14 January 2017

Discounted Historicals - Final Weekend

There's nothing like stocking up your e-reader with titles from authors new-to-you, and discounted promotions are a simple way to widen your reading horizon in the genre or genres you prefer. Last weekend it was Science Fiction & Fantasy - see HERE.

This weekend the chosen genre is Historical Fiction, the promotion being run by Ryn Shell, and my offered novel is Beneath The Shining Mountains

The book has an interesting history. It's an indie-published re-issue of a novel that was never meant to be written. You know how it goes, the given wisdom is "write at least three books in a given world". 

My writing world at the time was Medieval Historical. I'd won a minor national award for my sweet romance Hostage of the Heart, the sales had been very reasonable, and my publishers invited me down to London to discuss my follow-up over lunch. Oh, the heady days of being taken out to lunch by a London publisher!

I travelled prepared, with a synopsis and what I thought was a good line in chat to enthuse the editor. We ate lunch, wine flowed, the small-talk moved to business, I proposed my coming project. 'We've enough Medieval,' she said. 'Write me a Regency.' 

I couldn't have been more taken aback if I'd been slapped across the face with a wet haddock. How did writing Medieval equate to writing Regency? Had the editor no concept of the amount of research I'd undertaken, would have to undertake to move into a new time period? Besides, I'd been force-fed "Mr Darcy" et al when a teenager at school. I didn't like the period, or the strata of society it focused on.

'So what can you write?' she asked, and the look I was given left me in no doubt that my writing career hung in the balance. And what period could I write that wasn't Medieval? '19th century Native North American,' I said. 'I belong to a living history group. We make costume and holiday in a tipi and I've over 200 research--'

It was the sneer and the dismissive wave of the hand that did it, that and too much wine. I can recall leaning across the table and the editor backing off as my voice shot across the space between us stating rather forcefully If I can't make a six foot, sun-tanned man with raven-black hair sexy...

The upshot was that I could write it and they'd see. I did write it. The publisher took it, and it sold over 30,000 copies. When my rights to it reverted I ditched the crass title it had been hobbled with and reverted to my original. It might not have sold another 30,000 copies, yet, but it is still my best-seller. Enjoy.


  1. It was great to have your excellent novel in the January historical fiction authors' cross-promotion, Linda.

  2. Thanks for hosting the event. I'm learning all the time. Heck, we *never* stop learning, do we?