Monday, 17 June 2013

Amazon Hold Up

This must be the silly season when everyone has either gone on holiday or is looking forward to a holiday. Certainly cyclists in vivid Lycra (or all in black, depending on their personality) are now haunting our country roads, and backpackers are striding across Hadrian's Wall. It's also hay fever time, and as well as teething, Tim is sneezing.

Editing is going well. I've lost a lot of extraneous, unnecessary words and it has been done when the aim is not cutting word count, but re-writing sentences more gracefully. I tried to purchase Sarah Dunant's new book Blood and Beauty in paperback format this week, but there seems to be a hitch in supply for some reason known only to Amazon. Her first line, from memory, is something like "Dawn was breaking like a bruise in the night sky...." Now that is the sort of grace I want to achieve.

Her sentences are often two or three lines long, yet the clarity is perfect, and nothing like the short, sharp snap and jerk of so many e-book novels these days. An American told me that the illiteracy rate is so high in America that writers have to write at a low level of literacy if they want to sell to the masses. I hope that isn't true, but fear it may be so. It seems a terrible record for the nation that calls itself the most powerful country on earth. Seems to me it won't be long before China and Russia challenge that claim

I don't know why Amazon can only offer used paperback copies. Presumably they are review copies. Yet the paperback publication date was supposedly 2nd May 2013. I could look further afield, but we have just the right amount in voucher form to spend on Amazon and it seems silly not to wait. But I will only wait so long! Dunant's historical novels are among the few I purchase as opposed to reading via the library. I read The Courtesan's Lover this week. It's by Gabrielle Kimm and tells the tale of a woman who sells herself for money in Naples in 1564. The period was a draw for me, and the blurbs promise a good story, but it was a struggle to get through it and the main reason was too much detail painstakingly given. In fact, I could say what the agents have said about my submissions: It's well researched and written but I didn't love it enough!

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