So, last August I said I couldn’t put out any Jesse stories (or any other GQ books) because the book wouldn’t pay for itself. And that is definitely still true. But frankly nothing I do is likely to pay for itself. I just don’t manage to write mainstream stories, even when that’s exactly what I set out to do.
But I’ve recently been working on Jesse anyway, and I want to eventually tell all of Henry & Martin’s life together. At this point it’s very unlikely that there will suddenly be a huge swell of new readers/fans of the series putting money into my coffers. It’s a niche series for a select few :D So how do I put the books out for those few?
I had a very pleasant exchange with a reader awhile back about whether the characters’ names had any particular meaning for me, and I thought other readers might be interested in knowing this too. If you’re not into vague authorial introspection, you can skip this post :D
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, when I wrote A Superior Slave (GQ 0.5), it was a sort of last-minute idea that I thought might help generate interest in the main books. I had all this backstory worked out for Martin and the other slaves that really wouldn’t fit into Henry’s books, and it suddenly occurred to me other people might actually be interested. Originally, there was just going to be this single story offered from Martin’s point of view and then the four main books from Henry’s. The Martin story wasn’t meant to be 100% required reading, though obviously I did (and still do) feel that it adds to the experience of reading A Most Personal Property (GQ 1).
In A Collar and Tie (GQ Book 4), Henry and Martin go to the Venetian Bar and have a few drinks. They first try the Martinez and then the Gin Daisy.
All the mixed drinks they imbibe in the books are gin-based, and that is because I prefer gin drinks, and I knew I’d want to try whatever I had them drink. I’m not (yet) a whiskey/rye/bourbon fan (which is a shame, considering where I live), so I wasn’t going to want to invest in a bunch of amber liquor that I wouldn’t otherwise want to drink.
The Martinez is believed to be the precursor to the much-simpler/possibly more elegant Martini. It was probably developed in the 1860s, but first showed up in a cocktail recipe book in 1884.
I cannot dance. I was after the Mr. forever to take ballroom dance lessons with me, and when he finally relented, I turned out to be the worst dancer imaginable. Graceless, herky-jerky and unleadable. But I love the idea of wearing a ball gown and doing some formal, ritualistic dance, and obviously it’s the sort of thing Henry would love, too.
I am going to take a break from the Ganymede Quartet universe until probably early 2016, but I have a lot more stories I’d like to tell about the GQ characters. There are some stories I am going to insist on telling whether anyone says they’re interested or not, but I am curious which stories readers might think they want.
Henry and Martin have several opportunities throughout ACAT and AFC to eat Angels on Horseback as well as their devilish counterparts.
Angels on Horseback date from sometime in the 1880s, and I haven’t been able to find any satisfactory explanation for the name. No one seems to know. They are bacon-wrapped oysters frequently served on bits of toast, so nothing particularly angelic or equine about them.
Devils on Horseback are dates, often stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, also served on toast. Again, where’s the devilry?
(In the books, they’re eating versions that include a little bed of toast, but I couldn’t find pictures of that, so perhaps the toast is out of favor in modern times?)
I included these particular canapes because they were indeed served frequently at the turn of the century, but mostly because I delighted in the names. Personally, I would not eat these because I’m a vegetarian, and even when I did eat meat, shellfish repulsed me, but I can see how the Devils might be delicious. Mmm, bacon. If I ever eat meat again, it will be bacon.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to eat these, please let me know what you thought of them.