Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On Falcon's Wings

In the summer of 2005, I started a new manuscript, the story of a medieval falconer's daughter who fell in love with a Saxon lord, on the eve of the Norman Conquest in 1066. The knowledge and careful attention of members in my critique group kept me on my toes, particularly when we debated the value of the Bayeux Tapestry as a research tool, or a clever piece of propaganda.  A fateful day arrived when my friend Mirella Patzer, who was also editing the manuscript, said "...A falconer was a serf - in essence, a slave, and NOT a commoner - so a nobleman would have kept her - but not married her as the church would not have recognized their interaction...." My plot was in jeopardy, and all those months of research on the art of falconry seemed a waste, but Mirella helped me to re-structure and save the storyline.

Self-publishing this or any other story never seriously crossed my mind - if it did, it was the option of last resort. I was determined to follow the traditional route in publishing. So, I kept at all the things which I was certain would bring me what I wanted most: a contract. I kept active in my writing groups, self-edited my manuscript and queried agents and editors.  Requests for partials and fulls came and went, while my goal remained elusive. Frustration grew, as I watched other members of my critique groups reach their goals, and I found it increasingly difficult to read anything just for the pleasure of it. In September 2009, I attended a Writer's Digest conference, and finally heard the words that motivated me to re-consider self-publishing. Months later, I took Bill O'Hanlon's words to heart and used the emotion inside me, in this case, being pissed, and committed to self-publishing the manuscript languishing on my computer for almost five years.

Today, I received the notification that the Kindle version of On Falcon's Wings was available for sale, and the proof of the paperback was ready for me to order. So many emotions are churning inside me, I can't even describe them, but I think fear, coupled with an overwhelming sense of happiness are right at the top.  I will admit, I've checked Amazon a few times this morning, just to be sure that beautiful cover is really there.

Speaking of covers, here it is with a huge thank-you to my cover illustrator, Lance Ganey, one among many who helped make my dream come true.

6 comments:

Anita Davison said...

Congratulations Lisa, and here's an excerpt from my review:

On Falcons Wings portrays the different factions and the personal ambitions that resulted in the Norman Conquest in a fascinating and informative way. This book is a must-read for all those who love authentic medieval settings and the story's two star-crossed lovers.

Lisa Yarde said...

Thank you, Anita dear, you are a darling.

N. Gemini Sasson said...

Congratulations! It's sort of like being given command of the ship after being tossed about on a stormy sea, isn't it? You finally feel you have some control, but you're not quite sure how to steer the darn thing.

Best wishes as you embark on your writing career (yes, you really do have one now!).

Lisa Yarde said...

Thanks, Gemi. Did I mention I get seasick?

Anne Whitfield - author said...

Hi Lisa.

Congrats on the release of your novel.
I'm adding it to my reading list.
Good luck with it and I hope it sells loads!
Hugs,
xx

Lisa Yarde said...

Thanks, Anne. I'll never forget that I got started in the critique groups with you.

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