Friday, 9 August 2013

Promotion and Reading

I think I will have to start promoting my books again, because America seems to have forgotten me. The meagre sales so far this month will not translate into cheques as they have been doing in the past. As far as I can tell, my Viking story coincided with a Viking TV series last year, which gave it a boost I knew nothing about. In concentrating on polishing Matho's story, I've neglected the more romantic historicals and have not published anything new for a while now. Three titles went on Kindle in 2012, but nothing so far for this year. As if to hold true with the saying that England is always two steps behind America, my UK sales have picked up and now outnumber the others. (Though it wouldn't be hard right now...snicker)

Right now I'm reading Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel and finding it an odd mixture. First of all the Point of View frustrates me - not as much as it did in Wolf Hall - but enough to make me stop and re-read sentences and paragraphs to be certain which character I'm reading. It seems as if there is an invisible someone hovering alongside Cromwell who reports what is happening to  the reader. We know his thoughts as well as his action, but we never know who is doing the reporting.

There are passages of lyrical writing, and short, snappy one liners; odd paragraphs such as "He reads, He writes. Something tugs at his attention. He gets up and glances from the window at the walks below." My critique partners would be scratching out most of those pronouns and scrawling Repetition!! in the margins, but we've become accustomed to the idea that once an author has a following, all the rules can be broken.

I wasn't aware Thomas Wolsey had a daughter, as Mantel claims, but I don't doubt she's correct. My image of Wolsey is forever Anthony Quayle, who played the part in Anne of a Thousand Days. Come to think of it, Genevieve Bujold is also my definitive Anne Boleyn. I can still hear her ringing tones as she rants at Henry "Get a child on that sweet, pale girl - if you can!" Richard Burton was never my definitive Henry. I don't actually have one, but Robert Shaw in A Man for All Seasons comes closest. "That's a dancer's leg, Margaret!" Ah, where would we be without film to give words a new life of their own?

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