Multi-award-winning, NYT bestselling romance author *Jennifer Blake* recently provided a lovely blurb for one of my novels, Spoil of War (aka Cameliard Rising). The novel has direct ties to the Arthurian cycle, and is set in the time when Romans were first conquering Britain.
She's agreed I can use it as a cover blurb, even if I self-pub as an ebook. I couldn't be happier!
Spoil of War is a fascinating account of early Britain, a gripping tale of lust, love and the horrors of ancient warfare. Beautifully written, filled with myriad period details and compelling characters, it takes you deep into the heart of a brutal era—and into the nature of feminine honor, feminine courage. I was enthralled.The book is a cross-genre work, too gritty to be a true romance and too focused in on relationships to be a true women's historical. I've pitched it as both, giving it different titles for each genre.
Industry feedback on the quality of the novel has been good. It made it to two publishers' Editorial Board meetings. And I've gotten revision letters from two agents who've said:
- I read CAMELIARD RISING with much interest and think that your voice is fantastic. Equally good are the plot elements. In fact, I like the novel so so much.
- I really enjoyed the read and literally could not put the manuscript down. You create a compelling world and do an even better job of illustrating why that moment in time is so fascinating and placing it in a larger context.
In the end, it comes down to marketability. Where do you shelve a book that speaks frankly to the sexual abuse of women and young girls in an era where such practice was commonly acceptable, that details not just battles but their tragic aftermaths, yet still offers in the same breath love and a happily-ever-after?
I think the answer is that it gets shelved online where readers can decide if they're ready to try a little grit in their romance or ready to experience love in the midst of medieval warfare.
It needs cover art, a final edit, and a marketing strategy. And time enough to get Extinct off the ground and selling. So maybe it'll launch in May. We'll see.
Meanwhile, I'm sitting on Sector C. It's mainstream enough to have a chance at traditional publishing, I have the full out with a handful of agents, and there are some upcoming opportunities to submit it direct to publishers. Many thanks to those of you who helped talk me down from the ledge concerning its fate.
Look for more thoughts about some of the common mistakes in story structure I was seeing in the submissions for Extinct on Monday. Note the Query Queue is empty!