Tuesday, February 19, 2013

So far so good!

Hello lovely people!

Here at Dax Central I am working very hard on the edit of Part 2 of The Legend Of Pope Joan which is set in Athens. And I am pleased to tell you that it should be available in approximately three weeks time.

I have been thrilled to bits with the sales and feedback for Part 1. I must admit that I was a little nervous about the comments I would get about this new novel because it is so different from After The Night. Writing 'QueerFic' rather than 'LesFic' is a bit risky because it crosses boundaries that some readers are not prepared to explore. However, so far so good on the reviews - although it is not 'pure LesFic' many of the same people who liked After The Night have said that they love Joan's story so far. And in addition, I have found new readers too - some who have particular interest in Pope Joan as a 'disputed historical figure' and others who aren't particularly into romantic fiction but love stories about strong lesbian/queer women.

Here is a review by author and journalist Kieran York which I am particularly proud of:

The new novel by Rachel Dax is an ambitious three-part story. To start - Dax is an excellent storyteller. That fact was realized by reading her first book, After the Night, which was released in 2010. So being captivated by the writing style in her latest work isn't a surprise. It is filled with intrigue and excitement that rapidly and deftly move the story.

In Part 1, the life of a thirteen-year old Joan is dramatized in believable way. Dax brings the character of Joan together beautifully. She grows to be an intelligent, wise, and kind young woman. Because of the atrocities against women that occurred during the Dark Ages, being born female was treacherous. Joan knew she wouldn't be free to study in libraries, nor could she be devoted to the religion she revered.

Joan's education could not be continued unless she simulated being a male. She had a yearning for knowledge that was worth the perilous decision to disguise her gender. Escaping the confines of being a woman meant she needed to learn 'maleness.' Because of fear she might be recognized - incognito, she would need to relocate. It required she and her companion, Michael, flee from their homeland.

Their journey is filled with suspense. Within the corrupt, violent nineth century, danger was around every corner. Luckily, Joan and Michael met another traveler - an entertainer named Amadeus. He assisted them as their path repeatedly crossed with scheming villains.

The character development of the trio is brought alive with marvelous dialogue. They take the reader with them on the travel toward their destination of Athens. As they trek toward the seminary, Joan's wisdom and courage increases with each adventure.

The story of Pope Joan is often called legend, fiction, and historicized folklore. Many versions have been told, dismissed, retold, and so on. If it is urban legend, so be it. This is a terrific, believable read.

This is a story made credible by a plethora of incredibly accurate research. The reader is placed inside the story's time and place with enthralling protagonists. The superb, informative and interesting description paints the picture of a place you can reside while reading.

Dax fleshes the story out, and keeps it unraveling smoothly. It may be a fictional depiction of a female pope either cheated by history, or exalted by rumor. Either way, this version is fascinating. I found it riveting and I highly recommend it.

This well-crafted beginning will be followed by Part 2, and Part 3. And I'm one reader who will be looking forward to them.

One of the best moments, was a few days after publication of Part 1 when I found Joan at the top of the Amazon UK list for books about 'Popes' - this made me chuckle a lot... particularly when you look which category she's listed in next :-D

With the resignation of Pope Benedict last week, the world has been talking a lot about who will next sit on the Throne of St Peter and many a person has said with a wry smile that it should be a woman. If I could resurrect Joan and transport her to the 21st Century I would do so immediately!

If you haven't read The Legend Of Pope Joan, Part 1. Frankia yet. Here are the links:

So what can you look forward to in The Legend Of Pope Joan, Part 2. Athens? Well... Joan starts to grow up and embrace what it really means to live as a man for good and deal with the hard work that entails as well the plethora of benefits. She works diligently to look, think and 'feel' like a man - as simply being a 'woman in disguise' would be too dangerous and doomed to failure. Although this process is challenging, her overarching desire to be a scholar and eventually a teacher at the seminary seems undisputed even by God and the sacrifice of her femininity seems more than worth it. But then she meets a young woman called Thea and every decision she has made thus far is called into question...

Watch this space for Part 2!


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