On the Eighteenth of January…

Recently, I’ve been writing blog posts on what has inspired me to write what I write, you know, those little things that spark ideas that turn into stories. Today is January 18th, and I’ve actually written a story called “On the Eighteenth of January, ’78; or, A Night at Valley Forge”, published in Naughty List, the winter anthology from the Naughty Literati.

So what inspired a story that takes place on such a specific date?

Well, I had just finished and released the new edition of The General’s Wife and was starting to think about a sequel involving the secondary hero First Lieutenant Patrick Hamilton. But before the sequel would be released (it’s not even written yet!) I thought I should release a short story to set the scene. An interlude at Fort Revolution featuring Captain Samuel Taylor and Patrick during the winter of 1778 which happens off page in The General’s Wife (there’s a story break between November 1777 and May 1778). It sets up an emotional backstory to the (outlined) sequel.

Then I saw a call for submissions for an American Revolution erotica anthology. Who better than I could write such a thing? The General’s Wife is an awesome book! And I had just done all that research… So I decided to write a story. Actually, my friend and colleague, Amber Belldene and I egged each other on to write American Revolution erotica shorts.

And that’s when everything goes blank. I do not know for the life of me where the story I eventually wrote came from! It just happened. I think it was one of the most creative writing moments in my life.

Amber and I exchanged stories and beta read each other’s efforts. Hers was sweet and romantic and gay. Mine was, according to her email, “Super kinky and bizarre and queer.” I think I squealed in delight at that response! When I try to describe it to people I’m sort of at a loss. The best I can do is to say it’s a male/male George Washington cross-dressing role play historical short.

Indeed.

The story was never published in the anthology I wrote it for (I turned down the contract). I’ve always intended for it to be published alongside the above-mentioned Pat and Sam short since the stories take place during the same intense winter of 1777-1778, albeit in different locations. But it’s a damn good story and I kept searching for a place for it. When the Naughty Literati formed, I found its home.

Now about the title.

It comes from a line in the poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” (also known as “The Landlord’s Tale”) by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882):

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

I think hardly an American is now alive who remembers this poem! I remember it from my childhood. I’m sure it’s just an inside joke to me, but that’s why I titled my short story “On the Eighteenth of January, ’78; or, A Night at Valley Forge”.

Naughty List has been out since December 1st, and we’ve made some bestseller lists and gotten some good reviews. I hope that means there are readers out there who’ve enjoyed my story. It’s Misterotica’s favorite of my stories, and might just be my favorite as well.