Monday, February 12, 2007

Packages and parcels

I am behind with my blogging due to preparing my submission package for my next contracted novel before decamping to the spare room while my study gets a makeover.
However, I'm dropping by on the run to say I haven't quite disappeared off the planet - although into another century perhaps!
The book on the left arrived this morning - the Russian version of The Greatest Knight. I rather like it, and it suits the market I think. I also heard that The Scarlet Lion has sold to Italy, so it's been something of an international day in the office.

So what does a submission package consist of?
In my case, it's a blurb (a selling document of between 200 and 300 words giving a taste of what the novel is about), a set of character studies for the protagonists and main secondary players, a very detailed synopsis (13 single spaced pages), a family tree, maps and castle diagrams, and finally, the first three chapters of the embryonic novel, which in this case happens to cover roughly 12,000 words. If I didn't have a publisher, I would severely prune the synopsis, but I have an agent who likes, where possible, a strongly sketched overview of what she's going to get in a year's time. Other than that, I'd keep the submission as it is.
Now all I have to do is go away and write the rest - and think of a title. But in the meanwhile, here's the blurb. I suspect in some shape or form it will turn up on Amazon UK sometime before the year is out.


In 1173, Roger Bigod is heir to the vast and powerful earldom of Norfolk. When his treacherous father, Hugh, loses the family lands and castles in a rebellion against King Henry II, Roger finds himself in reduced circumstances and dogged by a bitter family dispute with his half brother over the remaining crumbs. Whilst trying to resolve the matter of his inheritance at court, he encounters Ida de Tosney, the King’s young mistress.

Having been forced into the relationship with Henry, Ida is drawn to Roger in whom she sees a chance of lasting security beyond the fickle dazzle of life at court. But she has to navigate a careful path between her dearest wishes and the King’s reluctance to part with her, and every fulfilled wish has its price. Hers is losing her beloved little boy, the child she has borne to Henry.

When King Richard comes to the throne, Roger’s fortunes change, his lands are restored and he becomes one of the richest men in England. He builds a great castle at Framlingham for himself and for Ida, but he knows from bitter experience that such fortresses can be razed and everything taken away. When Richard’s brother John in his turn becomes King, Roger is caught between loyalty and conscience, and knows his choice may cost him all that he has regained. Ida watches her family struggle within a tightening noose as all of her sons are drawn into the conflict, brother against brother. As a wife, as a mother, as a Countess, she knows there are debts from the past still to be settled if she and her family are to survive.


KC said...

I'm sold! I'm ready to read it as soon as it's published!

Carla said...

Great cover - and the Roger Bigod book sounds promising.

... said...

As an American, I am demanding to know when I'll be able to get my hands on The Scarlet Lion!! Well, actually I'm not demanding. Its more that I picked up The Greatest Knight when I was in Manchester last summer to visit a friend and it never even came into my mind that I wouldn't be able to find the sequel, or any of your books really, stateside. I was just wondering if there's any plan to release it over here. I'm always in dire need of new (good) historical fiction.

Gabriele Campbell said...

That's a pretty cover. And your new project sounds really interesting - you've a knack to find interesting historical persons to write about.

Christine, I don't get the weird sales politics. I have no problems at all to get both books via And a lot other books that are avaliable only in Uk or US, for that matter.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Thanks for the comments everyone - sorry I'm late getting back to them.
Christine - thanks for dropping in. The Scarlet Lion isn't being published in the USA at the moment. Your nearest bet is Amazon Canada - which is probably a better exchange rate than UK to USA. It's really frustrating re the USA market. All I can say is that my agent is working really hard to obtain a USA publisher for my work. I used to be published by St Martins Press but that was in hardcover only and they stitched up the paperback rights every time without ever publishing the paperback, so we said farewell. But it does currently mean I'm without a USA publisher Stateside - sigh.

Gabriele Campbell said...

What I don't get is why Amazon UK and Amazon US can't work together the way both of them do with Amazon Germany. Almost all avaliable English books are listed on, and I don't even have to pay for the shipment of books from UK or US.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Gabrielle, I wish the German Amazon system would function on Amazon UK and Back in the autumn were selling all of my novels - albeit through import sellers, but readily available. Rankings were pretty good. Then it all stopped and the importers disappeared - I suspect it was due to legal stuff about territories etc. Very frustrating.

Gabriele Campbell said...

I can imagine it must be frustrating for a published author. even has a huge storage hall in Leipzig where they keep a nice amount of English books; those I can get within 24 hours. The Greatest Knight is one of them. :)

Looks like there's a good number of people in Germany who read English books, or it would not be worth the storage space for Amazon.

Bother A Tudor said...

Seriously, they all need to get their acts together and sell everything everywhere ;-)

I'll make sure I order it from elsewhere though, at least I'm not losing my mind, and who sells what is a bit bizarre to everyone.