Hild is done. She has a working title: Light of the World. (Subtitle, if there was one, would be something like The woman at the heart of war, politics, and religion in seventh century Britain.)
The book, volume one of three, is huge: 963 pages, 197,878 words (excluding the title).
I’ve sent it off to my agent. I have an agent: Stephanie Cabot, of The Gernert Company.
So now I get to ponder what should go on the jacket copy, that is, how the book should be described to an editor. The problem is, every time I start thinking about it, the Xena theme starts up in my head: “In a time of ancient gods, warlords, and kings, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero…” Dah dah da daa da da daa da dah… Oh, fuck it, here you go:
The thing is, this novel isn’t a fantasy. There’s no magic except of the human kind (and the natural world, of course.) Hild never uses a sword. But she does kill people, oh yes, my lovelies, she kills a lot of people. Saves a lot, too. How? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see. Chortle.
I am almost unbearably excited about this book. It’s epic in every way. Except for, y’know, actually being an epic in the accepted sense: it doesn’t do the multi-viewpoint thing. Hild is in every scene. Every. Single. Scene. So it’s an intimate novel of character painted on an epic canvas. With warlords, priests, and kings. And cunning advisors, seers, and queens. Plus some slaves and peasants and farmwives. And more trees than you can shake a stick at. And rivers and oceans and rills and burns and becks, and seals and cows and crows and otters and herons, and death and destruction and famine and plague (well, not plague plague, just illness and cattle murrain). And so much song, and heroism, and gold-and-sparkly-jewels, and plotting…
If I were Empress of the Universe, and if this were a graphic novel not, ahem, a literary work of great popular appeal, I’d call it: Butcher Bird! (Everything you know about the 7th C is Rong!)
But I’m getting punchy. So I’ll leave you with this photo of my carnelians, to which Hild is passionately attached. (She’s passionately attached to some people, too. Very passionately.) And, yes, she could have owned them. They’re first century Roman beads, just the kind of treasure passed down through Romano-British dynasties:
18 thoughts on “Light of the World”
This sounds tremendous. I can't wait to read it. Congrats to you. This is a great accomplishment.
Wow. This is so exciting!! Yay!
Congratulations. I can't wait to read it!
P.S.: I like an impressionistic blur now and then. :)
Weston, thank you.
jennifer, I suspect I'm now about to go through explosive decompression. Messy…
Nicola, that's incredibly exciting news for both you and your readers. It's been an *epic* task for you and I, for one, am thrilled. Can't wait and congratulations! (Best wishes, for Kelley's birthday!)
WOW that's fantastic Nicola I'm so glad you were able to do it. Most people never achieve the dream of their youth. The stones look very cool.
Nicola, I can only imagine; I know I feel like that after a big project, and this is ginormous (or should I say epic?)!
Stephanie Cabot sounds perfect for you too!
Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!! It's getting harder now that it's closer… Looking forward to reading some jacket copy.
jeanne, it was a good birthday :)
Sly, the stones are luscious. I croon over them like a dragon.
jennifer, yeah, I'm thinking several varieties of jacket copy: the literary thing, the pretend-its'-an-HBO-series thing, the graphic novel cartoon violence (yes!) thing…
Wow, fabulous news, Nicola. Hm… Hild the Butcher Bird. Has a certain ring to it. Can't wait to get that bird in my hand, if you'll pardon the passionate expression. ;-)
Well done, you! (and, btw, isn't it just 8 days or so before your neighbour will be coming round again, this time to give you a bunch of flowers?)
Hallelujah! Can't wait to get a copy in my hands and read, read, read. Congratulations!
Cork, thank you!
Nicola, watching those credits made my entire night. I LIVED for Sundays when I was fourteen, and I haven't seen Xena in so long! How fortunate I was to stumble across such an unapologetic badass heroine, right at puberty… :)
OH AND congratulations on the edit!!!
I can't wait to read this! I love epic stories, and everything you have written I have enjoyed to date. Enjoy your down time before edits start up :)
Wooooot!!! I cannot wait to read this book!
How much more can be said? Give us a heads up on a sales date so we can all use up our Amazon credits. A great big well done to you and your support. W.
Monica, I was in my thirties–and Xena still made my night. It was destination TV for me and Kelley. I loved it.
Marie, down time? Ha! I have ten zillion other projects that must be attended to.
Stephanie, I cannot wait for people to start reading it!
woody, thank you.
Looking forward to read Hild. Or should I wait for all three books to be finished? Naahh. ;)
Will there be a Kindle version? I love the very short time between ordering and reading instead of waiting for two weeks for the book to arrive.
nicolas, yes, there will be a Kindle version. When? That I couldn't guess.
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