Tag Archives: Richard

DYNASTY 1: THE FOUNDING (THE MORLAND DYNASTY)

THE FOUNDING is the first book in a series of thirty-four, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, that deals with the Morland family, who come from York, England. This novel starts with a marriage, when the Morland heir, Robert, is betrothed to a dower-less young girl, Eleanor Courtenay. Why would a rich family want to ally themselves to this penniless young girl? Because her dearest friend is Eleanor Beauchamp (1408-1467), a daughter of the Earl of Warwick, and recently married to Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset (1406-1455).

Throughout this novel, Ms. Harrod-Eagles uses the technique of omniscient narration, which allows her to switch points of view effectively and efficiently without disturbing the reader:

 

Robert cleared his throat, but he could not speak. Eleanor grew more impatient, in her misery, to have done with it.

Eleanor starts off the novel at the age of eighteen as a terrified (but brave) bride, and at the end of it is a seventy-year-old monarch, who rules with a rod of iron (mixed in with some love.) THE FOUNDING encompasses the years 1434-1486, which anyone with a historical bent will realize includes all of the Wars of the Roses. The Morlands starts out on the side of the Lancastrians, because they have pledged their allegiance to the Duke of Somerset, who later becomes a great champion for the Lancastrian Queen Marguerite d’Anjou. However, Eleanor has secretly been in love with Richard, Duke of York, and thus manages to see to it that the family slips over into the Yorkist camp. This works out wonderfully well for the family when the Yorks are in the ascendant during the years 1461-1485. But the novel ends with the death of the last Yorkist king Richard III, and we are left with the cold winds of change beckoning in a new, unpleasant, un-English monarch in the shape of Henry Tudor, who becomes King Henry VII of England.  What will become of the Morlands now? We will have to read the next novel to find out. Five stars.

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How to Publish Your Novel: The Year of Cecylee

After nearly a year of pitching agents, I thought I would start this blog so that I can write down what I’m learning about this process, both for myself and for the benefit of other people.

The novel I’m pitching is 120,000-word historical novel titled ONE SEED SOWN, TWO MURDERS REAPED. It is the Richard III story told through the eyes of his mother, Cecylee Neville.

I started in February, sending it out to batches of 15 agents. Out of the 42 agents that I contacted, two were interested. The first agent, from a top-notch New York agency wanted in an exclusive. So, in March 2010, I stopped everything dead to give her that exclusive.

It took her 3 months to read my manuscript. In the end, she didn’t take it. When I asked for feedback, she wouldn’t give it. I understand that agents are swamped with material, but I was not happy that my work was dismissed in this fashion. Unfortunately, we writers have the deck stacked against us, and if agents don’t give us feedback, there is nothing we can do except move on.

Next: I almost get representation.

Image: Cecylee Neville, my protagonist, in the summer of 1441, aged 26, when she met Blaybourne, an archer on the Rouen garrison.

Model: Heather Hayes. Photographer: Whitney Arostegui.

–Cynthia Haggard writes novels.  She is currently seeking representation for ONE SEED SOWN, TWO MURDERS REAPED, the Richard III story told from the point of view of his mother. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2010. All rights reserved.

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