Thursday, October 24, 2019

Bits and pieces of historical fiction news: African epics, the writing biz, Australian HF, collaborative novels, and more

Rewriting the Historical Epic: African Women Writers Go Big.  The Christian Science Monitor profiles female writers from Africa taking on "big grand historical narratives" in their fiction, including Petina Gappah (Out of Darkness, Shining Light), Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Kintu), and Ayesha Harruna Attah (The Hundred Wells of Salaga). All have received considerable acclaim. Namwali Serpell's The Old Drift is another, though it's not mentioned in the article.

I appreciate reading historical novelists' takes on the business aspects of authorship. At her blog, Susanne Dunlap, who has written for both  adults and YAs, and whose latest novels are indie-published, talks about her past and current writing career: the monetary aspects, marketing, and finding a support network.

And Michelle Cameron, author of The Fruit of Her Hands, a fantastic read focusing on medieval Jewish history, and the forthcoming Beyond the Ghetto Gates, writes about the process of asking for blurbs from other authors.

Joffe Books recently got in touch to say they'd purchased the fiction list of long-running British publisher Robert Hale, and that they plan to work with authors to re-release their books on Kindle with new covers and editorial refreshes. I'm a longtime collector of novels from Robert Hale, which published many novels about British and European royals in decades past; they also published historical romances and sagas. Because Hale's hardcovers were aimed at libraries, many have been expensive and/or hard to find on the secondhand market. Anyone interested in getting updates can sign up for Joffe's email list.

Leading up to the Historical Novel Society Australasia's latest conference, which is this coming weekend, the Sydney Morning Herald has a focus on fiction set in the past.  Read more: Turning Pages: the mirror of history.

Lastly, what's it like to write a collaborative novel, one smoothly stitched together from seven different viewpoints? The six authors of Ribbons of Scarlet: A Novel of the French Revolution's Women are interviewed at BookBub.

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