Monday, October 04, 2010

There Are No Tudors Here

I came home from a weekend away to find a rejection waiting for me.

A rather complicated conspiracy, the agent says, and I'd have to agree that it was a most complicated conspiracy that was hatched in that bygone era. That would explain why the ringleaders and the real assassins were never found. Hence, my desire to put the facts in fictional form and lay out a case of injustice. I found it interesting and challenging but worth the effort to figure it out.

Alas, rejected. There were no Tudors in my tale.

From St. Martin's Press in my daily sampling of new releases I have a new work of historical fiction and who would have guessed that yet another book dealing with the Tudors has been published. Carolly Erickson had success with novels about Mary Queen of Scots and Henry VIII's last wife, so why not publish more?

Isn't the world in need of a story about Elizabeth I and her cousin Lettice Knollys?

You want complicated? Try following the many characters who appear in the courts of Henry VIII and his lovely daughters. The plots to put aside a queen weren't complicated? The devious doings that put Elizabeth I on her throne are simple and straightforward?

I've read novels that had to include an index of characters so that the reader had something to refer back to when things got complicated, but what is acceptable for the Tudors isn't allowed for other time periods that lack royalty.

You the reader might feel that the time period has been done to death and you're tired of stories about the British royals who made life a misery for the Irish and the Catholics, a misery that resounded down countless generations.

As a mere reader, of course, your interests don't resonate with publishers who see one blockbuster and assume that one subject will produce an endless string of financial successes. The literary agents respond to the publishers, not the readers, because there's no real way to know what readers want.

I know what I want as a reader, and I started writing novels to create something I'd like to read but have yet to find on the shelves of my local independent book seller.

Sorry, St. Martin's Press, but I'll take a pass on Rival To The Queen. I'm no Anglophile, I'll admit, but I'm really tired of the Tudors.

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