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It was also the ideal social life for someone with a full-time job, a partime freelance job and three small children under six. I'd been there for maybe a year before I began writing this practice book. I get a handful of people writing to me who complain about the sex. For a certain time I didn't tell anyone online what I was doing. You know, looking out over this vast and tractless sea and you begin to see volcanoes popping up here and there, spouting. Not that it's handled badly, but that they regard my books as being otherwise Great Literature -- you know, with a capital "G" and a capital "L" -- and they think the sex lowers the tone of my of my literary reputation. So I put it up and everyone who had been following the argument went and read the piece. I just write bits and pieces and then glue them together. Well, I tell people if you want to do something, start doing it. And, as I said, it sold immediately, but the publisher sat on it for more than a year because they weren't sure how to sell it. If it was an older man I'd say it was military history. But the series as a whole deals with their entire marriage and complications over 50 years, set against the backdrop of the second half of the 18th century. And they all came rushing back and said, "This is great. " And I said, "Well, I don't know." And they asked where the beginning was, and I said, "Well, I haven't written it yet." They asked me to put up some more, "this is fascinating." So I did. So whenever I had a bit that seemed as though it would stand by itself, I would put it up in the library. But I went on putting them up and people would get talking about them and saying, "You really should try and publish this." And I said, "Well, if I wanted to do that what should I do? They said that an agent could get you read much faster than if you're just sending it in to the slush pile. " And they said there were reference books and things you can look things up in, but since you happen to know a great many published authors here already, why don't you just chat with people what their agent is like and also what kind of manuscript and what you should look for in an agent? So I did [and when I'd chosen one] I sent him my own query letter in which I told him that I'd been writing and selling non-fiction by myself for the last 15 years, but now that I'm writing fiction I understand that I really need a good agent and that he'd been recommended to me by all of these people whose opinions I respect and, "Would you be willing to read excerpts of this really long novel that I have? So about six months later I finally finished the book. And he sent it to five editors who he thought might like it and within four days three of them had called back and wanted to buy it. The editor bought it and, in fact, gave me a three book contract, because she loved the story. If it was a young man I'd say it was science fiction. But eventually I got more people coming up at once and in mixes of sexes and ages, so at that point I took to saying, "Well, I'll tell you what: pick it up, open it anywhere, read three pages. It's essentially very rich historical fiction, but it does have this fantastic thread. And eventually the marketing people said, "Well, we don't know what to do with this. And there are possibly successful relationships that are asexual in nature, but most of them aren't. I didn't want anyone telling me what I was doing wrong until I'd figured it out. Maybe eight months into it I was having an argument with a gentleman online about what it feels like to be pregnant. And as they rise and lava goes down the sides you get mountains coming up and then gradually it all comes clear. When I would do book signings in the early days, people would come up to me -- and the books have always had a very interesting but ambiguous-looking cover -- and they would say, "This looks fascinating. " So for a while, if it was a man between 40 and 60, I'd say it was historical fiction. And I said, you know, the thing is what I'm dealing with in this series as a whole is an entire relationship. [Laughs] Also, I was very timid about admitting in front of all of these published authors that I was actually trying to write a book. This was long before the days of chatrooms, so we were just posting messages back and forth bulletin board style and I was logging on fairly frequently to pick up my messages. My wife has had three children." And I laughed electronically and said, "Well buster, I've had three children." So he said, "Can you tell me what it's like? It's a little complicated to explain in a short message, but I have this piece that I wrote recently in which a woman explains to her brother in some detail what it's like because he's curious." I told him I'd put it up on the electronic library there so he could read it. You begin to see how one mountain flows down into a valley and up into another. Gradually as you get it close to the surface you can look in and see all the valleys and the connections. I began writing it in 1988 and finished it late in 1989. If it was a woman between 15 and 45 I'd say it was historical romance. The first book does contain romantic elements in that it is about the joining together of these two people. Please browse the link below to find out more about the services and facilities available: If you have any specific requirements or questions please call the box office directly on 020 7070 4410.
Rich, deep tapestries that aren't fantasies, romances or adventures, but rather have elements of all of these things in a way, Gabaldon says, that initially made the books very difficult to market. It's very intoxicating to meet people who read your books and are so enthusiastic about them. I wasn't just going to dash it off because I was wanting to learn how to write and the only way to do that is to make a good effort at it. So at what point did you decide to show it to people after all? And owing to a number of things that I won't go into here, I had evolved my own specialty and become an expert in scientific computation. My contract came up for renewal and I thought it would be nice to see what it was like to sleep more than four hours at a stretch. When he arrives there he finds her in the back seat of the car with her throat cut. So the rest of the story involves what happens after that, because of course he has this tremendous feeling of guilt about what's happened to this woman.
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And also if you can sell it, an agent could negotiate a much better contract. " I didn't tell him that I hadn't finished writing it. So I sent him my excerpts and a rough synopsis to bind them together and he took me on. But then, of course, they sat down with the marketing people and they began saying, "Well what sort of book is it? " And if you've ever gone into a bookshop you've seen that all of the shelves are labeled. If you can put it down again, I'll pay you a dollar." And I sold a lot of books, but I never lost any money. If we just release it as fiction, no one will know what to make of it and it'll just sink like a stone and vanish in two weeks." Eventually my agent called and said, "They've decided that all hardcovers come out as fiction and they go on the same shelf. And the people that do read romances read them voraciously and they read other kinds of books and they belong to book clubs and discussion groups and it's a very accessible sort of market. And, I said, if you're going to do a good job of revealing this, I think you're going to have sex. Well, let's put it this way: had I known that and the day afterward I got 96 e-mails in the first pass.
You know: mysteries or romance, thrillers or suspense or westerns or whatever. If you were going to compare it to something, I guess it's more like [James Clavel's] . But for the paperback they've decided to sell it as romance." And I said, "As or any other literarily respectable venue if you called it a romance novel. Because the thing is that romance accounts for over half of the paperbacks sold in the U. There are several review publications that address that market so it's sort of an easy one to get noticed in because if the book is at all good it gets read. So now I still get a larger proportion of female readers, but it's beginning to shift and I'm getting many more men coming to my signings and writing me fan mail and all that. I've had maybe three letters complaining about the sex and maybe 3000 asking for more sex. And continued getting 80 or 90 e-mails a day for weeks and months after. Since the books have come out, have you traveled to Scotland at all? Well, after I'd sold the first one and they gave me a three book contract I said to my husband, "I think I'd best go see the place." So we went for two weeks.
Enormous historical fiction, with sort of a romantic thread running through it. I said this is not a real big deal, but -- more importantly -- if you call it romance you will cut off the entire male half of my audience. He said he understood and said they could call it science fiction or fantasy because of the other peculiar things but, he said, "Bear in mind that a bestseller in SF/F is 50,000 copies in paperback. So, what they said was they'd try to get the book noticed and if it began to spread and if it became visible -- which is publisherese for list and so now all the books say "fiction" on the spine and they've covered up the few discreet flowers they'd had on the cover. And, of course, being neither a politician or a TV station, I don't respond to opinion polls. We put the kids with my parents and went and rented a car in London and drove up into the Highlands and down the other side.