather that’s giving me the energy) and not only did I create a special contact form for Forum account creations (I had to lock down account creation because of constant spam, up to over 50 accounts a day, despite Captcha and admin activation) I also added a page with recent reviews of Special Forces. It was a real pleasure to do so, making me want to re-read it all, of only I had the time. 😉

Better late than never (on my part) a heads-up to the lovely review by Elisa, which she published in December. She writes about Beyond Her Majesty’s Men:

“I absolutely loved this short story, there is practically no sex and despite this (or maybe thanks to this) it’s one of the most romantic and sweet story I have ever read, and if you considering it’s about rough soldiers, it was not an easy job to make it like that.”

You can read the full review on her LJ: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1195527.html

I am truly happy to report that Marquesate’s Fund Raising page raised a whopping £480.82 when it closed at the end of December 2010. Thank you, everyone, for your generosity and charitable spirit. From readers of the free epic Special Forces, the Haiti charity auction winner, to buyers and readers of Beyond Her Majesty’s Men, and finally to all the friends I made through my writing.

I believe strongly in the work they are doing, and like the International Red Cross, they are one of the biggest and most widespread charities that are nondenominational, and that operate everywhere in the world – especially in those places where most of us wouldn’t want to be, and where medical support is most needed.

I ran a charity auction for MsF and Haiti at the beginning of 2010 and the generosity of the winning bidder – and some losing ones – was overwhelming. All profits (£0.40 per ebook) of Beyond Her Majesty’s Men will continue to go to MsF. I donate the profits once a year.

If you read Special Forces for free, and if you feel you would like to give something to the brilliant work that MsF does, you can donate to Médecins Sans Frontières’s international sites. Thank you, once again.

Marq

For Queen and Country is an 18k short story about two very different Officers in the Cavalry regiment.

The story has been published as part of the In Uniform anthology. It is currently available in ebook format on Rainbow eBooks and will be widely available in print and Kindle format on Amazon by the end of Octber 2010.

Dave and Andrew loathe the sight of each other, because one Tankie officer worked his way up through the ranks, while the other came straight from Sandhurst. The result of this animosity is explosive, full of rows, fights, snipes and eventually endless banter.

These two men are thrown together in an unfortunate incident in the middle of the jungle, which leaves them stranded and captured in an environment they know nothing about. They have to learn to work together to survive, and throughout their journey they might just begin to respect each other.

Short Excerpt from “For Queen and Country” © Marquesate 2009

“It seems your ‘friendly’ manner does not impress the locals.” Andrew commented drily.

“It might have occurred to you that I tried to get something for you, you idiot. Even though I have no idea why.”

“A strange and surprising sense of duty, perhaps?”

“Fuck you.” Dave growled.

“Really?”

Dave was suddenly presented with an unexpected smirk from Andrew, so uncharacteristic and out of context, it threw him off track.

“Are you out of your mind?”

“Hardly, but I do admit to enjoying a moment of light relief by seeing you out of your shallow depth, in this otherwise most pernicious situation.”

It took Dave a few moments to process what Andrew had just said. How he hated the bastard’s ability to wrap his insults in a package of posh words. “You’re an arsehole.”

“You are repeating yourself.”

“It’s worth repeating a thousand times.” Dave growled.


You just have to love the name of the site, don’t you? 😀

Got a feedback mail today, telling me that

Am reading your Special Forces fiction. I was expecting something closer to pornography, but this is storytelling at its best.

Now, that made my day!

Queers on the Verge: Cool Blogs of the week

This video was published by the British Forces News channel. It shows you how living conditions are like in a base camp.

Photos from Afghanistan

Posted: July 26, 2010 in Images, Soldiers, War
Tags:

The Spiegel is a German political and social magazine, that covers world events with analysis. They have an online version and on there a gallery of recent images from Afghanistan. You can see US, UK and German military. The site is in German, but it’s easy to click through the photo gallery.

It is well worth a visit. Amazing photos.

http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-57510.html

Meme: writers writing

Posted: May 7, 2010 in Writing
Tags:

Question 6: Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol’ pen and paper?

Let’s once again pretend it is still the 6th. I was a tad busy with following the UK election hoohah last night.

I am most comfortable writing at home, at my PC, not the netbook, late at night, when it is dark outside and everything is silent. However, I have been known to write with pen and paper into my moleskin notebook during deadly boring meetings that went on for hours and I looked as if I was taking notes for myself while actually writing bits of story, usually dialogue. I

I’d say, I can write anywhere and with anything – as long as inspiration strikes and that can be in the oddest places. The weirdest one is probably scribbling on an exercise sheet while on the exercise bike in the gym.

Generally, though, my favourite time is 22:00 – 24:00 or later.

Question 5: By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about “youngest” and “oldest” in terms of when you created them?

I shall stick to the published characters, because I might just … well, you will see. The youngest characters are probably Tom’s nieces in HMM, because they have “lines”, while Kisa in SF doesn’t, until she s around 12. My oldest character is probably Baroness Margaret de Vilde at the end of SF. She’d be in her 70s then.

As for when they were created, if I stick to published ones again it would be Tom, he is the first one ever who got published (still love him to bits) and the youngest one would be Phil and Jon in Friendly Fire. Of course, if I took all characters into consideration, including the non-published ones, the picture would be a very different one. 😉

Question 3: How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you’re writing about fictional places)?

That’s easy regarding location: research, research, research. I can’t possibly get it wrong, because I write contemporary or modern history stories (AKA 1980s) and if I set a regimental HQ in the wrong place … oh dear.

Since I write about British squaddies I look for the simplest UK guy names that I know, and/or the simplest abbreviations. Anyone in the Forces tends to abbreviate anyone’s name to a one-syllable name, or a nickname that is just as short. For example, someone called Andy Ure will be known as Midge. (and if you are not old enough you won’t get this one). What my most coveted resource for names is, though? Well, that’s an Excel file which contains many names of squaddies. It’s a fantastic resource of real life squaddie names/nicknames.