Author Topic: Would you purchase this historical novel?  (Read 1669 times)  

Offline Pearson Moore

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Re: Would you purchase this historical novel?
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2011, 09:18:29 AM »
Ann,

I was wondering when someone would point this out!  The Betsy Ross flag received tentative committee approval in May, 1776, but did not become the official flag of the new United States until early in 1777.  I faced a difficult historical situation, though, with a plethora of flags used from 1774 to 1777, none of which, I'm guessing, would be remotely recognisable to any but the most dedicated students of history.  The Grand Union flag, General Washington's favourite, looked like the Union Jack, and it actually confused many people when Washington had it raised in Philadelphia ("Ah, the Redcoats are back in charge...").  The Appeal to Heaven and Don't Tread on Me would be unrecognisable to most everyone, especially if the flag is crumpled on the ground.  So, I opted to take some liberties with historical authenticity for the sake of making the cover more recognisable.  Martha stands between two flags--British and Patriot (Rebel, to those reading this from outside the U.S.), and has a choice to make.  That is the implication I am trying to indicate on the cover.

The United Colonies acted as a unit for over a year before the Declaration was signed.  The United Colonies printed paper "bills of credit" (what we would now refer to as "money") under their authority.  The Continental Congress, declaring itself representative of the United Colonies, prepared and disseminated thousands of propaganda tracts in the Province of Qubec and sent hundreds of spies and French-speaking Patriots to stir up discontent in Qubec.  And the United Colonies did indeed invade Qubec as the single greatest initiative of the new act of rebellion against Great Britain, beginning in late summer of 1775.  The Colonies took Montral without a fight, but ended up facing a protracted battle for Qubec that went on from November, 1775, when General Montgomery and Colonel Arnold (he was promoted to General just before he arrived in Qubec, but did not receive word of his promotion until the spring of 1776) began shelling the city, until April, 1776, when the Patriots finally threw in the towel and retreated.  In fact, it was during the New Year's Eve Battle of Qubec (Dec 31, 1775) that Colonel Arnold was shot in the leg and ended up having it amputated.  Our tour guide inside the walled city (Qubec) back in 2003 told us that Arnold's leg turned out to be the only loyal part of his body (he didn't commit treason until later in the war).

I'm sorry about the flag--but I think it has to stay.  But if you have another idea, I am definitely interested in hearing it!

Thank you so much for your excellent, historically relevant comments!

Pearson Moore

Offline N. Gemini Sasson

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Re: Would you purchase this historical novel?
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2011, 09:20:53 AM »
yeah .. the font is historically accurate but visually distracting.


I'm in this camp. It does reflect fonts from that time, but at first glance I stumbled over it.  So yeah, if you could find something similar where the 's' looks more like an 's', it's all good.  I like the image and color contrast, btw.


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Offline Pearson Moore

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Re: Would you purchase this historical novel?
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2011, 09:33:13 AM »
Anne,

Yes, the word Canada goes back at least to Jacques Cartier, as I point out in my first novel, Cartier's Ring, which spends about a hundred pages or so detailing that first contact on July 16, 1534.  Certainly in 1775, colonists would understand Qubec and Canada as being synonymous, but to them, of course, it meant a French colony that had recently been taken over by the British, at the end of what the Yanks call the "French and Indian Wars", or what we call the Seven Years' War (ou bien La guerre de la Conqute, si vous tes de Qubec ou rgion francophone).

As for mentioning Canada in a title, it's unfortunate that it turns out to be a marketing difficulty south of the border.  I find Canadian history endlessly fascinating, as you might have guessed from the fact that all three of my novels delve deep into the historical details of this most compelling of countries.  But I do indeed have to work at making the books more appealing, and that sometimes means removing the explicit references to Canada.  I changed the title of my first novel, "Cartier's Ring:  A Novel of Canada" to simply "Cartier's Ring".  The novel does spend about half its time in upstate New York (with the pre-confederation Iroquoian Oneida Nation), so I don't feel I am misleading anyone when I now say "Cartier's Ring" is about the history of North America.

Thank you for your comments!

Pearson Moore

Offline jillmyles

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Re: Would you purchase this historical novel?
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2011, 09:43:43 AM »
Can you manually go in and exaggerate the long 'S' more so it DOES look like an S? My concern is that your name looks like Pearfon instead of Pearson, and this might be a hindrance when people are browsing and/or looking to buy.

Offline Pearson Moore

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Re: Would you purchase this historical novel?
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2011, 09:54:10 AM »
Jill,

Thanks for commenting!

I haven't found any authentic fonts that make the long-s look more "s-like" to our modern eyes.  Most likely, based on feedback from so many people, I will simply abandon the idea of using the long-s and go with a modern s in the titles.  Thanks again for chiming in!  I appreciate all comments, and especially useful ones, like yours.

Pearson Moore

Offline MikeAngel

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Re: Would you purchase this historical novel?
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2011, 10:04:44 AM »
Jill,

Thanks for commenting!

I haven't found any authentic fonts that make the long-s look more "s-like" to our modern eyes.  Most likely, based on feedback from so many people, I will simply abandon the idea of using the long-s and go with a modern s in the titles.  Thanks again for chiming in!  I appreciate all comments, and especially useful ones, like yours.

Yes, I'd buy this, being a US historian by both education and publication. Washington should have pushed a bit harder for Montreal. 54-40 or fight, yada yada. As far as the purfuit of happineff, I have no problem with the old style lettering or font. Most history majors wouldn't see it as a "mistake." If you italicize only the "f" would that help? And can you drop it slightly below the line? As far as I'm concerned you must navigate your purfuit yourfelf and ignore all the font Nazis who lurk amidst the detritus of scorn hereabouts. Cheers!

Offline dgaughran

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Re: Would you purchase this historical novel?
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2011, 10:26:07 AM »
Hey Pearson,

One more flag comment (sorry!).

The Union Jack as you have displayed it wasn't adopted until 1801 when the Act of Union incorporated (there's a euphemism) Ireland into the United Kingdom.

The flag in use in your time period would have been similar, but without the diagonal red stripes (which represent Ireland).

You can see a picture of what I believe is the appropriate flag here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Flag#History

Dave
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Offline JJayKamp

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Re: Would you purchase this historical novel?
« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2011, 11:18:45 AM »
I guess you can count me among the "font Nazis."  I love the new font, but still think it should be a regular s.





Offline Pearson Moore

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Re: Would you purchase this historical novel?
« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2011, 11:46:15 AM »
David,  Thanks!  I looked it up, and you are correct.  Fascinating!  I never even noticed the slight addition of the diagonal red stripes.  Could it be because things I've read about the period were incorrect?  More likely, I imagine, is that I simply assumed the Union Jack had not changed from the 17th century, when it was first instituted.  Thank you for pointing this out!  Correcting it will be a very simple matter, though it would have been much more difficult after I published the novel.  Thanks to you, I can have it taken care of easily and painlessly.  Thank you for pointing this out to me!

JJay, Font Nazi or not, I appreciate your input.  Unless a dozen or more people suddenly post here, imploring me to keep the authentic font, I will drop this idea and go with a simple Caslon Pro font, no long-s, no distressed letters.

Pearson Moore

Offline CraigInOregon

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Re: Would you purchase this historical novel?
« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2011, 12:13:08 PM »
Thank you so much for your excellent input!

I have put together a new cover concept, using a distressed font, El Franco Distressed.  Is this an improvement?  Does the cover pique your curiosity?



I would be grateful for any comments you might like to offer.  Thanks!

History was in color prior to the 1960s?  :P I thought life was lived in black and white back then...

Hey, I have newsreels to prove MY point... ;)

lol

Joking aside, it's OK. I'm not your target market, though... unless it's Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter... I don't read historicals. I read nonfiction history, sometimes, but not a lot of historicals.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2011, 12:16:13 PM by CraigInTwinCities »
I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. -Stephen King

Offline Pearson Moore

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Re: Would you purchase this historical novel?
« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2011, 05:06:18 PM »
Craig,

Absolutely right.  It is a little-known fact that life was lived exclusively in black and white until 1962, when the National Broadcast Corporation (NBC) introduced the Peacock Logo on national television.   ;D

Pearson Moore

Offline anne_holly

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Re: Would you purchase this historical novel?
« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2011, 05:44:53 PM »
Nope, guys. I saw Gone With the Wind, so I know at least the Civil War was in colour.