Sunday, August 27, 2006

Daughters of the Grail update plus Christmas Shopping

As I've mentioned before on the blog, I recently received the opportunity to rework a novel I wrote back in 1992/1993. The version published in the USA was titled Daughters Of The Grail. It basically covers the same ground as The Da Vinci Code and Labyrinth, but it's all set in thirteenth Century Languedoc. I'd describe it as a historical novel with elements of fantasy, but not so dominant on the latter as to put it in the fantasy genre.
Preliminary feedback from The Bookseller (the UK's main industry mag for the bookseller trade) this last week has been promising. Sarah Broadhurst in her Paperback Preview for December says:
'December and the last buying rush of the year will be upon you. Knowing the reluctance to renew displays, knowing paperbacks take second place beside gift buying, and knowing the lack of in-store promotions, many publishers are reluctant to splash out this month. Transworld is publishing nothing at all, but there re exceptions and those tend to be sure-fire winners.......Daughters of the Grail: an Elizabeth Chadwick re-issue which I'd treat as new as they will sell a bucket-load.'
And then later on in the edition there's a picture of the cover under the heading 'Ones to Watch' with the info
'Thirteenth Century France and the direct descendants of Mary Magdalene have Simon de Montfort to contend with. Sounds thrilling and worth recommending to Labyrinth fans.....It's been rewritten and I believe it could do very well indeed.'
It will be interesting to see what happens. On its earlier outing, I believe it was the right book at the wrong time both in terms of audience and where I was in my career. On this occasion, the signs are more auspicious, but as always it's a case of watch and wait.

I was interested re the comments on paperbacks going by the board in December. How strange. I ALWAYS buy friends and family paperbacks as stocking fillers. It's that time of year when sometimes you want to cozy up with a drink and chocolates and a good book, or wallow in a nice hot bath with a rivetting read. What do others do? Do you buy novels as presents? Do you like receiving them?


Kemberlee said...

Fantastic news about Daughters being re-released! I have a copy of the original publication, but I'll surely buy the new edition. I love your covers!!! I buy books for people and I love receiving them as well. Books are amazing things. They can take you places with your imagination that can't be done in reality. When I had a bath I did a lot of reading there. Couch snuggling with a good book is always second best...but I really enjoy taking a big blanket onto our back acres with a cold drink and snack and a terrific book and relaxing for a few quiet hours. With historicals, I can imagine warriors and horses on a battlefield and secret lovers under the trees! When is Daughters being re-released? I'll be the first in line in Ireland to buy it!!

KC said...

I can't wait to get the re-issue. I love the cover. Of course, I already have the original, but I'll go back for seconds.

No, I don't buy books as gifts because I think that one woman's dream book is another's nightmare. Instead, I give gift cards to local bookstores. Works out great that way.

I guess a US release will be later than the UK release?

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Hi Kemberlee and KC!
Kemberlee your reading spots sound wonderful. I tend to have to grab a read on the run these days, so it's either at lunchtime or in the bath, so I can multi-task.
If I'm buying books for presents, I buy within the person's comfort zone or something I'm almost sure they'd like. I wouldn't buy my mum an Anita Shreve for example, but I would do so for my sister in law. Mum gets Sara Donati or Annie Groves, or anything with a bit of warmth and adventure in the story rather than downright emotioanal angst. Dh receives Leslie Thomas, Simon Scarrow,Walter Moseley. Younger son gets Terry Pratchett. So I do tailor it to the recipient's taste.

Carla said...

It does seem a strange comment, but I suppose they have point-of-sale data to back it up? I buy paperbacks as presents, and my relatives do the same for me. Very rarely do we ever buy hardbacks because (a) paperbacks are light and easy to carry around, therefore there are more times/places when they can be read and (b) we get roughly three times as much reading for pound from paperbacks. My brother and I tend to swop lists as we both have obscure tastes and are hard to buy for on spec. I have quite a good record in picking thrillers and mysteries for my dad. The one failure was Hunt for Red October where I didn't read the book from the library before buying it but relied on the film - and the film turned out to be a lot better than the book!

Gabriele Campbell said...

Argh, blooger ate my comment. Again. I'm getting tired of that.

So, here's the short version:

Amazon gift certificates are my friend. :)

And those in my family who read get books for Christmas. I know pretty well what my father and nephew like.

Janie said...

I agree with KC. Unless I have asked for a particular book, I prefer to receive book vouchers.

The last two books that were bought for me are currently sitting unread on the bookshelf, waiting for the time when I can overcome the guilt and send them to the local charity shop!

Vouchers are a wonderful gift. It's like being a kid with money and let loose in a sweetshop.


Anonymous said...

Catching up with your blog while I have a moment.

I always send novels, especially paperbacks as gifts. Husband, mother and father get a book and only receive an alternative when their really isn't anything I can find to interest them. Most recent gift purchases were two copies of "The Shipping Forecast, a journey around the Seas" for both dad and husband and very warmly recieved.

I love receiving books myself but poor mum has often bought me double copies of obscure medieval history texts so I've set up a wish list on Amazon. Invaluable and Daughters of the Grail has gone on there today. All the best with the re-issue!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm looking forward to Daughters of the Grail. I just finished reading Kate Mosse's Labyrinth (last night) and obviously I read the Da Vinci Code last year; so I'm kind of on the Mary Magdalene/Secret Society kick. Not to be a suck up or anything but I am speaking the truth here; I'm really glad you did a version of the story because I find your writing style and your storytelling abilities much more compelling than Kate Mosse's in Labyrinth. It took me almost a month to read that book whereas; The Marsh King's Daughter (my very first of your books) took me 12 hours, Lords of the White Castle 2.5 days, The Conquest 18 hours... you get the gist. I love your books and I for one can't wait to read Daughter's of the Grail or the Golden Lion. Your stories never disappoint because your women never disappoint. The women in your stories are always strong, admirable and inspiring. To the point that we as the readers think these things freely from the way the story unfolds as opposed to you telling us so in your narration. And the men... ah if only I could find such flawed but good men in real life!

Moving on to the Christmas stocking question; I mainly give good books as presents whenever I buy one for myself or come across one I really loved and buy it for someone else.

Nic said...

I LOVE receiving novels as presents (even now whne I can afford to buy loads!) Every christmas when I was a teenager I would find an Ellis Peters Cadfael in my stocking. i would quietly get up so as not to wake Mum 7 Dad, creep into the sittingroom, turn the tree lights on and the gas fire, and read it all by 7am. (If it was really cold, I'd runa a btha and read it in there!)
A lovely ritual of Christmas that I miss VERY much.
Actually, thinking about it, reading a novel uninterrupted is a lovely ritual tht has become very rare... thank the Lord for Costa Coffee and Starbucks, both refuges for my novel reading habits!

Anonymous said...

I read the original Daughters of the Grail some years back, and I recall liking it very much. The rest of your work is not very much like it, but that's fine. In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing the rerelease, and how you've changed or improved it.
Anne Gilbert

Anonymous said...

When I read Daughters of the Grail it felt like I connected with real characters that might have lived during that time - as if you "channeled" their experiences and lives. It was a profound experience! It's also a very visual novel. Who knows, perhaps one day it will be turned into a film.