Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday linkfest

Bad news for all the googlers for Sarah Ferguson's Hartmoor who have been finding my blog through this earlier post. The Telegraph reports, per an announcement from the Duchess's literary collaborator Laura van Wormer, that plans for the "racy historical novel" have been postponed indefinitely; the co-authors are exploring their options.

Historical fiction readers have two more days to participate in Julianne Douglas's market research survey on what motivates you to purchase debut historical novels. Please jump over to Julianne's blog if you haven't already!

Publishers Weekly interviews Jo Graham about Hand of Isis, her new historical fantasy about Cleopatra's half-sister and handmaiden, Charmian.

In an interview for the Courier-Mail, Australia, Kate Morton enjoys exploring the early 20th century in fiction and discusses her first two books but says she doesn't write historical novels. Well, The House at Riverton (Australian title The Shifting Fog) certainly seemed like historical fiction to me... one of my top three reads for 2008, to be specific.

In another case of label avoidance, a reviewer from the Financial Times thinks Barry Unsworth's Land of Marvels doesn't really qualify as historical fiction, either, because "more than simply being set in history ... Unsworth’s fiction is often about history."

Some have the odd notion that historical novelists must be interested in the past only for its own sake, without concern for how history can shed light on the present or even the future. Not so.

Honolulu's Star-Bulletin talks to two novelists who flesh out historical tales, Paul Malmont (Jack London in Paradise) and Bill Riddle (Dead Downwind).

Cora Hamilton's I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend, a novel seen through the eyes of Austen's childhood friend Jenny Cooper, was acquired by Macmillan Children's Books. On the other hand, if you're weary of Jane Austen-inspired dramas, bite back against the trend.

The Toronto Star speaks to Susanna Kearsley about The Winter Sea and her opinions on romantic fiction.

We have links to four interviews with the four historical novelists in Quaestor2000's initial list. Alistair Forrest, a former Shropshire businessman, is interviewed by the Shropshire Star for the launch of his first historical novel, Libertas, set in Roman-era Spain. Then Jen Black has a lengthy interview in the Hexham Courant following the release of Far After Gold; Brian Sellers talks to the Wiltshire Times about his Anglo-Saxon novel The Whispering Bell; and Carla Nayland is interviewed on BBC Radio Suffolk about Paths of Exile, also set in Anglo-Saxon England (fast-forward to 23 minutes in; link expires next Tuesday). Give it a listen for some fascinating insights into the period.

The theme of this year's Key West Literary Seminar was historical fiction. Read an overview of the event, along with comments from presenters and attendees, from the Sun-Sentinel (Florida). Margaret Donsbach reported on the event at HistoricalNovels.Info - scroll down to the entries from Jan 22 and 20.

And the Book Depository is apparently doing quite well.


  1. So many goodies in your latest post. I just visited Writing the Renaissance and I lost track of time. :-)
    Thank you!

  2. Thanks so much for the mention, Sarah. And I was so pleased to see you highlight Julia Gregson's winning the Romantic Novel of the Year -- a very deserving win, in my opinion. I really enjoyed meeting her (and all the other shortlisted authors, we all got on well and had a good time together in London). Encouraging to see that we had four historical novels on the shortlist!

  3. Thanks, Danja! Thanks for dropping by again, Susanna, and congratulations on the shortlist recognition. What a great reason for traveling to London!