I Pulled My Book from Publication Because I was Wrong about Jane Parker, Lady Rochford #tudor, #historicalfiction

Last year, I made a promise to myself that when my rights to Under These Restless Skies reverted from my publisher back to me, I was going to pull it from publication until it underwent extensive rewrites. I've now done that; the book is unavailable and will be until I finish the process.


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So, What Happened?

What happened was that I realized I was wrong. Terribly wrong. I had tried so hard in the novel to be fair to Anne Boleyn and depict her character as reflected in the true historical record that I ended up slandering and vilifying another historical character, Anne's sister-in-law, Jane Parker.

I can't plead complete ignorance. In my notes, I said that Jane's depiction as a sneaky, conniving person had fallen from favor, but she was a convenient villain (which is likely why history has traditionally blamed her).

But over the last few years since the book's debut, I've read more about Jane. I've updated my blog, routinely editing articles to reflect my findings, but I couldn't do the same with the novel. As more time passed, I felt worse about what I'd done.


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So How Are You Gonna Fix This?

I intend to re-write the novel to be more accurate, and to be fair to Jane. I'll also give new ebook copies to readers, and replace paperbacks if the reader wants to mail theirs back to me. It will be a lot of work, and potentially rather expensive (especially given the original book didn't sell all that well,) but I think integrity is important. I said in my notes that I was trying hard to be accurate, and I want my actions to reflect that.

I think authors should have the courage to admit they were wrong about what the historical record says, and to make it right wherever that is possible.



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When Do You Expect This to Be Complete?

I can't say how long this project will take. The original Under These Restless Skies took a year to write. I've never re-written a novel before. I'll update on this blog when it's finished.

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I want to apologize to my readers. I feel like I've failed you. I wanted to write a historical novel which entertained while giving readers a glimpse into the Tudor world I've found do fascinating over the years. I wanted to strip away the cobwebs of myth. Instead, I ended up adding more.

And I want to apologize to Jane Parker Boleyn, Lady Rochford. You didn't deserve what Henry did to you, and you didn't deserve what history has done to you. Nor did you deserve what I did to you. I'm so sorry. I'll try to set my part of it right.


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2 comments:

  1. That shows great integrity, Lissa. When I wrote my historical featuring Richard III, my agent said to make Elizabeth Woodville meaner. She was the villain of sorts but I didn't think she deserved to be that vilified, although I hadn't found much on the historical record about her. So I didn't make her meaner just to suit the story. Bravo to you! Diana Rubino

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  2. What you are doing isn't wrong it's the best! The novel, when it's republished, will be better than before! Well done ma'm!

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