Thursday, July 06, 2006

New links of interest

Today I handed in my file for the latest HNR issue, along with my publishing column, so I haven't had much time to blog of late. But I have been keeping an eye out for historical novel news, websites, blogs, etc. Here are some interesting sites to explore.

Website of Sam Barone, author of Dawn of Empire, an early Bronze Age (Mesopotamia, circa 3158 BCE) historical adventure out in August from William Morrow - and next January from Century, for UK readers. Spotted this one via AuthorBuzz.

Blog from Shakespearean actor David Blixt, author of the forthcoming The Master of Verona (St. Martin's Press, summer 2007) . According to his press release, the novel "explains the origin of the famous Capulet-Montague feud from Shakespeare's play Romeo & Juliet. "

Article on literary jewels dug from the layers of history, from the Times. A bunch of historical novels discussed here.

Website for John Speed and his first novel The Temple Dancer, a novel of 17th century India (St. Martin's Press, August). I love the "Cover Concepts" section here, under "Pleasures and Delights." View possible choices for the novel's cover, along with comments from the author on the rejected versions. Then check out "Cover Evolution," which is a multimedia demo of how the final cover design was created. It takes a while for the software to load, but it's fascinating stuff - watch how a woman from a classic European painting is transformed into the temple dancer of the title. A couple reviewer friends who read ARCs gave it the thumbs-up, and I'm looking forward to getting a copy myself.

As for me, I'm around halfway through Morgan Llywelyn's 1916 in preparation for a "readalike" article on her and her novels. The other Llywelyn novels I've read go much further back in Irish/Welsh history - Lion of Ireland (11th C), The Wind from Hastings (1066; my personal favorite), Grania (16th C) - but I'm really enjoying 1916 as well. It's all about events leading up to the Easter Rising, as if you couldn't guess from the title. And since there look to be three (and soon to be four, if you count the upcoming 1999) more novels in her ongoing Irish Century series, if I read the rest, I'll be kept busy reading for a while.


  1. The Master of Verona looks really interesting. Thanks for posting!

  2. Anonymous5:35 PM

    Hi. John Speed here. Thanks for kind words about my site for The Temple Dancer. It's still very much under construction in advance of pub date in August.

    I'm wavering on how best to present that cover evolution animation. If there were fewer fade-ins and more "next" buttons, it would load much more quickly. BUt the fade ins are very seductive, yes?

    What do you think?

  3. Hi John,

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Yes, I did like the fade-ins. Plus, I'd rather put up with a little extra loading time if it meant less clicking afterward (which would happen with extra "next" buttons). I did wonder how long it might take to load, but I was patient and waited for the little bar to move across the screen.

    I don't think I've seen other multimedia presentations on the creation of cover art before. Very interesting to watch.

  4. David Blixt9:30 PM

    David Blixt here. I too would like to thank you for the mention. I'm still new at this - both as author and blogger - and didn't know if it was kosher to comment. I'm used to navigating the odd world of casting directors, not reviewers and readers. I truly do appreciate the link, and credit it with all the hits my blog got today. And I've enjoyed discovering your blog as well! Thanks much - DB.

  5. Hi David,

    You're very welcome, and I'm happy to have authors post comments. Thanks for visiting the blog. I think you can credit the press release for the mention - it came up on my Google News searches for historical fiction. It's a great idea to start a blog in advance of publication. I'll look forward to reading more about your novel.