Thursday, October 30, 2014

Future Hild?

From: Terry

I have been blown away by reading "Hild" - and re-reading it many times since this July - and have built up a stack of copies for Xmas presents too.

I have put it on our book club's list but I am writing to ask what the date is for UK publication of the paperback. At the moment "Hild" is in our schedule for April next year.

I'm also looking forward, ravenously, to Volume 2: it is heart-wringing to imagine the future for Cian and Hild. I love - among many other features - the way you foreshadow Hild's leanings towards a community of women long before she becomes an abbess, and your use of background sound [birdsong, the noise of a stream,] to convey the silence that falls between characters when a thing cannot be said, and your use of smell to set a scene or mood. It underlines the intense awareness of the natural world of a character and a culture where life is largely lived outdoors, where noone smokes nor ever has, and...

Anyway, thank you for Hild, now and in the future!
The US paperback came out on Tuesday (October 28). The UK paperback is scheduled for July 9, 2015. I'm guessing it's possible to get it shipped from elsewhere; Blackfriars has already had to reprint the export paperback, so I know it's out there and doing relatively well in places like Australia.

Hild and Cian? Their futures are unfurling as I type. But I can tell you: all is well. At first. But it's history, so things fall apart for a bunch of characters (both those I'm very fond of and those I'm just itching to see suffer), and soar for others (ditto) and there's nothing I can do about that. Some of them (even my favourites, sigh) are just plain doomed. Some, of course, will live relatively happily for a long time. You can either read some history books (or peek at Wikipedia—it can occasionally be pretty good) or you can wait for Hild II.

Meanwhile, I'm delighted that you like the way I've written the world, because that continues. It can be very odd, though, to live in two worlds at once: the 7th and the 21st centuries. Especially when I'm travelling so much. And I find myself resisting some of the trends many historians have taken for granted, e.g. the growing Pauline/misogynist attitude towards women as the Age of Conversion takes hold. Hild will resist, too, in ways not always recorded by monks...

But how successful she believes herself to be, well, you'll have to read the book. And it's not done yet.
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