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What to Do With My Mother's Book?

Louis_vii_and_alienorWhat to do with my mother's book? She died seven years ago, on Halloween. I'm finally at peace with it, and I feel like doing something meaningful.

Before the dementia made it impossible, she wrote a novel. A whopper. 330,000 words. "Isobelle", set in the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Isobelle is launched into life in France, and as is appropriate to a woman of high breeding, goes through several husbands in her life, and has adventures in which she is taken by Barbary pirates and sold into a harem, then more travels, and eventual retirement at a satisfactory old age.

It's not the kind of thing I read regularly, so I'm not the right person to judge its merits. Looking at it as a manuscript, I see plenty of room for edits, taking out some florid info-dumpery, for example, and it breaks into several parts, so breaking it into separate novels is an option.

But I got thinking.... A lot of you out there in f-list land know this stuff better than I. What do YOU think I should do with it?


Nov. 3rd, 2014 06:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Chaz, Sherwood. I certainly agree that getting an editor to take a serious look at it would be worthwhile. I think I need to take the time to find one, though, who has a background in that era. Part of me will always know that this part here was inspired by watching The Lion in Winter, and that part over there was something she picked up from Amy Kelly. I also remember how, as her personality changed through the last years, the parts of the story that stuck, including a terrible crush on Richard Lionheart. So I think that part will always be my own memory.

But I also know she really wanted to get it out there and share what she loved about Eleanor's life. I think she identified strongly with her and drew on her for strength when she was feeling awkward in a strange land. So I really ought to give it a try. Ideally, I need to find somebody who has a similar affinity.

Clearly something worth taking the time to do properly.
Nov. 3rd, 2014 07:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can tell you there is a readership for books about Eleanor!