Thursday, January 21, 2010

Author Guest Post - Lindsey Davis (& a Giveaway)

Rebels and TraitorsAuthor of the New York Times bestseller Alexandria and internationally acclaimed Falco novels, Lindsey Davis brings us a new work of historical fiction, Rebels and Traitors (St. Martin’s Press; February 2010). Set against the backdrop of the terrifying English Civil War, Rebels and Traitors shows the internal struggles of English citizens of all classes during this historic era of change.

Gideon Jukes and Juliana Lovell, on opposite sides of the struggle, meet during one of the era's most crucial events. After adversity and loss, their mutual attraction may one day bring the comfort and companionship for which they both have yearned.  But the flowering of radical thought collapses; its failure leads to endless plots and strange alliances.  And shadows from the past threaten them individually and together in their hard-won peace.

Like Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind and John Jakes' North and South, Lindsey Davis brings to life a turbulent time through the stories of those who struggled, fought, lived and loved on all sides of a defining and devastating struggle.

And here is Lindsey herself to tell us all about . Welcome, Lindsey! I have to say I adored the Falco novels, btw :)
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Author Lindsey Davis at  A Boook Blogger's DiaryRebels and Traitors is published in America on 19 January, and I am thrilled. I have lived with the intention of writing this book for over forty years - since I was too young to know or understand much of what now happens in it.

My interest in the English Civil War began in my teens, and around that time I decided I wanted to write a novel about that period in my home city of Birmingham (then a small but aspiring country town). When I eventually tackled this as an established novelist, my editor was sure he could not sell a historical novel set in Birmingham, even with pillage and rape and a firestorm. It was just as well I had not yet looked into Sir Samuel Luke, Parliament’s Scoutmaster-General, who sited his headquarters at Newport Pagnell – now best known as a motorway service station!

I was writing Rebels and Traitors for three years, pausing in between to complete Saturnalia and Alexandria. I had told everyone except my agent and editor that I was slowing down and taking a break. In fact it was the busiest period of my professional writing career.

I loved it. It was truly refreshing, after 20 years of the Romans. I especially loved the research. With the ancient world, you have to stretch the material. With modern history, there is masses of literature, often accessible online. The range of original material is fabulous. This was the dawn of modern newsprint journalism and there are personal memoirs aplenty. Unlike Latin texts, which are invariably by men and aimed at the aristocracy, some of the most vivid and poignant Seventeenth Century writings come from people lower down the social scale. And I did read English at university, so this was my world. Important sections of the story take place at Oxford, which is where I studied. London, where I have lived since the 1970s, has its own special role too.

When I went to the British Library I enjoyed that too, feeling like a student again – though this time a student who really did some work. I think I understood what I doing much better than I did at university.

I also went back home and re-read the material that first inspired me. It was interesting to see the shift in how local events were regarded: once, what happened to Birmingham was ignored by mainstream historians; they only discussed sieges of grand houses or famous battles. Now, the events in Birmingham are included in textbooks and TV documentaries because they show so very clearly the horrible effects of the Civil War on ‘ordinary’ people.

As a novelist I wanted to tackle both set pieces and local episodes. My characters have individual stories – a printer who fights for Parliament and becomes intrigued by new radical ideas; a girl who marries a Royalist and struggles to survive as an abandoned wife and mother; a scavenger who endures appalling hardships, knowing that the war is certainly not being fought for her. Slowly their stories come together – but it turned out to be much slowly than I had anticipated – and by gum there was a lot of it! I had to devise a computer spreadsheet to keep control of the wordcount.

This is a very long book. Well, people do keep begging me to write more… Assuming they can be persuaded to like a novel without Falco, this should keep them happy.

Technically, although we see events from various viewpoints – something I particularly wanted to try after the first-person Falco books - there is one overall narrative that moves towards a particular point; then when my heroine and hero meet, everything travels forward together from there. What happens at the very end – I won’t give it away – is tragic, though I hope it is also compassionate and holds some promise for my characters. Sadness is inevitable in a serious book about the Civil War, because there was so much destruction and bloodshed to achieve so little gain. The revolution that nobody really intended eventually failed; the innovative Commonwealth was too beset with plots against it to survive. Everyone is desperately tired of strife. We have followed idealistic characters as they tried to bring about change; we know they are bound to be disappointed. The monarchy was restored under Charles II in 1660, and I can’t change that.

You will find this a very different book from the Falco series. I take courage from the success of The Course of Honour, which was also so different. I very much hope that people will like Rebels and Traitors on its own terms

Lindsey Davis
London, 2010

I adore long books and in fact, am well into this one, but haven't quite finished it yet. Hopefully soon :) From having read her Falco novels, I know that Lindsey does her research very well. Moreover, through her characters and their experiences she gives readers a first hand glimpse into history that makes it come to vivid life! So be prepared to be sucked into a good book.

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GIVEAWAY

The Prize

A copy of this book will go to one lucky reader.

To Enter
  • Tell me why you want to win.
  • You must include your email address at the end of your comment, so you can be notified should you be chosen as a winner. Use the format abc AT xyz DOT com, to avoid spammers.
For Extra Entries

Please leave a NEW comment for each extra entry you do.

Deadline   Midnight CST of Feb 21, 2010.

Eligibility  US only.

Please read the Disclaimer. Good luck!
Note - This book was received for review/feature consideration.
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62 comments :

  1. I would love to win because I LOVE reading Civil War books like Gone with the Wind. It's an era that absolutely fascinates me.

    lauragiveaways AT gmail DOT com

    (email address also in profile)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I subscribe to your email updates.

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  3. I follow on Twitter and tweeted:
    http://twitter.com/couponlover16/status/8037966959

    ReplyDelete
  4. 1/22 tweet:
    http://twitter.com/couponlover16/status/8069292332

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  5. I would love to read Lindsey Davis' Rebels and Traitors, and my interest is especially piqued because Gone With the Wind and North and South are two of my all time favorites.
    Nice write up!
    lmattke (at) picpocketbooks (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I know next to nothing about the English Civil War - and yet there lies my heritage. I would love to read this book.

    tatamagouche AT netbundle DOT ca

    ReplyDelete
  7. I subscribe to your blog by e-mail

    tatamagouche AT netbundle DOT ca

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  8. All classes of English citizens were changed during this historic era. I love to read historical books and what happened during that time in history. I would love to win and will read this great book with open mind as I know some liberties will be taken since it is a story. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. 1 ENTRY - I do Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary feed

    Your review/interview with Lindsey Davis was great. She loves what she does and it shows.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. 1 ENTRY - I Subscribe to A Book Blogger's Diary Email Up date

    It took Lindsey 3 yrs to write due to research etc. so I know this will be close to factual.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. 1 ENTRY -I Follow this blog

    I am looking forward to reading Lindsey's book.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I left comment on Dying Scream by Mary Burton @ 11:37am.
    I really would like to read this book. It sounds like a wonderful read. Thanks

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I left a comment on your review with Pamela Samuels Young re: her 5 tips @ 11:47am

    She gave great advice with her tips.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I left comment on your review with Julia Delardi and her writing historical @ 11:59am.

    I will read her book as soon as possible.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. because it sounds like a fascinating read thanks for the giveaway minsthins at optonline dot net

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  16. I like historical fiction. This sounds great!

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  17. subscribe via email at misaacmom at gmail dot com

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  18. I look forward to reading this book.
    I love Historical fiction.
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am a follower of the email
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750@aol.com

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  20. I'm a subscriber
    Carol L.
    Lucky4750@aol.com

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  21. love to read about stories set in the past with historical values
    shopannies@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love historical fiction. This looks great!
    Thanks for the lovely giveaway.

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is the type of book my mom loves. Would love to be able to give it to her.

    Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

    bloggyig at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Winning this would give my students a chance to look at the British Civil War from a literary perspective penned by a modern writer.
    enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Subscribe via Google reader.
    enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

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  27. Facebook fan.
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  28. e-mail subscriber.
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  29. I love historical novels. I can so easily wrap myself into them, must have lived a past life during that time
    copperllama at yahoo dot com

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  30. feed subscriber
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  32. have button
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  34. facebook fan
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  35. 1/27 tweet:
    http://twitter.com/couponlover16/status/8286150511

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  36. 1/28 tweet:
    http://twitter.com/couponlover16/status/8326570546

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  37. I would love to win this because I love books that have a historical core. It looks like a great read!

    katieandbobby10@yahoo.com

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  38. I subscribe to your feed :)


    katieandbobby10@yahoo.com

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  39. I have your button on my blog!

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  40. I follow this blog!

    katieandbobby10@yahoo.com

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  41. I love to read books of historical fiction. Love to feel like I lose myself in another time.

    chipdip2010(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I don't know much about the English Civil War at all. (In fact, I guess I didn't realize that England even ever HAD a Civil War). So I'd like to win this book to further my own understanding...and the story looks like it would be really good!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I subscribe to your feed via Google! (amweeks)

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  44. I subscribe to your updates via email!

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  45. You're a technorati fave! (amweeks)

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  46. I follow on twitter & tweeted! http://twitter.com/amweeks/status/8466221116

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  47. I would love to win because I love anything about history, fiction or non-fiction.

    choateorama(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I would like to win this book because I enjoy reading about English history in a well researched book. sharonaquilino at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  49. this sounds good-I enjoy reading historical fiction

    tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I would like to win this book, because I love historical novels. This one sounds very interesting. Please enter me. Thanks!

    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  51. I subscribe via email.

    ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  52. I want to win because I love Lindsey Davis' Falco novels. I think she writes extremely well and I would enjoy reading her take on a different period of history.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I'd like to win because I enjoy reading historical fiction. Thanks for the chance
    mannasweeps AT gmail DOt com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I follow your blog on google friend connect
    mannasweeps AT gmail DOt com

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  55. Thanks for the interview. The book sounds great so that's why I'd like to win it.

    tradingaddress at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'm also an email subscriber.

    tradingaddress at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  57. I love epic stories based on historic events... and the book looks amazing! thanks for hosting a great giveaway!

    heather y
    click4cash4me@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'm also an email subscriber... thanks! :)

    heather y
    click4cash4me@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete