Just about a year ago I finished a new novel. It took place during Revolutionary War era New York City, and told the story of a young woman named Lisette as she made her way through the terrors and excitement of that time and place. The book was the best thing since sliced bread. In fact it was sliced bread, a hunk of a chewy brown loaf with a crackly crust that was so good you wanted to gobble the whole thing up in one sitting. At least that’s how it seemed to me.
Lizzy was real to me, as real as the girl in this 18th c. portrait, gazing off into her world, waiting for our world to discover her. I thought everyone would want to read about her exploits. The only thing was… my editor, the smart and genial fellow who had published my last two historical novels, didn’t agree. Or the people who had to approve his adoption of my Lizzy didn’t agree. It was a shock, the moreso when the editors who saw the mss. subsequently loved the writing but felt they couldn’t publish the book. How to digest this news? What was a writer to do?