I’m Susan Lanigan, author of WWI novel White Feathers. This story of passion, betrayal and war, shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2015, is published by O’Brien Press Brandon imprint. I am represented by Svetlana Pironko of the Author Rights Agency.
Thank you for dropping in and happy browsing!
White Feathers got ANOTHER review which was sent on to me by the publishers this morning and if you read it, you will see why I am grinning from ear to ear. Regrettably it is not available online, but I enclose an image of it below. Here is a bit I am really pleased got highlighted:
The second half of the book is a brutal account of some of the actions in the war, particularly the criminal incompetence of the top brass of the British army…[who] had also used their men as human fodder.
Why yes, my novel challenges authority. And even be it a hundred years back, on its publication and reading, it became clear that certain people – not the British Army, I hasten to add – didn’t like that. Certain people didn’t like that one bit.
And here’s a quote which made my morning :)
Though this is an intense love story it would do it a disservice to describe it solely in just a way. It is anti-war and anti-patriarchy without ever saying so …[and] leaves the reader genuinely hoping the author will take her characters through the next stages of their lives. For the second time in less than a year I applaud O’Brien Press for taking on a relatively unknown writer. Susan Lanigan has won praise for her short stories, but this is her first full-length novel. It is a bravura performance of effortless elegance that beautifully imitates the speech and manners of the era. More please.
Thank you very kindly, Frank O’Shea of the Irish Echo, Australia! I’ll do my best to keep ’em coming! Full review beneath the cut – fair warning, it’s an image file and also quite a bit of discussion of the plot, though less of the second half. Continue reading ““A Bravura Performance of Effortless Elegance” – White Feathers Review in Irish Echo in Australia”
Novels are harder. You can relax a little, every sentence doesn’t need to be investedwith heavy meaning like a raindrop straining to fall off a leaf, but you need to get yourself some project management to plan the thing to the end. You need to undergo a journey with these characters and allow them to get so far under your skin that they’re in your bloodstream.
Along with her earlier review of White Feathers, Liz Maguire at American Author also sent me along a couple of interview questions. (She does a series of interviews with authors and I must say I’m in very illustrious company – check it out!) But anyway, here is her interview with me, where I wax lyrical about the inspiration for writing the novel, my opinion on short stories vs novels (sensitive souls might find my opinions controversial, but I actually love the short story form when it hasn’t turned Moebiusly up its own fundament), express my preference of coffee over tea, and who gets to play which character in the film version of White Feathers.
But of course there will be a film…someday :)
Read the whole interview here. And thank you so much for your support, Liz, it is much appreciated. And that long, cool, refreshing glass of Coke does indeed look enticing. I necked down a few when I was south of you in Seville!
Like men and buses, reviews take their time then all come along at once :) Izzy Reads has kindly provided this review of White Feathers on her blog.
My grandmother didn’t have a lot of time for the women who handed out white feathers during the first world war. To her, it was a symbol not of cowardice but of bullying with the distributors often failing to take into account the personal circumstances — age, disability, mental fragility — of the young men they victimised. Her description has stayed with me through the years so when I spotted the title of Susan Lanigan’s novel, White Feathers, my interest was piqued.
I’ve always felt that this very human aspect of the conflict, the way it created smaller, lethal wars between people, is an important aspect. To many this is still a live issue, even though the last veterans have gone beyond the sunset. Describing the protagonists as “not typical romantic characters”, while her review is a bit more qualified than the last one, it is a thoughtful and interesting read. Thanks very much Izzy for reviewing the book and for anyone who is interested in following her reviews, she can be found on twitter here.
A few months ago I put out a review request to the book blogging community. Liz Maguire, who blogs at American Author, was happy to oblige and has done a great write up of her experience reading White Feathers. My favourite paragraph was this one:
I set about reading White Feathers as spring opened the skies in Dublin. In the window seat of my favorite cafe, perched above D’Olier Street with the novel open on my lap, rain lashed the glass beside me while I read and read and read. White Feathers was so intense and addictive that my tea went cold and unnoticed—perhaps the greatest sign of enthralling literature. I found White Feathers well written and well paced.
Full review here.
What part of that response could not delight the heart :) Liz has also interviewed me for her blog, a post which she will be putting up in the near future and which I’ll link to when it’s up. She also subscribes to a new service called Booktube where people discuss their book choices – it’s like vlogging Goodreads I guess – and she discusses White Feathers some more there. I smiled at the admission that she had neglected life responsibilities reading the book. I guess that’s a good sign as long as they get tended to in good time eventually! (Someone else tweeted to me that they were at a crucial part of the novel and had forgotten to walk the dog. The dog whined and eyeballed until they were duly reminded!)
Worth noting that Liz also reviewed The Rising of Bella Casey shortly after White Feathers and her review can be checked out on her blog right after mine. I was very moved by the tragic symmetry of the novel and tight dramatic integrity of it.
And lastly, after having seen the celebrations of Holy Week in Southern Spain, I’d like to wish you all a happy Easter if you celebrate.
Yesterday, my dear friends, I was on Irish national radio RTE with novelist Cathy Kelly discussing romantic novels, their readership and critical opinions of same with presenter Keelin Shanley, while discussing our books. We are both passionate people, and let our feelings be known, as you can imagine :) I really enjoyed meeting Cathy Kelly, whose generosity to a newbie in the novelist world really warmed my heart.
Listen to the podcast here
(Listening back, you can tell I was audibly nervous. There’s quite a high listener figure to the show!)
I just learned this morning that the Hennessy Book of Irish Fiction 2005-2015 is out. I got shortlisted three times in that period but didn’t make it on there, alas. Don’t worry, I’m not about to put on a tinfoil hat and start conspiracy theories :) but I might link to a Hennessy-shortlisted story I’m rather proud of as a supplement. And have a read of the rest of the great stories!