Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More on the strong female protagonist theme...

Please excuse my long blog silence. Between nonstop conference preparations and catching the flu, the past few weeks have been a blur. I'm working on a longer "preview" post, but in the meanwhile, here are four recent deals from Publishers Marketplace. The first two are biographical novels of (you got it) famous 16th-century women.

In addition, jump over to the HNS forthcoming books page for an updated list of upcoming titles through September. I'm very pleased that Sarah Cuthbertson volunteered to contribute info on forthcoming UK titles, so there are a significant number of new additions from British publishers. Thanks, Sarah!


Jeane Westin's HIS LAST LETTER, focusing on the mature relationship between Elizabeth I and her lifelong love Robert Dudley, inspired by the deathbed letter the queen received from Dudley, part of which survives to this day, to Ellen Edwards at NAL, in a nice deal, by Danielle Egan-Miller at Browne & Miller Literary Associates (NA).

PEN Hemingway award finalist for Icebergs Rebecca Johns's THE COUNTESS, the story of Elizabeth Bathory, perhaps the most prolific female serial killer in history, pitched as Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund meets Patrick Suskind's Perfume, to Suzanne O'Neill at Crown, by Richard Abate at Endeavor.

Rose of Sebastopol and The Alchemist's Daughter author Katharine McMahon's THE CRIMSON ROOMS, in which a female lawyer must discover the truth behind two events: a client's murder of his young wife, and whether her late brother truly fathered a child with a nurse he met in a battlefield hospital, to Rachel Kahan at Putnam, for publication in 2010, by Mark Lucas at Lucas Alexander Whitley (US). [forthcoming from Weidenfeld & Nicolson, UK, this June.]

Robin Oliveira's MY NAME IS MARY SUTTER, set in the mid-19th century, following the aspirations and difficulties of a brilliant, somewhat odd, yet remarkable young midwife from Albany, New York whose lofty hope of becoming a surgeon far exceeds what her family, physicians, and medical schools of her time are willing to accept, and she travels to Washington, DC to work in the Civil War hospitals, only to find the challenges formidable and the pull of home unavoidable, to Kathryn Court at Viking Penguin, in a significant deal, in a pre-empt, by Marly Rusoff of Marly Rusoff & Associates (NA).


  1. Anonymous12:14 PM

    I am really curious about The Countess. BTW, I read both of John Harwood's books after you recommended them, and I really enjoyed them. Thank you.

  2. So glad to hear you liked them! I still haven't read The Ghost Writer.

    If you're interested in reading more about Bathory, there's a recent YA novel about her as well, Alisa Libby's The Blood Confession.

  3. Anonymous8:57 PM

    Thank you for the recommendation Sarah. I first read of Bathory in Radu Florescu's In Search of Dracula, but I never came across a novel about her. I will definitely check it out.