Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Jeannette de Beauvoir's Previous Books Revived

Jeannette (C├ęzanne) de Beauvoir, award-winning copywriter, business writer, scriptwriter, editor, and also novelist and playwright/ is a model of perseverance.

Jeannette de Beauvoir's earlier books are to see new life as e-books, and as you can see from her guest blog below, she's justifiably thrilled.

Never say never. My second- and third-published novels, which came out in the mid-1980s, will see new life next year as Harvard Square Editions publishes them as ebooks. I've always been rather fond of the books, which follow the lives of people involved in a fictional aviation company from its inception in the early 1900s through the end of the second world war, and will be very glad to see a new generation reading them.

Writing Wings and Flight taught me a great deal about a disparate lot of things. I hadn't been all that long in this country when I wrote them, and, like most French people of the time, thought of the United States as one big California, and of California as one big beach, so never hesitated in having a character walking on the beach in San Jose. Oops. That taught me about always always always doing research. I also had the opportunity during the time I was writing them to learn how to fly an airplane myself, and the wonder of that has never left me.

One of the characters in Wings is very clearly and obviously based on Harriet Quimby, the first American women to hold a pilot's license. I received a letter not long after the novel was published, from a woman who wrote, "My husband knew Harriet Quimby, and he says she would have liked the life that you gave her."

So as you see, these books were meaningful to me indeed, and I'm looking forward to seeing them out there again. Not, mind you, to the work involved! No electronic copies exist, and I'm not going to go the OCR route, because between 1985 and 2012 I've become a different writer altogether, more skilled, more disciplined, and so the only way I'll feel good about the books is if I can re-enter them by hand and edit them along the way. So there's a lot of work ahead of me.

A telling family story: I gave a copy of Wings to my father (my mother died during the writing of it, and I dedicated it to her), thinking how proud he would be that his daughter was getting published, that she was a real author.

"What did you think?" I asked him breathlessly.

He pulled out an index card: "There's a typo on page 63," he intoned, "and a couple of mistakes on ..." (I come by my editing abilities via my DNA, it would seem).

So I waited and then asked, "Yes, okay, but the story? What did you think of the story?"

He frowned. "Well, it's a little sleazy, isn't it?" he responded. "Too much sex." (The book was three hundred-plus pages and had, I believe, two or three sex scenes in the whole of it.)

So, fed up, I responded, "Yes, but Daddy, it was all pretty much straight sex: there were no animals involved."

We were, apparently, not amused.

Jeannette de Beauvoir, writing as Jeannette Angell, has an ebook, The  Crown and The Kingdom, available on Amazon. Discover the intrigue  and politics of France in the early fourteenth century!

Her collection of poetry, Seven Times to Leave, is the winner of the 2013 Mary Ballard Poetry Prize. Read more about Jeannette de Beauvoir here.

Are You Ignoring 3/4 of Your Book Buying Market?

Beware that you aren't ignoring three fourths of your market! Angela Hoy provides thought-provoking advice about e-books and the reading public. Read 75% of Americans DON'T Own Ebook Readers - Are you ignoring 75% of the book buying market?! on WritersWeekly .