FFIII, This is my first attempt at blogging. So please bear with me?
I have submitted my first book over the past year, to nine publishers, have received two rejections and have not yet heard from the other seven. Wish me success! My husband told me that he heard the wonderful J. K. Rowling received 58 rejections before a publisher agreed to take on The Harry Potter series.
So, onward! Today I worked on the second book in this series. Chapter One, set in 2014 England, is finished...that is the first draft is finished.....not yet edited. Janek, one of two main characters in the odd numbered chapters (those set in the present day), and his girlfriend from Book One, Sybil, have undergone relationship issues.....but I will say no more. That would be giving it away. Suffice it to say that Chapter One of Book Two begins with Sybil and a dilemma she is enduring.
Book One also introduced two mysterious characters I called "watchers" and one of them enters now, in an attempt to help Sybil.
On to the very first draft of Chapter Two, Book Two, tomorrow.....
July 26, 2016
All week I have been re-reading a wonderful reference book, The Herberts of Wilton, by Tresham Lever,
in preparation for Chapter Two, Book Two. Sarah and Janek want to return from Carisbrooke Castle and research the lives of William and Philip Herbert, Mary Sidney-Herbert's sons, specifically after she passed away. All of Mary's papers and most of her writings, poems and personal papers have disappeared, including her will. If they were to reappear in our modern day, perhaps in the library of someone as far away as the USA, we would be able to discern if she really did have a hand in the works of "Shakespeare"....
I must say I love this part of writing...I've long been a research buff. The historical times of the Herbert brothers, during the late Queen's reign, into the reign of King James I, were certainly complex. Lots of political intrigue, a bisexual king who for some time favoured Philip Herbert (Lord Montgomery) as a lover, various female members of the Herbert family being used as marriage pawns in money-making schemes ... in short, "Some cupid kills with arrows, some with traps" (Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, III, I, 106). But to be fair, these were common occurrences in 17th century Britain.
I plan to begin Chapter Two after Mary's untimely death of smallpox, and to explore the inner workings of the hearts of the Herbert brothers, both very much "products of their times". I hope to explain why Mary's papers may have gone missing and to give the reader an idea of where they might have gone.....
August 8 2016
Just returned from camping at a music festival so I am back on track with the book. I belong to the Ottawa Independent writers group and yesterday one of my fellow members, Benoit Chartier, was advertising his new self-published book at a local Chapters store (South Keys Mall). I bought a copy. The cover design is striking and if you like Sci-Fi look for this title: Red Nexus. Benoit was a "Forwards Book of the Year Awards Indiefab Finalist" and he is the hardest working author I know. He has his own unique and terrific marketing strategy....check him out! www.benoitchartier.com
Aug. 10, 2016
Today received rejection letter (worded very kindly) from Annick Press. Undaunted, I submitted my ms and filled in the form for Sunbury Press. I liked what I read on their website and they are very interested in the historical fiction genre.
"Hope is the thing with feathers,
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all"
Aug. 17, 2016
Today I have been researching for the second book, and found information concerning the 2014 discovery of an authenticated copy of the First Folio of Shakespeare, found in a public library in st. Ormes, France. It was originally housed by a Catholic Jesuit order in st. Ormes. The cover of the book had been torn off throughout the ages, but the name "Nevill" is written on one of the first few pages. Both Philip and his brother Robert (younger) had relationships with the Nevill family. I would like to research further on this connection in future.
In the meantime, I discovered a quotation from Philip's Arcadia, which describes the home of the character "Kalander", which many believe truly illustrates Philip's own home at Penshurst Place. Here is the quote:
"The house itself was built of fair and strong stone, not affecting so much any extraordinary kind of fineness, as an honorable representing of firm stateliness; the lights, doors and stairs, rather directed to the use of the guest than to the eye of the artificer, and yet, as the one chiefly heeded, so the other not neglected; each place handsome without curiosity, and homely without loathsomeness, not so dainty as not to be trod on, nor yet slubbered up with good fellowship—all more lasting than beautiful (but that the consideration of the exceeding lastingness made the eye believe it was exceeding beautiful)". (P. Sidney, Arcadia, 1590)
I include it here, because I visited Penshurst Place with my cousin Paul Taylor and his wife Deb, 2 years ago, and the description fits it so well! Especially the stairwells which were very well-lit with daytime light from small windows, the stone stairs well worn with the passage of many feet and the great hall, where banquets were held, with a charm and yet a simple magnificence all its own. If you have seen "WOLF HALL" on BBC you have seen Penshurst too, because it was filmed there. see pictures Paul took in the picture gallery please.....
Dec. 29, 2016
So it has happened! I have been offered a contract by a Canadian publisher.....stay tuned!!!!!
January 4, 2017
Today i signed on with Ottawa-based publisher, the amazing Presses Renaissance Press! here is a link to Pluck a Crow Facebook page with a picture of the signing..... https://www.facebook.com/PressesRenaissancePress/posts/1203998843015484
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February 19, 2017
Just reading a wonderful mystery with lots of humour, by a British writer named Kaye C. Hill, entitled Dead Woman's Shoes, and published by Creme de la Crime, Chesterfield, UK, 2008. ISBN 978-0-9551589-9-5. Would highly recommend it to any lover of cozy mysteries!
Meanwhile, back at home, this Canadian writer if working on the second book in the To Pluck a Crow series. I am very challenged at the moment. Writing a lot about death and grief leaves me sometimes feelingbereft and today's Ottawa sunshine will definitely help with that. Not to mention the spring feeling in the air, which, if you are Canadian, you realize this is just a tease. Out I go to the backyard to sit in the sun and write!paragraph here.
Renaissance Press of Ottawa, Canada, has just contracted this book for future publication....please check their website:
and Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/PressesRenaissancePress/?pnref=story
...a novel of literary fiction coming soon...
Book One: The Hands Behind Shakespeare's Pen
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To Pluck a Crow
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From left to right, Caroline Frechette, Marjolaine Lafreniere, myself (Sue Taylor-Davidson (new author) and Marie-Claude Goulet of Presse Renaissance Press.
Copyright © Susan Taylor-Davidson. All rights reserved.