That Door Is a Mischief

Oh, hello.

After a very long time—or so it seems—my third novel, That Door Is a Mischief, is just about to go to press. As any thoughtful writer will tell you a book is never actually finished but this one’s about as done as I can make it before the announced publication date. Long stretches of the last three days have been preoccupied with going through the proof one last time (pruning commas, mostly) but this morning, resigned, I created final files for the printer.

So. That announced publication date is 15 September. Possibly the print edition will go on sale a bit earlier. For complicated reasons beyond Gentle Publisher’s control, I’m afraid the e-books will be delayed, maybe as long as a month. Apologies to them as prefer their books readable but not touchable.

Jeffers_ThatDoor_hi-rez

Advance reaction has been gratifying. Well, there was a rather negative review in one of the industry’s trade journals. I’m not about to link to it but, truthfully, I found it amusing. The underpaid anonymous reviewer misunderstood what I was doing partway through and ran with that misunderstanding, irredeemably distorting her reading of the novel’s latter half. These things happen.

But other pre-pub readers have been outrageously complimentary. You can see the flyleaf blurbs on the dedicated page linked above but these two I especially treasure:

Melissa Scott—“In this story of a fairy child adopted into a gay family in our own world, Jeffers slides seamlessly between impossible and all too probable, creating both in luminous, extraordinary prose. This is a novel of aching love and perfect loss, amazing and utterly unforgettable.”

Jeff Mann—“What a beautiful, beautiful book this is: haunting, romantic, powerful, and perverse. Alex Jeffers is an amazing storyteller and a master stylist.”


And so, what else has Jeffers been up to since last seen in these parts?

Not writing, I am not acutely sorry to say. These past two months it’s seemed more crucial to learn (or learn again) how to be a proper person with a loving family, caring friends, and benevolent acquaintances. Working a little, relaxing and reading a lot, seeing the sights, devouring my sister’s delicious meals. Comforting my own dear Charlotte and Jane, locked up together (horrors!) because they, unlike the resident familiars, have never been indoor-outdoor cats and are very poorly socialized. Gradually making friends with said resident cats and marvelling at the chickens (and rooster!). Opening a local bank account. Briefly succumbing to extravagance after long deprivation: new dishes I didn’t really need, a grill pan I really did.

But tomorrow! Tomorrow I will begin searching in earnest for a place of my own…and then we’ll see.


beginnings

I meant to post something about this before it happened. But events and procrastination got in the way, and then I was driving a rental truck across this very large nation. After not much in the way of adventures but a lot of time on the road and in motels with unhappy cats, Misses Jane […]


heartfelt thanks

To several staff of the ER at Memorial Hospital of Pawtucket who made a game effort at making thirty-six hours on suicide watch less bleak and scary. To Dr G.M. Surti and all the staff of the Kent Unit at Butler Hospital in Providence, for much more than their compassion, good sense, and humor—although all […]


a bleak road through a black waste

I suffered a breakdown, something like a breakdown. Not on account of the traumatic event some people know about (the contrary, doubtless, in some ways), although that was no bloody help whatsoever—some weeks earlier, and then prolonged for nearly three months. Brain chemistry is a tricky thing whether or not mediated by those secretive rulers […]


epigraphs

One wonders how many times the great but very different Anglo-Irish writers Lord Dunsany and Elizabeth Bowen have been quoted on the same page. They were contemporaries (Dunsany twenty years Bowen’s senior): one wonders what they thought of each other and each other’s works. Or if they ever did. This idle speculation being preface to […]


voices in my head

I will confess—nay, glory in—the fact that I nearly always read my own work aloud at some point. It’s the surest method I know to discover clumsy sentences and faulty rhythms, especially after one has stared at the black marks on the screen so long they’ve begun to make sense. However, I am entirely unable […]


Liam end note

Well, I didn’t want to write it. I feel Liam might be better pleased if I hadn’t written it, if I’d left him all hopeful and happy at the end of chapter seven. But it nagged and nagged and demanded to be written so it was: an eighth and definitively final chapter of the novel […]


Liam progress note

Gentle Publisher has forbidden the title I chose for the Compleat Liam, oh, four years ago. It’s boring and unevocative, he says, won’t attract readers. At the moment he issued the ultimatum I told him this had never happened to me before, in the nearly forty years since I sold my first story: but on […]


multiple finalist

Weallll. This is a startle. Just got off the phone (how I hate the phone!) with Gentle Publisher, who informs me I am a double finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards, longlists shortlists (oh god I’m tired) announced this morning. 1. In the category of LGBT Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror: Deprivation; or, Benedetto Furioso: an oneiromancy. 2. […]


the pornographer

…turns out to be more a porn star—or porn performer, most accurately—in “Liam and the Pornographer,” drafted over three days of chain-smoking and chain-coffee-drinking, not enough food or sleep, and two snowstorms. (The break from social media and the wild internet at large was, I’ll admit, refreshing.) There’s a justification for granting said person the […]