I had to show you this beautiful screenshot from The Madness of King George. Not only does it capture the relationship between Charlotte and her husband; it is perfectly accurate to the smallest detail. There’s the King’s Windsor uniform, there’s the pearl bracelets Charlotte always wore, which are identical to the point of actually having George III’s portrait in them! Such a small, graceful touch. Did the costume designer have any idea there were geeks like me out there to pick up on and love these nods to the history books? It’s unlikely that many movie goers had even heard of, let alone studied, Queen Charlotte. But in went the bracelet anyway; firstly, as their homage to Charlotte and keeping her real, secondly because they believed there were people out there who would smile.
This brings me nicely on to the topic of this week’s blog post. I’ve been a little nervous about writing it, because I’m taking a bold move. As you know, God Save the King has been doing its round of queries over many months. I have to say I’m very pleased with its reception, even though I haven’t gained representation. I’ve had requests for more, praise of the characters and style, fascination with the subject matter. So why no agent?
The answer has come from the agents themselves: it’s a bit of a risk. I’m not saying there aren’t agents out there willing to take risks, but we have to remember times are difficult in the publishing industry. Many houses are only buying up sure sells, and for historical fiction, that’s mainly Tudors. If I’d written a book that just happened to be set in the Georgian period, I don’t think that would be a problem. But as I’ve gone into the depths others have only plunged with the Tudor, or more recently Plantagenet, royal families – who knows if it will appeal? Or, more importantly, sell?
I guess where others see uncertainty and risk, I see untapped potential. I think the only reason people don’t read about the Georgian royal families is that the books aren’t out there. Personally, as a historical fiction reader, I’m bored to death of the same old stuff on the shelves. I leapt on Gillian Bagwell’s lovely The Darling Strumpet, because it was a different period with people I knew little about. While I love the Tudors, I’ve read about Anne Boleyn’s execution from every angle. I don’t need any more.
Now if I was thinking more of my writing career, I’d probably just dump the Hanovers and take up one of the ideas I have (and I have several!) for books set in the more popular Roman and Tudor periods. But I just can’t do that. I have a passion for the Georgian period and a strong belief in its relevance. I love these long dead women who I have spent literally years in the company of. I want their stories to be told. And I want to be the one to tell them.
Someone has to take a risk for the Georgians. If the agents and the publishers aren’t prepared to, it has to be me. So with the help of the many professionals now available on the web, a lot of technical help from the husband and, I sincerely hope, your support, I plan to publish God Save the King as an ebook.
By doing so, I don’t mean to declare myself an irrevocable Indie author. In the long-term, I honestly want the support, imput, revisions, ideas and general wonderfulness of an agent and publisher. It is something I will aim for with each new book I write, and hopefully, by the time I’m midway through my series, I will have proved there is a market. So… here goes.
I’ve been doing some work in the background before announcing this, but I want to give myself plenty of time to make my product as perfect as it can be. With this in mind, my proposed launch date is 8 September 2012. This is a very special day indeed – George and Charlotte’s 251st wedding anniversary.
I will keep you updated with my progress, trials and tribulations. Thanks for reading. God Save the King!