BLOG Wednesday 16 September

How easy is it to write gripping historical novels about real characters? 

If anyone can show us how it's done, I suspect it will be Pamela Graham, who recently submitted her Choice and Circumstance to Free Literary Mentor. I'm especially interested because her heroine right through the projected series is Sophia of Hanover, one of the sisters of the 'Winter Prince', Prince Rupert of the Rhine. I chose an extract from the very beginning of the novel. Meet the delightful Sophie, below!

BLOG Tuesday 8 September


Great reviews for this first novel in my English Civil War trilogy on Amazon here. Like every author I appreciate unsolicited commentary from readers. You don't know how exciting this is, even (or perhaps more especially?) to a publishing veteran! 

Latest Extract
Choice and Circumstance ~ Pamela Graham ~ Australia

Sophie, Princess Palatine, eighteen years old and beautiful, sat on a shabby couch in her mother’s house at The Hague with her feet tucked up under her, flicking idly through the pages of a book. This lack of concentration was unusual in Sophie, who normally gave her mind completely to the matter in hand and read books with methodical determination. She knew she would not be the only person at The Hague experiencing difficulty focussing. The neat, orderly Dutch city was bristling with exiled English Royalists all waiting for and yet dreading the arrival of news from London, where their King was under sentence of death.

The Mentor’s Critique
 Choice and Circumstance~ Pamela Graham

Pamela, the quality that strikes me in these thirty pages is your ability to distil for the reader the important issues within the slice of history that you’ve chosen to portray. This is no easy task and you have the right skills to pull it off. In fact your method admirably suits the title of your novel. We are privy to three characters' situations at the beginning of the story: King Charles I confronting his own execution; his niece Princess Sophie in the Hague, contemplating her marriage chances; the Prince of Wales, also in the Hague, waiting to hear about his father’s fate. You give us the circumstances of each person clearly and vigorously, and at the same time each of them analyses their own choices and tries for the decision that will contribute the most to their future. Choice and Circumstance indeed!

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What can FLM do for you?
In a fresh phase of my long career as both publisher and
published novelist, I turned to writing full-time in 2014. 
And I found that I missed assessing brand-new fiction.
So I set up Free Literary Mentor as a completely free 
manuscript appraisal service to début novelists and 
their readers. During my professional life in books I’ve 
assessed, edited, published and reviewed prize-winning 
fiction and non-fiction, I’ve tutored in literature and novel 
writing, and was fiction publisher for an international company
for twelve years—yet I’ve never lost the excitement of seeing 
new work. If you’re a novelist seeking constructive critiques, 
Free Literary Mentor is geared to finding your strengths.
Readers, check out the latest extract from a new novel—
you may be peeking at a forthcoming bestseller. 
To share an opinion, comment on this page.