Monday, April 18, 2011

Responses to Comments/And a quick note about colonial-era American Jews

To one of the "anonymous" comments, yes I did make a mistake--stupid and humiliating--about the number Henry VIII's wives. What really bugs me is that I  read the book, "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" and can name each and everyone of them. I will have to be particularly careful with my manuscript, maybe even hire a historian to review it. History is like gravity: you can't ignore it, except in outer space, where I do at times seem to reside, according to friends and family. Historical fiction should only "fictionalize" what is unknown about a real-life character or create a fictionalized prototype.

To the other "anonymous" about my use of the French word "jupe" I did, in fact, mean that Dr. Franklin was chasing the ladies. If my French was incorrect then my humiliation only deepens. So, just this once, don't tell me if I made an error.

My book, nearly four years in the making,  is about several months from completion. I just chopped off the first 100 pages (three years of work!) because, despite what I think was good writing (after 100 revisions!),  they were too boring. Also decided to change the subplot hero to real-life David Salisbury Franks, Benedict Arnold's  Jewish aide-de-camp. It makes for a more interesting plot and this way my heroine can marry a "nice Jewish boy" after all.

Plot is suspenseful (even to me)  as Rebecca, the fictional heroine, falls in love with the British officer, real-life Major John Andre. As in real life, Andre is involved in the treason of Benedict Arnold, an American general known only as "the Monk" during the two-year conspiracy to flip him.  I will not tell you about the ending. You can read it yourself, hopefully in my book. The real tragedy is Arnold himself, the subject of my next book, his character  "Shakespearian" in dimension. (If only Shakespeare could have lived long enough....)

I don't know who reads this blog, but some days it's exceeded 120 "hits" so someone's reading it, I suppose. I will say that I've already managed to attract the interest of several literary agents, this at a time when 98 percent of fiction writers don't get a peep. I plan on conventional publishing, though I think self-publishing is the future and my own taste trends toward Kindle, including self-published.   I just don't want to disappoint my 87-year-old mother who believes nothing until she sees it in print!

As to the "anonymous" who doesn't like historical fiction, that's fine. Good writing is good writing, whatever its form. My favorite non-fiction writers are so good that their work is as suspenseful as any mystery novel. Whatever works as long as we read!!

I generally work 12-hours a day, six days a week on my book, including several hours of social networking to promote this book, pre-publication. My purpose is forthright: I want you to buy this book when it comes out. I also want agents and editors to come to me, not vice versa, as some have already.

 I do plan to post soon on the fascinating history of Jews in colonial America. Most descended from the survivors of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions of the 1400's, gradually settling in the colonies, but some were from northern Europe or England--so different from my own Yiddish ancestors. Each "major" city had its own synagogue, including Jew-hating French Montreal. Jews had far more rights than the poor Catholics, feared (until the 1960s) because of their ties to the Vatican. Will put together some time and write more on this.

Would love some more "followers." I know it's a real pain with "blog spot,"  which some days asks you to take a "four question" survey that never ends. Trust me, don't take the survey. Perhaps try another time. "Followers" and "hits" will convince prospective agents and publishers to take a leap into American history as well as the largely unknown history of colonial-era Jews.

I've got to get back to work now! Coming down with the flu. Am also on FB and Linked in if anyone wants a connection that way. I don't socialize much in real life, so I love the social networks where I have made some "true" friends. (???)

Thanks to all of you, whoever you are.   To agent Irene Goodman: you're going to eat your own words about American history. Shame on you, given the state of historical illiteracy of our country's founding. Amazing how many "hits" I've gotten on my posting about her. 


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