Lucia’s War – New Live Date June 5

Hello all, just an FYI that Lucia’s War launch will now be on Friday 5th June, not Monday 1st June, to give time to get proofs uploaded. Those who have pre-ordered a copy will be notified. A virtual launch will take place on Friday evening GMT, details to be confirmed.

Thanks for your patience. The last few weeks have been so deprived of time to do even the smallest thing that I can barely manage this post, to be honest. Lockdown time has thieved me of the ability to do extra. Jobs left undone, the place is a tip… but as Mozart said in the film, “forgive me your Majesty, I am a vulgar man, but my music is not.” This is a special book and I cannot wait to share it with you all.

“A Symphony as Beautiful as It Is Violent” – Lucia’s War ARC Review

I’m proud to announce that Lucia’s War has won a Recommended Read Award from the Coffee Pot Book Club, along with a first review I could only dream of. I had to blog this as soon as I could, so elated I was after reading it.

A month or two ago, as an independent author green about the gills, I saw what a great service this blog was doing for similar authors such as Pam Lecky and Catherine Kullmann, and asked Mary Anne Yarde of Coffee Pot Book Club to review the ARC. She kindly agreed, and to my joy, she really liked it.

Some excerpts that are particularly heart-singing:

Oh, this book, where do I even begin? This is a story that swept me away in all of its brilliance. With soaring arpeggio’s that scream of disaster and triumph seemingly in the same breath, Lucia’s War is a novel that mesmerises. Lanigan has done the impossible and somehow weaved the language of music into this evocative story in such a way that it was almost as if I was listening to a poignant symphony that was as beautiful as it was violent.

and

We do meet some historical characters in this book […] but it is the attention to the historical detail where Lanigan excels. Like all gifted historical fiction authors, Lanigan has portrayed the era this book is set in seemingly without any effort. This is incredibly hard to pull off, but Lanigan has done it most admirably.  Lucia’s War […] is an exceptional work of scholarship. It is in all ways a historical fiction masterpiece. This is a book that is deserving of your time.

Read the full review here. Please note that it contains major spoilers for its predecessor, White Feathers.

Lucia’s War – Pre-Order Available

Delighted to announce that pre-orders are now available for Lucia’s War in e-book format. I’ve been working hard on this – and work continues to be done! – so it’s a delight to make this announcement.

Pre-order here for Amazon UK

Pre-order here for Amazon US

Also viewable on Goodreads if you would like to add it to your list!

I currently have the ARC being reviewed by the Coffee Pot Book Club so hopefully that will spread the word. I also have an ARC list who have received an electronic copy. I haven’t had the opportunity to do much marketing because I’ve had a full-time job, a lot of commitments and of course lockdown restrictions to contend with. So I’m ramping that up a small bit now.

But Where’s The Paperback?

I’m going to say this because it’s going to get asked – I have actually managed a good workflow with generating a PB with a very early draft and Richie the ever-patient designer at More Visual. But the process is pricey and I’d have to try it again with a local printer. I need to give myself a bit of financial breathing space because I’ve spent quite a bit on the editorial side, rightly so. And then there’s Spanish Flu Mark II which means all the bookshops are shut anyway. However I know there are many of you who prefer paperback and there WILL be one – it just might be three months down the line.

I honestly have no idea how this will all pan out. I hope as I learn on my journey I can share it. However it is a rather exciting adventure and I am so glad Lucia got her book. She so deserves it! I’m very lucky to have the wisdom of Liz (editor) and Lyeanne (expert reader) to keep pushing me onwards towards making this book the best it can be.

When’s the E-book out?

1 June. I did say 30 May but figured the other side of the weekend wouldn’t make that much difference. There’s plenty of work to be done but I think it’s a reasonable schedule.

So that’s it. Do please spread the word. And there’s a killer last line. Did I mention the killer last line? 🙂

 

Launch Date for Lucia’s War

Hello everyone,

As discussed on twitter and here, Lucia’s War will be soft-launched online on Saturday, May 30, 2020. This will be done via a Live Event. Time and other details tbc, but the event will operate under the presumption of full quarantine restrictions. I am hoping everyone can raise their glasses / Godspeed messages to the screen when this ship sails. (The opening scene is of launching warships!)

I doubt if a PB will be available as distribution channels are down at present. I have been able to hold a PB for a previous draft of the novel in my hands, and the printer isn’t Amazon KDP (not liked by booksellers, understandably!) so perhaps some limited distribution will be available. But ARCs will definitely be out in ebook format.

The ARC is taking longer to issue than planned for the simple reason that I am doing this myself, I recently resumed full-time work, and ambient conditions became severely inconducive for a while. My application to the Arts Council for a bursary was disqualified, so I must work outside writing and have a day job. This has always been the case for me, and I can live with it, but it’s caused me difficulty lately. I thank readers for understanding.

I’ve done a tiny bit of promotional work too, so I will highlight that when the time comes. Being kept from my work is a major block for a lot of that, especially so close to the end, but I know that one way or the other, it will be worth it.

Thanks all and please boost. I am but a small figure in a vast forest but as the quote says in Amadeus “Forgive me, your Majesty, I am a vulgar man – but my music is not.” I think Lucia would approve of that signoff.

An Appeal to Goodreads Reviewers

Hello everyone, and particularly the kind readers who have reviewed me on Goodreads. I want to invite you to read and honestly review the ARC of Lucia’s War when it comes out in April. Alas, the rules of Goodreads expressly forbid me from asking you there, even though you have already read White Feathers. So I am doing so here instead!

This offer is open to everyone who has reviewed White Feathers on Goodreads, regardless of rating. If you would be interested in reviewing the ARC of Lucia’s War, which is in the White Feathers universe but standalone, please drop me a line at contact AT susan lanigan DOT com and I will be delighted to add you to the ARC list. Thank you 🙂

The Story Behind “Unfortunate Stars”

 

Four days ago, just as the coronavirus restrictions really began to kick in, I published a long short story, “Unfortunate Stars”, on Amazon. It is about 10,000 words, or half an hour’s reading and is set in 1938 and 1915 – a story of the war just gone, and the war yet to come. I wanted to see how it would get on. The results have been pleasantly surprising. OK so it’s on free promotion but still, 130 downloads isn’t bad.

This story is special to me. Publishing it is not about earning any money; had I my way it would be forever free, but Amazon don’t let you do that alas. However it will always be free to those who subscribe to my mailing list at the link above, so if the promotion is over and you fancy reading it for free, by all means give it a click. To find out why it means a lot to me, please read the afterword in the story 🙂

The background to Unfortunate Stars was that it was a précis of a much longer novel. This novel, about an ethnic German Bohemian WWI veteran who, in spite of his long marriage, falls unsuitably in love just as the next war threatens and his own country is overrun, was a beautiful mistake. A glorious mistake that I spent over three years pursuing before finally giving up. There were too many strands, too many conflicting stories, and I lacked the grand, overarching artistry to bring them together. Much of the fictional Philipp Stern’s story, in particular, is omitted here: his acrimonious divorce and his borderline unhealthy obsession with Lou Andreas-Salomé for a start. Friedrich’s background, in turn, is inspired from meeting and being transformed by someone who came from the region, a culture I had not known much about before.

But there was one scene in the abandoned book I had a soft spot for – one of the intersections with the White Feathers universe where Friedrich recalls his battlefield encounter with an already very traumatised Christopher in 1915. It’s pure geekery, high-church style fanfic on my own stuff (is that allowed? I say it’s allowed.) It was about enemies turned comrades, about finding a common language, about how everything must be done ‘zusammen – together’, as Friedrich says. About male love and friendship. I wanted to do something with that scene. And I felt it filled in that gap in the middle of White Feathers quite well – so I made it into a short story 🙃

There’s even a song for that scene – there are other songs too but the Spotify soundtrack is too long at present:

https://open.spotify.com/track/7uMSyq6oN898WlUTR3SXE2?si=5KSJmjB8QeOUgoV8KnuNSw

Download “Unfortunate Stars” from Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B085RF4J34

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Unfortunate-Stars-Confession-Susan-Lanigan-ebook/dp/B085RF4J34/

Or subscribe to the mailing list!

Five Days Later

Five days ago, I published She Wrote It, But…., which would turn out to be a liberating decree nisi for a long-time separation.

My intention had been to follow it up with the positive version, “She Wrote It, And…” But I was deterred by the pleasant truth that it would take way too long and I’m trying to write a book here 🙂 The positive version belongs in the Acknowledgements to Lucia’s War and that is where it will go. I will strive to leave no-one out. Margaret Madden does get a shout out though. She saw the soul in my book, and saved mine. Thank you 🙂

I don’t regret or walk back a word of my blogpost, but since I hit “post” a revolution has been going on in my head. After anger, I’ve reached a point of deep calm. It was well past time to disinfect this whole thing with sunlight, and now it’s over. Continue reading “Five Days Later”