Thursday, February 01, 2007

Thursday historical fiction roundup

I'm writing from my office on my lunch break. My favorite reference question of the day - so far - came from a student looking for books on Thermopylae. "Do you know how to spell Thermopylae?" he asked. Yes, yes, I do, I said proudly (with thanks to Steven Pressfield) - and then I showed him how to search the online catalog. Another happy library patron.

BEA this year is back in NYC the first weekend in June, as it is every other year, and just like in '05, they'll have a special librarians' hotel, which is (again) the Holiday Inn Midtown on 57th. It's within walking distance of Central Park and - if you really like to walk - the American Museum of Natural History. (Been there, done that, in '05.) It's a great improvement over the New Yorker Hotel which was, I believe, the designated librarians' hotel in '03. Anyone else going?

HNS, of course, is the second weekend in June, and I've just been booked to give a 1/2 day workshop for a library system in Massachusetts (on historical fiction, naturally) on Tuesday, June 5th. It's going to be a very busy week, but I wouldn't miss BEA in NYC for anything. Just like last year, I'll be posting info on "galleys to grab" in April, when that info appears in Publishers Weekly and on the BEA website.

A roundup of some recent deals.

This is nonfiction, UK only at present:

Impossible Journeys author Matthew Lyon's THE FAVORITE, the intimate story of the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Sir Walter Raleigh that re-evaluates the life and times of a great British hero and his queen and brings new light to his role within the court, politics, adventure and science, to Leo Hollis at Constable & Robinson, in a nice deal, by Sarah Such at Sarah Such Literary Agency (world).

Susan Holloway Scott's two untitled books set in the bawdy Restoration court of King Charles II, to Claire Zion at NAL, by Meg Ruley at Jane Rotrosen Agency (NA).

Susan Holloway Scott blogs over at Word Wenches; her first mainstream historical novel, Duchess, about Sarah Churchill, was one of HNR's editors' choice picks for November.

I have a feeling there's more to this novel/film than this blurb suggests:

Juan Eslava Galan's THE MULE, about the relationship between a man and his mule set during the Spanish Civil War, to be a movie directed by Michael Radford (Il Postino), to Josh Pasternak at Bantam Dell, by Anne Edelstein of the Anne Edelstein Literary Agency, in association with Silvia Bastos Agencia Literaria.

This one just begs for a certain type of cover art:

Journalist Craig McDonald's HEAD GAMES, based on the theft of Mexican Revolutionary Pancho Villa's head in the 1920s, to Benjamin LeRoy of Bleak House, for publication in fall 2007, in a two-book deal, by Svetlana Pironko at Author Rights Agency.

And just to show that librarians really do rule the world:

The Dead Beat author Marilyn Johnson's KEEPERS: Librarians, Cybrarians and Other Superhuman Guardians of Civilization, in which the author travels around the country meeting the visionaries and cultural saviors who have transformed libraries in the digital age in a quest to answer the question "What is worth saving?", to David Hirshey at Harper, in a pre-empt, by Chris Calhoun at Sterling Lord Literistic.


  1. It's the cover art on The Mule that I want to see. Ears partly obscured? Ears totally obscured? Rear end view?

  2. Sarah, I was just writing about the Thermopylae. It was a famous super-fast Chinese tea trade clipper. The captain (apparently, or at least according to me) was some soused womanizer. He's my hero's arch nemesis--they're always racing each other.

    I've never been to BEA. :( HNS will be my big hoo-ha for this year.

  3. Hey Karen, y'know, I'd never heard of the ship called Thermopylae, but I googled it, and what do you know, there it is. (Bad librarian, I should have used World Book or something.) Sounds like fun.

    BEA is just four days before HNS, and 90 minutes south - you could make it a longer trip! Oh well, worth a try anyway :)